How do I housebreak my chihuahua to go outside?
My mom and I just adopted a chihuahua puppy. We live in a house with a big backyard, and we would like to train our chihuahua
to do her business in a designated area in the yard. How do we do that?
Congratulations on the new member of your family! The keys to housebreaking are straight-forward: confinement from going in the wrong place and praise for going in the right place. First establish a confinement system at your home, same as that for indoor training ("How do I paper train my chihuahua?").
For outdoor training:
1. Establish a regular schedule for going out. For a puppy, it should be frequent, as often as every two hours during the day, and for any dog, immediately after meals and upon waking up in the morning or after naps.
2. Take your chihuahua outside to the spot you want her to go. Use a few drops of Puppy Training Aid on the area, and let her sniff it. If she’s ready to go, she will usually go then. If not, walk her around a little and return to the spot. If she doesn’t do anything in 15 minutes, she probably doesn’t have to go. Bring her back inside, confine her so she doesn’t go inside, and take her out again in a few minutes. If she has just eaten, you want to keep trying until she goes, because she will most definitely have to go sometime soon after her meal. When she does go, praise her like she did the neatest trick in the world, and give a a highly desirable and small treat (you don’t want her to have to go again soon).
3. Crate your chihuahua when she’s indoors. Use a crate that’s just big enough for her to lie down and turn around. Most dogs know better than to soil their own bedding, so she will hold it until you let her out. You should not confine your chihuahua for more than 4 hours at a time. If you must leave her alone during the day while you’re at work, then use a pen or block off a small area and leave newspaper or a Piddle Pad (now available in biodegradable).