So, the time has come to begin the task of training your Chihuahua! Obviously, it’s best to focus on what works, but it’s also a good idea to understand a little about what doesn’t. This article reveals four common Chihuahua training mistakes that owners make, and how to avoid them.
- 1 Reinforcing Bad or Dominant Behaviour
- 2 Chihuahua Housebreaking – The Simple Method
- 3 Chihuahua Health Problems – 4 To Look For
- 4 Chihuahua Puppy Training Tips for A Superstar Dog
- 5 Chihuahua Aggression – 3 Tips to Stop Aggression
- 6 Chihuahua Barking – No More Yappy Happy
- 7 Chihuahua Marking – 5 Effective Techniques
Reinforcing Bad or Dominant Behaviour
It’s crazy how many times Chihuahua owners reinforce dominant or bad Behaviour, without even realizing it. Think about the simple action of stepping over your Chi lying in the corridor, instead of moving them.
This may not seem like a big deal; your dog is very small and stepping over it isn’t difficult. It’s probably even easier and quicker than going to the trouble of making them get up. But, in doing so you have given them a reason to believe that you consider the corridor your dog’s territory, which helps prove to them that they are alpha, or number one in your household.
That’s not to say that if, on the odd occasion, you step over a well behaved, submissive Chihuahua that they are going to become dominant and problematic, they probably won’t. But, if your dog is unsure of its status in your household, or has only recently joined your family, it will be looking to you for clues that will tell it what it’s position is in the pack.
So, always make sure that you are aware always of what you are doing and whether your actions will reinforce bad or dominant Behaviour. The example I gave above leads me to the next point…
Not Establishing Yourself as Pack Leader
Dogs are pack animals. It’s etched into their DNA, even your Chihuahua’s. Every pack has a lead dog, the rest are followers. The lead dog, or alpha dog, is very strong and confident. He must be or he’ll be challenged by the other dogs in the pack for leadership if they detect any weakness.
This is something you really need to be aware of and understand before you begin training your dog. Lack of a basic understanding about pack instincts and alpha dog leadership can make training a dog, especially a dominant one, a very frustrating and lengthy process.
If you don’t establish yourself as pack leader right from the word go, all attempts to train your dog will be pretty much unsuccessful. Weeks could go by without them learning a thing as their concentration won’t be on you, it will be on themselves and what is going on around them.
They will constantly be distracted by other dogs or people and may yap or growl at them in an attempt to show them their dominance. And, if you do manage to get them used to walking on the leash, they will probably stop every few seconds to smell or scent mark everything in their path.
You need to get your dog’s attention and gain his respect and the only way to do that is to show him that you are the top dog.
There are many ways to do this but it’s best to lay down the rules and get your leadership role sorted out in the home first. For starters, make sure your dog shows good manners when you feed him and don’t allow him to leap up on the sofa to sit next to you without an invitation first. Always have your dog walk through doorways or gates with you or after you, and don’t let him jump up on you or your visitors.
You might not think that showing a Chihuahua you are its pack leader is important because they are so small, but don’t let size influence you. Like any other dog they will only pay attention to you if they respect you, and you will only get that respect if they see you as being a strong and confident pack leader.
Rewarding Good Behaviour Too Late
The quickest way to train a dog and establish positive Behaviour habits is to praise and reward good Behaviour. This is done by giving them a treat, a pat or vocal praise when they display good Behaviour or listen, understand, and act correctly when given a command.
If your dog does something correctly but you reward him a minute later, he will not associate the reward with the Behaviour. You must be ready to praise and reward your dog immediately he displays the correct Behaviour or obeys a command.
Lack of Consistency
Your dog needs you to be consistent so he is never confused about how he should behave. Show him that you are not going to be lenient once he has learned a new positive Behaviour, no matter what.
This means that you cannot allow your dog to get away with something one day and then pull him up on it the next. Correcting him when he does something wrong only when have time, or when you feel like it, doesn’t work and will only confuse your dog.
In conclusion, practice daily, twice if possible, everything you teach your Chi during training. Short sessions of between 5 to 20 minutes are best to keep him interested and keen to learn more. If you establish your authority, reward good Behaviour and remain consistent in your Chihuahua training you can look forward to becoming the proud owner of a dog you can trust to be well behaved and good mannered at all times.
Chihuahua Housebreaking – The Simple Method
Do you own a notorious Chihuahua that you are finding next to impossible to housebreak? Are you sick of your dog using the floor as its own personal toilet?
