One of the most popular breeds of dog among pet lovers is the Chihuahua. This cute and adorable little puppy stays small even as it becomes old. Thanks to celebrities like Paris Hilton and the character of Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde, the popularity of Chihuahuas saw a significant rise.
Because of the immense popularity of Chihuahuas, people have tended to neglect the fact that Chihuahuas are in fact among the most aggressive breeds of dog. That is why if they are not trained properly, it could be dangerous not only for them but for also us people who own them. With that, let me teach you how you can train a Chihuahua. All the basics and important things you need to know about training a Chihuahua are outlined below.
How to Train a Chihuahua Puppy to Socialize with Other People and Animals?
Just like in the case for most dogs, experts advice to train Chihuahuas at a young age. Your Chihuahua’s behavior is the focus of early training. This involves two foremost things: socialization and potty training.
Socialization training refers to how your puppy behaves in case situations where it meets new people, in an area with lots of people, or when it is with other dogs. It is important to expose your Chihuahua to other dogs, even the large ones while it is still young. It must learn that there are other animals like it that it can befriend.
You should also introduce your Chihuahua to your family, relatives, neighbors, and friends. You should also let it meet even the strangers on the street, especially other pet owners.
With that, your Chihuahua will not be a stranger to the outside world even when it grows up and spends most of its time inside your home.
How to Potty Train a Chihuahua?
The second most important thing to teach your Chihuahua puppy is potty training. This is actually the difficult part to do. Most people tend to neglect this aspect. As a result, their Chihuahuas tend to defecate and urinate all over their home including their bed, carpet, upholstery, etc. To make matters worse, it would be more difficult to train Chihuahuas to do potty outside when they have become used to doing it anywhere inside the house.
Most people resort to using pee pads. But this can be quite uncomfortable because once in a while, these smelly, urine-soaked pee pads will irritate and distract you in your home.
There are also people who use diapers for their Chihuahuas. But diapers are actually only recommended when you want to take your Chihuahua with your outside, like for example, in the mall. If you put diapers on your Chihuahua all the time, then it will not learn how to poop and pee in the proper place.
What you can do is to designate a potty spot outside your house like for instance, your lawn. Whenever your Chihuahua does this, reward it. You should also designate a potty break after it wakes up from sleep, drinks, eats, or after a lengthy playtime.
If you do this continuously, your Chihuahua will eventually get used to peeing or defecating in that designated potty spot outside your house. If that spot is in your lawn and you notice urine burn patches, you can solve that with dog rocks. Dog feces can easily be cleaned by you.
Activities for Training Your Chihuahua
Once you have taught the most important basics to your Chihuahua (socialization and potty training), it is time to go in depth with your Chihuahua’s training. As mentioned earlier, Chihuahuas actually belong to the most aggressive breeds of dog. A large part of this roots from the fact that Chihuahua’s can see themselves as the dominant ones, especially when they get spoiled by their owners.
To prevent that from happening, you must teach your Chihuahua that even if it is your best friend, you must be treated as its older brother or sister and the leader of the pack. You can do this by doing the following:
1). Set feeding times. You should not let your dog eat whenever it wants to. It must learn to eat only at designated times of the day.
2). Walk with your Chihuahua. Put a leash on your Chihuahua then go outside with it for a walk. When doing this, make sure that it does not control where to go. It should be you who dictates the direction of the walk.
3). Restrict where it must be. This goes for all dogs and not only Chihuahuas. You must teach your dog that it is only allowed in certain places in your home. When you do not want to step up onto your upholstery, then you must create a signal to let it know that. You must not respond when it whines or barks.
4). Entertain it only when it is calm and relax. As you may know, dogs get excited when their owners get back home from school, work, or anywhere outside. However, you should prevent it from getting overly excited. Ignore it when it jumps and runs all around. Only take notice of it when it becomes calm and relaxed.
Basic Commands in Training a Chihuahua
Once you have established yourself as your Chihuahua’s leader, it is now the time for you to teach it some basic commands. Having treats here is good. You can also make use of clickers to signal once your Chihuahua has correctly executed your commands. The basic commands to teach it include:
- Laying down
- Come to you
- Rolling over
However, do remember to only train your Chihuahua when you are in a good mood. Training it when you are angry or tired may evoke some emotions or gestures from you that might scare your dog.
Since Chihuahuas are small, you can place it in a table in front of you to practice the commands.
If you are looking for a routine that you can just follow for your Chihuahua’s daily training, you can follow the one below:
- After waking up, bring your Chihuahua to the potty spot
- Have a short playtime with it
- Relief in the potty spot
- Play on its own with its toy or with your other pets
- Last potty break for the morning
- Noon potty break
- Play outside
- Potty break
- Training and playtime
- Playing alone with its toys or with your other pets
- Potty Break