Your chihuahua's training will be one of the most important things you will have to do. If you invest time and energy in training your pet, both will benefit greatly. Keep reading "How to train a Chihuahua?" To learn more.
The rewards you will earn
These are the goals that you should strive for when you do your chihuahua training:
- Relationship between you and your Chihuahua: The most important thing to start with is the creation of an excellent relationship between you and your Chihuahua. This includes establishing your alpha leader position. There are a number of ways in which you can create this alpha leader status. When you get home don't give your chihuahua your attention for the first five to fifteen minutes. Second, always feed your chihuahua after eating. Both things will show your dog that you are higher in the pack (your family) and will respect you more. By establishing your position as an alpha leader from the beginning, you will make your training much easier.
- Fun: Training should not be boring or seen as a task. It must be fun! If you establish your alpha position first, your Chihuahua will respect you and enjoy your training sessions more. This, in turn, will make the training much more fun and rewarding.
How to train a Chihuahua: the process
It is important to establish guidelines to follow when training your chihuahua. Use the following information as a guide:
• Find the balance between correction and rewards: If you yell at your Chihuahua too often when he does something wrong, then this will lead to confusion, if you only praise him when he does something good, this can also lead to misunderstandings The best solution is to find a balance in the middle. By finding a good balance between the two you will create a quiet and less confusing environment.
• Repeat and persistence: It is very important to be persistent and patient when training a Chihuahua. I remind you that your chihuahua will not learn things at the first time. It is necessary to concentrate on repetition. Repeat the commands several times, every day. If your chihuahua follows the command immediately, without having to stop and think about what he has to do, then he has learned it by heart. Repetition and persistence are two golden things, to remember, when training your chihuahua.
• Consistency: You have to be consistent when training your chihuahua. If you teach him a certain command, then don't change it later. If you make changes, you will end up confusing your dog. So, be consistent! If you teach a command one way, then keep it that way. Consistency is also important for behaviors, if you don't want your chihuahua to jump on the couch, never let your chihuahua remain on the couch. Be consistent with everything you do, this will make your chihuahua learn at a much faster rate.
• Punish for no reason: If you punish your chihuahua for something you have not taught them, then you will only confuse it. For example, do not punish him if he chews on your shoe, if he has not been trained on proper chewing. They do not know what they are doing wrong, if they have not been trained in what they can and cannot chew. You can punish your chihuahua after it has gone through the teaching process about proper chewing.
Training your chihuahua doesn't have to be a task. It can be fun>
There is nothing that can confuse a dog as much as the changes of opinion of humans. In order for you to learn something, you have to be consistent with the decisions. If from the first day you do not want to get on the sofa or bed, never let him climb.
In case you see that he intends to do so, say a firm NO but without shouting. When ten seconds have passed and the dog has been quiet, give him a prize.
Teach him to do his needs outside
One of the most "urgent" things you should teach him is to do his needs outside or in a certain place. Having the small bladder, it is normal that you have to go to your private bathroom many times.
To help you learn, take him for a walk 20 or 30 minutes after eating, or take him to the room where you want him to do his needspast that time. When you see that it begins to sniff the ground and / or turn in circles, it is because it will do them. When finished, give it a prize.
Don't treat him like a baby
That is a very serious mistake. As it is very small, there are many people who think they can be taken for a walk in a baby carriage or in arms. But this is not so. A chihuahua is a dog that has the same basic needs as any other breed.
Put on a harness and hook the strap and take it for a spin. At home, of course you have to give him a lot of love, and it is even a good idea to let him sleep with you, but do not treat him like a human baby because otherwise you could get very confused.
If you want to know how to teach him tricks, click here.
In order to get into the training techniques for Chihuahuas, it is essential to know the character characteristics of this dog breed. Thus, the Chihuahua is characterized by having a dominant and possessive character, so it is not in his nature to be submissive, he is a born leader. He is also capricious, energetic, intelligent and very active, always willing to play with his owner and other dogs of the same race.
Knowing this, what attitude should we have to properly educate our Chihuahua?
- We must show a authoritarian attitude without being aggressive and always stand firm. If we decide that we do not want our little partner to get on the couch, we must keep that decision and not let it do so once. Remember: the leader of the pack has to be you.
- Authority must always be accompanied by safety. Even if you stand firm in your decision, if your Chihuahua perceives insecurity in you, he will continue to believe that he is the leader.
- We should not spoil our chihuahua or provide all the whims he wants. That his sweet and tender face does not lower your guard, if you want your dog to be well educated you must teach him to earn those whims.
