How to Train Your Chihuahua Dog to Be Calm

Medium
2-12 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Unfortunately, many people have a preconception of a Chihuahua as a hyperactive spaz of a dog, always yapping and running in circles. There is a misconception that Chihuahuas are forever puppies, incapable of controlling themselves, or worse, that they are so spoiled that they just don’t care what anyone thinks. They are thought to be less self-controlled, less sociable with other dogs and children, and less trainable than larger breeds. Too often, chihuahuas are tolerated, rather than taught. They are not given the socialization or exercise that benefit larger dogs because their bursts of energy or aggression are thought less important than in larger dogs. Quite to the contrary, if the basics of dog responsibility are observed with your Chihuahua, she can be as cool and laid back a companion as the most noble of Great Danes or the most easy-going Lab.

Defining Tasks

The same fundamentals of exercise, ritual, and trust that form the bedrock of a calm temperament in large and powerful breeds can make a secure and laid back pup of your Chihuahua. The secret is to take your Chihuahua as seriously as she takes herself, affirming in her what is confident while weeding out insecurities that make her anxious and wild.

Teaching your chihuahua to be calm is a matter of changing her outlook on life, and will not happen overnight. However, if you are determined, patient, and understanding your Chihuahua will blossom into a calm, confident dog.

Getting Started

While the principles of training are the same for your Chihuahua as for a large dog, there are distinct differences that must be considered. For one thing, exercising your Chihuahua will be different than exercising a large breed dog. Chihuahuas must trot to keep up with our walk, and if we jog they gallop. This means it takes less to sufficiently exercise them. Chihuahuas must also work harder to earn their place in dog’s social hierarchy since they are so small. They can also be more quickly overwhelmed by an environment that is so much larger than them. It will help you to train your Chihuahua to be calm if you keep in mind all the reasons she might become stressed.

The fundamental tool for training your Chihuahua to be calm will be a well-fitting harness that will not cause harm if she throws her weight against it from any angle. You should also have on hand plenty of yummy little training treats and a few favorite toys. Chew toys are wonderful for relieving stress and are helpful to have on hand. Training tools like a lure on a rope are awesome for burning off energy, while stuffable treat dispensing toys can occupy an overactive mind.  

The Run Off the Crazy Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Little runners
Chihuahuas are little runners capable of running for surprisingly long distances at a good clip. Tapping into the marathon runner in your Chihuahua can keep her calm the rest of the time.
Step
2
Run!
You can walk at a brisk pace to keep your Chihuahua in a trot or if you and your pup are up for a bit of a jog, go for it.
Step
3
Frequent is better than long
Don’t push your Chihuahua to do too much at a stretch. It is better to take frequent walks throughout the day or into the night than one long one. Little bodies may not stand up to strenuous exercise as well as more powerfully built dogs.
Step
4
Exposure
Walking and jogging not only serve as opportunities to exercise your little athlete, they also serve to expose her to new people and environments. The more often you do this throughout the day, the calmer your Chihuahua will be when exposed to new things.
Step
5
Belly rubs
When your friends come over at the end of a few weeks of this, they will be surprised to find that your wild little dog has become a chill companion begging for belly rubs.
Recommend training method?

The Little Athletes Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Harness the joy
Chihuahuas are known for twisting their bodies into amazing jumps and leaps, apparently for pure joy. Having a range of activities that utilize your Chihuahua’s athleticism to call on whenever your chihuahua is acting a little crazy can help make her a calm companion.
Step
2
Run in circles!
Using a lure on a rope, encourage your pooch to run in circles, figure eights, or varied patterns after the lure. This is a great way to burn off a burst of energy while building focus and exercising fine motor skills.
Step
3
Through the hoop!
Encourage your dog to run, then jump through a hoop. Make it a game to put the hoop down unexpectedly so your Chihuahua hurries to jump through it. Use toys or treats as encouragement at first, but soon your Chihuahua will love the game.
Step
4
Find stuff
Have your chihuahua wait while you throw toys all over the house. Then have her find and bring you all of them. Remembering where they are and finding them builds focus, which will help her to be calm.
Step
5
Put it all together
Use the tricks you have taught your Chihuahua to wear her out and exercise her mind throughout the day. Encourage guests to do her tricks with her too. Soon, no one will complain about your crazy Chihuahua, they will be pestering your calm companion to get off the couch and come play!
Recommend training method?

The Field Trips Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Calm comes from experience
The image of calm seems to conjure up someone who has seen and knows a lot. Experience goes with calm like childishness goes with wildness. An experienced Chihuahua is a calm Chihuahua.
Step
2
Fun trips
Take your Chihuahua with you wherever you can. Have a designated bag for her where she can feel comfortable no matter where you go.
Step
3
Try new things
Encourage your Chihuahua to explore new places and meet new people. Point out interesting places to sniff and explore. Encourage her to run all over exploring.
Step
4
Go with new people
Ask trusted friends and relatives to take your Chihuahua to their homes or to places with them. Make sure your friends give plenty of treats, toys, and happiness to make it a great experience for your dog.
Step
5
Enjoy the chill
A Chihuahua who has spent the day traveling and exploring will be the picture of calm at the end of the day, as she lays around and thinks about all the cool things she’s done.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Ivey Baby loo
Applehead chihuahua
16 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Ivey Baby loo
Applehead chihuahua
16 Years

We originally bought Baby to take away my sister’s asthma, witch worked with the Apple head chihuahua. My sister was young at the time and the dog really took to Me and Mom. She is extremely protective. I was found seizing when I was induced intocoma from in 2011and came home later that year when I came home they wanted her to stay with me at all times, for a few reasons. They knew I was safe with her because if anyone I didn’t know came around she would bark them off or bite their ankels. I do not want children, so she mentoly became my little girl and it upsets me. We just bought Bella, about a year ago a normal chihuahua who is twice Baby’s size and will be a just turned 5. At first when Bella came into the picture things were the same but slowly they started to change. We moved while house was being built with Baby and Bella lived there too, then we moved into our actual house Baby started acting complely different. Stays in her bed most of the time, makes her daily house check, witch is always the same it is odd if she comes to the living room with people now. She does get along with my aunt’s dog now, she didn’t before. She has started barking at people she has known from 3months old kind of weird things. Is it because of Bella? Is there ANY WAY AT ALL I CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT???

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
78 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ashley, It sounds like Baby might be reacting to all of the changes and possibly have age related issues. The new environment is likely effecting her as much or more than the new dog. Because she is older she could be loosing her vision or struggling with her mental capacity for things like memory, directions, and coping abilities. She probably feels insecure because it's harder for her to handle the changes with her age and to get around in her new location. Spend time leaving trails of small treats or dog food that she likes in rooms she seems afraid of. Have the people she is barking at toss her treats and take things slow with her to help her relax with them again. If she is afraid to walk on certain types of surfaces, put something like rugs down in that hallway or room. Do what you can to simplify her environment for her to help her figure out where she is, how to act, and to feel more secure. If she is able to learn new tricks, teach her simple, fun tricks to build her confidence, bond with you, and improve her mental capacity. You may also want to speak to your vet about evaluating her eye sight and mental state to find out if either of those things are causing her trouble. Keep structure and boundaries for both dogs so that Baby feels like you are in charge of things and she does not have to enforce boundaries or hide. When Baby tolerates Bella's presence nearby and when Bella first walks into the room where Baby is, feed Baby a treat so that she will enjoy Bella's presence more and like her being around. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Ivey Baby loo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd