One of the most common breed of dogs in the United States is the adorable Chihuahua. Unfortunately many owners never take the time to discover ways to train a Chihuahua properly; assuming these small dogs cannot get into much trouble because they are so small. Even so, a Chihuahua, though small and adorable, is probably one of the more aggressive dog breeds, and they can be incredibly stubborn when it comes to following commands. Proper coaching can be time intensive and should start as early as possible when they are a puppy.
What You Need to Know
A Chihuahua's temperament is unique in many ways. First, the dog will be absolutely pleased just enjoying all of its time with you. As companion dogs, Chihuahuas are carefully bred to be connected at the hip to their owner wherever they go. Even so, that attachment can also lead to dominant behaviors and when these dogs are not properly socialized with other dogs and people, there are several aggression issues:
- they behave larger than they appear, which while very adorable and sometimes even entertaining, can be quite dangerous if your dog is not trained properly
- can be standoffish with strangers
- can get aggressive toward other dogs
- snappy with children
- overly jumpy to noises outside.
Fortunately all of these behaviors can be controlled with good, early training.
The Best Way to Train a Chihuahua
First thing you have to do when training a Chihuahua is to take control of the household. Contrary to popular belief, that adorable little dog thinks he looks after the house and will do whatever he needs to do to show you that is true, if you let him. Here are some important basics when training a Chihuahua:
- You must establish limitations and be the leader of the pack.
- Feeding Times - feed your Chihuahua at set intervals. Never let the dog determine when it wants to eat. This seems trivial, but it shows the dog who makes the decisions in the household, and that he needs to conform.
- Walking - walk your Chihuahua two times a day or more, but be sure to control the walk. Do not let the dog pull or dictate the direction you are going to go. When training a Chihuahua, leash control is vital.
- Bouncing and Furnishings - With a tiny dog like a Chihuahua, you can easily let the dog get up on furniture whenever it wants. However, control of your space is important to imposing limitations. Never respond to barking or whining and set restrictions on what furnishings the dog is allowed.
- Entering and Exiting - overlook your dog when you come and go from the house. Only take notice of the Chihuahua when it reaches a calm, relaxed state.
To truly educate a Chihuahua, you need to be the alpha leader, or the dog will always feel he is in charge.
Improving Mental Stimulation
A Chihuahua can be worn-out quickly enough, but the majority of these dogs still do not get enough exercise or emotional stimulation. How many people play fetch or go to dog parks with a little dog like that? Coach your Chihuahua with basic commands like sit and stay, speak and quiet, fetch, and anything else you like.
With regards to learning the best way to educate a Chihuahua, reducing the chances for the dog to challenge you and to be overwhelmed with energy and boredom will remove much of the bad personality issues that most of us have with regards to their rambunctious nature.
Like any dog, the Chihuahua can be trained; it just takes a lot of patience and creativity on the part of the owner, when teaching the dog. The trainer must also understand the temperament of a Chihuahua in order to successfully teach the dog the basic commands and various tricks.
Chihuahuas may be petite dogs, but they actually have a big, strong character. In fact, Chihuahuas have the ability to control a home and its master which is the reason proper training it is very important. When you teach this dog, it helps to ensure his training in obeying you instead of manipulating you around to what he wants. Another benefit of dog training is that you strengthen your bond with your pet; thereby, ensuring his loyalty to you as long as he lives.
Chihuahuas are intelligent, energetic and lively in nature. They love physical activities and those that stimulate their brain. Since training involves both of these elements, Chihuahuas warmly embrace it given the proper handling and encouragement. Of course, rewards and constant praise should never be forgotten because they are crucial in enticing these headstrong canines to do the things you want them to do.
What to Teach Your Chihuahua
When training Chihuahuas, owners should keep in mind that patience is absolutely essential. Avoid training when you're tired or angry. Take it just one step at a time and be sure to keep your treats ready before you start your lessons. In the home, it's important that the Chihuahua is potty trained at an early stage.
The basic commands should not be ignored. These include:
- roll over
You can put your dog on a table while teaching these commands as it can be tiring if you have to bend all the time.
Crate training is also recommended. This should teach them the right place to poop in the house. See to it that you bring the puppy to the box after eating, waking up or whenever you see him circling. You can use newspapers as well, but be sure to change the used ones.
How to Handle Your Chihuahua
The number one rule in handling Chihuahuas is to always be gentle with them. Remember not to use choke collars on a Chihuahua as their necks can easily get hurt. A good option is to use the flat buckle collar or harness to protect its trachea.
Exercise should be a priority and if possible, it must be done on a daily basis. However, it may not need long walks as this breed is already energetic in nature so running around an apartment is usually enough exercise for the dog.
If you want to take your small dog for a walk during cold weather, be sure to let him wear a sweater as toy breeds are usually very sensitive to cold temperatures. Avoid taking your Chihuahua out when the temperature is below 35 degrees. Never allow your Chihuahua to jump from a high place as he might hurt his joints due to the landing impact. Joint disorders and fractures are among the common problems of this breed; therefore, the need for careful handling.