Chihuahua housebreaking may seem like an impossibly challenging and daunting task however, with the right knowledge and some good old-fashioned elbow grease, teaching your dog the right place to use as a potty can be a straightforward process.
This article will show you a dead simple method to go about house training your Chihuahua. So stop stressing and start breaking today!
Just in case you ended up reading this article without being up to speed with the definition of housebreaking, basically this term is used to describe the process of teaching a dog to eliminate outside the house, rather than in it.
When it comes to picking the location for your dog to use as a potty, I almost always recommend having an outdoor area for elimination, rather than an indoor one such as paper or a litter box. But the choice is up to you.
Consistency is the key to teaching your Chihuahua to eliminate in the dedicated potty spot. If you want them to use outdoors as the toilet, then you will need to focus on getting them to eliminate in the exact same spot for a period of time between 1 – 3 weeks, depending on how quickly your dog learns.
Don’t keep changing spots or locations during this time, otherwise you can slow the whole housebreaking process down dramatically.
You should be looking for tell-tale warning signs that they’re about to do their “business”. Such things as circling around a spot or lifting their leg are primary indicators.
Once you see these warning signs, quickly go over to your dog, gently pick them up and take them to the location you have chosen for their toilet. Then once they have finished eliminating, reward them with both praise and a treat. This will help condition your Chihuahua to use outside as a toilet and also help to link eliminating outside to pleasure (reward).
This method will need to be repeated every single day until you notice that they actually want to go outside when they need to eliminate. As I said, this will take both time and energy on your part but it’s the quickest way to potty train a Chihuahua I know about. Expect results anywhere between 1 – 3 weeks.
To help this process along, you should also set up some routines for elimination. First thing in the morning you should take your dog outside for a toilet break, then again at lunch time or during the afternoon.
The last toilet break should occur just before you go to bed. You may need to take your dog on more frequent toilet breaks if they are very young, so adapt and change this routine as you see fit.
This article has revealed some key insights into Chihuahua housebreaking. You may need to read through this text a few times to really understand the whole process, but once you do make sure you take action on what you’ve learned to start seeing quick results!
Chihuahua Health Problems – 4 To Look For
So you’re looking for information about Chihuahua health problems? Well, you’ve come to the right place.
No breed of dog has perfect health and all suffer from various breed specific problems.
Knowing the health dangers that could possibly plague your Chihuahua will help you to know what symptoms to be aware of and what to do about them.
In this article I will be talking about the common problems that Chihuahua’s suffer from. This information will help expand your knowledge about this breed and keep your Chihuahua happy and healthy for the long term.
First of all, if you are only at the stage of thinking about getting a Chihuahua then I advice you to buy from a reputable breeder if possible, and one who has their dogs thoroughly health checked by a veterinarian prior to breeding.
Responsible breeders do all they can to ensure their puppies are strong and healthy, and although sometimes some problems are detected after breeding, they will not deliberately breed weak animals or those that could pass on genetic defects to their offspring.
Problem One – Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia is a condition where the blood sugar levels of a dog will drop substantially. This can occur if your dog takes in less calories than what it requires for its basic energy needs for that day.
It can cause a variety of symptoms such as convulsions, shivering, disorientation and also seizures. If this condition is not diagnosed and treated quickly, your dog could lapse into a coma and in extreme cases death can result.
This condition is common in Chihuahua’s because of its tiny stomach, which can limit the amount of food it can ingest. If you notice your dog acting strangely, such as withdrawn, disorientated and dizzy, give them a sugar based snack and take them to the nearest veterinary clinic.
To prevent this problem from occurring you will need to have regular meals scheduled throughout the day to maintain blood sugar levels. Also make certain you don’t forget to feed them as the consequences can be tragic.
Problem Two – Patella Luxation
Patella Luxation is another problem that makes it onto the common Chihuahua health problems list. This is a dislocation of the kneecap. The problem can range in levels of discomfort from mild to crippling.
It can often be genetically related but is also a result of your dog jumping from a height and landing in a manner that results in over-exertion and the kneecap sliding out.
It’s important to get this problem checked out as soon as you notice something wrong with the way your dog is walking. If left in an untreated state your dog can experience further joint damage, arthritis, and lameness. Treatment options vary but surgery is almost always needed to correct this problem.
Problem Three – Tracheal Collapse
This problem is common amongst small breeds like Chihuahua’s because of their delicate cartilage rings that are responsible for holding open their fragile airways. Symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing and fatigue. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your pet immediately to the vet for diagnosis and treatment.
