Training

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2 min read

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How to Paper Train a Chihuahua Puppy

Training

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2 min read

|

1

Comments

How to Paper Train a Chihuahua Puppy
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon4-6 Weeks
General training category iconGeneral

Introduction

Paper training and litter box training are quickly becoming popular among owners of smaller breeds of dog like the Chihuahua. You can use paper or puppy training pads, both will soak up urine and hold poop in place until you can clean it up. In many ways, training your pup to do his business inside in a specific spot is a lot like training him to go outside and you can always use the paper training as a way to work your pup up to doing his business outside if you prefer.

Keep in mind that paper training does not mean throwing down newspaper all over the house. If you do this, then your pup is going learn to do his business all over the house. Doing this will probably slow the training process down and may result in your pup never actually being properly house trained. You must train your pup to hold it until he is on his paper in the appropriate area, which means training under the same tight time schedule as you would if you were training him to go outside. 

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Defining Tasks

Paper training is best described as teaching your dog to do his business on your choice of media (newspaper, puppy pads, towels, etc.). But there is more to it than this, you must also teach him that he can only do this in one spot in your home. The main idea behind this training is to teach your pup where it is okay for him to go to the bathroom so that he will stop going where he shouldn't.

The good news is that Chihuahuas are very smart and easily trainable. The bad news is that because they are so small it is much harder to spot when they are squatting down or lifting a leg to pee. This means establishing a routine in which you take your pup to his "potty" plays a very important role in teaching him that this is the only place he is allowed to go potty. 

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Getting Started

You don’t really need a lot in the way of supplies, some old newspapers or maybe puppy training pads that scented to attract your dog. You may even want to buy a holder for the pads to help keep them in place. Be sure to have plenty of your pup's favorite treats on hand and be available to take him potty when he needs to go or when it is time.  The rest of it is all about being patient and ready to work with your pup until he has mastered this skill. You may also want a crate or pen you can put your pup in when you can't watch him. 

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The Choose Your Spot Method

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1

Pick a spot, any spot

Pick a spot in your house that is going to become home to your pup's paper potty. The best places are in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, or any other room in your home with a tile or linoleum floor. This makes cleaning up messes a lot easier.

2

Create a "potty pen"

Using a pen, cover the floor inside with several layers of paper, a pee pad, or even a litter box. The idea is to create an area where your pup has no choice but to relieve himself.

3

To the potty, we go

Just as you would do when you are training a dog to go outside, you need to put your pup in the pen every 30 minutes in the beginning, to get him used to going on the paper. When he goes, be sure to praise him and give him a treat.

4

Keep up the training

Every time your pup has a meal or drinks a large amount of water, pick him up and put him on his "potty." Chihuahuas have a small bladder and digestive system so they need to go potty shortly after eating or drinking.

5

Down the line

It will take your pup a few weeks to get used to the idea that the papers are the only place he is allowed to do his business. Before long, you should be able to remove the pen and your pup will simply go to the paper or pad to do his business and nowhere else in your house.

The 5-Step Method

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Pick your place

Choose a spot that will become your pup's indoor potty. The best spot is a small area you can close off with a puppy playpen. Choose a room with a hardwood, linoleum, or tile floor as this makes cleanup much easier.

2

Cover up

Cover the space with papers, add your pup's bed, his water bowl, and a few toys for him to play with. Add your pup to the mix and make sure he can't escape using a baby gate or puppy pen. This way he has no option but to eliminate on the paper or his bed. This helps him to get the idea that the only place he can eliminate is on the paper.

3

Keep it clean

Make sure you don't leave dirty papers down for very long. Keep it clean by picking up the papers immediately after he eliminates if possible. You may want to leave one small piece in a particular spot. This will encourage him to use that spot again.

4

Shrinking space

Watch your pup for a few days, if he continues to use the same spot, start shrinking the area covered in paper, leaving his bed and toys at the other end of the area.

5

Down to two

When you finally reach the point where he is eliminating on two pieces of paper, you can slowly move the papers to the permanent site he can call "his" bathroom. This is a lengthy process but be patient and your pup will learn to use his "paper toilet" every time.

The Catch and Release Method

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1

Choose the place

Choose a spot in your home with hardwood, tile, or linoleum floors. Go for a smaller room like the bathroom or laundry room. If you have to use a larger room, grab a puppy playpen to create the small area. Cover the floor in paper.

2

Introduce your pup

Pick your pup up and take him to the area and place him in the middle of the paper. While he may not eliminate the first time, this will help him get used to the paper. If he does happen to pee or poop, praise him and give him a treat. If he hasn't eliminated after 5 to 10 minutes, let him go free.

3

Keep a close eye on him

Keep a very close eye on your pup, if he shows any signs of needing to eliminate, pick him back up and put him on the paper again. If he goes, give him a treat. Keep repeating this.

4

On schedule

While keeping an eye on him is a good way of working him into peeing on his "paper potty", you also need to get him on a schedule. This means taking him to the potty every thirty minutes, even if he has recently gone potty. Each time he goes, praise him and give him a treat.

5

Extend the time

The rest is all about extending the time as he gets older. By this time, he should start finding his way to his potty all on his own. All you need to do is keep the paper clean so he will keep using it.

By PB Getz

Published: 02/16/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Bennie

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Chihuahua

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5 months

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Question

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I have done all the suggested ideas for paper training my puppy but he is still having accidents in my house every time I let him out of the penned area. He is so fast that I can"t keep up with him when he gets out of my sight for a minute. What else can I do? I feel bad about his being in his penned area all the time. I want him to be capable of being in our home with me.

Sept. 3, 2022

Bennie's Owner

Expert avatar

Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello, First, is your goal for pup to go potty inside long term, teaching pup to use an indoor potty - opposed to temporarily doing inside and transitioning to outside later on? If inside is the long term goal, you may yet be able to teach paper, but keep in mind that paper is usually only used for very young puppies. Paper is not the most attractive potty option for a pup to want to go to once they start having bigger pees as they get bigger. A disposable real grass pad could be more effective if you continue to not see improvement. Second, you may already be doing this method, but if not, check out the Exercise Pen method. The difference in this method and going from pen to pup being out of pen, is that it transitions pup gradually to help prevent accidents by slowly adding space instead of suddenly switching from in to out of pen. Exercise pen method - this method mentions a doggie litter box, but it can be used with other indoor potty surfaces too. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Next, I would get a hands free leash, or turn a current six foot leash into a hands free by adding a small carabiner to the handle and clipping that to yourself. After pup has gone potty in the correct spot, then work on giving freedom in the rest of the home during the 30-40 minutes right after, with pup clipped to you with the leash, so that you can monitor pup for signs they need to go potty again - such as sniffing, circling, whining, pulling away, or squatting, then return pup to their potty spot at the end of the 30-40 minutes once their bladder starts to get fuller again. This helps pup practice having accident free times in the rest of your home to associate your home with cleanliness gradually. If pup just went potty fully then has an accident sooner than 30 minutes, I would go see your vet to see if something medical is complicating training. I am not a vet. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Sept. 6, 2022


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