Chihuahua Potty-Training and Housebreaking

Potty-training is an essential process that every owner must go through with their Chihuahua. Unless you plan on keeping your in a fenced in backyard (not recommended), you'll have to teach them to use the bathroom outside and not inside the house. Unfortunately, however, Chihuahuas have a notorious reputation for being a breed that's difficult and downright stubborn to housebreak. In fact, some owners throw in the flag and simply lay out pee pads for them instead. The truth is that practically any Chihuahua, no matter how old they are, can be potty-trained when it's done correctly and under the right circumstances.

Although Chihuahuas can be successfully potty-trained at any age, it's recommended that you start as soon you bring them into your home, preferably when they are still a puppy. During the first 6-12 months of a Chihuahua's life, their brains are developing at a rapid pace; therefore, they will naturally catch on to routines and consistency. You can use this to your advantage by instilling the basic potty-training commands in your Chihuahua's head. When they learn these principles at an early age, it will carry on with them well into their adult years, making the potty-training process easier for the both of you.

Chihuahua Potty-Training - Where Should I Start?

Two Housebroken Chihuahua Puppies

Two Housebroken Chihuahua Puppies

It's easy to feel lost and confused when you first bring your Chihuahua home. You're busy trying to set up their bed, make sure they have food, water, blankets, and you're probably busy playing with them as well. While all of this fine, you need to place potty-training at the top of your list of priorities for them. As stated above, it's crucial that you begin teaching them the basics of where using the bathroom is acceptable and where it's not.

Before you start attempting to potty-train your Chihuahua, you'll need to pick up a few basic items first. These items are necessary to encourage good behavior, as well as prevent bad behavior. Here are the things you'll need:

  • 1-2 boxes of small milk bone treats for rewarding good behavior.
  • A crate that's just large enough for your Chihuahua to stand up and turn around in.
  • Small, comfortable bed with a couple soft blankets.
  • Soft, non-abrasive collar with a leash that's at least 10-feet long.

Note: This isn't an entire list of everything you need to own a Chihuahua, but rather a list of items that will come in handy when potty-training your Chihuahua.

Potty-Trained Chihuahua

Potty-Trained Chihuahua

Potty-Training Basics

One of the key factors to successfully potty-training your Chihuahua is letting them know when they do something bad. When you see them do their business on the floor inside your home, quickly walk over to them and immediately say "No!" or "Bad boy/girl!" You should never physically spank or hit your Chihuahua, as this may injure them and make it more difficult to train them. Instead, stick with a strong verbal statement letting them know that what they did is unacceptable. Chihuahuas are quite emotional, and verbally telling them no while pointing at them is all it takes to get the message across.

No matter how hard you try to prevent it, accidents will happen. It's an inevitable part of owning any indoor dog, regardless of the breed, so don't expect your Chihuahua to be any different. After you see them peeing or pooping inside the house, tell them "No!" and walk them outside. While you're walking them, say something along the lines of "go potty" or "go pee-pee," as this will help them associate the words with the pottying behavior. It may take some time, but remain patient and wait for them to do their business. When they are good and use the bathroom outside, give them a milk bone treat along with lots of petting and praise as a reward for their good behavior. Treats go a long ways when it comes to potty-training and obedience training, so use them to your advantage.

Another little trick I've learned that helps to potty-train a Chihuahua is to always take them to the same place outside to do their business. Chihuahuas have a keen sense of smell and will be able to tell where they've used the bathroom before. When they come across an area they've already used the bathroom at, they will instinctively belive it's an acceptable area. You can begin walking your Chihuahua to other parts of the yard once they are older and fully potty-trained, but stick to a designated area during their early puppy years.

Chihuahua Crate Training

Some owners are under the impression that forcing a small Chihuahua to stay cooped up inside a crate is cruel and inhumane. After all, how fun can be stuck inside a crate where you can barely move around? The fact is, however, that a crate gives your Chihuahua their own personal space where they can call home. There's a certain sense of security they begin to feel and associate with their crate, and chances are they grow to enjoy being inside it. As the owner of three Chihuahuas myself, I frequently find my Chis hiding in their crates even with they are allowed to roam the house free.

The reason why crates are such an effective potty-training tool is because you can confine them to it anytime you're unable to watch them. Instead of "hoping" your Chihuahua doesn't use the bathroom inside the house, you can rest assured knowing they are safely confined to their crate. Naturally, most Chihuahuas won't use the bathroom in the same crate where they sleep and rest. If they have to use the bathroom, they will try to hold it until you let them outside. This works in your favor, as it lets your Chihuahua develop the skills necessary to hold their pee until you take them outside. Just remember to never leave a Chihuahua in a crate for long periods of time.

