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Small Dogs, Big Hearts: A Guide to Caring for Your Little Dog , Revised Edition Paperback – June 1, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Small dogs can bring big rewards!

Small dogs are charming, intelligent, and loving, but they can also be overly energetic, manipulative, and stubborn. How do you ensure that your little dog becomes a fun, feisty best friend rather than a tiny terror?

This revised and updated edition of the classic The Irrepressible Toy Dog follows the small dog from puppyhood through the senior years, giving advice on important topics like:

  • socialization
  • housetraining
  • behavior
  • nutrition
  • healthcare
  • pampering your pint-sized pooch

With lots of adorable photos, you'll see small dogs at their best while you learn to bring out the best in your little bundle of love.

Small Dogs, Big Hearts also features the very latest, safest, and fastest training methods for little dogs. There's no need to use training methods from the past that don't work well with most dogs, let alone little ones who view the world and their owners from a very different vantage point. You'll find everything you need to know to train your little dog, from housetraining to house manners, in this updated volume.

About the Author

Darlene Arden is widely acknowledged as the authority on small dogs. She is the author of many books and articles about dogs and their care. A member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, she is a certified animal behavior consultant and a regular contributor to Animal Radio Network.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Howell Book House; 1 edition (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471779636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471779636
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Small Dogs, Big Hearts: A Guide to Caring for Your Little Dog, by Darlene Arden, is simply a wonderful book. It takes the reader on a journey from puppyhood to adulthood and old age, in sickness and in health. Arden carefully points out the many ways in which the Toy breeds have unique needs that larger dogs do not have, at the same time emphasizing that they are indeed dogs and so benefit from training in exactly the same ways as larger dogs.

One of the most interesting points pertinent to this is the discussion of dog training in Britain, where dogs are ubiquitous but also welcome everywhere, because dog owners in the United Kingdom take for granted that all dogs should be well socialized and trained regardless of their size. This is particularly important in the case of Toy breeds, because they can turn into obnoxious little monsters if they are untrained and spoiled. We've all run into these Lap Sharks; they aren't that way because they're small, but because they haven't been trained.

The book contains a wonderful section on nutrition, noting that the energy needs, pound for pound, of a tiny dog are much higher than those of a large dog because of their higher metabolism rate. Furthermore, the author explains the special needs of Toy dogs when they are faced with medical problems, surgery and anesthesia. For example, during surgery, fluid levels and internal temperature control are critical in these dogs. Little dogs, when they fast for surgery, may experience precipitate decreases in blood sugar.

There is a fascinating section, with photos, on the various breeds of Toy dogs, their characteristics, personalities and any genetic problems. Also, in mid-book, there is an unbeatable group of color photos, page after page, absolutely delightful.
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Format: Paperback
I was very anxious to get this book. In fact by the time I realized there was a second edition of the Irrepressible Toy Dog, I had been waiting several months. This lead me to several other small dog/ breed specific books. This book is definitely top notch However, I was a little biased having read similar information in several other books before reading this book. This made me less excited about its content, however I have to say that it is extremely well compiled, lots of good information and has the best health section on small breed specific disease that I have seen to date. The picture sections are cute, however it could have included more breeds instead of the same breeds over and over. It however was not as much fun as other books, and lacks in the training section when compared to other books. It is a great overall guide on toy dogs and every toy dog owner should keep a copy for a reference guide.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hate to be the voice of negativity among all the GREAT raves that this book got. I actually bought this book based on the reviews by other customers. It is a good book and specifies unique needs of small (especially toy) dogs. HOWEVER, as is often the case with an all encompassing book, this book would be great for first-time owners of toy dogs. I enjoyed the original edition which convinced me to get a toy dog (Papillons). If you are an experienced toy dog owner, you would only get a few things out of this book. This is the problem I find with these kind of books. It gets repetitive for the avid dog-book reader. The book doesn't address the intelligence of dogs and just glosses over each breed's characteristics. The photos in the books were great though.
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Format: Paperback
As the owner of 4 small dog rescues, I have found all of Darlene Arden's books extremely helpful and "small dogs, big hearts" is certainly no exception. It is filled with valuable information and should be a must read for anyone who has or is even remotely thinking about getting a small dog. Like all her books, this one is well written in Ms. Arden's easy to follow and understand style. I especially like the fact that this book contains mixed breeds and all the pictures are a wonderful addition.

I applaud Darlene Arden for emphasizing that these small breeds are not toys to be played with, but real dogs with real dog issues and needs.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I wanted to know more about the problems and benefits of small dog ownership. I find it to be an excellent reference book whether you have a pedigree or a mutt. One very important point - by choosing to put small in the title rather than toy, the Author emphasizes that small dogs are REAL dogs, and so they should have the training and attention that all dogs need, they are not toys or accessories. I think if you have a small dog this book is essential reading, it has certainly helped me realize some things I did not previously think about.
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Format: Paperback
This book covers all the bases when it comes to small dogs. I absolutely love Darlene's clear and concise explanations, and that she emphasizes socialization and training. The information about nutrition and health is tailored to the small dog and invaluable to the owner, describing everything from finding the right food to the various conditions and diseases that can affect the small breeds. Every small dog owner would benefit from reading this book. The pictures are wonderful, too!
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