Have you recently adopted a chihuahua and want to make sure they become friendly, well-mannered, and confident? Do you want to know how to train your chihuahua to be friendly and sociable with other people and animals?
Chihuahuas are active and playful dogs that can make great additions to any family. But even with their small size, they can still be difficult to train when it comes to being friendly around other people and animals. With proper training, however, you can teach your chihuahua to be a well-mannered pup that everyone loves!
Here are some tips for training your chihuahua to be more friendly.
The Chihuahua: An Overview of Their Unique Temperament
The chihuahua is a breed of tiny dog that is known for its unique personality and temperament. From loyalty and intelligence to playfulness and cuddliness, these tiny dogs have a lot to offer. Let’s take a look at some of their most distinguishable traits!
Chihuahuas are fiercely loyal, often forming strong bonds with their owners. If you’re looking for an unconditionally devoted canine companion, then this could be the breed for you. For example, they may protect their families by barking when strangers approach them or becoming clingy when their owner leaves them alone.
Chihuahuas are not just loyal; they’re also incredibly smart and usually easy to train. Thanks to their keen minds and willingness to learn new things, many Chihuahuas can learn plenty of commands with patience and consistency from their owners.
Despite their size, Chihuahuas enjoy walks, playtime, and even games like hide-and-seek – proving that despite all the stereotypes about small dogs being lazy, these pint-sized pooches can certainly keep up with larger breeds in terms of energy levels!
Last but not least comes cuddle time! Chihuahuas truly love curling up on your lap for a nap or cuddling up at night for some snuggles – making them the perfect solution if you’re looking for an affectionate lapdog! Just remember to keep a blanket nearby during the colder months, as they do tend to get cold easily.
The Challenges of Training a Chihuahua
Although the chihuahua is an intelligent breed of small dog, they can also present unique challenges when it comes to training. Let’s take a look at some of the most common difficulties associated with raising and training these pint-sized pooches!
🐶 Requires Lots of Attention
Chihuahuas are known for their unwavering loyalty to their owners, and this trait often requires a significant amount of attention. From frequently checking in with their owners when they move around the house to bark at strangers that come near the property or following you from room to room, these small dogs have a strong desire to stay close to their beloved owners.
Without the right level of affection and playtime, Chihuahuas may become bored or destructive – so keep in mind that you must devote plenty of time if you want your pup to thrive!
🐶 Prone to Destructive Chewing
Training a chihuahua pup to be a well-behaved house pet can be quite challenging due to their strong chewing instinct. Destructive chewing is a common behavior expressed by this breed, mainly caused by boredom or anxiety.
It’s important to provide your chihuahua with toys and puzzles to help keep them occupied and, ideally, give them plenty of physical and mental stimulation throughout the day. If you can keep them stimulated through playtime and interactive activities, then it’s likely that they won’t turn to destructive behaviors as an outlet.
Of course, it goes without saying that strict rules should still be maintained so that they know what they can and cannot chew; consistency and discipline are key here if you want your training exercise to be successful.
🐶 Fearful Behavior
Chihuahuas are a timid breed who often feel threatened by new situations, people, and other animals. This fear-induced behavior results in undesired circumstances such as barking, aggression, and cowering.
To help your chihuahua overcome their fear, it’s important to start socializing with them from an early age. This can be done by introducing them to new people and animals slowly and gently – with plenty of positive reinforcement, such as treats and lots of praise!
🐶 Territorial Nature
Finally, Chihuahuas can sometimes be quite territorial – meaning that if another pet enters their home, they may feel threatened or possessive over certain items like food bowls or toys. Again, this is something you should keep in mind when training your canine companion, as it could significantly affect how successful certain commands are!
Tips For Training a Chihuahua
There are a few key tips that you should keep in mind when training your chihuahua. Here they are:
✅ Be Patient
Training a chihuahua can be difficult and require patience, especially if they have any of the abovementioned traits. Make sure to take things slow and give plenty of positive reinforcement when it is deserved.
✅ Create a Routine
Routine can be incredibly helpful in both training and building a bond with your dog. Incorporating basic commands like sit, come, stay, and leave into everyday activities will help them discover the expectations of different tasks and behaviors. Plus, setting up regular playtime sessions and walks are great ways to bond and build up trust.