References:

http://www.cesarsway.com/tips/puppytips/Housebreaking

http://pets.thenest.com/potty-train-teacup-chihuahua-3559.html

 


79 Responses to “Chihuahua Potty-Training and Housebreaking”

  1. Beckie/desperate says:

    I adopted a Chihuahua mix at 16 weeks from a pound and I’m having a horrible time potty training her on pee pads because it is freezing cold here and snowing.. Every time we put her on her pee pad she will sit there stubbornly for even an hour and as soon as she walks off will pee instantly on the carpet or floor.. She also refuses to ever poop on the pee pad she always hides and does that as well. We have successfully gotten her to potty on her pee pad several times but it has taken a lot of time hours and patience. But it seems like its getting worse rather than better. What can we do? Why is it that she wants to run away and he instantly instead of partying on her pee pad? if I can’t correct this problem my father is going to give her back

    • Bri says:

      Hi Beckie
      My dog would do the same thing. The reason why your dog will not use the mat is because she is either feeling pressured or doesn’t want to go because she knows you want her to. Since you cannot take her outside you could buy a grass mat from the pet store ($20-$40) Which will make her feel outside because it has grass and it should work. If not maybe you could try telling her simple commands as the article says. Other than that maybe you and your dog have to zip up in cozy jackets and take a 10 minute potty break outside. Good Luck!!!

  2. charity says:

    I have a 6 week old chichi and she hates grass. She will only potty on the concrete. Is this normal and how do I change this behavior?

  3. Alisha Andree says:

    I have a 6 month old Chi that we adopted and being we live in Michigan it’s freezing, we take him out to go potty but he just stands there and shivers and whines and jumps on our legs, how do I ever get him potty trained if he won’t even go near the door because he’s cold? Frustrated and ready to throw in the towel!

    • Bri says:

      Hi Alisha
      The problem is that your dog is cold. It most likely is that your dog is too uncomfortable because of the coldness. Maybe you could try buying a indoor grass mat at you local pet store. They are usually 20-40 dollars. If that doesn’t work, try potty mats. Hope for the best for both you and your puppy pal!

  4. Mischelle says:

    I have just gotten 2….neither is completely house broke.I’m home most of the day. ..should I crate them when I’m home to brake them completely?

  5. Cassandra says:

    Hello,
    I adopted a Chihuahua mix from the shelter in September they think he is about 3 years old. At first he was PERFECT and would not have any accidents in the house he slept where ever he wanted but now it’s so common and it happends too often. He pees in his own bed, when we did crate him he peed and pooped in it. Resulting in eating it!
    He pees or poops in the house even if we just came back from a walk!
    I dont know what to do anymore he seems to be more relaxed when not being crated, when I put him in a crate he refuses to come out, to eat, drink, pee or poop or even for human contact. Nobody knows his story we just know he came from a high kill shelter in California. please I really need help!!

  6. Lisa says:

    I have a chi/terrier mix will be 2 yrs old next month. we got rascal when he was 6 weeks old, not housebroken. rascal was housebroken within a months time and has never had an accident in the house since. We have a fenced backyard where he loves to go most times, he comes yells at us when he has to go out and I also walk him every night and he does his business. Only when there is snow on ground he prefers backyard to his walk. From reading all the comments I guess I am very lucky! He is a great dog, no a member of the family!

  7. Lynne says:

    I have a Chi that just turned 1. She will not pee on the potty pads – she’d rather lay on it or eat the them. I have tried every brand I can get my hands on. Also, since I live in FL the flees are fierce and now I can’t take her out on a regular basis. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  8. Danielle says:

    Hey there, I just recently adopted a 3 month old Chihuahua full blooded and I also have a 2 year old Shih-Tzu who is Puppy pad trained. We have an empty room that we use for storage and as our pet room. Our Chihuahua will use the puppy pad sometimes but most of the times she’ll go and pee on our rug in our living room. their food and water was beside the rug, but I just recently moved their food and water to the extra room where the pads are. How can I get my Chihuahua to use the pads all the time?

  9. natasha says:

    This is exactly how I feel I need answers too. I have 2 10 week old chihuahuas and they are exactly like yours :(

  10. Lisa says:

    I have a 5 month old Chihuahua Ive had since she was 3 weeks old, bue to being rejected by her mother. At first, she would use potty pads every time. For the past month, she has been using the potty all through the house, usually on an area rug or on the carpet. Ive tried putting her on the pads, but she will get up and go pee. Im not harsh with her, so I dont understand the regression.

