Is a Chihuahua hard to train?
The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed in the world. With just 2-3 kg on 15 -23 cm, the Chihuahua is smaller than an ordinary house cat. Even though it is very small, this does not affect its courage and character in any way. For this reason, it is essential to train also a Chihuahua well. We discuss whether training a chihuahua is easy or hard in this post.
Training a Chihuahua can be hard or exhausting if you catch a stubborn, difficult-to-motivate Chihuahua. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. But there are also motivated Chihuahuas who enjoy training. No matter which representative you see, consistent but loving training is a must.
Chihuahua Training: Easy or hard?
Training a Chihuahua does not differ much from that of other breeds.
The main thing is that your Chihuahua accepts that you set rules that he must follow.
How often you have to explain these rules to him depends on how stubborn your Chihuahua is, and he tries to question them.
So I would rather talk about strenuous or non-strenuous dog training than easy or hard because the exercises for training a Chihuahua are not difficult.
You just have to do the exercise to train your Chihuahua – and if necessary, more often than with a Border Collie whose education is relatively easy.
The Chihuahua can be very stubborn and not motivated to work with you. Additionally, they are susceptible to cold and wet weather. This makes training your Chihuahua very difficult or rather exhausting.
However, there is also just the opposite. A Chihuahua that enjoys education and training.
So you can be lucky or unlucky.
Why a Chihuahua must be trained!
Unfortunately, it is often the case that the smaller the dog, the more untrained or not trained they are.
When I walk with my Cane Corso, a small dog the size of a Jack Russell or smaller has often stood in front of us (without a leash) and yapped aggressively at us.
The same applies to the Chihuahua of my brother-in-law. As soon as he sees our dogs, he comes toward us with aggressive barking and cannot be calmed down – because the Chihuahua is not trained.
So it is essential to train a Chihuahua to have no problems with other dogs. In a moment of carelessness, tragic accidents can happen when your untrained Chihuahua runs up to a big dog without a leash and “turns on” it.
This is what happened on our street. A Chihuahua ran out the front door, barked, growled at, and chased an Akita (leashed) for several minutes.
The Chihuahua owners were not particularly bothered by this and only tried to call their dog. Since the Chihuahua was not trained and the recall did not work, it did not come.
The end of the story was that the Akita reprimanded the Chihuahua at some point. With the size difference, you can imagine what happened. The Chihuahua died at the vet with a hole in the lung.
Chihuahuas do not know that they are so small and like to bark at other dogs on the leash if they are not trained. That was, of course, the worst case. But if you generally want to walk relaxed with your Chihuahua and also don’t want a yapper, education is essential.
Chihuahua puppy training
The education of your Chihuahua begins, as with all dog breeds, as a puppy. By training, I don’t mean he sits down for a treat or does any other trick.
By training, I mean that your Chihuahua accepts your rules from the beginning and orientates himself to you. He must learn that he is not the boss, but you are.
Tips for Chihuahua training
Your dog must understand that you decide what gets done, no matter what breed. You are the pack leader and make the decisions; your dog needs to follow your lead.
You decide when to play, when to eat and when to go for a walk. In the same way, you choose when your Chihuahua should lie in his dog bed and when he should stand quietly next to you.
It can not be that your Chihuahua comes to you with the toy in his mouth, and you immediately play with him!!!
The following points are with me at the top of the topic training:
Rest: Chihuahuas are active dogs who must first learn to lie quietly in their dog bed. They mustn’t be constantly entertained and have action.
If you keep a Chihuahua busy, he will get used to it and demand to be kept alive even if you don’t have time or don’t feel like it.
The result is a yappy Chihuahua that jumps around you and wants to play.
Frustration Tolerance: In my opinion, the essential thing a Chihuahua should learn is to handle frustration. Dogs that have never learned to deal with frustration are jittery, more hyper, and more prone to the following symptoms and behaviors:
- Leash aggression
- being constantly distracted by everything
Frustration tolerance means that your Chihuahua learns to cope better with frustrating situations. You practice this by provoking such a situation in everyday life, i.e., creating an expectation in the dog – but not fulfilling it.
For example: If your Chihuahua has a favorite toy and is happy like crazy every time you fetch the toy. Now you don’t play with it but put it aside for a few minutes.
Your Chi expected that you would now play with him. You did not fulfill this expectation but put the toy away again. You then play with him maybe 30 minutes later. You then play with him maybe 30 minutes later. You then play with him maybe 30 minutes later. This creates frustration, which your Chihuahua must process.
In this way, he learns to become calmer in everyday life and to cope better with frustration. This exercise and many others like it are suitable for training your Chihuahua. If your Chihuahua can handle frustration well, the education and the rest of the training will be more accessible.
Consistency: Consistent training is essential. Because a Chihuahua is so tiny, many owners do not take training so seriously and say to themselves, “Oh, let him be.”
This is precisely the wrong way. Every time your Chihuahua “disobeys” a command from you, he doubts your decisions and makes his own. Each time your leadership role fades.
Currently, my Cane Corso dog is getting up from the blanket I sent her to 2 minutes ago. If I just let her do that now, my dog is making a decision and overriding my command. I now have to get up and consistently lead her back to the blanket (if the command doesn’t do it). I have decided that she has to lie there quietly now and not play with the other one, and she has to accept that.
Consistent does not mean I yell or get physical. Consistent means that I enforce my decision. No matter how annoying that is, my dog is a stubborn, hard-ass.
Basic commands: Your Chihuahua should know a good recall so that accidents don’t happen. Additionally, he needs to walk reasonably on a leash to make the walk fun.
Whether your dog has to know sit, down, or anything else, you must decide for yourself.
If you don’t have any experience with dogs and don’t want to make any mistakes with the Chihuahua education, I recommend you to visit an online dog school* or a dog school at your place. It is easier to do everything right from the beginning than to iron out mistakes later.
Conclusion: Educating a Chihuahua: Easy or hard?
It can be exhausting to train a Chihuahua if you get an unmotivated, stubborn specimen. But it can also be the exact opposite. Regardless of the Chihuahua’s character, consistent training is necessary.
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