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How to Train Your Chihuahua Dog to Use a Pee Pad

How to Train Your Chihuahua Dog to Use a Pee Pad
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon4-8 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

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.

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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.

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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.

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The Padded Room Method

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

6

Treat

When your Chihuahua goes potty on the pee pad, celebrate with verbal praise and a treat.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Sniff and Circle Method

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1

Pee pads

Place pee pads in the area of your home you would like your Chihuahua to use to go potty.

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.

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.

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.’

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.

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.

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.

The Crate and Pee Pads Method

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

6

Reward

Once he uses the potty, give him a treat.

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.

Written by Stephanie Plummer

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 12/20/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Coco

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chuihuia

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Three Months

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We have a Crete get puppy out and place on puppy pads she wanders off then starts sniffing around the table then pees how do I get her to stay on pee pad and wee or poo

Jan. 29, 2024

Coco's Owner

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Teddi

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Long hair Chihuahua

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7 Weeks

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How to kennel train my puppy to poop on the puppy pad instead of every where else?

June 21, 2022

Teddi's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shalynda, I am a bit confused about exactly what you are trying to teach pup. Are you wanting to teach pup to use an indoor potty or an outdoor potty? If using an indoor potty, never put the pad inside the small crate space. I don't know if that's what you are asking about, but just making sure you know to avoid that. Putting a pee pad in a small crate space with pup can lead to pup loosing their natural desire to keep a confined space clean, which would result in pup going potty in small spaces long term - like when they need to travel, are injured and being crated or confined at the vet's, as well as resulting in pup not caring to keep your home as clean also - because pup holding their bladder while in the rest of your home is related to that natural desire to keep a confined space clean that pup generalizes to the rest of your home during the potty training process. Instead, for inside potty training, use something a bit bigger and more open, like an exercise pen, so pup can go potty on the pad on one end and sleep on a non-absorbent bed, like www.primopads.com or k9ballistics crate mats on the opposite end. Exercise pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy If you are wanting to use a crate to teach pup to go potty on a pad not inside the crate, then follow the crate Training method from the article I have linked above, the article with the exercise pen method - you will find a section in that article for using a crate to teach an indoor potty also. If you are wanting to train pup to go potty outside and wanting to use a crate to train that, then check out the Crate Training method from the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

June 21, 2022


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