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How to Train an Older Chihuahua

Senior black, white and tan chihuahua giving a person a high five

Older dogs can still learn. There is an old myth that says you can’t train an older dog. They are too set in their ways to learn anything new. But that is not the case with many dog breeds including the Chihuahua.

It may take a little longer to train your senior dog, but it can be done. You may have to do some bribery to get them to obey but at least they are learning. To learn how to train your older Chihuahua just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know so you can do this work yourself.

Need to know how to train Chihuahuas? Click here to find out.

How Old is a Senior Chihuahua?

This is a good question as many people are not sure when a dog advances from adult levels to senior dog levels. This is especially hard for Chihuahua owners since this dog breed can live as long as 15 to 18 years of age.

For the typical Chihuahua, the dog advances from the adult stage to the senior at about age 9. But that is not a strong cut-off for that transition. Usually, the transition age ranges between 9 and 12 years of age.

After that, your Chihuahua is a senior. If you buy a senior dog, you may find it difficult to train them. Their attitude can be fairly stubborn at times.

Why are Chihuahuas Hard to Train

Black, tan and white chihuahua looking at the camera with its head tilted to one side

This difficulty comes at any age. This dog breed is one of the hardest to train because of its inherited personalities and other characteristics. Those characteristics include being highly intelligent and very independent.

They like doing their own thing regardless of who is in charge. Also, a Chihuahua can be fairly stubborn which makes it very difficult to train them. You may need to do some physical petting to get them to do what you want them to do.

These three characteristics and personality traits make it hard for anyone to train a Chihuahua properly. But it can be done if you stick to it and are patient as well as gentle with your pet.

Just like bigger dogs, Chihuahuas can be trained, too. Check out our post “How to Train Your Chihuahua to Sit’ to get started.

How To Train Your Senior Chihuahua

Red and white chihuahua sitting on a bed looking at the camera

You need to start with simple commands. These commands are the same ones other dog breeds learn as puppies- sit, come, stay, and so on. If your pet responds correctly, you need to feed them some treats to reinforce that obedience.

Or you can pet them and say good boy or good girl when they follow the command right. You do have to watch out when giving your chihuahua treats. This is a dog breed that can easily get overweight.

When your pet learns those simple commands, you can move on to some more complicated ones. Another method is to make sure you are consistent with their training schedule.

This schedule helps your dog stay on track and learn what it is supposed to do. Next, would be to teach your Chihuahua how to listen. Sometimes they just do not want to hear what you want them to do so they stop listening to you.

To get them to listen, you need to get their attention. That is done by either touching them or by repeatedly saying their name. Once they respond, they should start listening again. They will obey your commands better when they learn to listen to you.

This training will take time as you have lots of obstacles to overcome. However, if you stick with it, you should be successful.

Tired of your chihuahua tinkling in your house? Learn how to train a chihuahua to pee outside.

Some Chihuahua Tips

Senior black, white, and tan chihuahua standing on a concrete step out doors in front of a blue building

1. To keep your Chihuahua from getting bored, rotate their toys. This will make sure they do not get tired of their playthings and keeps their interest in those toys.

2. Walk your dog for about 30 minutes each day. You can split this up into 2 15-minute sessions if you want and your schedule allows. Just do not walk them in the heat of the day. Opt for cooler times.

3. To give your dog some great exercise, play tug of war with them, set up an obstacle course for them to run, or even play fetch or wrestle with them.

4. Make sure to schedule regular vet visits. This will help you keep an eye on their health especially when they are senior dogs. They are prone to a variety of diseases when they get older.

Some Final Words

Fawn colored chihuahua sleeping.

Training an older Chihuahua is not going to be easy. This age group just may be set in their ways. However, if you are patient enough and give the proper rewards, you may see some progress and get your pet to do as you say.

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