Whether you’re a fresh Chihuahua owner or an experienced one, we can all agree that Chihuahuas are difficult to potty train. In fact, Chihuahua potty training is one of the most difficult forms of dog training.
However, they’re still not hopeless! To potty train your Chihuahua in just a few short steps is entirely possible if you follow proper training procedures. Only then will success be guaranteed.
Don’t let their huge eyes and puppy face fool you. Your little guy or girl is perfectly capable of learning how to go potty on a puppy pad or outside.
They’re just stubborn and hate to admit it. That’s why they make house training a nightmare for humans.
The key to success is not using a harsh approach. What you should be doing is keeping yourself consistent and devoted. These feisty dogs will get on all your nerves, but you must keep a cool head.
That is if you want to stop the accidents and finally potty train your little friend. Well, if you think of how long your Chihuahua might be with you (12 to 20 years), potty training is a must.
When it comes to house breaking, it’s highly important to make sure your dog listens to you completely. How to achieve this, how to finally succeed in Chihuahua potty training, and more is coming up!
Potty Training A Chihuahua Puppy: Get Them To Listen
Chihuahuas are highly motivated dogs that love to please their owners. They don’t respond well to harsh treatment and punishment. In fact, it will only make them fear you and the potty training methods you’re using.
There is a huge difference between scolding and using a different tone when teaching your Chihuahua puppy about house-training. A serious voice is a must, and it should differ from your play voice.
Speak loudly and clearly, but don’t yell at them or even growl. Your pup needs to know when it’s time to play and when it’s time to learn.
The first thing you need to do is ensure your Chihuahua knows its name. Do they come when you call them? Do they turn their head towards you?
If not, then maybe it’s time to teach them their name. Just make sure it’s something awesome, okay?
The easiest way to teach your Chihuahua their name is by saying it and then gently touching their side to get their attention. Once your Chi makes eye contact, reward them with a treat and follow it by “good boy” or “good girl.”
Practice this daily until you’re aware your Chi knows its name. Also, you can use this approach when moving onto commands, even those when you tell them where to go potty.
When Should I Start Potty Training My Puppy?
Chihuahua potty training shouldn’t start too soon in puppyhood. You shouldn’t start with the training before your dog reaches six months of age. It’s around this time that they learn to control their bladder and bowel movements.
Anything under six months would just be a waste of time and extremely tiring for you and your Chi puppy. Relax, take your time, because puppies will get easier pretty soon.
How To Potty Train A Chihuahua
All training starts with a plan of action, including teaching your Chi where to go potty. House breaking shouldn’t be too hard, but it can become difficult from time to time, especially if you don’t have a schedule.
If you want your Chi puppy to go potty outside, you need to create a plan of action.
What you should avoid is implementing unrealistic expectations. Start with a simple schedule and work your way up. Success is guaranteed.
Set A Puppy Potty Training Schedule
Your puppy’s potty training schedule should be created around your household routines. You need to establish regular times to take your dog outside, i.e., first thing in the morning, after a meal, before bed, or if you’ve been out for too long.
Always use the same phrase, like “go potty,” and repeat it until you take the dog out.
If you notice signs that your dog needs to go potty, or if they suddenly disappear and zoom into another room, just follow them and take them outside before an accident happens. Prevention gets you halfway there!
Depending on your dog’s age, you should take the dog outside or to their designated area in the house in the following pattern:
• A two-month-old puppy – every 2 hours
• A three-month-old puppy – every 3 hours
• A four-month-old puppy – every 4 hours
• A five-month-old puppy – every 5 hours
Also, make sure to take your Chihuahua outside at specific times of the day, for example, after a meal. You should take your dog outside immediately upon waking up, twenty minutes before you leave the house, twenty minutes after a meal, and anytime they wake up from a nap.
Finally, the last potty break in the day should be at least twenty minutes before bed.
If you keep this schedule, you will find that Chihuahua potty training isn’t something you should be afraid of. But, if you do see an accident that’s about to happen, clap your hands, call for them, sing, laugh, whistle…
Do anything to distract the dog, and take them to the right spot immediately.
Alternative Methods To Potty Train A Chihuahua
Litter boxes for small dogs such as the Chihuahua have become popular recently. We’re not saying they’re the happiest option, but they’re an alternative you can use if you have no other choice.