To avoid Tracheal Collapse it helps to have them wear a harness instead of a collar. This quick fix can work wonders at preventing this condition. But it’s not the only cause so always keep a watchful eye on your dog and make sure it’s in a healthy condition.
Problem Four – Eye Infections
With their big curious eyes, Chihuahua’s are often prone to both injuries and infections. Make it a habit of checking your dogs eyes each day for signs of redness, infection, or dirt.
Carefully washing their eyes with a few drops of a saline solution is also recommended for injuries. If you notice any difference in their eyes, outside the normal range, take them to the vet as soon as you can to avoid further Chihuahua problems with the eye occurring.
While there are many minor ailments you can safely treat at home yourself, if you feel at all concerned about your Chi’s health don’t put off taking him or her to the vet. Keep in mind too that there are plenty of things you can do to prevent many common health issues that dogs suffer from like gum disease and skin or digestive problems.
As a general rule they are healthy, strong little dogs and most Chihuahua health problems are usually no different to those that other breeds suffer from. Invest in a health guide, one that gives you advice you can trust. The Ultimate Guide To Dog Health is excellent and could save you several trips to the vet over the lifetime of your dog.
Chihuahua Puppy Training Tips for A Superstar Dog
The Chihuahua is the smallest of dog breeds in the world and training them is known to be a challenging task as well as a highly rewarding one.
In this Chihuahua puppy training article I’m going to share with you the most important things your pup needs to learn and offer some tips, tricks and advice that will help you begin training him or her in a no fuss manner.
Ready to get started? Let’s go…
Tip One – Start Training Quickly
It’s easy to walk down the street and spot the Chihuahua that hasn’t been trained. Its usually yapping non-stop, nipping at people and other animals, and terrorizing just about anything that moves. Untrained Chihuahuas can be summed up by using one word…brats!
However, as annoying as undisciplined little dogs can be, it’s really not their fault. It’s up to their owners to make sure they get the guidance and training they need, but too often this is neglected.
Unfortunately many small dogs, not only Chihuahuas, often develop very serious Behavioural issues because their owners see training as being unnecessary.
Chi’s can be incredibly well-mannered and obedient with training, but its always much easier when they are very young, so start as soon you bring your puppy home.
Tip Two – Be Firm but Gentle
Being so small, this breed of dog will need to be handled with some extra tender loving care while you are training them, but this does not mean you allow them to walk all over you or boss you about!
Instead be firm, but gentle at the same time. All general dog training tips will apply to a Chihuahua as long as you remember this rule.
Tip Three – Make Your Dog A Social Superstar
Socializing your Chihuahua while it’s still a puppy is very important and should not be something you neglect. To socialize your dog you will need to expose it to many different and varied social situations.
Ensure that it also gets plenty of contact with humans outside of family members or friends and plenty of interaction with other, well behaved dogs.
Always keep an eye on your puppy and take socializing slowly. Make sure that you gradually introduce it to new situations. This is far more effective than suddenly surrounding it with lots of people, noisy traffic or large, active and unruly dogs too early on.
Given time your Chi’s confidence will grow. It will become a much sought after playmate at the local dog park, a friend to all he or she meets when out on walks…and maybe even the next doggie superstar.
Tip Four – Don’t Forget To Housebreak!
Housebreaking your Chihuahua is one very important subject that you just cannot ignore. Well, it’s actually hard to ignore if your dog is using the house as a potty!
There are various ways to housebreak your puppy, however I recommend crate training if your pup is over 8 weeks of age.
Tip Five – Tame That Noisy Bark
It seems the smaller dogs are, the more noise they make, and Chihuahuas are known for being yappy. However, total silence is not the goal for controlling your puppy’s barking.
This is not only unwise, but also close to impossible to achieve, and actually very cruel. Dogs need to bark to express themselves, it’s only when they do so excessively that barking should be considered a problem.
Apart from aggression, excessive nuisance barking is one of the most commonly complained of problems amongst dog owners, and their neighbors, but it can be addressed through specific training. However, there are a several things you can do now to prevent excessive barking from ever becoming a problem.
Show your puppy, from the moment you bring it home, that you are in charge. Teach it simple obedience commands like sit, stay, leave it, come, heal etc. With some basic training comes respect, and any unwanted yapping can quickly be stopped with a firm “no” or “stop barking” command. Clicker training is an enjoyable, quick and extremely effective way to train puppies.
Also from day one, if you need to leave your puppy by itself during the day, make sure it has plenty of food, water, stimulating toys to play with and allow time for a long walk or a game to tire it out before you go. Barking releases stress for dogs that are bored or have pent up energy from lack of exercise, and it can develop into a habit that is very hard to break, so ensure your puppy is content and relaxed before you leave.
