How to Train Your Chihuahua Dog to Not Whine

Medium
6-10 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Your Chihuahua might be suffering from Small Dog Syndrome. This is behavior based and rooted in lack of training. Chihuahuas are known to be stubborn, but they want to please their owners and earn rewards. If your Chihuahua has small dog syndrome, he will try to appear larger than life to let everyone around him know just how fierce he can be. But when your Chihuahua is not just acting aggressive but also whining, he’s communicating something to you. Chihuahuas will whine when they are uncomfortable. He is vocalizing his anxieties before the aggressions come out in barking or growling. This kind of behavior can occur if your dog is feeling lost and alone or fearful of others in or around your home. Your Chihuahua could also be whining to appease another dog within your home. 

Defining Tasks

Building your Chihuahua’s confidence will help control the amount of whining he does. Obedience training will build your Chihuahua’s skills as well as give you and your guests tools when socializing your Chihuahua. You can also give your Chihuahua purpose by teaching him obedience commands. This gives him jobs to do, even if it’s as simple as sitting before having his meal served, that will build his confidence and place him in the ranks of your pack. If you have other dogs in your home and your Chihuahua is acting submissive by whining, you can place them on closer levels in the pack by treating them the same. Make them work together to earn treats at the same time. If you are carrying your Chihuahua around the house or coddling his fears when he whines but you don’t do that with your other dogs, begin treating them the same with the same rewards for good behavior. 

Getting Started

Be prepared to set boundaries with your Chihuahua. This will build confidence and set defined rules. Make your training sessions with your Chihuahua short and rewarding. Bring playtime into training sessions. To encourage your dog to stop whining and bring his confidence to a level where he feels secure, use high-value treats during training. Foods like cheese and hot dogs, cut into small bite-sized pieces, will keep your Chihuahua interested in working on changing this behavior. 

The Expectations Method

Effective
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Step
1
Early on
Know your expectations of your Chihuahua and set some boundaries with him. Decide where he will sleep so he feels safe and is near you. If he will be allowed on furniture, give him tools like steps or a ramp to get up there safely. Be sure to think about his security as you set these boundaries. You want a confident Chihuahua.
Step
2
Training
Train basic obedience commands and keywords or phrases to your Chihuahua as soon as possible. This will also build his confidence and give him purpose within your pack together. Take training slowly, but be consistent and work on something together every day.
Step
3
Whining
If your Chihuahua misses you, feels threatened, or insecure, he may whine. When you hear him to this, ignore him. When he takes a break from whining, give him a treat. Reward moments when he is not whining.
Step
4
Quiet rewards
There will be moments when you are not training your Chihuahua and he is not whining. When you catch him in these moments, give him a tasty treat. While you are training, be sure to offer treats as well.
Step
5
Expectations
When your Chihuahua is meeting the expectations you set early on, such as using a pet step unit to climb to the couch, give him a treat. When you notice him going to his bed to nap alone, give him a treat. Any time you see him doing something independent within the boundaries you’ve set, offer him a treat.
Recommend training method?

The Cry It Out Method

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Step
1
Safe places
Set up safe spots your for Chihuahua to sleep and play. This should include a comfortable bed or a place to sleep on the floor in a living space as well as in the space where expect your Chihuahua to sleep at night. These may be the same spaces, but be aware if they are separate spaces within your home, and offer two beds.
Step
2
Crate
Offer a crate as well as a place to sleep or for quiet play. A small crate for your Chihuahua offers a small, confined safe place for your Chihuahua to sleep and rest or play quietly when you are away. Unless it’s night sleeping, try not to use the crate with the door closed when you are home. He may go inside, but keep the door open, so he has the independence to come out as long as you are home.
Step
3
Whining
When your Chihuahua whines, take him to his special safe place. This would be his bed in the room near you or his crate. Try to stay close by so your Chihuahua can see you and feel secure. When he whines, ignore him, but when he’s quiet, give him a treat, rewarding him for good behaviors.
Step
4
Soft voice
Build your Chihuahua up by talking to him, assuring him that he is safe and all is okay in his world when he is quiet. When he goes to his safe spot, encourage him with a quiet voice. When you are ready for your Chihuahua to go to his safe spot, tell him with a soft and quiet voice to go to his bed or into his crate. If you train these keywords early on, he’ll associate those spaces with safety and security.
Step
5
Negativity
Do not get angry or show frustration with your Chihuahua when he whines. Your Chihuahua will pick up on any negative emotions you have and mimic them or feel more anxiety because of them. Showing anger will scare your pup. Remember the goal is to build his confidence and give him safe places to go when he is sleepy or anxious.
Recommend training method?

