How to Train Your Chihuahua Dog to Use a Pee Pad

Medium
4-8 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

There are many reasons you might want your Chihuahua to learn how to use a pee pad in your house. Chihuahuas are little dogs, and they don't typically handle winter weather very well. Pee pads are perfect for little dogs to be able to use the potty in one area in your house, protecting your floors and furniture, curtains and walls from urine damage and marking. Training your Chihuahua to use a pee pad could occur because his little body is too small to handle the harsh winter cold and his little paws are too sensitive to handle cold or icy conditions. Many Chihuahua owners also train their dogs to use pee pads if they are living in apartments. High-rise buildings in the middle of concrete cities don't offer soft, comfortable grass and places for your dogs to go potty outside. For larger dogs, it might be worth walking to a dog park and getting exercise to find some grass. However, for small dogs like Chihuahuas, it makes sense if you are in an apartment in the middle of a concrete jungle to potty train your Chihuahua within your home.

Defining Tasks

Training your Chihuahua to use a pee pad is not much different than house training your dog. You were going to take him to the same place anytime you think he needs to go potty, so he knows exactly where to eliminate. You will need to keep pee pads clean and changed frequently so he has a clean, sanitary place to go each time he needs to go. Be patient while you're training your Chihuahua to use pee pads. He may have some accidents here and there in other places. Be sure the area where you keep your pee pads is accessible to your Chihuahua, not hard to get to, and a place he can visit on his own often. It's easy to train Chihuahua puppies to use pee pads, but you can train your older dog to use pee pads as well if you are rescuing or trying to change the potty behavior of your older Chihuahua.

Getting Started

Be prepared before you begin training your Chihuahua to use pee pads. Stock up on the pads you plan to use so you have plenty on hand while you're training your dog. Get some high-value treats for rewards to give to your Chihuahua each time he is successful using the pee pad instead of going elsewhere. Set aside space just for your dog. This space needs to be the same space each time. Do not confuse your dog by moving pee pads around your house. Before you begin training, scope out an area that you plan to use for your dog all the time. The space to be stocked with pee pads, and your dog needs to have access to it. Spaces many families use are bathrooms, utility rooms, closets, or unused rooms.

The Padded Room Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Choose a room
Pick a room or area in your home for your Chihuahua to use for his potty space. This can be a bathroom, laundry or utility room, a closet, or even a sectioned off area of a family room or bedroom. Just be sure to pick a room you will use all the time for the same purpose so you do not confuse your dog.
Step
2
Pee pads
Cover the floor surface of this space with pee pads for initial training. This will ensure your Chihuahua goes on the pads while he is learning. Once he is trained you may be able to limit some of these pads down to one or two.
Step
3
Potty Command
When your Chihuahua needs to go potty, or at least on a regular basis while training, take him to his potty room and let him use the pee pads. Set him down on the pee pads to sniff around. Use the key phrase ‘go potty’ each time you bring him in the room so he will associate the words with the actions to come.
Step
4
Explore
Do not allow your Chihuahua to spend time in the potty room playing. This will confuse your pup and let him think he can pee and play in the same spaces, which could lead him to pee elsewhere in your home. Let him explore and sniff the space.
Step
5
Clean space
At first, once he pees on a pad, you can keep that scent in the room, so he knows what to do. Other than one area for scent recognition, be sure to keep the room clean with clean pads to use each day.
Step
6
Treat
When your Chihuahua goes potty on the pee pad, celebrate with verbal praise and a treat.
Step
7
Leave space
Once he is done, move him out of the room. Try not to carry your Chihuahua to and from this room or he may begin to think he can only visit if carried in.
Step
8
Visit often
While your Chihuahua is training to use pee pads in your home, be sure to visit the room often so he has a place to go potty and is going there before accidents happen. Typically, your Chihuahua will need to go potty within ten minutes of eating and upon waking.
Step
9
Redirect
If your Chihuahua has an accident or goes elsewhere, simply redirect him to the room again. This will take some time to get used to. Do not punish your Chihuahua for accidents. Focus rewards on positive behaviors. He will want to earn rewards and do well.
Step
10
Remove some pads
As your Chihuahua gets used to using the pee pads in this particular room and is going in on his own, you can narrow the number of pads down to one or two. Be sure to change them on a regular basis to keep the area sanitary and clean smelling.
Recommend training method?

The Sniff and Circle Method

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Step
1
Pee pads
Place pee pads in the area of your home you would like your Chihuahua to use to go potty.
Step
2
Introduce
Place your Chihuahua on the pee pads and let him sniff and explore. He may have the urge to mark the pad right away or he may lose interest.
Step
3
Body language
Watch your Chihuahua closely for body language that signifies he needs to go potty. This will include sniffing around the floor or circling in one place.
Step
4
Pop on the pee pad
As soon as you see your Chihuahua sniffing or circling, place him on the pee pads and encourage him to go potty with a soft, encouraging tone using words you will use to ask him if he needs to go, such as ‘go potty.’
Step
5
Reward
Once your Chihuahua goes potty on the pee pad, give him a treat. Reward him each time he is successful at making it to the pee pad.
Step
6
Accidents
Do not discipline your Chihuahua for accidents. You can use a stern voice and tell him 'no' when he has an accident, but he will remember the positive interaction of rewarding good choices more. When he has an accident during training, try to catch him, give him one stern ‘no’ and move him to the pee pad. If he is able to eliminate on the pad, give him a treat. If not, continue to watch him and keep trying.
Step
7
Patience
This may take some time. Be patient. If your Chihuahua is having more accidents than you’d like, take him to the pads more often.
Recommend training method?