I hope you have found my Chihuahua puppy training tips helpful. All Chihuahuas have superstar potential, but can very easily turn into super brats without proper training.
Be gentle but firm, and your Chi will grow up to be a respectful, well-mannered and obedient little superstar that will keep you and your family entertained for many years to come.
Chihuahua Aggression – 3 Tips to Stop Aggression
Aggressive Behaviour should always be taken seriously whether your dog is a large breed or a tiny Chihuahua. Aggression in small dogs, like Chihuahuas, is quite common, and while not always the case, the reason is often because their snarling, growling and/or biting isn’t taken seriously enough by their owners.
They either assume that their little dog isnt capable of causing much damage, or worse, think that their Behaviour is in some way cute and because of this will often refuse to do anything about it.
If your Chihuahua’s aggression has become a problem and you are here to find out what you can do to stop it, then good on you!
This article will show you three effective tips to help make your Chihuahua’s aggressive Behaviour a thing of the past!
Tip One – Make Sure Your Chihuahua Knows Who the Big Boss Is
Often a Chihuahua will act aggressively because it thinks it’s the boss, or the alpha dog. Dominant Behaviour will almost always lead to aggression in this or any breed of dog. If your dog is acting like the he’s the boss, it’s time to show him who the top dog really is!
You must be dominant over your Chihuahua and show him that you are someone who commands respect, at all times. This doesn’t mean that you need to be mean to your dog or yell at him. It just means not allowing him to gets his way with everything and behaving however he wants.
For instance, if you don’t want your dog to sleep on your bed, don’t allow it. If you need to walk down a hallway and your dog is in the way, don’t just step over or around him, insist he get’s up and moves out of your way. When feeding your dog get him to sit patiently and wait quietly while you are preparing his food.
Tip Two – Don’t Accidentally Reinforce Bad or Aggressive Behaviour
Many times owners will accidentally reinforce unwanted aggressive Behaviour without even knowing it.
For example, when someone knocks on your door and your dog starts barking, growling and carrying on, do you pick him up before you open the door? Do you get upset or make a fuss about all the noise your dog is making as you answer the door? Maybe you pat your dog and try to calm him down with a soothing voice? All of this is reinforcing negative Behaviour.
Don’t ignore any aggressive Behaviour either. Your Chihuahua is small so unlike large dogs its easy to just pick them up, rather than deal with or check their aggression properly.
All dog owners need to learn how to deal with canine aggression, and bring it under control quickly. Your Chihuahua might not seem like much of a threat to anyone but despite his size he can still bite very hard and cause quite a bit of damage if he wants to.
Tip Three – Don’t Underestimate The Importance Of Socialization
Neglecting to expose dogs to many different social situations when they are puppies is a big mistake as they can grow up feeling scared, frustrated and unsure around other dogs, animals and people.
The process of socialization should be kicked off when they are young. Take your puppy with you wherever you go, even if it’s just a quick trip down the road.
Don’t take a very young puppy where there is a lot of noise or huge crowds. A quiet park is ideal to start off with. Let people pat your puppy, but do not allow small children that are noisy and excited to crowd around and frighten your young pup.
These three tips for dealing with Chihuahua aggression will help, but put them into action as soon as possible, before your dog hurts someone!
Chihuahua Barking – No More Yappy Happy
Chihuahua’s have a reputation amongst dog breeds to be overly vocal. If your dog is too “yappy happy” for your liking, there are specific steps you can take to stop Chihuahua barking problems before they get totally out of hand.
If you’re thinking that by reading this article you will silence your dog completely, you’re going to be disappointed. Expecting your Chihuahua never to bark again is not only an impossible expectation but one that is also cruel.
Dogs communicate via barking just like we communicate through talking. Can you imagine someone stopping you from speaking ever again? Of course not!
Okay, are you ready for some no more “yappy happy” tips? Here we go…
Tip One – Zero In On The Cause
After a quick observation it may seem as if a Chihuahua’s barking is stimulated by just about everything. This includes dogs passing the front gate, during dinner time, at loud noises and even at a piece of rubbish blowing by in the wind!
But, if you dig a bit deeper, to zero in on the cause, you should find specific triggers that cause the barking. Once you’ve found the cause you can better plan and map out solutions for solving the problem.
