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Pet owners love Chihuahuas for their sassy personalities, adorable faces, and high energy. Incredibly smart and vigilant, these pint-sized pooches make good watchdogs and companions. But are Chihuahuas hard to train?
Chihuahuas are intelligent creatures, which means they can follow instructions. But these clever dogs also possess a bit of a rebellious nature, which means you may have trouble getting your pup to follow orders.
Are you on the verge of acquiring a Chihuahua pup and wondering how hard it will be to train one? Read on for our Chihuahua training tips.
The Chihuahua, a national symbol of Mexico, is the smallest dog breed in the world and one of the oldest breeds in the Americas. These pooches may be tiny, but they have larger-than-life personalities. They are outgoing, alert, confident, and sometimes fierce, especially when they feel that their owner is being threatened.
Compact and attentive, Chihuahuas are popular “purse dogs” and make perfect city pets. They are loyal and protective, becoming mistrustful of other animals and unfamiliar humans. Because they are prone to aggression (and have delicate bones), these tiny doggos may not be suitable for homes with small children.
Chihuahuas have a loving nature and want nothing more than to spend time with their owners. They will cuddle up next to you on the couch, follow you from room to room, and happily curl up in your tote bag as you go about your day. They are content and happy as long as they get enough quality time with you.
But while these teeny dogs are smart and generally amiable, Chihuahua owners often struggle with training. Can you really train a Chihuahua? And how?
Are Chihuahuas trainable?
Chihuahuas have an independent streak. They’re more stubborn than eager-to-please and, like similarly sized dog breeds, they tend to have “small dog syndrome.”
Without proper training, a Chihuahua can be quite bossy and will act like he’s the leader of the pack. If you let him, your clever pooch will think of himself as the alpha and will be impossible to train.
According to the American Kennel Club, Chihuahuas are quick learners. This enables them to compete in doggy activities and to excel in obedience training. It should also make training fun, as long as you know what you’re doing.
One of the most important things to remember when training a Chihuahua is that you need to be firm. Chihuahuas are cute and charming, which is how they often get their way.
But if you want to make a good companion of your Chihuahua, your pup needs to learn the ground rules. You need to establish the fact that you’re the one in charge. You will definitely encounter some resistance, so keep the following tips in mind:
How to train a Chihuahua
- Start your dog’s training from an early age. While it may be hard to be firm with such a cute and tiny dog, you should never let your Chihuahua pup get away with behavior that would be unacceptable in an adult dog.
- Be firm but gentle. Chihuahuas can be sensitive. They will not respond well to punishment or harsh tones.
- Use positive approaches and rewards-based training techniques. Rewards can include praise, petting, doggie treats, and food. Control the amount of food and treats you give your pup, as obesity can lead to joint issues, high blood pressure, and a shorter lifespan.
- Limit each training session to about 15 minutes. This keeps your dog from getting bored.
- Work with one command per training session.
- If your pooch is having trouble keeping up, stay calm. Don’t scold or make a big fuss about it. If you do, you’ll only stress him out and make him harder to train.
- When potty training a Chihuahua, remember that these are tiny dogs with tiny bladders. They will definitely be more prone to accidents than larger breeds, especially as pups with little bladder control.
- Some pet owners choose to train their Chihuahuas to pee outside. Remember that these small dogs have short coats and are less tolerant of the cold weather than dogs with more fur.
- Instead of training him outdoors, where it may be too cold for your pup, you may want to potty train him inside with pads. Teach your dog to use absorbent training pads and reward him every time he gets it right.
- If you want to control your Chihuahua’s incessant barking, consider using a training collar. But keep in mind that it may be difficult to find a training collar that’s the right size for dogs this tiny.
- Be careful when using leashes and collars during training. Chihuahuas have small windpipes that can be easily damaged by sharp jerks on a leash.
- Don’t yank on the leash or yell at your pup if he pulls on it during your walks. When he does, simply stop walking. When he stops pulling, praise him and resume your walk.
Are Chihuahuas hard to train? It depends on your level of commitment, patience, and focus. If you have any Chihuahua training tips, please share them with us!