Your other alternatives include pee pads that work the same way old newspapers do. Actually, some of these pads even have pheromones to help the dog realize where pooping and peeing are appropriate.
These pee pads can be found on Amazon and in all pet stores.
These alternatives are simply a must in areas where the climate conditions are just terrible; too hot or too cold.
How To Avoid Potty Training Accidents
Nobody loves to clean up dog poop or pee after an accident. That’s why supervision is a must when house training. You should keep a close eye on your dog so they don’t sneak away and do their business elsewhere.
Watch for your Chihuahua’s go potty signs, like sniffing around, circling, whining, barking, sniffing their behind, or pawing at the door. As soon as you notice this behavior, take them outside immediately to avoid unnecessary accidents.
When you can’t be with your dog while they’re being house trained, make sure to keep them in a closed room without a carpet, in a playpen, or even a crate. Just to be sure, put some puppy pads down in the room.
To manage house training successfully, you should keep your guard up, stay patient, and keep the consistency flowing. Provide your dog with a potty area, and your Chi will be house trained pretty quickly.
Accidents will happen; there’s no way to avoid them. But, as the training progresses, your Chi will become better and better.
However, to clean those accidents, you should use a mild detergent and some water, maybe even an enzyme spray.
Have these essentials always on hand when house training a Chihuahua.
Your dog must know that peeing outside the designated area is not good behavior. Over time, your pup will learn what dog behavior is right and what isn’t.
What you should never do is yell at your Chi during the potty training process. It will only cause your dog to become scared of you and the training methods you’re using.
How Long Does It Take To Potty Train A Chihuahua Puppy?
We’re all curious to find out the answer to the question, how long does Chihuahua potty training take?
So, how long does Chihuahua potty training last? If you follow all the tips and tricks for successful training and your dog listens to you, you can expect your Chihuahua’s potty training to last three to four weeks.
The training time varies greatly. Every dog is a story of its own.
What you should know is that you need to allow the dog’s bowel muscles and bladder to mature and become stronger. That’s why potty training shouldn’t start before the sixth-month milestone.
The more time you allow your dog to get ready for potty training, the more strength they will develop.
How To Stop Chihuahuas From Marking
Marking is one of those bad dog behaviors that get every dog owner frustrated and angry. This happens when a dog urinates in the house immediately after bringing them back inside after outside potty time.
Marking is a behavioral issue that shows that the bladder wasn’t completely empty. It’s a light spray of pee that dogs use to mark their territory in the house.
Marking can be stopped by using an enzyme cleaner in the area they usually strike. Another way to avoid marking is by placing their favorite toy in the area they mark the most to stop them from performing this unwanted behavior.
Patience, patience, and some more patience. This is the first thing you need to start Chihuahua potty training.
Are Chihuahuas Hard To Potty Train?
The biggest reason why Chihuahuas are hard to potty train is their temperament.
You’re a dog owner, the pack leader, and your Chi must know that. Only then will they overcome their stubborn streak. Along with stubbornness, there are other reasons why Chis are so hard to house train:
• The teacup small size of Chihuahuas makes them the perfect candidates to slip off and do their business elsewhere without being noticed.
• Chihuahuas come from Mexico, a land with a warm climate where they didn’t have to worry about outdoor conditions like rain, cold, wind, or snow. So, yes, that’s why they hate snow.
• Chihuahuas evolved as household pets, not as outdoor dogs.
• They’re small; they have a small body, and, therefore, a small bladder. Chihuahuas need to eliminate more often than any other larger dogs, so provide them lots of chances to relieve themselves often.
• Small dogs are vulnerable in the great outdoors. They might not feel safe and comfortable with neighborhood dogs barking, children playing, and traffic going by.
How To Potty Train Stubborn Dogs
Now that you know how stubborn Chihuahuas can be and why they act as they do, it’s time to learn some tricks that may help you tackle their stubborn attitude.
When potty training stubborn dogs, always make sure you:
• limit your dog’s access to the entire home
• use potty pads
• set up a feeding and napping schedule
• take them to have a potty break immediately after waking up and mealtime
• reward good behavior with a tasty treat
• send them to their crate until they learn to go potty in the right spot
• stay consistent
• clean up potty accidents immediately
• use a kind and supportive tone
The key to successfully training a stubborn puppy isn’t a magic wand, no matter how good that would be. You need to stay consistent and repeat the method you’re using until the dog catches up with what you’re doing.