✅ Be Clear
Chihuahuas are smart, but they need to be taught clearly what is expected of them for their training to succeed. Showing them the same behavior with different commands can create confusion and frustration. Therefore, make sure that you stick to one simple signal for each command.
✅ Know When to Reward
Rewarding your chihuahua for good behavior is key when training them, so ensure you know what behaviors are desirable and which are not. Doing this will help reinforce the desired behavior and teach your pup that it’s worth their time to listen to their owners.
✅ Reward With Treats
Rewarding your pup with treats when they do something right is a great way to incentivize them and encourage them to learn. However, you must refrain from using treats as this could lead to undesired behaviors like begging or food stealing.
✅ Use Their Favorite Toys
Does your pup have a favorite toy? Utilizing it when training is also a great way to get them motivated and help them learn new commands. Plus, this could be an enjoyable activity for both you and your pup!
✅ Know The Breed’s Characteristics
Finally, it’s a good idea to understand the breed’s characteristics before you start training. Knowing your pup’s strengths and weaknesses will help you find the best way to train them and ensure they stay happy, healthy, and friendly!
How To Train Your Chihuahua To Be Friendly
As we’ve already discussed, the most important thing when training your chihuahua to be friendly and sociable is patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Plus, training your chihuahua should be an enjoyable experience for both you and your pup!
To get started, here are a few tips that can help you train your chihuahua to be friendly:
📍 Socialize Early On
Socializing your chihuahua from an early age is one of the most important things you can do to help them become friendly and sociable. You can do this in a few different ways, such as introducing them to other people and animals, taking them on regular walks, or even attending chihuahua puppy classes with them.
All of these activities will help your pup become more comfortable around unfamiliar people and animals. It’s also important to remember that all dogs learn differently, so it’s best to tailor your approach to your specific pup.
For example, if your pup is more anxious and timid, then a slow introduction to new social situations may be best. You can start by getting them used to being around people and animals while they’re still in their own environment, like in the yard or at home. You can also slowly introduce them to bigger groups of people and/or other animals in a safe space away from home.
📍 Start an Obedience Training
In addition to socialization, starting an obedience program for your chihuahua training is important. This is especially true if you want them to be friendly and well-mannered around other people and animals. An effective obedience program should include basic commands like sit, stay, come, leave it, heel, and so on.
Start by teaching your pup these simple commands using positive reinforcement methods like treats or praise when they do something right. Once they are comfortable with these simple commands, you can move on to more complex ones.
📍 Potty Train Your Dog
Potty training your chihuahua is important in ensuring that they remain friendly and sociable. It’s also important to remember that potty training takes patience and consistency, as every pup learns differently and at different speeds.
The best way to start potty training your pup is to create a routine with regular bathroom breaks. This will help them learn when it’s time to go to the restroom, making it easier for them to associate the action with the command.
Plus, give your pup many opportunities for success during potty training. This can be done by having frequent bathroom breaks and providing access to a designated potty area, so they don’t have to travel too far when nature calls.
Additionally, if there are any accidents during this process, be sure not to punish your pup or become frustrated—this will only worsen matters! Instead, calmly point out what happened and why it’s unacceptable behavior.
📍 Practice Handling Exercises
Even the friendliest of chihuahuas can be skittish when it comes to being handled or groomed. To help them become more comfortable with these activities, start off by practicing handling exercises like touching their paws, ears, and tail.
Make sure to use positive reinforcement methods during these exercises so that your pup learns that being handled isn’t something to fear but rather something to look forward to!
📍 Avoid Letting Your Dog Jump
Not everyone will feel the same way, even if you don’t mind your dog greeting you by jumping up on you. When you have a young child as a guest, the risk of injury from your dog knocking them over increases dramatically.
You should really discourage your dog from jumping up at all. You can ask your dog to sit when you walk in the door instead of jumping up. If it still jumps at you, try turning around and leaving.
Reward your dog lavishly for waiting for you inside the door with all four feet on the ground. The dog will quickly realize how much better it’s when they avoid jumping on visitors.