The Crate and Pee Pads Method

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Step
1
Crate
Introduce your Chihuahua to a crate if he does not use one already. Crates are great for puppies as well as older dogs. They help with separation anxiety and to help build a sense of safety and security, especially for such pups like Chihuahuas. Think of your dog’s crate as his bedroom space. He can sleep, stay in the crate while you are away from the house for small periods of time, and he can go to the crate for security.
Step
2
Pee pads
Place pee pads in an area of your house where you’d like to see your dog go potty. Be consistent with this area so your Chihuahua is not confused with a moving and changing potty space.
Step
3
Dog in crate
Keep your dog in the crate while you are not home or busy. Be sure to give him bedding and toys to chew on or play with while you are away. Potty training puppies can sometimes hold it one hour for each month of age. Do not leave your Chihuahua in the crate for too long.
Step
4
Potty
Once you get home or are ready to try to go potty, take your Chihuahua out and take him directly to his pee pads. Let him sniff the pads and wait for him to go potty.
Step
5
No play
Do not let your Chihuahua play on the pee pads. If he is playing, he’s probably not going to go potty.
Step
6
Reward
Once he uses the potty, give him a treat.
Step
7
Practice
Keep taking your Chihuahua to the pee pads to go potty after every meal, after play time, and upon waking from sleep. Give him some time to connect the space with the actions and begin to go on his own. Remember, if you carry him to and from the pee pads each time he needs to go, he may expect this treatment each time and not go on his own.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Baxter
Chihuahua
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Baxter
Chihuahua
3 Years

Just moved week ago Baxter will not go on his pee pads! What is going on with him was so good about it when I trained him initially. Help!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
30 Dog owners recommended

Hello Diana, Baxter might be afraid of something in the area of the pee pad or he simply might view the pee pad as part of the rest of the house, and therefore be unwilling to go on it because he thinks it is not alright. To help him go, there are a couple of things that you can do. The simplest thing to try is to purchase a spray designed to encourage elimination from your local pet store or online. It goes by several different names such as "Hurry Spray", "Training Spray", "Puppy Training Spray", or something similar. It can usually be found in the training, house breaking, or cleaner department, but you can ask a store employee where to find it. Spray that spray onto the pee pad and bring Baxter over to the pad to go. Allow him to sniff the pad, and if he goes, praise him and give him a treat, to encourage future peeing and to let him know that it is acceptable to pee there. If that does not work, then purchase that same spray as well as an Exercise Pen. Set up the Exercise Pen in the area where you would like the Pee Pad to stay in the future, and place the pad inside the exercise pen. Do not place a bed, a food bowl, or anything else that is homey inside. You want this area to only be a toilet area. Place Baxter into a crate for several hours. Keep him there long enough that he will have to pee when you take him out but not so long that he will have an accident in the crate. Choose the amount of time based on Baxter's own bladder control. After he has been in the crate for several hours, then clip a leash onto him while he is still in the crate, and with the leash hurhim over to the Exercise Pen area. Lead him into the Exercise Pen and over to the Pee Pad that has been recently sprayed with the spray designed to encourage him to eliminate. Tell him to "Go Potty", take off the leash, and close the door to the Exercise Pen until he goes potty. At first it might take him a very long time to go, but eventually he will need to pee. Stay where you can see him if he goes, and if he goes, then immediately go over to him, praise him, give him a treat, and then let him out of the Exercise Pen. After he has been free for three hours, then crate him again until he needs to pee again, and then repeat taking him over to the Exercise Pen to pee and not letting him out until he goes. Do all of this often and consistently until he begins to go over to the Exercise Pen on his own when he needs to eliminate. If he is having accidents in the house right now, then he needs to be either in the crate, in the Exercise Pen, or closely supervised and free for no longer than three hours to prevent accidents. The more accidents that he has in the house the harder training will be, so it is very important to prevent them while he is relearning potty training in the new location. This will make the process easier in the long run. Make sure that you are also cleaning up any accidents with a pet safe spray that contains Enzymes because the Enzymes will break down the pee and poop better than other sprays, to remove the smell. Most sprays will not remove the smell enough for your dog to not be able to smell it still, and the smell, if left, will encourage a dog to pee or poop in that same spot again. Also when Baxter is loose in your home keep the door to the Exercise Pen open so that he can get to the Pee Pad any time that he needs to go. When he will consistently go into the Exercise Pen and use the Pee Pad on his own when he needs to go, then you can remove the Exercise Pen, and simply leave the Pee Pad there by itself. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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