Chihuahuas thrive on attention and love. Once an owner understands this, she can train her new pet by using praise and affection, instead of dispersing treats every time your pet performs well. Lavishing your dog with love has the added bonus of making both of you feel good.
Rely on praise and affection rather than treats. Chihuahuas love to make their owners happy, and when you show them praise and affection, it's the best reward of all. While treats can certainly help in the training process, your dog may come to expect a treat each time she sits or uses the bathroom outside. This can become an issue. However, when your pet expects kind words and a hug, this is rewarding for both of you.
Praise your pet enthusiastically. “Good dog” is not enough when training your Chihuahua. For the most part, dogs don't know what we're saying, but they do understand the tone of our voice. Because this small breed thrives on affection, you need to pet your dog and talk to him the same way you might a young child. Don't be afraid to use baby talk and raise the pitch of your voice to sound cute. Your pet will love it and will be more apt to continue good behaviors to get the same reaction.
Be patient. While Chihuahuas do, in fact, enjoy affection and praise, they can also be incredibly stubborn. In other words, unless they feel an action will benefit them in some way, they may be unlikely to jump on board. As an owner, you need to continue training your pet and offering loads of petting, hugs, and baby talk when she does something right. This will help reinforce the positive action.
Continue to praise for a job well done. Your Chihuahua will not be happy when you stop rewarding him for doing as you ask. You need to continue praising your dog for obeying your commands and especially for using the bathroom outdoors. If you start to see your pet ignoring your commands, remember to start praising him again. He loves the affection and praise he gets from you, and if you stop, he may look for other ways to get your attention, such as peeing on the floor.
- Due to their stubbornness, Chihuahuas are one of the hardest breeds to housebreak, but praise and affection can make the training go easier.
- If not shown enough love and attention, Chihuahuas will do what it takes to get noticed, such as destroying your possessions or pooping on your prized rug.
Amy Brantley has been a writer since 2006, contributing to numerous online publications. She specializes in business, finance, food, decorating and pets.