In this article, we will answer the following question: Will my Chihuahua use a litter box? We will teach you how to potty train a Chihuahua, step by step.
Will my Chihuahua use a litter box?
The idea of teaching a Chihuahua to use a litter box may seem strange to some people. But the principle is the same as educating him to relieve himself in the street. It is about transmitting to our companions the rules of hygiene and good coexistence that we want to adopt in our home.
We must take into account the importance of educating in a positive way and respecting the learning times of each dog. Regardless of what we intend to teach them, it will be essential to apply positive reinforcement to recognize their effort and stimulate their learning.
Abusive or violent methods are counterproductive and harm the health of our pets; positive reinforcement is always much more effective.
How to teach a Chihuahua to use the litter box (step-by-step)
First step: choosing the ideal litter box for your dog:
Your first step should be to choose the ideal litter box for your pet and the litter to place inside. To do this, it is advisable to take your measurements previously (height at the withers and total length from the snout to the tip of the tail).
In pet stores, you can find various models and sizes of litter boxes. The most traditional and economical versions are basically reinforced plastic boxes that serve to contain the sand. However, there are also smart and self-cleaning models, which are more expensive, but very functional.
Although most of them are designed for cats, the important thing is to make sure that their dimensions are compatible with those of your dog; the idea is to offer comfort and security to your best friend in her most intimate moment. For this reason, we must not forget that the dogs must be able to turn 360º inside the litter box.
Second step: select a type of sand
When it comes to dog arenas, there is great diversity on the market. Some cheaper options are made with clay, while the most current have fragments of activated carbon. There are also scented litters, but they are not recommended, as many dogs can reject them or develop allergies.
Different from cat litter, the canine version comes with larger balls to improve absorption. However, to avoid a bad smell in the home, just mix a teaspoon of baking soda or activated charcoal with your dog’s litter.
When it comes to cleaning and maintenance, it is essential to clean the litter box daily and disinfect it from one to two times a week.
Third step: present the litter box to your dog
After choosing the litter box, it must be strategically located in the home. To do this, we must avoid places with a lot of traffic in order to give our pets privacy. In addition, the ideal is to prefer areas with good ventilation to avoid the concentration of the bad smell. Once the litter box is located, it is time to introduce it to your dog.
In the presentation, we must stimulate their curiosity so that the animal smells the box and loses its fear. Then we can place him inside the box, give him a specific command (like ‘use the box’) and offer him a reward (treat, praise, toy).
The goal we pursue is to make our dog understand that using the litter box is something positive and we encourage him to enter the litter box of his own free will.
Fourth step: associate the box with their physiological needs
When your dog is used to the box, you will have to work to associate it with her physiological needs. To do this, we place a piece of paper dipped in your urine or your own feces inside the sandbox. In this way, your dog will be able to understand that it is correct to evacuate or urinate in this area.
Every time your furry uses the litter box correctly, it will be essential to offer him a reward. In this way, we reinforce positive behavior and encourage our dog to continue behaving well. In no way should we punish the animal for relieving itself outside the box.
Little by little, the dog will be able to perfectly learn to use the litter box. It is essential to be patient and treat him with great affection throughout the educational process.
7+ Tips for potty training a Chihuahua
Potty training anywhere is a frustrating exercise that requires a lot of patience, but Chihuahua’s potty training is notoriously difficult.
Chihuahuas are so small that they can easily slip around without you noticing, eliminate in some corner, and slip into bad habits even before you know what’s going on. Follow these simple steps for potty training your Chihuahua.
The best way to train any dog is to use a crate. A box is particularly suitable for Chihuahuas due to their temperament and small size.
Security. Chihuahuas love to hide in a “cave” and you can use this fact to your advantage by boxing their “cave”. Dogs generally do not like to relieve themselves in the same place that they sleep, so they will hold out until you let them out.
Space limit. The area inside the box or cage should be large enough for the puppy to turn around and stand up. This is where Chihuahua’s training gets tricky. These dogs are so small that they can easily squeeze almost any space. If they have too much room in the crate, the puppy will simply use one corner to sleep and the other to use the bathroom.
Happy place. Make the box a warm, comfortable, and welcoming place for your chihuahua. He will be happy to sleep there while you do other chores.
Frequent bathroom breaks. Remember that a puppy does not have much control over his bladder. Take your dog out first thing in the morning, at the end of the night, after a nap, and about 20 to 30 minutes after each meal.
Routine. By establishing a regular feeding routine and urination breaks, controlling your Chihuahua’s sphincter will be much easier for you and your dog. Don’t feed him any treats during this time, just stick to regular, frequent meals. This way you will be able to know when your dog has to go to the bathroom and you will be ready.
Coherence. This is a very important part of the training. Use the same words, such as “go to the bathroom” and always take your dog to the same place during training. Praise him profusely when he does it the right way, so that he associates elimination at the designated spot as a good thing.
Be alert. As soon as your dog starts smelling and pacing, you know what he wants to eliminate, so take him outside immediately. If you’re late and he’s already started to relieve himself, get him out as quickly as possible and praise him for finishing there.
Accidents happen. Accidents are inevitable, especially with a puppy. Don’t make a fuss about it when it happens. Just clean up and try to be more vigilant in the future. Remove as many odors as possible so your puppy doesn’t keep coming back to the same place.
With the help of a cage, a little time, attention, and a lot of patience, you can gain control of your Chihuahua’s needs.
Final tips on potty training a Chihuahua
Use newspaper or soaking wipes to get your puppy used to use the place you have determined to be his “toilet”. Once the dog is vaccinated and used to the newspaper, begin to make frequent trips outside.
If the dog does his business when you return home, use the technique of going back to the door and turning to continue the walk, repeating this move until your dog empties outside.
Remember: Reward and reinforce the successes, but do not use punishment, it is traumatic and counterproductive. Never, never, never, rub his snout against his needs. This method is unhealthy and disrespectful to your friend.
If it is an adult dog that was evacuating outside, consult your vet. If it is an adopted dog or has just arrived at your house, start with frequent trips. Take it out in the morning, after meals, or after vigorous physical activity.
Go out at least three times a day and enjoy the walks!
Also, if an accident happened, do not clean with bleach or ammonia. There are products on the market to eliminate urine odors. Water with vinegar or lemon is a very effective product in eliminating odors.
The dog may urinate from marking, submission, excitement, fear, or separation anxiety. Study these cases to treat them in the most appropriate way.
If you have any comments or questions on the content, please let us know!
FAQ on Will my Chihuahua use a litter box?
Are Chihuahuas easy to train?
Chihuahuas are easy to train, but you need a lot of patience, as they are known to be quite disobedient. Of course, you have to keep in mind that each dog has its own character and uniqueness.
Is a Chihuahua a good dog?
A chihuahua is a very good dog, especially for active people. Although they are known to react aggressively when feeling threatened, Chihuahuas can also be great family pets.
Are Chihuahuas needy dogs?
Chihuahuas are indeed needy dogs. They enjoy being petted, groomed, and being taken care of 24/7 if possible. Additionally, they are very protective of their owner and their territory and can easily attack.
Is it worth it to have a dog?
It is worth it to have a dog, but only if you are ready to commit. Once you know what you have to sacrifice and you are okay with that, then a dog is going to bring so much joy in your life!
At what age are puppies most difficult?
Puppies are most difficult between the ages of 8 months to 18 months, according to most veterinarians. This is a challenging period for any dog owner.