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Housebreaking Your Chihuahua

Housebreaking Your Chihuahua


Housebreaking your new Chihuahua puppy literally means training them to do their bathroom duties in a specified area.  Some owners like to train their Chis to use absorbent puppy pads, newspaper or litter boxes.  Think of these as the very first Chihuahua gifts you will buy.  Most of us, however, like our pets to do their business outside in the yard if possible.

Location and Frequency of Toilet Breaks

The key to housebreaking your Chi is to allow for frequent potty breaks.  This doesn’t mean every couple of hours which might seem often to you – it means every 30 to 60 minutes.  Try to imagine how tiny your Chi’s bladder is and then you will realize how little it can hold while they are still learning to use those muscles properly.

The other factor to know is that your Chi will recognize his or her bathroom area by smell so it is important to take your Chihuahua to the same place every time.  If you use a litter box make sure to put a little of the old litter into the newly cleaned box so that it still smells like a bathroom to your pup.  When using newspapers or puppy pads, touch the new one to the urine soiled old one to pick up a tiny bit of the odour.

By consistently providing frequent bathroom breaks to the same area your Chi puppy will quickly get the idea of where to go.  When your Chi is doing his or her business say your command word.  This is a word that you want your Chi to associate with potty time.  “Pee pees” “Hurry up”, “Go toilet”, or “Jobbies” – it’s doesn’t matter what your word is but repeating it when your Chi is going potty will help later when you want him to go on command. 

When your Chi does use the designated spot, make sure you praise him or her lavishly.  They should come away from the exercise knowing that they did a good thing.  They will want to repeat that behaviour to receive more praise.

Confinement and Scheduling Help Training

Dogs are neat and tidy little creatures and they will avoid going to the bathroom where they sleep and eat.  If you keep your Chi confined to a crate, small exercise pen or blocked off area of your kitchen they will try to “hold it” until they have a chance to go potty elsewhere.  This encourages them to use your designated spot only.

Confinement doesn’t mean putting your Chi away and ignoring them.  A small space offers comfort to a puppy and you should provide some area that they can call their own.  Giving them a space to rest and be safe when you are unable to watch them is beneficial in many ways besides housebreaking.

Try to be aware of a schedule for your Chi’s potty breaks.  Most Chis will have to go to the bathroom about 30 minutes after eating.  Make sure you take them to their spot at this time.  When they wake up from a nap, in the morning and before bed are other definite times that you should offer and encourage a potty break.


Never punish your Chi for having an accident.  Small puppies are physically unable to hold their bladder for long periods of time, so expect an accident or two.  If you catch your Chi in the act of going to the bathroom, clap your hands loudly.  This will startle them enough to stop and then quickly grab them and take them to their spot to finish the deed.

If you find an area in your home that your Chi has used as a bathroom, do not react.  Your Chi has forgotten all about that accident and will never understand that your anger has anything to do with the mess.  Clean the area thoroughly and try to be more diligent about offering breaks.

The housebreaking period is short in comparison to the life of your Chi.  Try to keep calm and remain consistent and it will be over before your know it.


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