Chihuahuas are a notoriously difficult to toilet train, but with time and effort it can be done! The good news is that these little dogs are very intelligent and they will usually grasp new concepts easily enough if they are taught in the right way. Here are some useful tips for training your Chihuahua.
Never punish your Chihuahua
Your little dog needs to feel safe and if you react badly when he has an accident he is going to learn to be fearful rather than happy and confident. In fact, punishment will only cause the bond between you and your dog to be permanently damaged, especially if they are puppies at an impressionable age.
Pre-empt toilet trips
Puppies will need to go to the toilet a lot in the first few months. So, have set times when you put your pup outside. For example, after eating, after a night’s sleep or a nap, before you go out, and when you return to the house.
Stop food and drink at 6pm
If you feed your little dog late at night they are going to wake you up for a toilet trip, or else have an accident on the floor. So, feed and water your Chihuahua early in the evening in order to have a ore peaceful night!
Clean up accidents thoroughly
Make sure you buy some good cleaning products for the first few weeks. If you don’t clean up your dog’s mess properly, they will choose the same place again the next time, in the mistaken belief that it has become their designated toilet spot. You should look for something specifically designed to remove these smells and be careful not to use a cleaning product with ammonia as this actually smells like urine to your dog.
Know the signs
If you learn to spot the signs that your dog needs the toilet, you will be able to save yourself a lot of stress! So, look out for circling, lifting hind legs, whining and scratching at the door. Try to intercept the dog when this happens and quickly put him outside if you can.
Give plenty of praise for good behaviour
When your Chihuahua successfully eliminates outside, you can praise him and reward this behaviour with a treat. Any bad behaviour should be completely ignored. This will show your dog that this behaviour is not worth repeating.
Use a crate or a puppy pen to start with
For the first few weeks you can try using a crate or a play pen for your dog. He will not want to leave mess in this sleeping area so he will whine to be let out when he needs to pee. This will speed up the training process considerably. However, these methods of confinement aren’t recommended for the long term – your little dog needs human company and will be very unhappy if he is not able to stretch his legs and roam throughout the house.
Be aware of possible health conditions
If your dog is taking a really long time to toilet train, and is still having accidents after a few weeks, it may be time to take him to the vet. Sometimes lack of bladder control can be a symptom of something more serious, such as a neurological problem.