I know you’ve seen it – you might have been in the park, or at a friends house or in a coffee shop. Across from you is another Chihuahua and their owner. The Chi is calm and content, happy in both the company of their owner and strangers. You can tell the owner doesn’t have to worry about their dog pooping in the wrong place and that if the owner leaves their departure won’t be accompanied by desperate yapping or whining. When the owner give an order their Chi immediately obeys it and you are left with one single thought:
“Why can’t my Chihuahua be like that?”
A Chi who acts as cute as he or she looks is a beautiful thing and the truth is that this can be your Chihuahua. All you need is three things:
- The right understanding of how your Chihuahua’s mind works
- Proven training techniques & strategies
- Some training aids
- Consistent training
Chihuahuas are quite different from most other dog breeds and you need learn the specific training methods which work for them.
Many Chihuahua owners make one huge mistake which stops them from ever properly training their dog: they forget that their dog doesn’t speak their language.
This may sound a little strange but a dog’s experience of the world is similar to yours when you go to a foreign country. You may understand a few basic words like “hello” “thank you” “food” “restroom” because you hear them repeatedly in a similar context but you don’t speak the language and if alternative word is used you are quickly confused.
This is the same experience for a dog has and many people forget this.
Command Confusion…And How To Avoid It.
A common example of a word that confuses a lot of dogs is “down.” The correct usage for this command is when you want your dog to “lie down.” However, people also use it when they want their dog to “get off the bed” or “don’t jump up.”
When this word is used to mean three things, you can imagine how confuse your Chihuahua is going to be. Consistently is key if you want your Chi to be properly trained and in the example I’ve given above, you would use “down” to mean only “lie down” and nothing else.
If you want your Chihuahua to get off the bed, you would use the command “off” instead of “down” and if you want your Chi to stop jumping up you would use the command “no jump” or “floor.”
Becoming The Alpha DogAlong with consistency, it is crucial that you establish early on in your relationship with your Chihuahua that you are master.
This has nothing to do with being overly dominant, cruel or too strict. Dogs have a natural and instinctive need to be part of a pack. This is a key part of their DNA and from only a couple of months of age, your Chi will start to test its surroundings and it owner to establish where it stands in the pack order.
For your Chihuahua, this early test of dominance is vital to make sure that the the strongest pack leader is in place. I go into much more detail about this in my Chihuahua Training Report but if your dog decide that it is the strongest of the pack it will go ahead and assume that role and you will have a nightmare on your hands.
It is up to you to assume the role of pack leader and give your Chi the safety and reassurance he or she needs.
Here are five important rules which will help you to establish that you are the pack leader in your Chi’s life:
“The 5 Pillars Of Obidence Training”
Never Let Your Chihuahua Lead – Your dog must always follow. For example, if your Chi is begging for food, do not reward this. Instead, wait for them to stop begging and then give them something to eat.
Do Not Give Up With A Command – this will be quite challenging at first but if you persist, your Chihuahua will learn must faster. For example, if you call your Chi to come but then they do not sit when you give the command, do not give up. Wait a few seconds, and then give the “sit” command again. Eventually your Chi will learn and understand and you give praise him.
You Should Always Begin Any Interaction With Your Chi & Finish It – This is more important when your Chihuahua is still a puppy and is still learning. For example if you are talking to someone else and your dog try to butt in, tell them to lie and wait until you are finished talking before you can give your Chi your full attention.
Try Not To Give Into Your Chi’s Every Wish – as difficult as this is, try not to give your Chihuahua an extra treat just because they’re so cute. This will confuse your dog about who is in fact the pack leader. If your Chi whines while he is in his crate, don’t let him out just because you feel sorry for him. He will only whine louder the next time and he will never be crate trained.
Make Sure You talk, touch and pet your Chi regularly – This also include giving praise when it has been earned and establishes a bond of trust between you. For example, when you are training him and he does something correctly, praise and rub along the side of head and around the ears. Most Chis love this and he will be eager to please you again.