Also called a toy breed, Chihuahuas are the most popular household pets, well-known for their small size and appearance. These dogs love to stay indoors and express immense love, courage, and loyalty towards their owners. However, the only problem with this breed is that most dogs are extremely notorious and hence difficult to housebreak.
What Housebreaking Means
Housebreaking is a process wherein the dog is taught to eliminate waste outside the house, on a piece of paper or in a litter box. Teaching Chihuahua puppies how to eliminate outside can be quite a task for any pet owner, mainly due to the nature of the breed. Whether it is a male or female, these dogs are difficult to housebreak. Basically, Chihuahuas have the habit of marking their territory and when they do this, the owner has to ensure that the area is thoroughly cleaned and all the odor is removed. If that area is not cleaned, the pet may keep eliminating in that place.
Moreover, like other small breed dogs, Chihuahuas also have a small stomach with a high metabolic rate and hence need to defecate more frequently as compared to other large breeds. Also, being small in size, these dogs may feel vulnerable and frightened to go outside, making it even more difficult to housebreak them.
Process of Housebreaking
If you are finding it difficult to housebreak your Chihuahua puppy, then follow these simple steps.
- Before beginning the process, ensure that your puppy has reached an age where it is capable of controlling elimination. The recommended age is 12 weeks during which you can crate or confine your dog, especially when you are not around.
- Crate training helps as dogs prefer to avoid defecating in and soiling their beds. However, ensure that you place the crate in a room that the family spends most of its time in, and not in an isolated place, so as to make the dog feel like a family member. Also remember not to keep your Chihuahua in a crate for more than four hours at a time.
- It is recommended that in situations where you need to go out for a long period of time, to make a small pen area or space for your dog and keep all its necessary items like food, water, toys, and the newspaper or eliminating pad in that place.
- The next step is to set a strict schedule for feeding your dog to keep a track of how often it eliminates. Since most dogs have a habit of defecating shortly after eating, take your pet for a walk 15 to 20 minutes after each meal. The same must be done after every nap and after getting up in the morning.
- There is a chance that your dog may not do the deed immediately after being taken out. In such a case, wait outside for a while, like 15 to 20 minutes. However, if it does not eliminate after 20 minutes, take it inside the house and back outside after a while, say 10 to 15 minutes.
- If your dog doesn't like defecating outside, you can use papers or special pads as a place for elimination. Once the dog gets used to eliminating on the paper or the pad, slowly move it outside before the elimination and eventually remove it.
- These pads can be cleaned and are easy to use. Also, when using a paper or pad, designate a place for it in the house so that the dog knows where it needs to eliminate. Changing the location of the pad or paper frequently will confuse your dog.
- For any unexpected mishaps or accidents, never punish your dog as this can encourage aggression in your pet and affect the way it responds to you. In fact, be alert and look out for clues that show that your dog wants to defecate, like sniffing the ground or walking around as if searching for something. As soon as you notice these signs, pick up your dog and take it to an appropriate place.
- Don't forget to praise or treat your pet when it relieves itself in the correct area, as this will encourage it to repeat the behavior that pleases you. Never hit your dog under any circumstances. Show your displeasure only by the tone of your voice.
- Another method you can try is to clean up the mess in front of your dog while expressing your unhappiness. This will make your dog understand that it has done something wrong. Also, scold your dog only if you catch it in the act of eliminating inside the house. Scolding it later on will have no effect as the dog will not understand why you are displeased.
The major problem with housebreaking a Chihuahua or any other breed is that owners don't follow a strict schedule at times and lose their patience when their dogs defecate in the house. Remember, this process takes time and the results cannot be achieved overnight, so one has to be patient, consistent, and positive in their approach.