Trials Of Chihuahua Toilet Training
Chihuahua toilet training can be difficult. Stephanie and new puppy Bryher tell us how they cracked it.
One of the most frustrating experience for any chi owner is chihuahua toilet training, and just when you sit back and rejoice in the fact that you have Doctor Dolittle skills in puppy training, you notice that wet patch behind the sofa that shows you that your job is not over.
So perhaps it was just one little accident that you can let slide. Unfortunately not, because as soon as chis realise they can sneak their toilet into the lovely warm home without having to brave the rain, wind and snow outside, it becomes a bad habit which is difficult to correct and requires another round of housebreaking.
It is a known fact that chihuahua toilet training is difficult, they may blame their tiny bladders or the fact that puppies haven’t developed their tiny internal organs muscles to be strong enough for reliable control, but all chi owners will secretly believe it’s stubbornness. When a home is so warm and cosy, no chi in their right mind would want to brave the elements just to go to the toilet!
Starting Training Straightaway
When I first brought my baby girl, Bryher, home, all my dog owning friends told me to start potty training straightaway. In the first twelve months of a puppy’s life, their brains develop at an incredible pace, which makes it much easier to instal routines, consistency and rules that will stay with them throughout their adult life.
Armed with plenty of newspaper and the ultra-glamorous dog urine cleaner, I set to work. I started with reward-based training. I’d make sure I ignored of her persistent instructions to play, which is so difficult and when she went or at least sniffed properly, I’d make a big fuss and reward her with a foodie treat.
Unfortunately, training wasn’t that simple; there were still puddles and accidents in the house. As we all know chihuahuas want to please us, so not getting frustrated was difficult. It was hard to give a stern ‘No’ command when her innocent little face was staring up at me, which is why I can’t understand how people can give a physical punishment to their darlings, my Bryher would just be scared and pee on the floor even more.
Understanding Body Language
For bigger dogs, it is much easier to spot the tell-tale toilet signs, but unless I’m watching my chi like a hawk it is difficult, she can squat in seconds before I’ve even realised. For eight weeks, I’ve been told to watch her carefully to depict her toilet behaviours and understand timings, and it worked. I realised she was sniffing and going at the same spot she went on yesterday.
Clearly, my cleaning skills aren’t up to scratch as she could still smell the pee from yesterday and that was an indicator as to where to go. I found ‘Pee Posts’ and ‘Training Spray’ to put in the garden and from learning my error, tried to make sure she knew exactly where to go. I’d walk her up to the post, as a way of showing her, this was her toilet, and once she’d been, I gave her a treat. Now she can smell the place, and this reminds her that this is where she needs to go. Luckily for me, this is now in the garden and not the living room!
Because accidents still happened at night, I popped a puppy training pad near the back door which she is now realising is the only place she can pee at night and this has worked really well. You can buy these from Amazon or any good pet shop, and if there is an accident they are really good for mopping up, and if you are quick they can pull the wet out from the carpet without staining.
I’m hoping we have it nailed now; I know that she needs to go as soon as she wakes up and 20 minutes after food and even if she doesn’t show signs I pop her outside regularly as I’ve seen that exercise can induce toilet needs.
If that doesn’t work then my next tactic is crate training as no chi wants a toilet in their bedroom! I worry that a crate will feel like a prison for my little girl, but my chi friends have reassured me that it actually is a secure and safe place that they enjoy spending time there.
Can You Help?
If you have any toilet training tips to help my journey and let my pup and I master this once and for all, please let me know!
You may also like to read Peeing etiquette