The Chihuahua is a small breed of dog that measures about 6 to 9 inches. Their name is derived from the Mexican state of Chihuahua, where it was discovered. These dogs are alive and energetic. They are intelligent, but also temperamental.
Most Chihuahua owners are happy with Chihuahuas just the way they are. They do not give much importance to training them, due to their size, or improving their behavior since they are very small and seem incapable of inflicting damage.
But cute and small as they are, these dogs have a reputation for being aggressive and tough as well. Training them while they’re still young can help you to curb undesirable behaviors and produce a better companion.
In addition, most Chihuahuas do not know that they are small, and a large percentage of them act bigger than they really are. This will put the Chihuahua at risk for obvious reasons. These little creatures are known to be hostile against other dogs and children. They get excited easily, even with a slight shock, and proper training is important for their safety.
How to Train a Chihuahua
The Chihuahua has a high sense of dominance. By being able to run freely around the house, he believes he is in control. If you want to train a chihuahua, the first thing you should do is let him know that you are top dog.
Don’t let them go anywhere they want. Set limits and clearly define the places where they are not allowed to go. This will be clear enough to let the Chihuahua know that you are in control and help to make other parts of your dog’s training much easier.
Another way to impose authority on your Chihuahua is by controlling his feeding times. Don’t give in to begging. This is important for training your dog, but also to make sure that they don’t gain too much weight, a common problem with small dogs.
Exercise your Chihuahua twice per day to avoid boredom
Most Chihuahuas lack exercise because they are too small to perform routines that people allow normal-sized dogs to do. However it’s important for Chihuahuas to get exercise too!
Many small dogs are actually very overweight, because their owners overfeed them and don’t exercise them enough. Exercising your dog helps to avoid boredom, mentally stimulate them, and to maintain their weight.
Teaching your chihuahua commands
Chihuahua training involves basic commands like sit, stay, talk, quiet, search, and other tricks, just like any other dog. We’ve all seen dogs that can do seemingly amazing tricks, like praying or playing dead, but the foundation of any trick comes naturally to dogs, even the tiny Chi.
Training tricks are based on behavior modification. This means that we take an action that is natural for a dog and then modify it until it becomes the desired trick.
For example, dogs naturally raise their paws to walk, scratch, or play with a toy. By teaching your dog to raise its paw when prompted, you are modifying that natural activity into a trick. It really is that simple, although, with the shy nature of Chihuahua, behavior modification can take more time and patience than with larger breed dogs.
How to teach your Chihuahua to shake its paw
Before you can teach your little friend how to shake, he’ll need to know how to sit by command, so take the time to teach him that basic trick first. Another thing to keep in mind when teaching this trick is to always ask for the same leg. Don’t expect your Chihuahua to be ambidextrous just yet!
- You’ll want to start by sitting comfortably in front of your Chihuahua with a handful of his favorite treats nearby. This will help them to feel less intimidated.
- Ask him to sit down and reward him with a discreet gift and compliment. Too many compliments at this stage may get him too excited to pay attention, so keep him quiet.
- In a low voice, give the command “Shake” and gently raise his little leg.
- While still gently holding his paw, repeat the order, and give him the reward.
- Say “good dog!” and release his paw.
- Give him lots of praise so that your chihuahua begins to understand that raising his leg pleases you.
- Repeat steps 1-6 for short periods of time throughout the day, and remember that training sessions should be fun for both of you!
- Practice raising his paw for him until you think your puppy understands what the shake command means.
- Once your Chi has become accustomed to you lifting his paw for him, try asking him to offer it by extending your hand towards the same paw that you have been lifting. At the same time, ask him to “shake” As soon as he offers you his paw, give him a treat and a big compliment: what a smart dog he is!
Many small dogs are uncomfortable with humans touching their feet. Make sure to get him used to having his paws handled before you start teaching them this trick. Don’t force it, but gently caress his paws while speaking kindly to it.
This will not only help prepare your dog for “shake” but will also make it easier to cut his nails and visit the vet! Always keep things positive, and your puppy will soon see that there is nothing to worry about!
Don’t be discouraged if your Chihuahua doesn’t seem to understand the “shake” command, be patient. All dogs learn at different speeds, just like people. If, after following the first 8 steps several times, he still doesn’t offer you his paw, just keep practicing. If you offer your hand and he doesn’t shake, gently repeat the command again. Keep trying until he understands what it is that you want.
Most dogs love to please their owners, and once the communication barrier is gone, they will learn quickly. Make your commands clear and consistent, and don’t go faster than your dog’s comfort level.