Chihuahuas get nervous easily, so don’t lose your cool in front of them. It can be quite exhausting and devastating to go through the same process over and over again, only to see your Chi simply not getting it.
Just stick to the schedule and repeat until perfection!
Potty Training A Chihuahua In An Apartment: Indoor Vs. Outdoor Methods
Indoor Chihuahua potty training is the usual choice for Chihuahua owners because these dogs are so small. Just imagine indoor training a German Shepherd.
It wouldn’t be such a good idea, would it? Indoor training is also the only way to go for dog owners who don’t have an area outside they can designate as the potty area.
Still, many Chis will train much better and faster if you give them a chance to go potty outside. Whichever way you choose, you should always make sure there’s a designated spot your dog can go to.
Instead of training Your Chihuahua to go potty in the yard, you can set up an indoor area where he or she can relieve themselves.
Start potty training inside the house by placing some paper towels down to pick up the poop or the pee. You should save that paper towel. It does sound gross, but it will help you with the training.
Once your dog smells the paper towel in a specific place in the house, he or she will figure out that’s the place to go potty. First off, you cleaned the entire house, and secondly, that’s the only place that smells like them.
Let the dogs sniff the potty pad. Don’t distract or call them. Just be happy on the inside.
There are also puppy pads scented with pheromones that might tell your Chihuahua that’s the right place to do numbers one and two.
How To Potty Train A Puppy In The Winter
Wintertime is quite difficult for Chihuahua potty training. Bear in mind these dogs come from Mexico, where it’s always sunny and warm.
Summer is in their veins, even though your Chi puppy may be born and raised somewhere in the continental United States.
Winter can even be challenging for dog owners, so you’ll need to ensure you do everything you can to ease the potty training process: from cleaning the driveway to finding that potty spot your pup can’t find under all that snow.
However, there are cases of extreme cold when neither you nor your dog should go out. In such cases, make sure you stack up on those useful puppy training pads and wait for warmer days to start training.
When Chihuahua potty training in winter, make sure you put on a coat and dog boots on your pup and follow these tips:
• Teach your Chi to go quickly on cue and to hurry up. This means no sniffing around and no looking for squirrels! Don’t keep them in the cold too long.
• Make sure your regular path is clear. If possible, mark your dog’s regular potty spot to speed up the potty trips.
• Start adjusting your dog’s schedule in winter to prepare for potty breaks when the weather gets better.
• To avoid mess indoors, stack up on puppy pads!
Potty Training A Chihuahua Dog: Should I Use Treats?
Yes! Praise is a huge part of successful potty training. You need to teach your dog every pee or poop done in the right place is something great, and they should feel amazing for it.
Think of house training a Chi like potty training a toddler. Well, at least they’re equally stubborn. The better the reward for a job well done, the better they’ll work for it in the future.
Food motivates all dogs, so we see no reason not to reward them with a treat. Verbal and consumable rewards give the best results. Positive reinforcement is something all dogs respond well to.
They soon realize that what they are doing is good, so they’ll do it again to earn the rewards.
Chihuahua Crate Potty Training
At first, you may think: “Oh, no, my dog will NEVER be a crate train dog!” But, it’s not about a small dog being trapped inside something cruel and inhumane. Did you know that crates actually give them personal space and something to call home?
They feel secure when they’re in their crate, and they grow fond of being inside it. So, crate training is a good thing for both of you.
The reason why crates are so effective with potty-training is because you can confine them anytime you’re not watching.
Instead of hoping and praying your dog doesn’t do it inside the house, you can now be sure their crate will keep them from making a mess all over the place.
Most Chihuahuas won’t go potty in the same crate where they sleep. They will hold it and wait until you release them.
It’s a good thing, and it helps your Chi develop the necessary skills to hold their pee until they’re outside. The only thing you need to do is take them outside and make sure they don’t spend too much time in the crate.
The Condition Training Method
STEP 1 Set up potty pads and choose a place in your home where you can allow your Chihuahua to go potty. It should be a place you’re happy with not changing after the training. So, the middle of the living room is not an option, okay?
You can set one potty pad on the floor or put one on a potty pad holder or box, so your dog learns to use one every time he goes potty.
STEP 2 Learn to read the signs when your dog needs to go potty to successfully use the potty pad. You must take your Chi to the potty pad every time you see one of the potty signs, like sniffing or running in circles. Eventually, your dog will learn to go to the potty place all alone.
