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Housetraining Your Chihuahua

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Housetraining your Chihuahua
Those who decide to share their homes with Chihuahuas can frequently find that these furry friends are difficult to house train. However, Chis really aren’t that tough to train when proper procedures are used.

Although they are capable of learning quickly and easily, these little dogs have a stubborn streak that can make training difficult if you use an overly harsh approach or are not consistent.

There are several other considerations particular to this breed that should be kept in mind during the house training process.

Highly motivated and willing to please, Chis don’t respond well to scolding or punishment. By the same token, you do need to use a different tone of voice when working with your Chihuahua puppy or dog on house training or other serious matters.

Using your “play voice” will simply confuse the dog, so speak clearly and directly, but don’t yell or growl.

 

Some Particular Challenges of House Training Chis

There are several other reasons why house training a Chihuahua is frequently difficult:

  • The small size of Chihuahuas can make them difficult to house train. They can easily slip off to do their business without being noticed, unlike larger breeds.
  • Chihuahuas were developed as a breed in a part of the world (Mexico) with a warm climate. They don’t care much for outdoor conditions that involve rain, cold, wind, or snow.
  • Chis evolved as household pets rather than as outdoor dogs.
  • Their small bodies may need to undergo the process of elimination more often than those of their larger counterparts, so make certain that you provide your puppy or dog with the opportunity to relieve themselves often.
  • Although they may not always show it, small dogs feel vulnerable when faced with the great outdoors. If your neighborhood is a typical one where children are playing, dogs are barking, and traffic is going by, your Chi may not feel comfortable going out into that world.

Instead of training your Chi to go potty in the yard, you can consider setting up an indoor area that he or she can use as an elimination station.

When I worked at PetSmart, I asked the trainers what was the best way to potty train them and they gave me some good ideas. You may already know these but here goes:

First clean the area where she pees or poops really well with an enzyme type cleaner that will take away as much scent as possible. You can find these type of cleaners at pet stores, or Amazon. White vinegar will also work.

And the next time you clean the area, before you put the cleaning product on it, use a paper towel to pick up the poop or wipe up the pee. Save that paper towel.

Have regular times to take her out like first thing in the morning, after she eats, anytime you have been away, and before bed. Always use the same word for it such as “go potty” and use that word when you take her out.

If you notice any signs that your dog needs to “go potty” or if the dog suddenly disappears to the other room (usually because they don’t want you to see them) follow them and put her outside before he has a chance to do it on the floor. Take the paper towel out with you and lay it where you want her to go potty at. Usually once they smell the paper towel with their own poop on it, they will want to go in that area.

Other than saying “It’s time to go potty”, don’t talk to her or distract her when she goes out until after she does her business. After she does, then you can play with her.

potty training Chihuahua

Praise them big time and even give a small treat reward if your dog is food motivated after they do their business in the proper spot.

You can also use litter boxes. Litter boxes for toy breeds have become increasingly popular in recent years, and you can also buy pee pads at pet supply stores that can be used the same way that you would use a newspaper for potty training a puppy. Some of these pads are even treated with pheromones to help indicate that they’re approved potty spots. This is a great option if you live in an apartment or a cold climate.

Keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t sneak off and do their business when you aren’t watching. And when you can’t be with them, while they are being trained, be sure to keep them in a closed off room that isn’t carpeted like a kitchen or bathroom or a playpen or even a crate. Put a potty pad in the room with them just in case.

Patience and consistency are key to house training any puppy, and if you’re consistent, firm-but-not-frightening, and provide your puppy with an appropriate potty area, your Chihuahua puppy will be house trained in no time.

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Thursday 14th of May 2020

I trained my two chihuahuas to be taken outside and to go to cat litter inside when they were really young.

Cathy

Thursday 14th of May 2020

And the cat litter doesn't bother their paws at all? Do you have cats too and if so, do your chis try to eat their poop?

Dixie Greschuk

Saturday 9th of May 2020

OHMYGOODNESS.......once again your three sweet fur babies look so beautiful. I love them so much, their expressions are priceless. Also loved the two chis of the day, beautiful white babies. They remind me of my Sam and Irene (both passed away 4 years ago. They were both solid white.

Cathy

Wednesday 13th of May 2020

They were so pretty Dixie! I love when they are all white. Or all black too.

Dixie Greschuk

Saturday 9th of May 2020

Yes, Cathy, I know how it feels to have to wait in the car now. As I had mentioned before about my 18 year old Maine Coon beauty had to be put down. I went to the Small Animal Emergency Clinic (didn't want to go to vet cause that has been a happy place and this was not a happy time) I took her in her soft carrying case inside and told them what I needed and they gave me a clip board with the info paper on it and then had to wait in the car with her until they came out for the clip board, then had to wait longer again in the car for a room to be available and they came out to my car again and then we could go inside. I forgot a mask but they gave me one and I had to wear that while inside. It is a very crazy time that Americans have not had before.

Cathy

Wednesday 13th of May 2020

I'm so sorry you lost your kitty Dixie!

Cj

Saturday 9th of May 2020

I enjoy reading your entertaining, informational posts. I live with my two adult daughters. They have a Chorkie, and a Chiweenie, both adorable chihuahua blends. I’m a proud grandma to my two granddogs. My little Chorkie boy looks for me when he’s frightened. Somehow I make him feel safe. I’m very grateful for these two sweeties who were both rescued off the street.

Cathy

Wednesday 13th of May 2020

I'm glad they have you and your daughters to love and take care of them Cj. My Lucas is a Chorkie too.

AB

Friday 20th of March 2020

Thanks for the paper towel tip. I'm going to try it. Is this likely to stop my anxious chi peeing 4-6 times an hour. Could my chi have an underlying problem?

Cathy

Friday 20th of March 2020

Yes, if they are peeing that much, there could be an issue. Is your chi drinking a lot of water?