How To Potty Train My Chihuahua
You’ve probably heard the myth that Chihuahuas are one of the most difficult breeds to potty train. However, that’s not necessarily true. Despite what others may think, Chis are quite smart and clever. As a result, you’ll have no issues potty training your pup, if you follow the proper steps.
On the other hand – the biggest issue with housebreaking Chihuahuas relates to their size. As they are the smallest dogs in the world, it can be difficult to observe their behavior and act accordingly. Don’t worry though, with our help - your pooch will be potty trained in no time!
What You Will Need To Housebreak Your Chi?
First things first – you need to be properly prepared before you try to potty train your little munchkin. Here are the basics that will make the training process a lot easier and save you a lot of frustration:
- Puppy pads.
- A crate.
- A lot of wipes!
That’s it! Once you’ve gathered all the essentials of potty training, it’s time to tackle the process head-on. However, remember that housebreaking a dog can be a long and tiring task. Consequently, it’s important that you have endless patience for your Chi’s shenanigans during the whole process.
That being said, let’s take a look at the steps required to make the process easier and faster, both for you and your pooch.
Designate a specific area to be the Chi's toilet.
As soon as you bring a new pooch home, you should choose a spot where it can do its business. Since Chihuahuas are generally indoor pets, the spot will probably be somewhere in your home. However, if your Chi is confident and safe outdoors – don’t be scared to designate an area in your backyard to avoid making a mess indoors.
Once you’ve decided on where your pup’s toilet will be, feel free to place puppy pads there. While puppy pads aren’t a magical solution, they will save you a lot of frustration and clean-up time, since they absorb liquids. Additionally, if you choose to switch the pup’s toilet, puppy pads are the perfect way to do that – since your pooch will equate the pads with going to the bathroom!
However, it’s not recommended to change the designated area once your pooch has become accustomed to it, since it’s hard to break a habit that’s already formed. As a result, we advise you to be consistent, unless you absolutely have to move the spot (when you’re moving to a new home, for example).
Build A Routine And Stick To It.
The key to any training method is routine. Luckily, your Chi will make it easy for you to create a routine that’s based on its needs. Before you start the training process, observe your pooch for a little while. Chances are, it’s going to the toilet at specific times of the day, such as:
- As soon as it wakes up.
- Before it goes to bed.
- After a meal.
The first step to potty training is taking your pooch to the designated toilet area at these intervals and rewarding them for a job well done. Over time, your Chihuahua will learn where its “toilet” is. Consistency is key with this step and you’ll need a lot of patience to do this every day. However, it’s going to be worth it!
Be Mindful Of Your Chi's Diet.
As mentioned in the previous step, your Chi will go to the toilet after a meal. Depending on how old your dog is, the time between eating and toileting will vary, since pups have faster digestive systems. In other words, puppies will go to the toilet 15-20 minutes after a meal, while older dogs may take 20-30 minutes.
Additionally, the Chi’s diet will also influence its potty training. Make sure you feed your little egg roll high-quality treats, with no preservatives and artificial flavors to keep your pooch happy, and the digestive system healthy!
Learn The Signs That Your Chihuahua Needs To Go.
Here’s where Chihuahuas may seem to be more difficult to housebreak than other dogs. Every dog exhibits specific behaviors when it needs to go to the bathroom. However, it’s much harder to spot these reactions when your pooch weighs only 3lbs!
As a result, you need to carefully observe your Chi to notice when it has to go to the bathroom. The most common behaviors you’ll see include:
- Sniffing the floors and corners around your home.
- Circling around the room.
- Going to the area where they previously relieved themselves (including, but not limited to the area you designated).
If you notice your pooch is doing any of the things above, immediately take them to their toilet. However, just because these are the most common behaviors, that doesn’t mean that your pooch will do the same. Consequently, it’s important to adapt your routine to your Chi’s needs.
Don't forget To Reward Your Little Pooch!
As with any training process, the reward aspect is what makes the habits stick. Remember to heavily reward your pup for a good job, no matter how young or old your tiny gremlin is.
Always have healthy, home-made or store-bought Chihuahua treats on hand at the intervals we’ve mentioned above. Additionally, don’t leave your pooch alone when you’ve taken them to the toilet area, as you might miss the chance of rewarding it immediately when they go – making the entire effort pointless.
Finally, never scold your dog when they accidentally soil themselves! As we’ve mentioned time and time again, training any dog is a delicate process that requires a lot of patience. It takes a long time and will come with many hurdles. However, whatever you do, don’t yell or hit your pup when it makes a mess, as you’ll be doing more harm than good.
- If your Chi is still a puppy, start training them at about 8 weeks. The younger the pooch is, the easier it will be to housebreak!
- Consider crate-training! Crate-training has many benefits, as it reduces anxiety, chewing on furniture, and can even help with potty training, as your pooch won’t pee in its crate.
- If your pup already has a place where they prefer to go to the toilet, thoroughly clean it and put its food and water bowls there. Dogs hate going to the bathroom where they eat, so they’ll find a new place (ie the area you designated).
- Make sure to change puppy pads often so your Chi doesn’t mind them!
- If you’re doing everything right and still making little progress, consider hiring a professional dog trainer. They have more experience and will take a lot of effort off your plate! This is especially important if your pooch is suffering from physical or mental health issues that prevent standard training.
- When you’re taking your dog to the toilet, follow it up with a verbal command, such as “go”, “pee”, “toilet”, etc. Over time, your pup will know what to do as soon as you say it! This also works if you want to control your dog’s toileting when you’re going out for walks or traveling.
To sum up, potty training your Chi is a long and hard undertaking that can take weeks or even months. As a result, you need to be armed with knowledge, patience, and perseverance in order to make the process easier, for both you and your pup.
Make sure to follow our guidelines and your Chihuahua will be housebroken in no time!