Chihuahuas are the world’s smallest dogs. Yet, at the same time, they make such an amazing companion. These small breed dogs create a powerful bond with their dog owner. There are challenges in training Chihuahuas, and we will look at some of them. How to train a Chihuahua? Well, you have to find a way to handle the behavior of your dog.
Usually, the challenges come because of the small size. This dog can bark at almost everything and is prickly around strangers.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the personality traits of the Chihuahua dog breed.
Chihuahua Personality Traits
Ask any Chihuahua owner and he will tell you these dogs are loving and loyal. But they are quite aloof around strangers. They do not trust people outside of their family circle. And when that happens, these little dogs might bark and show their big personality.
Here are some classic Chihuahua personality traits:
- This tiny dog has a large and big personality that can range from feisty and outgoing to shy and timid
- Intelligent and incredibly loyal to their family circle. They will accompany their dog owner anywhere and everywhere
- Suffers from small dog Napoleon’s syndrome, meaning they are protective and vocal when around bigger animals
- Prone to separation anxiety and need to be around people most of the time
Challenges Of Training A Chihuahua
If you look at the personality traits of a Chihuahua puppy, you will sense some of the biggest challenges. But let’s break it down.
They Do Not Trust Strangers
Despite being a small breed, Chihuahuas have a big dog attitude, alertness, and intelligence. No matter their small size, they are some of the best watchdogs. These puppies tend to be mistrustful of strangers. It will take a while for them to accept someone else in their close circle. For example, a Chihuahua owner trying to find a partner
Small Dog But Giant Personality
If you own a Chihuahua, you will quickly understand and probably accept the fact that these dogs will rule the house. That is if you let them. It is difficult to be firm with this puppy because it can be charming and entertaining. Yet, you have to teach them proper behavior, ground rules, and manners. Otherwise, you will be bossed around.
They Need Constant Attention
There is a reason why we call Chihuahuas Velcro dogs. They need constant attention and can become anxious when they do not get enough. Known to be clingy and possessive, they will bark and bite if they do not get the attention they crave.
Prone To Destructive Chewing
Speaking of attention, one of the bad behavior habits your Chi can develop is destructive chewing. This happens when they struggle with separation anxiety and boredom. You should crate train your young puppy to solve the issue from the get-go.
Can You Train A Chihuahua?
Of course, you can. The question is how to train a Chihuahua. Remember, these dogs are extremely intelligent. They are quick learners and are eager to please. Using the positive reinforcement method will go a long way in training Chihuahua dogs.
Because of their athletic ability, they do well in dog sports. Combining games, agility, and training is the way to go. But let’s get deeper into the issue.
Tips For Training
With a Chihuahua puppy, you should start early on. Socialization and obedience training is a must early on. This can help you solve any behavioral problems that can arise later on. Here are some tips for training your Chihuahua dog.
- Be patient and diligent, you are dealing with a stubborn, intelligent, and independent dog that will need time to accept your leadership role. To be effective, rely on repetition. Make sure to repeat every step of the way several times
- Always keep treats on hand, this is a dog that is food-driven and somewhat toy-driven. But dog food and treats are the best way to motivate your Chi to work and train
- Understand your dog, this is a naturally dominant puppy, despite its small size. It is imperative for you to establish yourself as the leader of the pack.
- Take control of the household from the get-go. This tiny dog will try to dominate the house and set up his own rules. And if you allow it, it will make your dog training session painful and nearly impossible
- Feed your Chihuahua at set intervals, and use dinner time for setting up manners and training
- Walk your puppy two times per day and control the walk. Do not let your pet pull or dictate the direction
- Teach your puppy basic commands, it stimulates their brain and wears them down
How To Train Your Chihuahua?
The biggest problem with training a Chihuahua is learning to be comfortable around other people, animals, and everything else.
In other words, how to train a Chihuahua not to bark. Well, this is where socialization is important. Start at a young age. I’ve talked before about how you need to introduce your young puppy to hundreds of people in the early months. That includes elderly people, athletic people, disabled people, children, and everything in between.
Socialization is quite important so that your dog can understand different scenarios and situations. Carry some treats with you, and reward your young puppy whenever they behave properly around strangers. Your goal is to make your pet love people.
As for other dogs, this can also be done in the early days of puppyhood. When they are young, Chihuahuas have yet to form their character and personality. They are not as afraid of big dogs and will not bark at them.
This doesn’t mean you should take your young Chi to the dog park and let it run free. No, introduce your puppy slowly to different dogs, including a larger dog, and reward positive behavior like sniffing and moving away.
Your dog might look like a small size puppy, but this canine is energetic. They need at least 30 minutes of daily exercise, if not more. Short bursts of play will help here.
Make sure your walking session is short yet productive. Chihuahuas do not want just to wander around. It is not in their blood. They love to explore, sniff, play, and do something productive.
Do Not Underestimate Brain Stimulation
We said before you are dealing with an intelligent dog breed here. You can use physical exercise to burn your dog’s energy, but you will not wear him out if not for mental stimulation.
Because of its intelligence, your puppy can learn any basic command like sit, speak, stay, fetch, and anything more. Make sure to add new commands and tricks while you are walking. Add some mental stimulation like agility training.
Remember, this puppy is energetic and lively. They love physical activities, but mainly those that also stimulate their brain.
Living With a Chihuahua
As we said before, Chihuahuas are excellent companion dogs. But they do need a lot of attention. On the positive side, they are extremely loyal. This dog will not run away or move away from you. They are glued to their owner.
Yet, remember, these intelligent dogs will try to command the household. When treated respectfully, trained properly, and socialized early on, they are amazing family pets.
They might not be fit for a family with little children. Why? Because small children might look threatening because their small size.
Start As Soon As Possible
Whatever you do, start as soon as possible. A lot of prospective pet parents think they can start training their puppies after a while.
Do not wait. Start the moment you bring your Chihuahua home. If you have adopted an adult Chihuahua, fine, start the moment you bring it home.
The key to working and training Chihuahua dogs is patience, praise, and consistency. But most importantly, starting from Day 1 to establish ground rules and manners in the household.