House-Training Made Easy

Never punish the puppy! He can’t begin to understand why eliminating would cause you to yell and scream. The puppy will become distrustful and fearful of you. He will learn to eliminate when you are not around and sneak off to eliminate behind the couch or another hidden area. You will need to prevent your puppy from making mistakes until you have thoroughly trained him to eliminate outdoors only. Prevention is accomplished through the use of a crate. Puppies generally will not eliminate in a confined area and the crate enables you to teach him to “hold it” until he is taken to an appropriate place at the appropriate time. 100% consistency is the key! Place the crate for daytime use in a living portion of the house. For overnight the crate is best placed in the bedroom. Allow the puppy to adjust to the crate presence for about a day. Using a food treat start making positive associations with the crate by dropping a piece just outside the door, next just inside, and next all the way to the back. Feed your puppy in the crate but release him as soon as he is finished. Whenever you place the puppy in the crate he should be praised lavishly. Whenever he is let out he should be ignored. Remember you want to establish being in the crate as good. Now begin gradually leaving the puppy in the crate for a short time but do not always leave the house. You don’t want the puppy to associate going in the crate with you leaving him. Your puppy may cry to be let out. Make a point of letting him out when he is quiet. You may discipline persistent crying or whining by telling your puppy in a firm voice QUIET, and giving the crate corner a firm shake. You need to set up a good schedule and follow it as consistently as possible. Very young puppies may have to be taken out every hour or two. As he gets older you will gradually lengthen the time between trips. A puppy will need to go upon waking in the morning, shortly after feeding, after naps, and after any particular active period. Your procedure should be as follows:

 -          Put the puppy on the leash (if needed), take him to the door and say “outside” as the door opens take him to the appropriate area (always the same area) and give the appropriate command (ie. go potty). If he eliminates PRAISE him in an exuberant voice and take him back to the door and say “inside” and open the door for him. Now he can have freedom in the room you are in but no more.

-          If after 10 minutes of being outside he has not done his business, take him back into the house and put him in his crate. Repeat the procedure in 20-30 minutes and try again.

-          If the puppy does have an “accident” say nothing! Just be sure to clean the area well so the smell is removed.  

