Proper potty training is an essential task for any breed of dog. Large and small breeds alike can be taught to potty outside, saving your home from embarrassing and unsightly pet stains. Training your teacup Chihuahua to potty will save your sanity, and your home.
Crate your dog overnight and whenever you are not able to supervise him. Chihuahuas are very particular about where they potty and will not go in their beds. If you’re going to be away from home for an extended period, confine the dog in a bathroom or laundry room and place a few puppy housebreaking pads on the floor to contain accidents.
Clip a leash on the dog to control him during potty training. The leash prevents the dog from wandering away and pottying without your knowledge. Choose a leash that is at least eight feet long to give your dog room to walk without being underfoot.
Select a designated potty spot in your yard or near your home. Chihuahuas are habitual and will choose to potty in the same spot with repetition. Pick a quiet spot away from doors and sidewalks to allow plenty of privacy, and take the dog to that spot every single time he goes out.
Establish a feeding routine. The small size of teacup Chihuahuas means they cannot hold it long after eating, so knowing exactly when your dog ate makes it easier to anticipate when he will have to go outside. As soon as the dog has finished his meal, take him outside to the potty area and observe him quietly.
Give the dog a specific command when you reach the potty area. Chihuahuas are extremely intelligent and will quickly associate the command with the act of going to the bathroom. As soon as he goes potty, praise and offer a treat as positive reinforcement.
Take the dog out frequently to speed along the training process. Adult Chihuahuas will need to go three or four times a day, and puppies can easily double that. Take the dog out immediately after waking, after meals and before bedtime to avoid accidents.
- Always praise the dog for going potty outside. Observe him quietly as he goes, and as soon as he finishes tell him “good dog” in a cheerful voice. Chihuahuas pick up on their owners’ emotions and will be encouraged by a happy tone of voice.
- Never strike your dog for having an accident. Physical punishment not only frightens the dog, but may cause injuries.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.