How to Potty Train a Chihuahua with Puppy Pads

Medium
3-8 Weeks
General

Introduction

Your Chihuahua puppy might be strong-willed, but before he leaves his litter he has already begun to separate his potty areas from his sleeping and playing areas. Your Chihuahua is small enough that he can be potty trained to go inside your house in the same place on puppy pee pads if you would like. 

Training your Chihuahua to go on pee pads in your house makes for easy cleanup and is helpful for Chihuahua owners who don't want to go for walks outdoors or require their tiny little Chihuahua to walk in the snow and cold. This puppy pee pad potty training is also great for Chihuahuas who live in high rise apartment buildings or in the middle of concrete jungles. If you plan to have your Chihuahua in places other than inside your home, you may want to consider training your Chihuahua for outdoor potty as well as pee pads so he knows he can go elsewhere should that need arise. 

Defining Tasks

Training your Chihuahua puppy to use pee pads when he goes potty will require dedication and understanding from you. You will need to be around often to pay attention to the signs that your little buddy needs to go potty and be committed enough to help him succeed. To do this you will need to understand when your dog typically needs to go. Once you have that understanding of his potty patterns down, taking him to his puppy pee pads, waiting for him to go, and rewarding him for good behavior is basically condition training. This will be repetitive training and will require having someone home during the common times your Chihuahua may need to go potty. Rewards based potty training tends to work better than punishment for poor behavior. To reward your Chihuahua, you will need to catch him doing a good job recognizing appropriate places to go potty.

Getting Started

Before you get started potty training your Chihuahua to use puppy pads, pick out an area in your home where you plan to keep the pee pads. This area shouldn't change and should be easy for your pup to get to. This might be a bedroom you don't use often, a bathroom, or even a utility room. You will need to have plenty of pee pads to lie down on the floor for training and enough for replacing dirty pads over the course of your training as well. Your Chihuahua will require rewards for good behavior and you may decide you would like to have your dog on a leash when you begin to take him to his pee pee pads to go potty. Avoid carrying your Chihuahua to his potty area or he will expect this all the time.

The Puppy Padded Room Method

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Step
1
Pick a room
Pick a small area or a room in your home for your Chihuahua to have as his personal bathroom. This is the room where you'll place the puppy pads for training and for future use.
Step
2
Place pads
Place several puppy pads on the floor surface in this space for your initial training. As your Chihuahua gets used to training and using a potty pad to go pee, you can narrow it down to just one pad for a small area.
Step
3
Pick a command
Choose a command to teach your Chihuahua for potty training. Anytime you think your Chihuahua puppy needs to go potty, plan to take him to his puppy pads and say the command. This command could be something as simple as 'go potty.'
Step
4
Puppy pad place
Take your Chihuahua to the potty pad area and let him explore. You can give the command you plan to use each time you take him to this area to signify this is where he will go potty. Do not let him play in this area, and don't keep him in the area for very long unless he appears to be sniffing around eager to go potty. Before you leave the area the first time, give him a treat.
Step
5
Repeat
After your initial introduction to the potty pads and rewarding your Chihuahua puppy for exploring them, you will need to begin repeating taking your Chihuahua puppy to the potty pads at appropriate times.
Step
6
Times to go
Your Chihuahua puppy will need to be taken to his puppy pads after his meals, upon waking first thing in the morning, and upon waking from naps during the day when he wakes at night. He may also need to go potty at the end of a play session, before rest time, and every few hours in the meantime.
Step
7
Go to pads
Each time you take your Chihuahua puppy to his puppy pads, say the command you have taught him such as 'go potty' and patiently wait for him to explore, sniff, and go potty. As soon as he succeeds and uses the potty pad give, him verbal praise and a treat. Be sure to take him to the potty pads often so he has an opportunity to learn to go on his own and when to go.
Step
8
Practice
Be sure you are consistent and take your pup to his potty pads often. Setting your Chihuahua up to succeed and pee on the potty pads instead of having accidents elsewhere in the house will help him to train quickly. Also be sure to reward him each time he is successful.
Step
9
Puppy pads
As your Chihuahua puppy is getting used to using the potty pads for going potty, be sure you are keeping them clean. Remove any feces and exchange any dirty pads for clean pads. He will more likely go to a clean space than in a dirty space.
Recommend training method?

