Teaching your adult dog how to use puppy pads can be a bit of challenge if he is used to going to the bathroom in certain places or at specific times. However, as your dog ages he may not be able to hold his bladder all day while he waits for you to come home from your job. Puppy pads may bring him welcome relief once he gets used to them. You can teach most older Chihuahuas how to use puppy pads if you spend enough time and effort on the training.
Figure out where your dog is going to the bathroom now. If he's taken to urinating in the middle of your living room floor, you aren't going to have a problem figuring out where he thinks the bathroom is.
Place a puppy pad on your dog's current favorite indoor bathroom location. Your dog will be more likely to figure out what the puppy pad is for if it is located in an area where he already likes to use the bathroom. Puppy pads also have a scent to attract your dog. You gradually can relocate the puppy pad to wherever you want it once your dog knows to use the pad as a bathroom. If your Chihuahua has been using the bathroom outdoors, select an indoor location where you want your puppy pad to stay and put it there.
Show the pad to your dog and let him sniff around on the pad. Praise him for being near the pad or paying attention to it.
Kennel your dog using a small kennel or crate. Let him out when you know he has to go to the bathroom. Take him directly to the puppy pad and encourage him to use it. Wait for him to use the puppy pad. If he does not use the puppy pad after you have waited at least 30 minutes, return him to his kennel.
Continue letting your Chihuahua out every so often and placing him on the puppy pad. Eventually your dog will get the idea that he is supposed to use the puppy pad. Praise him and offer him a treat when he uses the puppy pad. Continue this process until your dog goes to the puppy pad and uses it after being let out of the kennel.
- Leerburg: How To Housebreak A Puppy or Older Dog
- Veterinary Partner: Chihuahua Fact and Fiction
- Dog Training Central: How To Select, Raise & Train Your Chihuahua Puppy
- Ceasar's Way: Dog Problem: Housebreaking an Adult Dog from a Puppy Mill
- American Kennel Club: Chihuahua
- The Humane Society of the United States: Crate Training
- Expect it to take longer to train an adult dog to use puppy pads than it does to teach a puppy. If your dog has never been housebroken or is set in his habits, you may have to spend a lot of time working on puppy pad training him.
- Remember to play with your dog and interact with him after he uses the bathroom. You do not want to leave him in the crate constantly while you are training him.
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.