Chihuahua Training – How To Train Your Chihuahua
If you own a Chihuahua or are thinking about owning one, it's important you know how to train them properly. Many people wrongfully believe that Chihuahuas are a difficult breed to train. The fact is, though, most people either don't spend the time or patience to do so. Sure, they are small and some have a feisty personality, but training is fairly simple if you put in the effort.
Whether you're wanting to train your Chihuahua commands, such as sit or come, or if you're trying to train them to go to the bathroom outside, the two most important factors in your success will be starting early and being consistent. If you start training when your Chihuahua is still a puppy, it will help instill the commands in their memory and simply get them used to obeying you.
Basics of Chihuahua Training
We recommend training your Chihuahua simple commands to begin with, such as sit, stay, and come. To do so, you'll want to start as early as possible by speaking the command word to them and rewarding them when they obey. Socializing your Chihuahua with other people and pets early will also help them develop obedience.
Each day spend some time training your Chihuahua by taking them to a distraction free environment with no other animals, food, toys, or music from the television. Next, speak their name and the command to them and wait for them to follow it. Continue speaking the command in a soft, yet firm way until your Chihuahua obeys it. You can also use your hands to help gesture what you're wanting them to do, such as go fetch or come. Once you see your Chihuahua follow your command, give them one of their favorite treats and praise them by petting them and saying how good they are.
- The key with training is to use treats, treats, and more treats! It's no secret that most dogs, Chihuahuas included, love treats and will do anything for them. They're a great incentive to help train your Chihuahua, but remember to only give them a treat when they what you ask. Most Chihuahuas should learn pretty fast, but all dogs have unique personalities and some learn faster than others. Just be patient, consistent and don't get frustrated. Training should always be fun for both the owner and the Chihuahua.
- Chihuahuas, like many other dogs, tire pretty fast, so it's important to not overdo their training sessions. Typically, 20 to 30 minute training sessions, once a day is enough time to instill the commands in their memory and keep them happy at the same time.
- While some owners may want to train their Chihuahuas multiple commands at once, it's best to stick with training them one command at once. Once they've learned the one you're teaching them, move on to the next. This will keep them from getting their commands mixed up and make training easier for both of you.
- If your Chihuahua doesn't obey your commands, don't get frustrated and never yell or punish them for it. Training is something that will take a lot of time and patience and punishing them will only hurt your training efforts.
Even if you don't plan on teaching your Chihuahua any special commands, housebreaking is essential and every Chihuahua should be taught to do their business outside and not inside the house. Remember, Chihuahuas are small dogs and while that makes them a good breed for being indoors, it also means potty-training is required.
When Should I Start?
You should start potty training your Chihuahua when they are still a puppy, because they will keep those memories easier when they are young. But don't worry if your they aren't a puppy, they can still be trained a little bit of time and effort.
The best way to potty train your Chihuahua by taking them outside to a familiar area and saying the potty command, such as "go potty", or "go pee". Be sure to take your Chihuahua to the same area every time you take them out, as this will help them associate the area with going to the bathroom. When your Chihuahua goes potty give them their favorite doggie treat and lots of praise. If they aren't doing anything immediately, remain patient. Given enough time, they will eventually do their business outside.
Uh Oh! My Chihuahua Had an Accident!
No matter how hard you try to avoid it, accidents will happen. To help avoid accidents, keep a close eye on your tiny friend. Don't let them wonder around the house where you can't see them until they're fully potty trained. When your Chihuahua goes potty inside the house, just speak firmly "NO", and take them back outside. There's no need to spank, or stick their nose in it, as that will only have a negative effect and make your Chihuahua more difficult to train.
Some owners use the various "pee-pads" for potty-training their Chihuahua. These are simply pads you place down in your house for your Chihuahua to do their business on. While they seem to work, I wouldn't recommend this, as you don't ever want your Chihuahua to think it's okay to go potty inside.
Should I Use a Crate For My Chihuahua?
Crates are something that every Chihuahua owner should have. Find one that's big enough for them to stand up and walk around in and make it comfortable with some soft blankets and a couple toys for them. When you have to leave the house or when you're unable to watch them, put your Chihuahua up in their crate. Most Chihuahuas wont do their business in their crate and you'll be surprised at how much your Chihuahua actually enjoys being in their crate. Just be sure to never leave them in their crate for long periods of time.
If you feel that training your Chihuahua is simply too difficult to do, you may want to consider signing them up for a training class. Many national pet stores, such as Petsmart, offer courses with training instructors that will help. However, if you're Chihuahua doesn't do well in environments with other people and animals, you want to avoid this option, as you don't want your Chihuahua to disturb others in the class.
Chihuahua Training 101 Video