Just about the most popular dog breed In the US is the Chihuahua. Unfortunately, a lot of Chihuahua owners don’t understand how to train a Chihuahua properly because they assume that such cute, little dogs won’t be much of a problem. Chihuahuas, although certainly both small and adorable, can be one of the most aggressive dog breeds. They are also often very obstinate in terms of following commands. Training a Chihuahua properly is very important and, if possible, needs to be started while they are young.
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The Chihuahua Temperament
The Chihuahua’s personality is special in lots of ways. Unlike many other breeds, a Chihuahua will likely be completely content spending all day, every day with you. As companion pets, Chihuahuas are actually selectively bred for being strongly connected to their owners no matter where their owners may go. As great as having a constant companion can be, a Chihuahua’s attachment can unfortunately result in dominant behavioral problems and aggression issues if they’re not socialized properly with other dogs.
Chihuahuas, although small in stature, tend to have “big” personalities and are usually reserved with strangers. They tend to be aggressive with other dogs, (even much larger ones), jumpy when they are frightened, and have a frequency to snap at children. Thankfully, the majority of these issues can be controlled or at least minimized with proper Chihuahua training.
How to Train a Chihuahua
Perhaps the most important part of Chihuahua training is that you assume control of your household. Perhaps surprisingly to you, your adorable little pup believes he or she is the boss of your home and, if you allow them to, they will do whatever they need to do in order to remind you that they’re the boss.
You absolutely have to establish yourself as the alpha dog and set some boundaries for your pooch.
The Road to Alpha Leadership
Do not let your dog boss you around. That starts with having a set feeding schedule. Feeding them every time they want to be fed reinforces what they already believe – that they are the boss of you. Don’t give in. Feed them at the same time of day whenever possible.
Leash control is crucial while learning to train a Chihuahua. Don’t let them drag on the leash or pull you down the road. You should set the pace and direction of your walks.
Control of the space in your home is also an important part of establishing yourself as the alpha dog. Set boundaries about where your pup is allowed to be and where they are not, (such as on the furniture, perhaps in certain rooms, etc). And, once you have set boundaries, consistency in enforcement is crucial.
As companion dogs strongly bonded to their owners, Chihuahuas tend to get very excited about your coming and going from the home. When you return home, do not give them attention right away as it reinforces their barking and anxiousness. Wait until they have calmed down before you show them attention.
Ensuring that your Chihuahua gets enough exercise as well as mental stimulation is also key to keeping your sanity during dog training and then coming years with your pet. Don’t be intimidated by learning how to train a Chihuahua. They can be a bit of a challenge but with a little persistence and patience, you’ll have it down pat in no time flat.