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I just got a 12 week old pup and I am having trouble house...

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Question by chicho
Submitted on 2/9/2004
Related FAQ: rec.pets.dogs: Chihuahuas Breed-FAQ
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I just got a 12 week old pup and I am having trouble house training. Is this usually a problem for this bread?

Answer by chimama
Submitted on 2/19/2004
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Chihuahuas aren't any easier or harder to train than other breeds in my experience.  I have heard that they can be harder to train, especially males, so perhaps I have been more than normally lucky.

Both my girls were trained to use a litter tray from the day I got them at eight weeks old.  This made it easier for them to be alone all day, meant they didn't have to try to hold it for hours.  Also, as I live in Minnesota, seven months out of the year I'd have to put the tiny dog outside in the snow and cold.  No way, if it's too cold for me to be outside barefoot it's too cold for them.  

I didn't use a crate, I kept them in my bathroom which has a tile floor for easy cleanup.  They had their bedbox with blankie, food and water and a clean litter tray.  They like clumping cat litter, never had either of them eat it, but my alpha Gremlin is very fussy and won't use the box if it has more than two pee pee clumps in it.  She will go to the box, look at me as if to say "You want me to go in there?  It's Dirty!" and wait until I remove the offensive material.  My beta Nixie doesn't seem to care if I ever clean her tray.  They use separate trays because 1) I had Gremlin for a year before I got Nixie so she had to have a litter tray available in the main part of the house while Nixie was in the bathroom and 2) she's alpha and won't share.  In each case, they stayed in the bathroom at night and when I was gone during the day.  Once they were reliable, and at least six months old, they were allowed out into the larger part of the house.  They are not allowed in the living room and likely never will be unless I am there, and they are not allowed in my bedroom unless I am there in bed.

Training requires consistency, take puppy to the place you want them to go when they wake up, after they eat, after they play, before they go to sleep, if it's been at least an hour since the last attempt.  If you can catch them in the act in the wrong place, take them to the right place.  If you find an accident after the fact, just clean it up, the dog doesn't remember so yelling doesn't help, just frightens them.  My Gremlin will now go on command, makes it easy to take her places since she 'goes' before we leave.  This took a long time to accomplish, Nixie still doesn't do it but then she's more shy and prefers privacy.

I nearly always suggest investing in the book Chihuahuas for Dummies, the best book I have on the care and training of these adorable creatures.


Answer by Dakota
Submitted on 6/4/2004
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House training a chi, according to veterinarians, takes up to 1 year.  My chihuahua became house trained in 5 months by just not being lazy.  I woke up and first thing is take her outside and say "potty".  STAY OUT THERE until they have gone potty, praise with a pet, and go inside.  Don't be afraid to stick it nose in it's mess inside and soy no.  Once s/he knows that it made you mad, put s/he outside and say potty.  Give it a few months.  They will catch on.  


Answer by new  proud owner
Submitted on 6/11/2004
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I'm sorry DAKOTA, I must say I completely disagree with you when you say don't be afraid to put his nose in it. That is the wrong way to go. Dogs don't make the connection. All they understand when you put their nose in the mess is "My poop or pee made them mad" then they'll just go and hide it, like going under a bed. They'll think that pooping or peeing is bad period! Never confront them after the fact, they will not understand. You have to catch them in the act. Simply clap your hands and say something like "peepee in litter or peepee outside" and bring them to the spot where you want them to go. If they've gone in the house where you didn't want them to go, suck it up, clean up and try to catch them next time.


Answer by Pam
Submitted on 8/2/2004
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I have to disagree with DAKOTA also.  You don't potty train a child by sticking their nose in their mess.  Dogs have feelings too.  I have an 8 month old male chi and it wasn't easy training, he understood more as he got older.  Especially when more than one person is doing it.  One person should the training.  You have to use the same words.  When I was home, I did everything for my dog.  That way he had one set of directions.  My dog just all of a sudden started going when and where he was suppose to.  And if you don't catch them in the act, oh well.... No need to punish them later.  A lot of praise and love will do the trick. Prior to 6 months of age, it is really difficult.  After that, you can teach them anything.


Answer by Nrthngal
Submitted on 12/3/2004
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I have to agree with new proud owner, as I have two Chi's that are now 8 months old and am still fighting the daily grind of where and where not to go! This takes alot of patience with the owner, not the dog. They do not understand why they are being yelled at nor will wiping their noses in what they just left on the floor. All that does is tell them to hide it next time and before long when you find that mountain of umm  shall we say dumps, under your bed or sofa will you see that it wont work! Catch em in the act is what works!! Yelling at this breed will make matters worse, treat them as children, be patient, if that patience runs too thin with this breed, you have the wrong animal for your lifestyle! Chi's are adorable small pets that want you with them all the time, and if they have that with, you have a friend for life! It will happen at your dogs own pace. Love them and the rewards will later pay, isnt that what humans want too?


Answer by nancye
Submitted on 4/5/2006
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I guess my Chi is just smarter than me.  He is great at hiding it.  He goes under my daughter's bed and in our basement.  I never see him returning or heading that way.  I also kept him in small areas until I got him on a schedule and continue to monitor and take him out as my schedule allows.  I want to allow him to run and be free.  Catching him in the act would be ideal.  On occasion I have and have taken him outside etc.  But...  He know better!  Our problem seems to be with him telling me he needs to go out.  If I ask and yes I do regularly, he always wants to go out-no matter whether he needs to potty.   Help!  Dog is smart enough to know he shouldn't.  I need to train dog, not just me.  He is one year old and should be getting the hang of it.  God only know how much pee is hiding everywhere.  


Answer by Tiffany
Submitted on 5/12/2006
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I have a 6 month chihuahua and ive had her for a while i first trained her with puppy pads and she goes on those fine but now i want to get her to go outside but when i take her out she never goes and then will when we come back in the house..and she doesnt like to use the bathroom when it is cold outside what do i do?


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