📍 Introduce Dogs to Children’s Toys
Imagine the potential of children’s toys. Toys like dolls and stuffed animals often create amusing sounds. Ask your pup to sit and stay while you show him a toy. Put it on the floor and let him sniff it. Encourage him to play with it by adding treats or praise.
If your dog is interested in the toy, you can practice basic commands with it, like fetch and drop it. This exercise will help your puppy learn how to interact with people’s belongings without destroying them!
📍 Act Like a Kid
Instead of taking a serious approach, make the dog training process fun by acting like a kid yourself. Talk to your chihuahua in a cheerful voice and reward desired behavior with praises. You can even make silly noises depending on the breed’s personality; some chihuahuas will respond positively, while others might bark back in response.
📍 Don’t Force a Dog to Accept Children
Do not try to make your dog like children if it does not want to. If your dog is uncomfortable or scared, it can become aggressive. If you see that your pup shows signs of fear around children, avoid introducing them and instead seek professional help from a certified animal behaviorist.
📍 Be Consistent
As with any type of training, consistency is important if you want your chihuahua to behave properly in social settings. If they don’t receive the same response each time they do a particular action, it may confuse them further instead of teaching them the right behavior.
Keep up with the same set of rules and cues every time you take them out, so they know exactly what’s expected of them in different situations.
📍 Always Supervise Interactions
It is essential always to supervise any interactions between your chihuahua and others, especially children. This is because young kids may not know how to interact with animals in a safe and respectful way.
If a child approaches your pup too quickly or aggressively, your chihuahua may become scared and lash out in defense. To prevent this, ensure you are always present when children interact with your pup so you can intervene if necessary.
It’s also important to teach kids how to approach dogs properly before they meet your pup. For example, they should never grab at the dog’s fur or tail as this can cause it to be startled and scared.
Instead, show them how to gently pet the dog’s head or back slowly and soothingly. Furthermore, remind them to avoid sudden movements as these can also startle the animal and make it feel threatened.
📍 Be Patient
Above all else, remember that training takes time and patience. The goal isn’t to have a perfectly-trained chihuahua overnight. Instead, focus on taking small steps each day toward achieving this goal.
In addition, avoid scolding or punishing your pup if he doesn’t obey commands right away. As they say, patience is a virtue, and the same applies to training your chihuahua. With time and consistent effort, your pup will learn to be friendly and sociable around children!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is an adult dog easier to train than a small dog?
A: Not necessarily. All dogs require patience and consistency during training, regardless of their size, age, or dog breed.
Q: What are the American Kennel Club and Chihuahua Club of America?
A: The American Kennel Club (AKC) is a non-profit organization that promotes responsible dog ownership and breeding. The Chihuahua Club of America (CCA) is a separate organization focusing on the breed. Both organizations offer resources and guidance to help owners effectively train their chihuahuas.
Q: Which bad behavior should I never reward?
A: Don’t reward any type of aggressive behavior or destructive behavior, such as biting or chewing on furniture. This will only reinforce the bad behavior and make it harder to correct in the future.
Q: How can I enforce house training?
A: One of the most effective ways to enforce house training is to use a crate. A crate can provide your pup with a safe, enclosed space to rest and relax. It also helps to create a routine that your pup can follow, such as taking them outside at the same time every day.
Q: Can smaller dogs be trained to be friendly around children?
A: Absolutely! With consistency and patience, even the smallest of dogs can learn to be sociable with children. Just remember always to supervise any interactions between your pup and kids and provide positive reinforcement whenever possible.
With patience, consistency, and the right tools, training a Chihuahua to be friendly can be an enjoyable process for both you and your pup. While it may take some time for your pooch to become comfortable around strangers or other animals, reinforcing good behavior with rewards and praise can create positive associations and help them feel more secure in their interactions. With enough dedication, your Chihuahua will soon be sniffing around in search of friends – both furred and human alike.
Here at ILoveChihuahua, we share our personal experiences as owners of this feisty breed. We talk about recommended methods, dog supplies picks, and advice on common Chihuahua problems. Our goal is to promote responsible dog ownership, so there would be fewer Chihuahuas in shelters.