One of the most common breeds of dogs in the United States is the cute Chihuahua. However, many owners never take the time to learn how to train a Chihuahua, assuming that they cannot get into much trouble as a small dog. However, a Chihuahua, while small and cute, is one of the more aggressive dog breeds and can be incredibly stubborn when it comes to following commands. Proper training can be time intensive and should start as young as possible.
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Why You Should Know How to Train a Chihuahua
A Chihuahua’s temperament is unique in many ways. First, the dog will be perfectly happy just spending all of its time with you. As companion dogs, Chihuahuas are bred to be attached at the hip to their owner no matter where you go. However, that attachment can also lead to dominant behaviours and if they are not properly socialized with other dogs, there can be a number of aggression issues.
Most Chihuahuas act larger than they look, which while very cute, can be very dangerous if your dog is not trained properly. Additionally, Chihuahuas can be standoffish with strangers, get aggressive toward other dogs, snappy with children, and overly jumpy to noises outside. The good news is that all of these behaviours can be controlled with good training
How to Train a Chihuahua
The first thing you need to do when training a Chihuahua is to take control of the household. Believe it or not, that cute little dog thinks he is in charge of the house and will do whatever he needs to show you as such if you let him.
So, you need to establish boundaries and be the leader of the pack. Here are some basic tips to maintaining alpha leadership over your Chihuahua.
Feeding Times – Feed your Chihuahua at set intervals. Don’t let the dog determine when it wants to eat.
Walking – Walk your Chihuahua twice a day or more, but make sure you control the walk. Don’t let the dog pull or dictate the direction. When learning how to train a Chihuahua, leash control is vital.
Jumping and Furniture – With a small dog like a Chihuahua, it is easy to let the dog get up whenever it wants. But, control of your space is important to imposing boundaries. Never respond to barking or whining and set boundaries on what furniture the dog is allowed on.
Coming and Going – Ignore your dog when you come and go from the house. Only pay attention to the Chihuahua when it reaches a calm, relaxed state.
To truly learn how to train a Chihuahua, you need to be the alpha leader, lest the dog feel in charge.
Optimizing Mental Stimulation
A Chihuahua can be worn out quickly enough, but most still don’t get enough exercise or mental stimulation. How many people play fetch or go to dog parks with a small dog like that? Train your Chihuahua with basic commands like sit and stay, speak and quiet, fetch, and anything else you like.
When it comes to learning how to train a Chihuahua, reducing the chances for the dog to challenge you and to be overwhelmed with energy and boredom will remove much of the bad temperament issues that most people have when it comes to their rambunctious little friends.