How do I paper train my chihuahua?
My husband and I work all day and we don’t want our schedules to dictate when our chihuahua goes to the bathroom. We would like to train her to use a wee wee pad or newspaper. Is it hard to paper train chihuahuas? What’s the best way to do that?
Chihuahuas can be difficult to housebreak because they are small and can find a secret spot under a table or behind the couch to do their dirty little deed. They don’t make big messes, so it’s hard to notice that they’ve gone in the wrong place. The two keys to housebreaking your chihuahua are:
- Allow your chihuahua to go only where you want her to go.
- Praise your chihuahua like she did the best thing in the world when she goes in the right place.
If you don’t mind setting up a litter box area in your home, I think indoor potty training is the best thing because once your chihuahua is trained, she can go to the bathroom anytime she wants and not have to wait for someone to take her out. Follow these steps to successfully paper train your puppy or adult chihuahua:
(1) Confinement. You need to be vigilant and not allow your chihuahua to establish a bad habit by going in the wrong place. Since you cannot watch your dog 24/7, you must confine your dog in a safe place when you cannot watch her like a hawk. Confinement can come in several forms: crate, play pen, or block off a small area with a baby gate. I recommend the Iris Plastic Indoor/Outdoor Pet Pen because it’s attractive, economical, easy to set up, easy to clean, and has a walk-in door which is a feature that’s not found in other brands. It is also the perfect size for small breeds.
Set up the pen or crate where you spend most of your time so your chihuahua is not lonely. Although you can block off the kitchen with a baby gate, I guarantee she will cry if she cannot see you.
If you don’t have much room or desire something more portable, you can use a dog crate. This one from Dog.com is great, it’s durable, folds away easily and has a pull-out plastic tray for easy cleaning. It’s also very affordable, and comes in black or gold finish.
Put a small bed on one end and fill in the left-over space with a wee wee pad.
Very important: Don’t forget to leave fresh water in the crate or pen!
(2) Get absorbent dogtraining pads. In a bind, newspapers also work, but they are not absorbent and tends to leave a puddle that your chihuahua can step on and cause an unsanitary mess. You can buy Piddle Pads in bulk and save. They even come in biodegradable form!
My father-in-law recently found this Protection Tray and after testing it for a month, we both think it’s the best thing in the world! It’s so easy to use, and it keeps training pads in place so they don’t slide around and so your dog won’t chew on the pads. Most importantly, it keeps your floors clean! Many dogs tend to pee on the edges of the wee wee pad, leaving a puddle on the floor NEXT to the wee wee pad. This tray is raised an inch off the floor so your dog has to step onto it. It defines a boundary for where your dog should go. Since it’s plastic, it’s super easy to clean (a high criteria in my book). I highly recommend this product. You just lift up the top, put in a training pad and the top snaps down to hold the pad securely in place. Click on the image to see how easy it is to use.
(3) Use Puppy Housebreaking Aid. Add a few drops onto the newspaper or training pad and bring your dog to the spot. The chemical is supposed to resemble the scent of urine and let your dog know this is the right spot to go. Puppy training pads are pre-treated with an attractant, but I find that a few drops of this stuff on the pads makes it 10 times more effective. A little bit goes a long way.
(4) Set up a schedule. Lead your dog to the training pad frequently during the day, but especially first thing in the morning, after meals, and before bedtime. Dogs have very short digestive tracts, so they will want to go the bathroom almost immediately after they’ve eaten.
(5) Praise your chihuahua tremendously when she goes in the right place! Have a very yummy treat or a squeaky toy ready and whenever you see her go in the right place, act like she just made you a million dollars and praise and pet her to no end. If you catch your dog going in the wrong place, yell at her right in the act and bring her to the right place immediately even if she doens’t have to go anymore. If you find a mess after the fact, there is no point in yelling at your dog because your dog will not connect a past action with the punishment. She will just think that you didn’t like seeing the mess and she will find a better place to hide it next time.
(6) Watch for signs that your chihuahua want to go to the bathroom (both pee and poop): sniffing the floor while circling or pacing. Before pooping, some dogs will turn around several times in one spot and lower their butt to the floor like they’re about to sit down.
(7) Clean up messes thoroughly. If your dog pees in the wrong place, clean it up right away and thoroughly so she will not be tempted to go in the same spot again. If you don’t know about Nature’s Miracle, get familiar with it now because it will be your best friend for years to come. It has a special enzyme that breaks down organic stains and odors, it doesn’t just mask the odor with fragrance. It’s a must for any dog owner. The larger size in the spray bottle is extra handy.
Tip: Replace soiled newspaper/wee wee pad frequently. I’ve noticed that my dogs don’t like to go where it is dirty. If there is already pee or poop on the newspaper, they will not want to step in and instead will go next to the newspaper or some other spot. Change the newspaper as soon as you discover it is soiled.Share