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How To Train Chihuahuas

Fawn colored chihuahua laying in white sheets looking up at the camera

When it comes to training,Chihuahuas are not the first pick of most dog owners or breeders. Chihuahuas are well-known to be stubborn, independent, and very hard to train. They do like having a mind of their own and end up in many situations of not following their training.

That is the bad news. The good news is that many Chihuahua owners have successfully trained their dogs and entered them in a variety of contests and so on. Keep reading to find out how you can successfully train your Chihuahua.

We just can’t guarantee they will turn into show dog champs.

Does your chihuahua bark a lot? Check out our post “How to Train a Chihuahua Not to Bark”.

Using Positive Reinforcement

This has been a trend for quite some time now. In the old days, many pet owners used negative reinforcement training to train their dogs. Negative reinforcement is hitting your dog with a newspaper, stick, or something else when they did not obey.

This old-fashioned method did work but it also put a barrier between dog and master. Over the years, experts called for more positive reinforcement training. This method was gentler on dogs and helped create a strong bond between master and four-legged friends.

Positive reinforcement training includes providing rewards or treats when your dog obeys correctly. Or you pet them in a loving manner. To help reinforce what they are expected to do when they hear the commands.

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 Chihuahua

Brown and tan chihuahua looking at the camera with its head tilted while standing in grass

There are two most important aspects to this training. The first is socialization and this is not just a get-together with other dogs. Instead, it is exposing your dog to different situations and humans.

They get used to seeing these situations and they tend to become calmer, easier to train, and less aggressive. The second way to train your pet is by giving them treats as rewards for correctly obeying your commands.

This is a bit tricky as you run the risk of over-feeding your dog when you use this method. But positive reinforcement works. Your dog should grasp what they are to do when they get that desired treat.

The third step in your dog’s training is to keep the training schedule consistent and regular. Your dog will learn faster this way. They will also become less confused when they hear the commands.

Always start with the simple one-syllable commands when training. For example, sit, stay, come, and more. Keep it simple for your pet until they learn those first commands.

Then you can move on to the more complicated commands. Make sure to reward your pet as they learn and obey. The fourth step will be to give your Chihuahua short walks each day.

Those walks should be no more than 15 minutes twice a day or 30 minutes once a day. These walks keep your dog healthy, happy, and alert. They should be in a good mood for training after a walk.

You can teach an old dog new tricks! Check out our post “How to Train an Older Chihuahua” to learn more.

Chihuahuas Have a Bad Reputation

White chihuahua with a frown on its face with its head tilted to one side. Isolated on a white background.

This dog breed is very independent, intelligent, and stubborn. They are not the best characteristics to have in a dog when you want them to obey you. But many pet owners have overcome these challenges and have trained their Chihuahuas well.

It is just going to take time, a lot of patience, and enough treats to get your pet to obey when they hear your commands. But one good trick to getting past those characteristic issues is to start the bonding process early. About the time you first bring them home.

Chihuahuas are very loyal one-master dogs. When you start the bonding process early, they will be more apt to listen to you as they have made you, their master.

To help the bonding process you can bathe, snuggle, walk, play with them, talk or sing to them and pet them. This gets your Chihuahua used to you and will trust you more. This attitude makes it easier for you to train your pet.

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

Some Final Words

Long haired red and white chihuahua laying on a park bench

While Chihuahuas are considered the perfect first-time pet owner pet, they do have a low obedience type of intelligence. What that means is that while they are smart dogs, they do not like to obey commands.

They would rather do things their own way and that can get frustrating to Chihuahua owners. Be patient with your new pet, bond with them, and make sure they know you are the boss.

That way training should go a lot easier for you. Also, make sure to have enough snacks on hand to give proper rewards when they obey.

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