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Of all the different things you need to teach your Chihuahua, going potty outside should be one of the very first. Housetraining a Chihuahua is no harder than training any other type of dog; it takes time, effort and patience. But, here's the thing. The last thing you want your pup to continue doing is peeing and pooping your house. Training a Chihuahua may take a little time and patience, but in the end, all your hard work will pay off.
Bear in mind that most dogs don't really care where they do their business, all they care about is finding what is, in their mind, "the perfect place". You will be training your pup to do his business outside and to let you know when he needs to go.
The task at hand is to train your pup to let you know when he needs to go outside and to do his business outside. There are two parts to this training: one is to teach your pup that's the only place he should be doing his business, and the other is to teach your dog to let you know when he needs to go. Although these are in essence two separate concepts, the real trick is to teach your pup to do both at the same time.
Beware of the misconception that a dog will never go to the bathroom close to where he eats. While adult dogs will have developed this sense, puppies who typically cannot hold it will relieve themselves anywhere and anytime. The object of this training is to work with your pup on holding himself until he lets you know when he needs to go and to only go when he is outside. Sounds complicated, doesn't it? The good news is that it sounds far more complicated than it really is.
It's easy to feel confused and lost when you bring your new Chihuahua home. You spend far more time worrying about his bed, his food, his dishes, and making sure he has plenty of water. But, what are you doing about the most important training? Potty training should be at the top of your priority list, you don't have time to spare. For this training, you are going to need a few things, including:
- A timer
- Puppy Spray
- Cleaning supplies
- A puppy crate
- A dog bed
It is going to take a lot of patience and time to work with your pup, but just about the time when you think you have enough, your pup will finally put two and two together and stop making messes in your house.
The Timed Method
Frequent trips outside
For the first couple of weeks of your training sessions, you need to set a timer to remind you to take your pup outside every hour. After each meal, and when you take him out of his crate. Be sure not to bring him back inside the house until he has gone to the bathroom, even if he only goes a little bit. Praise him and give him a treat each time he goes.
Add more time
For the first couple of weeks of your training sessions, you need to set a timer to remind you to take your pup outside every hour, after each meal, and when you take him out of his crate. Be sure not to bring him back inside the house until he has gone to the bathroom, even if he only goes a little bit. Praise him and give him a treat each time he goes.
When he goes
Each time he goes, be sure to heap on the praise and give him a treat. Once he goes, be sure to go right back inside. This lets him associate the idea of going outside with positive reinforcement.
Keep a close watch
While your pup is in potty training, you must keep a close eye on your pup when he is roaming around the house. If you see him looking like he wants to 'go' say "no" and take him outside immediately. Keep home outside until he goes and then praise him when goes and give him a treat.
If he has an accident
If your pup has an accident and you don't catch it until later, there is no point in admonishing him. It will not mean anything to him. Just clean up the mess thoroughly and keep a closer eye on what he is doing. Be patient and keep working with your pup, don't worry he will get it eventually.
The Puppy Spray Method
Going on schedule
Start by establishing a schedule to take your pup outside regularly. The best way to do this is to use a timer and set it to remind you. Consistency is key to potty training your pup.
Take your pup outside
When the timer goes off, be sure to take your Chi outside immediately. This is the only way he is going to get the idea he should only go outside.
Mark the territory
Using a readily available puppy training aid spray, mark a spot on the ground where you want your pup to go.
Take your pup to the spot
Take your pup over to the spot and let him sniff it. This should be enough to entice him to go potty on the spot. If not, wait 15 minutes and then if he still hasn't gone, chances are good he really doesn't need to go. Take him back inside and wait a few minutes before trying again.
If your pup has just eaten
If your pup has just eaten, keep him outside until he goes. In most instances, there is a very short span of time between eating and needing to go potty. Anytime he goes potty outside, be sure to praise him like you just won the lottery and give him a treat.
The more you practice, the better your pup will become at going to the potty outside. Better yet, it won't be long before he starts letting you know he needs to go outside. When he does, be sure to make a huge fuss and give him extra treats.
The Not There Method
Grab some treats
Grab a handful of your Chi's favorite treats, soft chewy ones work best.
Watch your pup
Keep a close eye on your pup, wait until he makes like he is going to go potty and tell him, "no not there." Then pick him up and take him straight outside.
Add the command
As soon as you are out the door, put him on the grass and tell him "Go potty". While he is only going because he has to go so badly, doing this over and over again will help him to associate the command "Go potty!" with the required action.
Wait patiently until your pup has gone, no matter how long it takes. When he goes, be sure to praise him and give him a treat, then take him back inside immediately. Doing this helps teach your dog that going outside is what is expected of him.
The rest is up to you
The rest of successfully potty training your Chi is all about practice. The more time you spend working with your pup, the faster your pup will stop making a mess in the house and the fewer messes you are likely to have to clean up.
By PB Getz
Published: 12/22/2017, edited: 01/08/2021