Chihuahua puppies look adorable but they can become quite pesky, with their constant biting, licking, and chewing. Such habits if not monitored, can become a huge cause of concern, especially once the dog grows up. These dogs, like all other dog breeds require to be put through a well planned training regime. Nothing else would do, and no, ill-treating them once they are all too grown up is going to be futile. Why you may ask? Well because they, like humans, would not understand as to what was it, that they did so wrong, to be punished all of a sudden? And that too, for something that they have been doing for a long time! It defeats logic doesn't it not?
So the best alternative is to train them to behave. Chihuahuas, do not respond well to aggression, and they themselves can get pretty volatile and naughty, if they are not treated well or if they are allowed to do whatever they want. Once a particular behavior pattern sets in, it is difficult to make them evolve or change. Remember dogs are pack animals, therefore they obey only one master, no matter what. Therefore, in a family of many, the dog should be trained predominantly by one individual, and should be taught to be gentle with all the other family members and friends.
Training Chihuahua Puppies
Puppies take time to comprehend and register commands, just as human babies take time to learn to identify their parents as well as to learn alphabets. Similarly, the way we treat babies with affection and utmost care, we have to treat these puppies with love and care as well. There cannot be two ways about this fact. A puppy that has been ill-treated or has faced traumatic experiences, is bound to grow up either as a lazy, introvert, and scared dog or turn into an aggressive one. Therefore, how it's demeanor shapes out is completely in the hands of the owner.
Train From Day #1
The moment you get your chihuahua, or as soon as it is weaned from its mother you should begin its training. Begin by making it respond to the word, 'Come' or 'Come here'; always use, only one of the commands and never both. Dogs get confused as to which one to respond to, and cannot comprehend the meaning of both words. At a later age, may be they will begin to understand that both the commands mean the same, and that they are expected to reach the owner. Slowly the puppy will recognize the intonation of the command word, and it will come to you. Follow this practice at different spots inside as well as outside the house. This will help the dog know that the command is not related to a specific location but it is instead, objective specific and related to its master.
When to Say No!
Here is a fact. All puppies will get messy. Slowly and gradually let the puppy know that you do not like its particular habit. The way you do that is to use, hand signals and voice modulations. If the dog is biting as something, make your voice stern but not cruel. Command a 'NO', make the word sound short and curt, like it's been snapped midway. Make your voice louder than normal, so that the puppy realizes that something is wrong. Use your hand to gesture, with only your index finger-pointing up. This gesture will automatically make the dog stop what it's doing, once it learns what your hand gesture and the command's intonation means. Give all of this some time, it may take a month at least. Using a stick as a part of your gesture can be cruel, so avoid using it as an alternative method.
How to Potty Train Chihuahua Puppies
From the day #1 make it stay in a comfortable box. While it's too small it may soil its own box, but as it grows to be a month old it will soon realize that it's getting too uncomfortable to sleep in filth. So it will begin to venture out of the box to relieve itself. This is the time you should act. The only effective way of training chihuahua puppies is to, instruct your puppy to 'Come!' on top of a newspaper or a separate box, placed outside the house. You may even select a specific location in your own garden, guide the puppy there and soon it will relieve itself in that exact spot. You will need to repeat this about 50 odd times, till the puppy begins to go to that spot on its own will, without help.
Appraisal vs. Anger
When your puppy does something good or according to your instruction, remember to immediately say, 'Good!' or 'Good Boy or Girl!'. Always make your voice cheerful, and also pat your puppy to show you are happy with its actions. Never forget to appreciate the dog after every good deed done. The alternative way you can entice your dog to listen to you is through, tiny dog treats, that are to be given only after a job well done. When the puppy does something wrong, change your voice to make it sound like you are sad and hurt. Use crying gesture if needed. This will alert the dog that you are upset, and dogs never like it when their masters are feeling sad. So slowly it will stop doing those things that upset you, just so that it can keep both of you happy.
Play and Learn
As the puppy grows, begin to let it get excited when it hears the words, 'walk', or 'play'. Let it recognize that its leash is picked up only when it's about to be taken out. Let it know that a specific yellow or orange ball for instance belongs only to them. Give your puppy, a specific chew toy or rubber bone. Use this toy so as to instruct it, for instance use its name every time you give a command, fore instance; 'Ivy-fetch', 'Ivy-play', 'Ivy-jump', 'roll over', 'heel', 'shake hand' so on and so forth. The idea is to give treats to 'Ivy' whenever she does a good job, following these commands. If you prefer not to keep these tiny dogs under leash, simply call out for them, while using a distinct sounding whistle or clap pattern.
So these were a few tips for training chihuahua puppies all by yourself. It is also important that other members of the family participate in the puppy's training as well. The only way they can do that is by using the same command words, exactly the way the master uses it on the dog. Once the dog is trained, it will begin to learn further commands without any trouble.