Tip Two – Use Your “Quiet” Command
Your dog needs to know when they are doing something wrong. One of the best ways to do this is to practice your “quiet” command. This should be said in a firm, powerful, and strong tone as soon as your dog barks and it must be continually repeated each time they bark. The “quiet” command by itself can work magic but more often than not it will be an incomplete tool unless you also add positive reinforcement to it.
Use the “quiet” command when they bark and as soon as they stop barking give them positive praise and reward them with a treat. When you use both these techniques together the whole is more powerful than a single part and combined together this tip is very powerful.
Tip Three – Ready, Aim..Spray!
Carry a small water pistol when you’re around your dog and as soon as they bark, spray them . Try to aim at the mouth if possible for more emphasis. As you spray them say your “quiet” command at the same time. Most dogs dislike being sprayed so this can be quite effective when nothing else is working.
Tip Four – Get Your Dog on Instagram
Sorry, I am just kidding about the Instragram account, but you should definitely socialize your dog as early in their life as possible. Exposure to various animals (not only dogs) and people will help them become more tolerable to differences and feel more comfortable overall. This will also help them to stop barking at other animals, something many Chihuahua’s are renowned for.
Tip Five – Don’t Act Like Rocky
I am sure if a Chihuahua started getting “yappy happy” at Rocky, he would get angry, yell, and maybe even give the dog bit of a tap or a smack on the bottom. This is not the way to stop a Chihuahua barking and if you choose this method, your dog will likely retaliate, ignore, or completely withdraw from you.
Oh, and they will likely keep on barking, so please use some of the tips you learned in this article to keep your Chihuahua from being Yappy Happy.
Chihuahua Marking – 5 Effective Techniques
Is your Chihuahua marking its territory, spraying your furniture and lifting its leg up on anything that doesn’t move? This is classical Behaviour to stake their territory, communicate their gender and show their dominance.
It usually is not much of a problem if they are doing this outside the house, but if it’s inside you will never truly be at peace in your home.
This article will show you five very effective techniques to help stop scent marking in the home, once and for all. The quicker you learn the following techniques and put them into action, the sooner your house will be clean and clear once again.
Before you begin any training to stop marking you need to be aware that certain medical conditions can cause inappropriate urination so its best to have your dog vet checked first.
Technique One – Neutering
If you have a male dog that is showing signs of territorial marking and/or aggressive Behaviour towards animals and people, you must get it neutered. This is a simple, quick procedure that can resolve many unwanted dog Behavioural problems. While its a lot less common, female dogs also scent mark.
Spaying your female Chihuahua or neutering if it is a male will go a long way towards helping you get marking under control for when they are indoors, and the earlier you have this done the better. If you have a puppy your vet will advise you about the right age for this procedure.
Technique Two – Use Loud Sounds
Anytime you catch your dog lifting its leg in the house make a loud noise to scare and jolt it out of what it was about to do. You can clap your hands loudly, blow a whistle, or say “no” in a very stern voice.
It doesn’t matter how you produce the loud noise, just as long as it works to quickly interrupt what they’re doing and distract them from the act of spraying.
Take your dog outside quickly and do so without saying anything else, fussing, or getting angry. If its been a long term habit you may need to do this many times before your Chi understands that marking indoors is no longer acceptable.
Technique Three – Be “Mr” Or “Mrs” Dominant
Many dogs will mark their territory and spray to try to show everyone who is dominant in the family. You need to step up and display to them that you’re the dominant person in the house, not them.
You can show your dominance and let your Chihuahua know who is boss quite easily. For instance, don’t let them sleep on your bed, stop them from jumping up on people or licking their faces, and don’t let them whine and get their way with everything.
Once your Chihuahua acknowledges that you are in charge, scent marking due to dominance issues should disappear.
Technique Four – Constant Supervision
While you are training your dog not to spray, it’s important to keep them under constant supervision. If you leave them unsupervised they can continue to repeat this Behaviour without your knowledge. The more they do it, the more it becomes a habit, which can be difficult to break.
If you cannot supervise them, place them either in a crate or outside the house. When your dog starts to show signs that they can be trusted not to spray once you are not around, you can gradually allow them more free time. But until then keep a very watchful eye on them.
Technique Five – Clean Up Correctly
Use a black light to highlight all the places around the house where your dog has urinated. This type of light source will reveal where your Chihuahua has sprayed.
Once you’ve found the spots it’s time to clean up using the correct cleaning agents. Avoid ammonia as it can smell similar to urine. Also make sure to completely remove all traces of urine otherwise your dog will continue to mark the same spot.
Start using these five effective tips today and you will soon discover that the problem of your Chihuahua marking everything in the home will be a thing of the past.