STEP 3 Learn when your Chi has to go potty during the day. Is it after meals? Before nap time?
STEP 4 The first thing you should do upon waking up is take your puppy to the puppy pad and tell him to go potty. Keep the command simple, and don’t change it until the dog learns to go potty.
STEP 5 A Chihuahua eats several times a day. They usually go potty soon after a meal. You should walk your dog to the designated area to use puppy pads as soon as he’s done eating to avoid accidents.
STEP 6 Chis sleep a lot during the day, so going potty after naps is a must. As soon as the dog wakes up, take him to the potty spot and reward him with some treats and playtime.
STEP 7 Puppies usually make it without an accident for an hour or so for every month of their age. Meaning, if you have a three-month-old puppy, he should be able to go three hours without an accident if he’s had no food or water. Once the hourly mark is up, you need to give the command to go potty.
STEP 8 Always reward your Chi after a job well done. Don’t give a reward if you see your dog going potty outside the potty area. Take him to the potty pad and remind him of the command to go potty. He might not need to go now, but this helps him remember where the right spot for potty is.
The Puppy Padded Room Method
STEP 1 When puppy pad training, you should pick an area in the house, like a bathroom, to place the puppy pads for training and future use. This place shouldn’t change over time.
STEP 2 Place several pads on the floor to show the dog where he needs to go. You can slowly narrow down the area to just one pad once you housebreak your dog.
STEP 3 Pick a clear and direct command like “go potty” so you know your dog understands when you tell them. Anytime your Chihuahua puppy needs to go potty, you should take him to the pads and say the command.
STEP 4 Once you take your dog to the potty pad area, let him explore it. Give the command each time you take him to the area to help him learn this is the place to go potty. Playtime isn’t allowed in this area, so don’t encourage it.
Don’t keep the dog in the area for too long unless he appears to be sniffing around and showing signs he’s ready for potty training. Before you leave the area for the first time, give him a treat.
STEP 5 Repeat taking the dog to the potty pad area and rewarding it each time after exploring.
STEP 6 Learn which times of the day your Chihuahua needs to go pee or poop. It’s usually after meals, upon waking up in the morning, and after naps, before they rest, after play sessions, and every few hours in the meantime.
STEP 7 Every time you take your Chi to the puppy pad area, say the potty command and wait patiently for the dog to explore the area, sniff it, and go potty. Once they use it successfully, give him a reward and verbal praise. Repeat this often to help him learn faster.
STEP 8 Consistency is the key to success. Keep on repeating the potty and praise method until you finally housebreak your Chi.
STEP 9 Always keep the puppy pads clean and feces-free. Nobody likes going potty in a dirty space, not even dogs!
The Follow The Signs Method
STEP 1 The first step in every method is to set up puppy pads and mark the area where your Chihuahua should go potty.
STEP 2 Pay attention to your Chihuahua and check for signs if he needs to go potty. These signs include sniffing, lying down, or circling the ground he wants to use. Anytime you see such behavior, you should take your Chi to his puppy pad area and encourage him to go.
STEP 3 As soon as your Chi puppy wakes up, you should take him to the puppy pad area. This means even taking them in the middle of the night and after daytime naps too!
STEP 4 Chihuahuas will need to go potty 5 to 10 minutes after each meal. So, as soon as you see there’s no dog kibble in the bowl, rush outside and wait for them to go potty.
STEP 5 Your little dog will need to go potty after playtime is over before he settles down to rest. Practice this often to ensure successful potty training.
STEP 6 Don’t expect your dog to use potty pads every time you take them there. Most of the time, they’ll use it if your timing is right. Every time they do it right, you should give them a tasty treat and use a positive reinforcement method.
STEP 7 Lastly, stay consistent. Chihuahua potty training takes time and nerves of steel. Don’t give up after just one accident in the house. It will happen more. You need to teach them that such behavior is wrong and show them where the potty area is in the house.
The Bottom Line:
Nobody enjoys cleaning up dog poop or pee. Since they’re so little, Chihuahua potty training is a must. If one of the methods doesn’t work out, go with another one, and then another one until the dog is finally house trained.
Maybe your Chi won’t like doing it outside with many unknown sounds around them. Maybe he won’t like doing it on the pad.
Whichever way you choose, indoor or outdoor training, you’ll ensure success as a dog trainer and house train your Chihuahua if you follow these tips.