Being authoritarian is not synonymous with being aggressive. This means that we should never shout at our dog, hit or educate him through negative conditioning. With this, the only thing we will achieve is a fearful Chihuahua, always on the defensive and even aggressive. Especially small and toy dogs, they are highly sensitive to this type of behavior and quickly become distrustful, giving people a negative association.
The importance of socialization
Now that we know how we should face the education of our chihuahua, where do we start? Without a doubt, one of the most important aspects of training any dog is socialization. Although all breeds require a correct relationship with the rest of dogs, people and environment, it is true that there are dogs with more predisposition than others and, therefore, that require more attention at this point.
As we mentioned in the previous section, Chihuahuas are dogs that prefer to interact with dogs of the same breed and, therefore, if we do not socialize them correctly they can take aggressive or arisca attitudes with the rest of the dogs. To prevent this from happening, we must start the socialization process as soon as possible.
During the puppy stage It is when dogs are more receptive, create their personality and adopt a series of behaviors that we must guide if we want to obtain a happy, healthy and, above all, balanced dog. To socialize our chihuahua correctly we must take into account the following factors:
- To begin to relate our dog with other dogs or animals of other species, we will have to select calm, well educated and balanced specimens. A bad choice can trigger a negative encounter, with serious consequences that can mark our Chihuahua for life.
- That its small size does not influence you. Although part of the smallest dog breeds in the world, the Chihuahua is perfectly prepared to interact with larger dogs. Denying that relationship will only cause you to adopt an aggressive attitude when you run into those races.
- Prepare the meeting in a pleasant environment, where you feel comfortable and safe.
- Although small, the chihuahua is not a toy. Why do we say this? When it comes to socializing with children it is essential that we make them understand that they should not treat it like their toys, they must respect and take care of it. Not raising awareness of the little ones can cause our chihuahua to have a bad experience with them and, therefore, fear them, even biting them to defend themselves.
For more details, see the following Animal Expert article where we explain the techniques to socialize your puppy with other dogs, people and animals in its environment.
Set the rules
Before continuing with the training of our chihuahua we must be very clear what we want to teach you and what standards We want to mark him. In this sense, it is crucial that you meet with your family or the rest of the members that live in the home and together you decide these points.
In order to educate a dog correctly, it is essential that all members who are going to participate in their education agree and act in the same way. This means that you must all use the same words to teach him the orders and be equally firm. If one of the people uses the word "sit" and another "sits" to teach the Chihuahua to sit, he will never internalize the order. Likewise, you must decide which spaces in the home you have access to, whether or not you can climb on the sofa, meal and walk times, etc.
Remember that dogs are routine animals that require fixed schedules to achieve internal stability. On the other hand, being a race so possessive and territorial, it is essential that you provide a space just for him, where you have your food and water bowls, bed and toys. If his territory is not marked, he will believe that he has free access to the whole house and, again, will assume that he is the leader of the pack.
Whenever your chihuahua does not comply with the established norms or adopts a bad behavior, do not yell at him or scold him, just say a blunt "NO" and correct that behavior. We will establish a sanction in accordance with the fact, such as the withdrawal of a toy, stopping the game, leaving the park, etc. Of course, this sanction cannot last forever nor can we establish it without having corrected the behavior as soon as it is produced.
Show him where he should do his necess>
Teaching your chihuahua grooming habits is very important both to keep your home clean and to have an educated dog. If your Chihuahua puppy is not vaccinated yet, you should teach him make your needs on newspaper or sanitary towels for dogs. To do this, you must follow the following steps:
- Select the corner that you want from your house to do your needs there. Then, place several sheets of newspaper or large sheets of sanitary napkins.
- A few minutes after eating or drinking water, take your puppy to that corner and place it on paper.
- Wait the necessary time until you urinate or defecate and congratulate him with enthusiasm. If the veterinarian allows it, offer a prize as a reward for good behavior.
- After a long sleep, you should also take your puppy to the newspaper to do his needs.
- Remove dirty newspapers and place new ones. When changing the leaves, you will have to rub the dirty ones over the new ones so that they are impregnated with the smell of their urine and remember that it is there where they should go. Another trick is to leave one of the dirty sheets on the clean ones.
Chihuahuas have a much smaller bladder and excretory system than larger breeds, so the waiting time between eating or drinking and urinating or defecating is much shorter. During your first months of life you must have constant vigilance to be able to teach you how to do your needs and correct it every time you do not do it in the selected corner.