*** The key is to be consistent and remember to always praise, praise, praise for the right behaviour.

 More Toilet Training

During the day
Do not give your Chihuahua total freedom of your house as they cannot cope with large areas at first. Keep them in a smaller, confined area. It will take roughly 2 – 4 weeks to properly Toilet Train your Chihuahua. It is not always possible to put a tiny Chihuahua puppy outside if it is raining, windy, or bitterly cold so newspaper is a great help (I find wee wee pads are a great option as well). Most, if not all breeders will have your puppy used to newspaper for toileting anyway, so it is a good idea to use this method. I find starting off with an entire area of newspaper is the best way to start, and then to take away some of the newspaper every few days leaving a smaller toilet area. Put the newspaper down so it is easily accessible for the puppy and convenient for you. Leaving the newspaper near the door to the outside is a good place, that way if you want to train them to go outdoors they do not have to go far from their usual location. When you put your puppy down (after playing, feeds, etc.) place your puppy in the area you want them to toilet. When they first wee on the newspaper leave it down for a few hours this will then encourage them to visit it again, if they poop in the wrong place, pick up the poop and put it on the newspaper or the area outside you want them to use and again leave it there for awhile to encourage them to return. Keep praising them when they go in the right place. The key to successful training is consistency.
Night Time
I suggest using a crate. When you first bring your new Chihuahua home, I suggest keeping the crate away from your sleeping area as Chihuahua puppies often cry when first arriving. Give them a toy to keep them company, and after a couple of nights of this routine the puppy should start sleeping through the night. In the morning take the puppy out immediately upon waking to the place you want them to toilet. Usually puppies do not like to toilet where they sleep, but may make mistakes at first until they build up their continence. This method helps them build up their continence so you will have less mistakes in the future. During the day put the open crate into your family room or kitchen and this can then become your puppy’s den. Using a crate will also help you travel with your Chihuahua as they will be comfortable in their crate.
Travelling With Your Chihuahua
Your Chihuahua should NEVER travel loose in your car. They should always be transported in a hard-sided travel crate; the type used for cats is perfect and very inexpensive. I have heard many stories of accidents and deaths where dogs have been hurdled through windows and windshields, or  have seriously injured themselves from falling onto the floor of the car from sitting on someones lap.
Overseas Travel
If you decide that you want to take your dog overseas with you, check with your airline for regulations regarding travelling with pets, and travel crates (size, construction, etc.). Many airlines will let you take your dog on board in a soft kennel, but you must make arrangements and pay for this when booking your airline tickets. It is also recommended to have a current veterinary certificate (within 1 week of travel), and have your dog current on its shots and vaccinations. Not all airlines will handle dogs and not all airports will accept travelling dogs, so make sure well in advance of the animal handling procedures. Again, your Chihuahua will have to spend at least some of the journey in a cage so if they are used to this then they will not be distressed during travel.
Puppy Pen
This can be an invaluable piece of equipment and it can used during house training and can become a safe den for your puppy as mentioned in ‘house training’ when you have young children visiting or any unsafe situations in your home. Also, it makes an ideal bedroom for your dog at home or when visiting. The puppy pen should have newspaper at one end, and a soft blanket and bed the other.  It should be placed in an area where your puppy can see and hear his family, and should have water, food, and plenty of toys.
Feeding Your Chihuahua Puppy
When you first receive your puppy make sure the breeder has given you all the information regarding diet. What type of food, how much, etc. Generally, a reputable breeder will give you some food with your puppy. If you feel you want to change the diet given to you by the breeder try and leave it for at least a month. If you still feel your puppy would benefit from a different diet then gradually make the change by mixing the two types of food together. Generally we try to keep food in front of our puppies at all times until they are roughly 6 months of age. If you prefer feedings: A puppy at 12 weeks should be fed at least 5 times a day, at 16 weeks 3 meals, and at 6 months twice daily.
ALWAYS have clean fresh water available to your dog at all times.
In my opinion the scientifically made commercial foods are better for dogs but of course everyone has different opinions and preferences on feeding. I can only give you advice on my own experiences. I particularly like ‘Royal Canin’ dog food. We use the ‘Puppy 33’ until about 1 year of age, then we switch them over to the Chihuahua diet.  They offer a very large range of breed specific diets and if you go onto their website it may help you find the one that is right for you and your dog. There is a link from our site to the Royal Canin website located below the menu.  Feeding your dog a food like Royal Canin may be more expensive than commercial pet foods available from grocery stores, but is higher in quality and will provide your puppy with a better source of nutrients. Another great type of food is Acana. It is made with high quality ingredients (it’s fit for human consumption) rather than animal by-products.

When feeding a dry dog food there is less need to clean your dogs teeth, and house training is easier too because there is less but firmer poop and it is easier to pick up. Do not feed Chihuahua puppies canned food, as it is not good for their teeth (Chihuahuas and all toy breed are more prone to tooth decay because of the small size of their mouths). Whilst your puppy is still small you may feel you want to give him milk. Do not give cows milk but instead give goats milk as they truly love this and it is very kind to their tummies unlike cows milk. Goat’s yoghurt is also very palatable to Chihuahuas and a good supplement to their diet and a nutritional asset at times of illness, old age, whelping and puppy rearing.

Treats and Scraps
There are some excellent chew sticks and bones available at pet stores, great for teething puppies (some can even freshen breath and keep teeth clean). Treats can also be a great training aid. Do not feed scraps from your table otherwise you will find your dog becoming excitable and bad mannered at your meal times. Cheese, carrots and chicken are great favourites.  Do not overuse treats and scraps. Our favorite treat is Rollover. Chihuahuas seem to love it, and if you cut it up into little pieces and give it as a reward it can be a great training aid.

Maintaining Your Chihuahuas Teeth
It is very important to maintain your Chihuahua puppy’s teeth with daily brushing. As Chihuahuas and all toy breeds are prone to more rapid tooth decay than large breeds it is essential to brush to daily. At first brushing may be difficult but with practice and time it will become much easier. The younger you start your puppy, the better. It is recommended to have your Chihuahua’s teeth checked annually. For a cleaning your Chihuahua will need to be put under anaesthetic, which is always stressful for the owner and the puppy.  Regular brushing and maintenance will reduce the amount of dentals your Chihuahua will need.


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