Chihuahua training can be a real trial, which is why some dog owners opt to not train them at all beyond housebreaking. While you may think it’s OK to not train your Chihuahua, because you can simply pick him up if he gets out of hand, this is untrue. Your Chihuahua needs the right guidance to grow up into a well liked and even tempered dog. The bottom line is: your dog needs to be socialized and trained. That being the case, you may not feel comfortable brining your Chihuahua to an obedience class, unless of course you intend to make a show dog out of him. It isn’t necessary for you to enroll your Chihuahua into an obedience class, but if you choose not to, you will need to perform Chihuahua training yourself. Here’s what you need to know in order to train your Chi:

  • Begin training your dog the very first day you get him. The first training lesson is teaching your Chihuahua to do his business outside. As soon as your Chihuahua is successfully housebroken, you can then begin teaching him other commands.
  • When teaching your Chihuahua commands you need to do so in an effective manner by:
    • Teaching him in an area in your home where there are no distractions
    • Providing him with treats and plenty of praise when he follows your commands to keep him happy and let him know he’s pleasing you.
    • Keeping Chihuahua training sessions short so as not to bore your dog and lose his attention.
  • When you train you need persistence. This means not letting your guard down for a moment as you train your dog. Your small Chi will try every trick in the book to ignore you, not follow your command or encourage you to play instead of teach. You must show your dog who is boss.
  • Use one-word commands. Don’t confuse your dog when teaching him a command by giving him a phrase or short sentence. For instance, instead of saying “Come here”, say in a firm, gentle tone “Come” followed by your dog’s name.
  • Have authority in your voice when giving commands – Your dog needs to know you mean business when giving a command. Therefore, you should give all commands in a firm voice, in a tone that is slightly louder than normal.
  • Do not aggressively discipline your dog while you are teaching him. If your dog does not follow your instructions, tell him “No” gently, and do not give him a treat. Then start from the beginning, and take it slower until he understands.

Furthermore, keep in mind that if –for instance – you told your dog to “Come” and he ends up knocking over your plant on the way, do not yell at him or scold him for this action. Praise him for coming to you, because he followed the command. You want your dog to associate the action he has committed as a good thing. He won’t understand why you are upset with him for doing what you asked.

  • After housebreaking, the second command you should begin with is “Sit”, followed by “Stay”, “Come” and “Down”. Once your dog has successfully mastered all of these basic commands, it’s then up to you whether or not you would like to teach him more.

Chihuahua training is not for the lazy. All commands you teach your dog must be constantly reinforced until he understands them as easily as he understand when he is hungry. As sweet as your Chi is, you must show him whose boss or he’ll walk all over you.