Tips For Training Your Chihuahua

Last Updated on September 20, 2021

Any dog can be trained. Here are some helpful tips for training your Chihuahua. Some training methods are better than others for certain dogs. Many people get their dogs from a shelter or a breeder and they bring them home and think “now what”? Training is a vital part of any dog and dog owner’s life. It can mean the difference between a healthy relationship and one that’s not so great.

So why do you need tips for training your Chihuahua? The biggest reason that comes to mind is their size. So many people overlook training because smaller dogs can be easier to handle. But this can be detrimental for you and your Chihuahua.

It’s so important for any dog to get some basic training, no matter what the breed. Training is important for dogs so they understand how to handle different situations. It gives them an understanding of how they are expected to behave, even when they don’t know what to do.

In addition, training is also beneficial for owners. Not everyone knows the proper responses and behaviors when it comes to raising your dogs. And that’s ok – every dog is different and we can all learn from different methods of training.

Helpful Tips for Training Your Chihuahua

All dogs are smart, some are smarter than others. The Chihuahua might be small but they are a very smart dog breed which makes them easily trainable.

Another great aspect of Chihuahuas is their desire to please you. If you work with your dog and are consistent then you will have a very well-behaved little dog.

You may find your Chihuahua is very attached to you. They want to be by your side, they love affection, and they want to have a healthy relationship.

Why You Should Train Your Chihuahua:

Most people think that the Chihuahua is such a cute little dog and can be picked up should anything go wrong so they don’t do the proper training. This is doing a major disservice to your dog.

Yes, it’s easy just to pick them up and remove them from a situation. But it’s not teaching them how they should react.

Often, people overlook the negative behaviors because of their size or because it seems they couldn’t hurt anyone or other dogs. But that’s not the case. Any aggressive dog can cause pain and injury no matter how small they are.

Chihuahuas are cute and adorable but can also be very aggressive. It’s so important to teach your dog good manners and who is in charge right from the start, so they don’t think they are the pack leader.

For the safety of you, your dog, and others you should definitely do at least some basic training with your Chihuahua.

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Tips on Training Chihuahuas

As with all dog breeds, positive rewards are more effective than punishments.

For example: If you come home and leave your dog crated for longer than they can hold their urine, it’s unreasonable to punish them if they have an accident.

In addition, if you punish a dog for something that happens hours before the punishment, they have no idea what you are doing. All they know is they are happy to see you and you are suddenly lashing out at them. This doesn’t teach them anything.

Most breeds respond more favorably to positive training methods. Of course, it’s always recommended to consult a professional trainer if you are having difficulty. They can easily help you learn the basics and get you on your way to a healthy dog/owner relationship.

are chihuahuas easy to train - overweight dog

Using Food For Training

Most dogs love food and the Chihuahua is no different. Positive training with using treats as a reward works very well with Chihuahuas.

Be aware though that with small dogs adding extra calories can add extra pounds very quickly. It may be necessary to use a low-calorie training treat like these. Discuss the ideal weight with your vet and make sure you don’t end up with an overweight Chihuahua from training treats.

Make sure you have set feeding times and do not let your dog decide when it’s time to eat. If they are constantly grazing on food, they won’t have as much motivation to use good behaviors for training treats.

Also, make sure you choose a time that they are actually willing to work for the food. Right after breakfast isn’t a good choice. They’re likely full and won’t care as much about what you’re offering. You want them to be highly motivated to train.

And speaking of training sessions, you don’t have to devote hours a day to training. Often a quick five or ten-minute session is plenty, especially when they are young. Ten great minutes of training is better than 30 horrible minutes.

You’ll be able to tell when it’s over. Especially with smaller dog breeds like Chihuahuas, they get full quickly. If you give out too many treats, they will be full and less willing to work.

Interacting With Other Dogs and Objects

Socializing with other dogs is very important with Chihuahuas, especially larger dogs. This can help them not be as afraid when you take them out in public. But taking them to a dog park and turning them loose is generally a bad idea.

You want to build their confidence. Not terrify them by putting them in a potentially dangerous situation.

If your dog becomes aggressive every time you encounter another dog, it’s time to get some training. This is one area it’s sometimes necessary to involve a professional. You don’t want to risk the health of your pup or another if you don’t know the proper techniques.

And what about objects? Is your dog terrified every time they see the vacuum cleaner come out? Do they freak out when a loud noise occurs? Do they become aggressive if your baby cries or your toddler yells?

It’s very important to acclimate them to objects, noises, and behaviors. They shouldn’t have to be terrified or aggressive. Start out slow. Bring out the vacuum but don’t turn it on. Let them smell it. they may even decide to walk up to it and check it out. Show them it’s not something to be feared. Reward them if they are calm when you turn it on.

Get help from a trainer if there is any aggression/terror involving babies and children. Chihuahuas can be easy to train even with small children if it’s done the right way.

Excessive Fear and Barking

One way you can help them with excessive fear and barking is crate training. Crates can become their safe space. It can become their house inside your house. If they are crated while you are gone, they aren’t exposed to every person walking by or leaves blowing around that could normally trigger fear and barking.

A crate should never be a form of punishment. You want them to feel relaxed and safe, not tossed into a crate for hours on end because they peed on the floor.

And I know it’s annoying and can drive you nuts, but try not to respond to excessive barking with yelling. Do your best to ignore the behavior. Especially if they are trying to get something from you.

You don’t reward excessive barking with your attention.

tips for training your chihuahua

Using Exercise When Training

Exercise is important, even in such a small dog. Make sure your pup gets at least one, better if it was two, short walks a day to keep them healthy and happy.

Using a leash and collar is also something that may not be easy at first. Start out slow. You don’t need to spend 30 minutes dragging your pup around the neighborhood. That’s not effective.

Put the collar on them and attach the leash, but let them just pull it around the house for a bit. Let your dog get used to the feel of it and they won’t be as scared each time it comes out. Once they are comfortable with it, try going outside.

Best commands to Teach Your Dog

Barking and whining is a tactic they use to get what they want. Don’t succumb to this. You are the pack leader and will determine when they get something and when they don’t. It’s important to teach your pup basic commands so you both enjoy the relationship.

When you are training your dog it’s important to be consistent with the training and patient with your dog. These commands are completely new to them and will take time for them to understand exactly what you want.

These seven commands are important for your dog to learn so that you can control them in different situations.

  • Sit
  • Stay
  • Come
  • Heel
  • No
  • Down
  • Off

If your dog knows these commands then you should be able to control them in almost any situation.

Summary: Helpful Tips for Training Your Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are smart, loving little dogs and have a great desire to please their owner. Hopefully, some of these tips will be just what you need to get on the right path for a long healthy relationship.

If you are having trouble training your pup then I highly suggest a professional dog trainer to help you get started.

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