  11. Lisa says:

    I have a six month old chihuahua, I have tryed to potty train her outside, but I live in the north and some days we are minus 30 celcius and it is just too cold for her to be out. She is only 4 pounds. She seems to do very well on the pee pad some days then the next she will not use them. Do you have any advice that might help train her. When we are not home she is confind to the hallway and bathroom, but when I am home she is loose in the house. It is when she is loose in the house that she just pees or poops where ever she is at.

  12. Mary says:

    I adopted a Chihuahua that was a year old. She was original trained by her previous owner to pee on a puppy pad. Everything was great for about 6-8 months and suddendly she refuses to pee or poop on the pad. I brought her to the doctors and she is getting treated for UTI but she is continuing to pee / poop all over the house. I think it is a more behavioral issue because I took her to my sisters house and she went on the puppy pad so its not like she doesn’t know. I thought about taking her outside but it is too cold and too much snow. I also am frustrated and ready to throw in the towel. Should I crate her and still train her to go outside?

  13. Dianna says:

    I have a 3 month old Chi! Treats are really helping with potty training! Also I noticed once I took the pee pads off the carpet he avoids the carpet! He goes outside most of the time except when it’s really cold! I put pee pads in the garage! I’m trying to teach him that it is unacceptable to go in the house!I also crate him during the day when no one is home! He still has accidents but I’m hoping he will start barking or ringing the bell on the door to notify me when he has to go! Goodluck to all of us! They are a challenging breed

  14. Mr Roboto says:

    Here are a few tips that will make your reader’s lives easier. 1 – Chihuahuas are very intelligent and are easy to train. It is the owns that are hard to train. It’s like teenagers and parents. Some people say the teens are difficult, but once the parent has the right tools to work with, the teens aren’t as bad as you’d think. Same goes with Chihuahua puppies. We have two and they were paper trained and night time crate sleepers withing 24 hours of getting them at 12 weeks old. You must have a designated pee pad area…away from their food, but close to where they sleep. When you see the puppy sniffing around and/or starting to squat, immediately take them to their pad! Do not scold them! Do not yell at them! They may dribble on the floor/carpet… so you’ll need to scrub that area asap with warm water and liquid dish soap so that they won’t smell it later and think that it’s the spot where they should go. With the same respect, puppy pads are scented to attract dogs to go pee and poop there, but I like to either rub the pad on the part of the carpet that was soiled on and put it back where it suppose to go. So that the puppy will smell the it and know that “that’s the place I should go”! Positive reinforcement is better than negative. So praise puppy after they use the pad. Don’t give them a treat like some beginners say! Praise is enough! Puppies love, the love and praise! 2- For night time, we use a high cardboard box big enough only for a little sleep blanket and pee pad. That way he is either in bed or on the pad. He is either sleeping or peeing/pooing. No play area. No night light. No nightly visits to comfort him. Ignore his yelps and whimpers and cries! It’s hard! My wife got up in the middle of the first night and the yelp of our puppy sounded like he was in immediate danger and extreme pain, but no…he was just playing her! The second night, he just whimpered a little but fell fast asleep. We find in the mornings that they have used the pad a few times. 3- Be sure to change the pad frequently! It’s okay and even preferred to have one pee or poop on the pad when training, but too much…too dirty and the puppy will not want to go there because they need a clean area.

    Conclusion… Puppies go by scent. They will pee where they have peed before. So clean up any accidents right away. Do not traumatize your puppy when they do have an accident or dribble. Correct their behaviour by relocating them to the pad. Don’t let dogs share sleeping crates. One to a puppy. Igor puppies distress yelps at night. Then they will know next time that yelping doesn’t work and they will accept their night time sleeping arrangements.

  15. Janet says:

    I want to send an update. I started dedicating myself to pottie training using these tips and we haven’t had an accident all week. I know we have a way to go but I’ve seen a lot of progress! My problem was not using a crate and not spending enough time outside with him.

  16. Charlie says:

    Hello, I have just been bought a chihuahua puppy for my 13th birthday. I have called her Lola, like ‘Charlie and Lola’! {except in that, Charlie is a boy, and I’m a girl!!} She is genuinely a good girl, apart from biting me and anyone else she can get her piranha-like teeth on! Hopefully, that will stay just for her teething stage! She does have a tendency to either pee/poop on/near/far-away-from or just on the edge of her puppy pad! This page has given me some great advice!
    Thanks!!

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