In this sense, if we catch our chihuahua urinating outside the newspaper, we must take it gently and immediately take it to the toilet corner to continue there. Remember to disinfect the area to eliminate the smell and avoid re-doing your needs in that space.
Once the puppy is vaccinated, we can start teaching make your needs away from home:
- As with the newspaper, ten or fifteen minutes after eating or drinking water, we will take our chihuahua for a walk to meet your needs.
- Every time you urinate or defecate during the walk, congratulate and reward him for his good behavior.
- If your puppy does not want to urinate during the first walks, there is a very effective trick that will not fail. Since Chihuahuas are very territorial dogs, try to take them to areas where other dogs have urinated. Your instinct will lead you to mark the territory on the previous mark.
- Remember that you must also take it out to the street after having slept.
During the first months you will have to take your chihuahua for a walk four to five times a day and, little by little, reduce the walks until the animal learns to control itself and wait to leave to do its needs. As you can see, the outings are closely associated with the times you should eat per day. If you still don't know the optimal amount of daily food your chihuahua needs, don't miss this article.
How to train a Chihuahua: basic orders
Once the rules have been established and the learning of grooming habits has begun, we can start with the education process. We will start with the basic orders: "come", "together" and "still". To better educate the Chihuahua, professionals recommend the use of the clicker. If you still don't know what it is or how to use it, find out in this article about the clicker initiation.
Teach my chihuahua to come here
Without a doubt, this is one of the first orders that we must teach our dog, regardless of race. If we do not have a clicker, we can use treats. To begin, we will consider the following points:
- It is better to practice this order abroad, in a fenced and wide place, the home is loaded with distractions such as toys and food.
- We will place our dog at a point in space and move away from him. We will put a treat on our feet and say firmly the word "come" (or the one we have selected). Automatically the animal will go to collect the food.
- When he has gone, congratulate him with enthusiasm and give him his reward.
- Repeat the process but without candy, just get away from it and say "come". If you go, remember to give a prize for good behavior. If you don't go, replace the candy until you associate the word "come" with the act of going.
- Gradually, increase the distance and reduce the treats.
Teach my chihuahua to walk with me
This order consists of two parts that we must carry out to get it internalized. Before teaching him to walk with us, we must make him understand that we do not want him to pull the belt or move away. To do this, we will follow the following steps:
- Each time you move away or pull the belt, we will stop. Without saying "NO" or scolding you, we will simply stop walking.
- When the chihuahua stops, we will congratulate and resume the march. It's that simple.
Once the dog has understood that we do not want him to pull the leash, we can give way to the second part of the training. We will take with us the clicker or the treats (or both), we will walk very slowly to be able to observe our dog carefully and react immediately. Each time the dog approaches us, we will say the word "together", we will click with the cliker and give him a treat. We will repeat this process by reducing the treats more and more until the order is completely internalized.
Teach my chihuahua to stay still
To teach this order we must follow practically the same steps as for the previous order:
- To make it easier for us, we will start during the walk.
- Occasionally, we will stop walking. When we see that our chihuahua stops, we will say "still", we will click, congratulate him and give him a treat as a prize.
- Repeat this process until your dog associates the word "still" with the act of standing, reducing the treats.
- Proof of giving the order in different contexts to internalize and reward each time you perform it properly.
To teach your chihuahua any of these orders you must arm yourself with patience, it is not a task that is achieved in two days.
Once the previous orders have been learned, we can begin to teach our chihuahua to sit, kick, kick dead, bring the ball, etc. We encourage you to continue browsing the web to discover the steps to follow and the keys to keep in mind to educate our dog in the best possible way. Remember that the positive conditioning It is essential to get a happy and balanced dog. On the other hand, be sure to check our article on basic chihuahua care and make sure you meet them all.
If you want to read more articles similar to Train a Chihuahua, we recommend that you enter our section of Basic Education.
Visit to the vet
Take it every year for checkups even if you don't have any symptoms of illness. They are easy to get sick dogs and an annual review will save you a lot of headaches.
Although it may seem to you that running around the house is enough for them, it is not so. Like any other dog, the chihuahua needs to walk. Of course, keep in mind that it is not very hot, since it is hard for them to breathe because of the small size of their mouth and do not go too long. Take one walk at least once a day.
The chihuahua may require more care than other types of dogs, but they are a perfect choice if you want a somewhat independent and small dog that you can have in your apartment.
Images courtesy of Stuart Richards and Angie Tarantino.