The Conditioning Method

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Step
1
Separation
When you leave your house, your Chihuahua may whine and feel separation anxiety. When you arrive home, take a few moments to ignore your Chihuahua. This may be difficult to do but ignore him. After several minutes, greet him with lots of love and attention. This will condition him to be alone and secure while you are away and while you are home.
Step
2
Worn out
Be sure to give your Chihuahua lots of exercise while you are together so when you are away or busy around the house he is too tired to whine and worry about where you are.
Step
3
Entertainment
Whether you are home or away, offer your Chihuahua entertainment in the form of toys and puzzle treats with toys. If you are home, make a big deal of giving him entertainment with a treat when he is lying quietly. This will give him attention and entertainment. Use a soft and calm voice as you give him his toys and treats.
Step
4
White noise
If your Chihuahua is used to music or television or even your family talking, give him white noise while you are away or when you step away to shower or cook a meal. Keeping up a common level of noise in the house will give him the comforts he feels when you are around.
Step
5
Safe place
Give your Chihuahua a safe place to go such as a crate with the door left open while you are home so he has a place of security and comfort. Anytime you hear him whining, take him to that space with a treat. To condition him to go there alone, you can treat him, talk to him softly, and even offer a piece of laundry that smells of you while he is there.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Daisy
Chihuahua
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Daisy
Chihuahua
2 Years

We recently adopted a puppy chihuahua that is bigger than Daisy and she is very upset. She screams loudly if u get close to her too fast or if the puppy tries to play with her. The puppy growls at daisy when she gets close to me while I’m petting the puppy. Help i want to help Daisy feel more confident. Her entire demeanor has changed. She no longer gets excited

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ann, To begin, teach the puppy an "Out" command, which means leave the area. Tell the puppy "Out!" anytime that she is being possessive of you, especially when Daisy comes over. To teach her the "Out" command toss treats a few feet away from you while you also point the finger of your tossing hand in the direction that you throw the treats. Tell her "Out" while you toss the treats. Do this until she will go over to the area where you are pointing when you say "Out", before you have tossed the treat. When she will do that, then practice telling her "Out" and pointing to where she should go. If she does not go there, then herd her over to the area by walking toward her until she backs up several feet. Block her way so that she stays out of that area. Do this until she stops trying to get past you. When she stops, then back up to where you were before, and if she follows you, block her out of the area again by walking toward her again. Do this until she stops trying to come back into the area. When you are ready for her to come back, tell her "OK" and act welcoming and happy, to encourage her to come back over. Anytime that she is being possessive of you and growling at your other dog or shoving her out of the way, tell her "Out", and if she does not leave, block her out of the area and keep blocking her until she stops trying to come back over. Also, make the new puppy work for what she gets in life right now. For example, tell her to sit before you feed her, before you pet her, or before you take her on a walk. Tell her down before you give her a treat, before you toss her a toy, or let her onto any furniture. Decide what your rules for both dogs are, and be the one to enforce the rules so that neither dog is allowed to make or enforce the rules for the other dog. They should learn that is your job and not Daisy or the puppy's. You being the one in charge can remove some of the tension between the two dogs. That way neither of them are in charge, you are. Also, feed Daisy treats whenever she is tolerating the new puppy well. Reward her for letting the puppy come over and remaining calm, for letting the puppy sniff her, or for generally letting the puppy get close to her. Make the appearance of the puppy a wonderful thing, and make things boring again when the puppy leaves, so that she will want the puppy to be around. Also make sure that Daisy has rules and consistency too, because a lack of that can effect a dog's confidence. Lastly, be patient. A new puppy is a big adjustment for an older dog so it also might just take her time to adjust. Try not to act like you feel sorry for her or coddle her or act sad yourself about it. Instead act confident, happy, and believe that she can succeed. Such an attitude will help her feel more confident also. Do make sure that the puppy is not allowed to pester her though. The dogs should be expected to tolerate each other and not bully each other or pick on one another, but do not let the puppy be in Daisy's space all the time, unless Daisy is being rewarded for tolerating it and is alright with it. Encourage Daisy to be calm, but also encourage the puppy to be respectful. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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