How to toilet train your chihuahua.
Chihuahuas are notoriously hard to toilet train. We get more questions about this than almost anything else apart from barking! There are a couple of issues that can make it difficult to toilet train your chihuahua: Their reluctance to get cold or wet and the fact they can be a little stubborn.
Modern training methods has moved away from the ‘rub their nose in it’ aggressive style to a more reward based positive reinforcement. Your chihuahua will generally want to please you and once they understand that weeing outdoors or in the designated place is what you want they will try to get it right. But it can seem to take a long time for chihuahuas to pick this up.
Your chi will search for a surface that they are used to going on, if that’s a hard floor then this is what they will look for. If you get your chihuahua as a puppy, the chances are that they will have been pee pad trained by the breeder. Even better if the breeder has been taking them out on the grass as most of the work will have been done for you.
Your chi will need to wee about 3-4 times during the day, and can be expected to hold their poo & wee for an hour for every month old they are to the maximum of 8 hours. But I feel expecting your dog not to go to the toilet for this long is unreasonable (unless it is overnight) and could lead to bladder problems.
First, it is vital that you never shout or display anger or upset when your chi has an accident in the house. Going to the toilet is natural to your dog and if you start shouting or making him anxious about it you could end up with him eating his feaces to hide it.
If an accident occurs then ignore it and clean it up calmly. If he comes in from the garden and pees in the house then he simply has not understood what’s required of him.
Timing is everything
Toilet training your chihuahua needs to start with maintaining a regular schedule of toilet breaks. If your chi is a puppy then every hour to start with. This means going out at regular intervals so your chihuahua knows he will have access to the outdoors. As I tend to get engrossed in writing I sometimes miss the signs so I put an alert on my phone. (We need to develop a chi-wee app.)
If you are out at work all day then hopefully you have help who will take your chi out for a toilet break. No dogs should be left for more than 4 hours and chihuahuas find this especially difficult. Toilet training your chihuahua will be more difficult if you are not home and able to work with her.
If you have rescued your chihuahua you might not know what her background is, or what her expectations are. Under these circumstances it is important to start with a schedule and keep to it calmly. She is already going to be stressed without more upset over toilet accidents.
Learn to read the signs
Chihuahuas, like all dogs will display certain behaviours when they need to go to the toilet. Walking around in circles, sniffing the ground or staring at you. Being able to read her body language will help with learning how to toilet train your chihuahua. There is a definite toilet etiquette that all dogs follow.
You can also be certain that he will need to toilet after:
- Eating or drinking
Pee pad & litter trays
It is possible to toilet train your chihuahua to use a pee pad or a litter tray. If you live in an apartment then this might work for you. Make sure it is in the same place all the time, if you move it about she will find it confusing.