Chances are you have heard the old cliche, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” When it comes to potty training chihuahua adults, you might think the odds are stacked against you in terms of potty training. We are here to say that’s not true and so long as you are consistent, patient and understanding, your dog will be going potty where you want them to in no time.
Chihuahuas are very smart dogs and want to learn. You can teach them too you just have to be ready to work hard and devote a good chunk of time to getting them into the habit of going potty in the correct spot.
Some of the Steps For Potty Training Your Adult Chihuahua
- Have rewards close to hand
- Choose a place and keep it there
- Get them used to it
- Take them out after eating & sleeping
- Be aware that accidents do happen
1. Make Sure You Have Rewards Available. A reward is just what everybody works for-even humans! Rewards come to us in the form of extrinsic and intrinsic things, and for dogs, it is no different. Dogs love to learn and they make a big effort to do things they know will get them a treat or some praise. If you can teach a Chi to go potty by saying “Go potty,” or “poop” at the elimination spot they will do so because they know they will get a reward or even a biscuit once the job is done.
The key to making this work is to be consistent. You have to be in the same potty spot at regular times during the day as this is better for the dog’s learning abilities and promotes a routine.
That being said, find a thing your Chi really loves-a dog treats, a toy, praise-and use it as your secret weapon to a successful potty training time.
- Pick A Potty Spot That Doesn’t Change. The moment you bring your new dog home, you should already have in mind a spot where they can go potty. Take them there the moment you bring them home. The dog will likely want to sniff around and get to know their new surroundings, but they could also be scoping out a spot where they would like to eliminate. Therefore, you should take them to the potty spot and encourage them to go. Make sure you have a treat on hand so that if they do go, you can praise them and offer a treat.
If at all possible, you might ask the breeder, shelter, or friend you are adopting the dog from to provide you paper towels or even an old rag with the dog’s urine on it. You can place the rug or towels in the potty spot so the dog recognizes her own scent and thus goes potty in the correct spot. It may be a bit of a strange request but can make training easier. Be sure to wear disposable rubber gloves when handling these objects and wash hands thoroughly once you have placed the items in the correct spot.
- Get Them Used To The Potty Spot. Now is the time to begin really teaching your Chi about their potty spot. Offer your Chi some water and food. About 15 minutes after they are done eating, attach their lead, and take them out to go. You should also take adult chihuahuas outside every hour when they are learning to go potty.
This is where your patience comes into play. Get into the habit of using a keyword with your Chi that will encourage them to go potty-it can be as simple as “Go poop,” “Go potty,” etc. You may also wish to bring your phone and a folding chair while you wait for your dog to go-it can take them some time to get ready to do their business.
You will want to allow them time to sniff around, circle, and get comfortable with using the potty spot. The more you work with them and use that keyword, the more smooth the process will become. This trick will also be a lifesaver when the weather is too cold, wet, or hot to be outside.
It’s also going to be helpful to have all you need for the process by the door: have poop bags, the lead, shoes, and coat ready to go. You can make the process smoother and be ready when your dog is showing signs that he or she needs to go to the bathroom. This will also minimize accidents that come as a result of not being ready to go outside to the potty spot.
- Go Outside Right After Eating and Waking Up. We mentioned this briefly, but now we will stress the importance of taking your Chi out after certain actions-it’s a big part of potty training chihuahua adults.
About 15 to 30 minutes after eating, your dog will be ready to go potty. About 15 minutes after your dog eats, keep a close eye on them for the signs they are ready to go. They may circle around or begin sniffing. Grab the lead and a treat and take them outdoors. Once they go, offer the treat and some praise. Resist the urge to leave them alone at their spot-you always want to be there to praise them for a job well done.
Other times to get outside are right after waking up and before bedtime. Take your Chi right out immediately after they get up in the morning. About 20 minutes before bedtime, they should also be taken out for a final potty break.
- Understand Accidents Happen. Part of potty training chihuahua adults is understanding that accidents can and will happen. Your job as a pet parent is to rise above feelings of frustration and re-train your Chi as needed.
Firstly, understand that it is your job to keep a close eye on your dog when he or she is in the house. Watch for signs that they are ready to go-circling the floor, or sniffing around. When you notice this is happening, grab the lead and take them out to the potty spot. Make sure you wait for them to go and offer a treat once it is done.
You might gate off the rooms of the house you are not using so your dog cannot go into them and thus get out of your sight. This way, it is easier to take them out if you suspect they are ready to go to the potty.
No Physical Punishment
Secondly, if an accident does happen, deal with it in a responsible and mature way. Never scold or yell at your dog, and do not rub his or her nose in it. Do not hit your dog with a rolled-up newspaper or magazine. This will make the dog nervous around you and they may avoid going to the potty around you.
If this happens, take the opportunity to clean up the mess by soaking up the urine or feces with paper towels or an old rag you will no longer use. Place the rag or towels in the spot your dog should be going and take them there. They will recognize their scent and be more apt to go to the potty in the correct spot.
Thirdly, make sure you clean up the mess the right way: Using an enzyme cleaner. Nature’s Miracle makes a good, affordable cleaner you can use to get the scent out. Never use an ammonia-based cleaner to do this, as this is part of your dog’s urine and will encourage them to go there again. See Cleaners on Amazon
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What To Do If You See Your Chi Going In The Wrong Spot
If you see your adult chihuahua going potty in the house, make a noise that will startle (but not scare) your dog. Get them outside to the potty spot as quickly as you can and let them finish going out there. Once they are all done, offer praise and a treat.
After this, go inside and clean up using the enzyme cleaner. And as always, just make sure you keep a very vigilant eye on your dog so these mistakes can be kept to a minimum.
Make Potty training Easier By Sticking To A Schedule
Get your adult chihuahua used to a routine by making sure all activities are on a schedule. Coordinate with your family members or a dog sitter about taking your dog out at regularly scheduled times during the day.
You might feed your dog and take them out before you go to work, and if possible, come home and do the same during your lunch hour and then right after your family and dog eat dinner. Keeping all of these actions on the same time-table will teach your dog when they can expect to go potty.
This, combined with crate training, can be a great way to teach your adult Chi about how to hold it until it is time to go out again.
Crates and Potty Training Chihuahua Adults. See Crate Prices on Amazon
Depending on your adult Chi’s situation, they may already know and love a crate. Dogs enjoy being in crates because they are den animals after all. Wild dogs use dens as a safe place to rest and raise families.
Your Chi will want to keep their crate clean and free of feces and urine. Dogs do not like to soil the places they sleep and eat. Therefore, a crate can be a good way of teaching your dog to “hold it”. It is a safe place for your dog to sleep at night and avoid eliminating in the house.
Always buy a crate that is appropriately sized for your dog. A crate too big could encourage elimination on one side, while sleeping takes place on the other. Make sure the crate is just big enough to stand up and turn around comfortably.
Make the crate a nice place to be with toys and perhaps a blanket. Never use the crate as punishment. You might encourage a Chi new to crates to go in by adding a blanket, some favorite toys, and a treat inside the crate.
Crates should be placed in a room where all the family gathers. The kitchen and living room are two options.
Never leave the dog in the crate all day long such as while you are at work. Crates should only be used for a few hours at a time, for example, running short errands or while you have a guest over and cannot have the dog getting underfoot.
Consistency, patience, and understanding will be key to getting your chihuahua adult potty trained. You can absolutely do this-just be willing to work hard and offer lots of praise to your adorable Chihuahua!