Chihuahua training needs to be done in a positive and authoritative manner, no matter what type of personality your pup has. It is important to keep in mind throughout Chihuahua training that your pup is very intelligent. Chihuahuas are very motivated and willing to please but can be stubborn. If you are having difficulties training your Chi, it could be your approach that is the problem, not the dog. In fact, the right approach can make Chihuahua training of any kind easy.
Things to Keep In Mind
There are some main things you have to keep in mind when training Chihuahuas. The main thing is their size. You never want to use a choke chain on a Chihuahua. Their trachea can be easily damaged by pulling too tightly against their throat. Using a harness is highly recommended during leash training or during walks. You should also be aware that since Chihuahuas are so smart, they will get bored easily if you do not move swiftly through training exercises.
Chihuahua training should be very positive and upbeat. Chihuahuas do not respond well to scolding or punishment and doing so could easily throw the whole training process off track. You should also take the role of being a guide to the dog, not a Drill Sergeant. Chihuahuas have a stubborn nature that will surely surface if you try to force him to do something. Instead, offer the suggestion, let him know what to do and let him follow your lead. It may seem like a time consuming approach, but remember they learn quickly.
Rewards should also be a part of your Chihuahua training. They really respond extremely well to being rewarded with a treat for good behavior. Positive reinforcement is an excellent tool for any dog, but Chihuahuas especially will work hard if they know there is a treat for doing something. Just make sure your dog is not training on a full stomach or he may not respond as well. It is also important to make sure you switch between different types of rewards, especially after the Chihuahua begins to understand what you are asking of it. For example, switch between their regular dog kibble, a tasty treat, and verbal/physical praise (“GOOD DOG!!! *scratch scratch*). That way, they learn that they must respond to the command at all times, whether or not you have food.
Your training should be on a regular schedule. Try also not to spend too long on training sessions for obedience training. For potty training you must be constant. Make sure your pup knows you are trying to teach him something and he’ll be more likely to respond.
You should have fun while training your Chihuahua. He should have fun, too, so be sure to follow the guidelines above or else training could be difficult and a bad time for everyone. Once you understand the basics of Chihuahua training you can move onto the specifics.
Chihuahua Obedience Training
It is important that you make sure your training is effective. This means training your Chihuahua so he can focus and understand what is going on. If your pup is distracted or confused he will have no idea what is going on. He won’t be learning anything and you will start to get frustrated because he is not responding. So, have a special area, free from distractions, where you work on your Chihuahua’s obedience training. Use positive reinforcement (like treats) to show him when he is doing something correctly and do not let the training sessions drag on, limit them to about 15 minutes.
You must not let your pup distract you. Chihuahuas are cute and they know it. Your pup is likely to try to get you to play instead of work and you’d be surprised how good he is at doing that. You have to let him know when it is playtime and when it’s not. Help him by keeping confusion down. Use one word commands; don’t talk to him in a normal manner. Use a different tone of voice than you use when playing. Also do not overlook progress. If you tell him to ‘sit’ and he jumps around and then sits – he still did what you said, so reward him.
Where to Start
You do not jump right into Chihuahua obedience training by starting with the hard stuff. Begin with simple commands, like sit, stay, come and down. Keep going with one command until he gets it and then move on to the next. You will have to spend plenty of time going over things until he can respond willfully.
Chihuahua potty training is a hard task. For one, potty training any puppy is difficult because they do not understand what is going on, what you expect them to do, and why it is so wrong to go in the house on your new carpet. With Chihuahuas, though, the task is even more difficult because of their size. They can easily sneak into out-of-the-way areas to go potty without your knowledge. You may not even notice he has done it and by the time you do it is already a habit of his – a habit you now have to break.
Chihuahua potty training is all about consistency. You can not ever let him stray from the housebreaking rules. You cannot slack off or forget about him. You must always be working towards the end goal in order to ever reach it.
Something to Consider
A really good idea in the beginning is to never let you pup go potty inside, even if by accident and especially on hard to clean areas like carpet. Once they go in a spot they are likely to do it again and again. With a Chihuahua it is very important to keep them in an enclosed area where they cannot wander off to hide and go somewhere in the house. You can crate-train for when you’re gone or busy, or use gates to keep him out of carpeted areas or other off limit areas.
To get started you have to decide upon the Chihuahua potty training method you are going to use. There are four basic ways people potty train Chihuahuas – paper, litter box, crate, and outside. Litter box training is becoming especially popular because many Chihuahuas put up a fight or refuse to go outside when the weather temperatures are low or too wet. However, any of these methods are acceptable.
With any method the same process is to be followed. You should take the pup to the potty training area first thing in the morning, after they eat or drink, after play, after a nap and before bed. You will be doing this many, many times throughout the day, but the repetitiveness will make the pup aware that this is important and something you are trying to tech him. It will help him associate the area with going potty. Follow this routine for at least 3 days and then let him try it on his own. You will still need to keep an eye on him to avoid accidents. However, this will let you know how well he picked up on your training. Make sure that any time the Chihuahua goes to the bathroom in the correct location, IMMEDIATELY REWARD, REWARD, REWARD! This will help positively associate the potty location with the potty action.
Helping Your Pup Learn
Part of Chihuahua potty training is praise. When he accomplishes the goal you must make a big deal out of it. Let him know he did good and you are proud. You should lavish him with attention and praise. He needs to know that he did what he was supposed to do, as that is the only way he will pick up what you are trying to teach him.
Accidents will happen. Just try not to let an accident overshadow the good. Simply remind your pup of what he did wrong. It is also important to do your part to prevent accidents. Don’t forget to let him out or keep him crated for too long that he has no choice but to go where he shouldn’t. If you do not do your part, the Chihuahua training process will not go smoothly.
Chihuahua potty training is something that takes effort from both you and your dog. Chihuahuas can be hard to housebreak due to their size, but they are very smart so once you start they should pick up easily. You will come to find that you can easily distinguish an accident from disobedience because your Chihuahua will get a sad little look when he has an accident because he knows it wasn’t where he was supposed to go. This also tells you that your training efforts have been successful. If you fret about Chihuahua potty training then maybe you might be in the market for a Chihuahua rescue dog.