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Training Your Chihuahua

Training Your Chihuahua

Why to Train

A well trained dog is not only easier to love for you and your family and friends but they are also happier and safer.  Dogs need guidance from a pack leader.  That’s how dogs live in the wild and that’s the instincts they still possess.  Being the pack leader is a stressful situation for a dog and only a very few want to take on this job.

When you allow your Chi to rule the roost you are forcing them into the role of pack leader with all its added stresses.  If you have ever seen a pack of wild dogs on a nature show on television you will see the almost constant vigil of the leader to keep everyone in line.  Your Chi will try to do this in your home with you and your family.

Most dogs will gladly give this stressful job of pack leader to another being if one takes control.  That is your job.  You need to be in control of your Chi and his or her behaviour.  Your Chi will be happier and will experience less bouts of aggression or bad behaviour if they know the limits set by their leader – YOU!

Why Chihuahuas Are Not Trained

Chihuahua owners are some of the most fiercely loving and loyal people out here and this is mirrored by their dogs.  The bond between Chihuahua and owner is commonly cited as one of the strongest between man and man’s best friend. 

The strength of this bond can pose a few problems.  Unfortunately, many people who share their lives with a Chi are blind to bad behaviour and opportunities to correct temperament issues.  Just because you love your little girl or boy is no reason that they shouldn’t be expected to behave in an acceptable manner.

The other reason that owners have for not training their Chi is size related.  Many people think of training as hard leash corrections, swats with newspapers or serious levels of man-handling to achieve success.  A Chi’s small size makes them vulnerable to injury and some owners are simply afraid of hurting their little one.  Training does not need to be aggressive or violent.  There is no reason that your Chi can’t learn to behave properly without coming to any harm.

Types of Training Methods

There are almost as many training methods as there are trainers.  However, as a rule of thumb most training falls into the category of positive reinforcement with corrections for incorrect behaviour.

Positive reinforcement for most dogs means a food reward.  At later stages in training rewards are given less frequently or are substituted by praise alone.  Corrections are usually done by leash control and verbal commands.

Obviously for Chihuahuas the force of the correction is considerably less than the correction given to a German Shepherd.  Common sense is the key.  It doesn’t make sense to buy your little one a fabulous, decked out Chihuahua collar studded with rhinestones only to use it to yank him or her off his feet with a violent correction. 

Seek out a professional trainer who specializes in small breed dogs to gain some valuable Chihuahua training tips.  You can often choose from individual training or group classes and both have their benefits.  Some trainers will offer a combination of both options.

If your Chi has socialization issues getting him or her together with other small breed dogs in a structured setting with a professional trainer leading the dogs is extremely beneficial.  If nothing else these types of classes can show you the potential of your dog to be socially appropriate.  Watching a trainer lead your dog is an eye opener.  The trainer is definitely the pack leader and your Chi will know it almost immediately.  The change in behaviour is sometimes remarkable.

If you are still reluctant to train your Chi and feel that you can live with any behaviour problems, think of this one fact.  If your Chi gets away from you near a busy street will he or she respond to your command to “Come” or will they run into the street and be hit by a car.  Are you willing to risk your Chi’s life because you don’t want to undertake basic training?  The choice is yours.


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