The Condition Training Method

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Step
1
Set up potty pads
Choose a place in your home where you will allow your Chihuahua to go potty. This should be a place you're happy with that will not change after training. You can set one potty pad on the floor or you can even get a potty pad holder or box and train your puppy to use that each time he needs to go potty.
Step
2
Understand pads
Knowing when your pup needs to go potty will be key for successful potty pad training. You will need to take your Chihuahua to the potty pads either early on in training to condition him to go on his own when he needs to go potty.
Step
3
Understand when
Your pup will likely need to go potty certain times during the day and every so often outside of these times. Understanding when your Chihuahua needs to go potty and getting him to the puppy pads on time will be the key to successful training.
Step
4
First thing
As soon as your pup wakes up in the morning, take him straight to the puppy pads to go potty. Encourage him with an encouraging tone and commands such as 'go potty.' As soon as he is successful give him a treat and lots of verbal praise.
Step
5
After his meals
Your Chihuahua will be eating several times a day. He will want to go potty soon after his meals. Be sure to walk with him to the potty pads soon after he eats so he has a chance to be successful and go potty where he is supposed to, rather than having an accident elsewhere.
Step
6
After naps
Your little guy will sleep a lot throughout the day. As soon as he wakes up from his naps, count on taking him straight to his puppy pad for successful potty training. Always reward him once he's able to go on the potty pad.
Step
7
Hourly
Remember that puppies can usually make it without an accident for about an hour for every month of their age. This means if you have a three-month-old Chihuahua puppy, he can probably make it for about three hours if he's not eating drinking or sleeping a lot during that time. Before that hourly mark is up, take him to the pad and give the command to go potty.
Step
8
Rewards
Be sure you are giving your Chihuahua rewards every time he is successful. If you catch your pup in the act of going potty elsewhere, do not give him a reward. Take him to the potty pad and remind him of the command to go potty. He may not still need to go, but can be reminded where he should go.
Recommend training method?

The Follow the Signs Method

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Step
1
Puppy pads
You will need to set up puppy pads in an area where you would like your Chihuahua to go potty. Use the same spot for training as well that you'll use once he is on his own.
Step
2
Pay attention
Throughout the course of your day, pay attention to your Chihuahua. He will give you signs if he needs to go potty. These signs will include sniffing and the ground where he is playing or lying, or circling the ground. Any time you see these behaviors, be sure to take your Chihuahua directly to his puppy pad and encourage him to go.
Step
3
Wake up
As soon as your Chihuahua puppy wakes up from sleep, whether it's first thing in the morning, in the middle of the night, or during daytime naps, you should take him to the puppy pads to go potty.
Step
4
After eating
Your Chihuahua puppy is going to need to go potty 5 to 10 minutes after eating his meals. This means you should take him to his potty pads soon after he finishes a meal and encourage him to go potty.
Step
5
Before rest
Your pup will play a lot and he will sleep a lot. Before he settles down for a nap or some rest take him to his puppy pads and use the command to go potty. Over time, this command will be words he will associate with the action of going potty on the pads.
Step
6
Reward
Do not expect your Chihuahua to go potty each time you take him to the potty pads. Most of the time, he should be successful at going potty on the pads if your timing is right. Anytime your pup makes it to the potty pad, whether you take him or on his own, and is successfully using the potty pad to go potty, be sure to reward him with the tasty treat.
Step
7
Time
Be consistent about taking your little dog to his potty pads and understanding the times your Chihuahua may need to be taken until he understands on his own this is where he should go. This training will take time and patience. Don't give up if your Chihuahua is having accidents in the house, just increase the number of times you take him to the potty pads to remind him of where to go.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Juggernaut
Chihuahua terrier
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Juggernaut
Chihuahua terrier
5 Years

I have had my puppy for about 1 month and a half, he learned to pee and poop in the right area, and showed signs that he was able to do so independently. However, there are time where he still makes accidents. So I was wondering how long do I have to continue to pick him up and take him to the pee pee pad?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
30 Dog owners recommended

Hello Maddie, He will need for you to lead him over to the Pee Pad until he is no longer having accidents in the house and is going over to the pee pads on his own when he needs to pee. Exactly how long that takes will depend on him. There is not a set amount of time. When you take him over to the pee pads, lead him over to the pee pads while he is walking on the ground. Do not carry him. You want him to learn how to get to the pee pads so that he will begin going there on his own. Walking there will help him to remember how to get there and will create a habit of going to them. If he will not follow you there quickly, then attach a leash to him and lead him over to the pee pad with the leash. If he is still having accidents regularly in three months, then his routine will need to be examined more closely. There might be something that is delaying his potty training that needs to be address. One and a half months is probably not enough time for him to learn where to go potty and where not to. On average it takes three months, but every dog is a bit different and it can take longer. If he is regularly having accidents only on rugs and carpet and not hard surfaces, then we might need to switch to litter box training. He might be confusing the pee pads with other soft fabric areas in your home. This can sometimes happen with pee pads. If he is having accidents on hard surfaces too, then the issue is probably just not enough practice yet. Make sure that you are cleaning up any accidents with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes to break down the smell fully, so that he will not be encouraged to eliminate in the same area again by the smell. Dogs' noses are better than ours and only enzymes will break down the proteins enough to remove the smell fully. You can also give him a treat every time that he eliminates on the pee pad, so that he will want to go there instead of other locations. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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