How to potty train a Chihuahua? If you are looking for a step-by-step guide on how to potty train a Chihuahua, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, you will learn how to quickly and easily house train your puppy or adult Chihuahua so it will only eliminate outdoors.
We will cover many topics here, including:
- How to potty train a Chihuahua in 5 easy steps
- What supplies you will need in order to prepare for potty training
- When is the best time to start potty training your Chi?
- How long it takes for the process?
- FAQs on how to potty train a Chihuahua
How to Potty Train a Chihuahua in 5 Easy Steps
1. Start from day one!
Potty training your Chihuahua from day one, right from the time your pet Chi first steps inside your home, will help you see results faster.
The key is to understand that your Chihuahua, adult or puppy, has a tiny bladder that requires frequent emptying.
Therefore, you need to take your pet to the designated potty spot (more about this coming up) and show it where to void.
Use a special word like ‘go potty’ or ‘pee-pee time’ so your Chi understands what you want it to do.
Make sure you and your family members are all on the same page regarding house training and use the same words and rules consistently. This is very important and can make or break your potty training efforts.
You will have to buy a high-quality leash and collar so you can take your pet out to the designated potty spot where you want your pet to eliminate.
We will shortly cover the supplies you will need for the process. However, we hope that you are equipped with some basic supplies and a collar and leash set are an important one among them.
(If in doubt, please see our guide on Best Collar for Chihuahua so you know exactly which collar to select.)
As soon as your pet ‘goes’ in the designated spot, treat and praise it copiously. Use a cheerful tone of voice so your pet relates its voiding to ‘good behavior, treats, and cuddles’.
You can also say your Chihuahua’s name followed by ‘good boy’ or ‘good girl’.
Remember, you will need to do this several times a day. This is crucial for getting your Chihuahua understand the following three golden rules of house breaking:
- It is good to void outdoors
- It is bad to void indoors
- The above 2 rules apply to all other indoor places and not just your pet’s house!
2. Deal with Accidents
In the first few days, your Chihuahua will definitely have accidents indoors.
However, you must never rebuke or hit your pet.
Instead, clean up the place right away otherwise your Chi will use it over and over as its toilet.
Also, keep an eye on your Chi as it will definitely show you cues that it wants to go. These include:
- Circling round and round
- Sniffing in an area
- Squatting or raising its leg.
The moment you see these cues, make a loud noise (clap loudly or rap a newspaper roll on the floor loudly) to get your pet’s attention.
When it looks at you, say, NO, or STOP!
Then pick up your pet and take it quickly to the designated potty spot.
We will discuss the designated potty spot now:
3. Assign a designated potty area
Even if you live in an apartment, you must assign a designated potty spot where your pet is allowed to ‘go’.
This could be in the spare bathroom or a small corner in the balcony or a yard or a dog park nearby.
Select a spot that is near and easy to access, since you will be making several trips there, at least in the beginning.
You must take your Chi to the potty spot at least 4-5 times during the course of an entire day. (We will shortly give you an approximate house training schedule to follow which will help you establish the ground rules of housetraining).
Remember: you must be present every time to praise or correct your pet….every single time it pees in the designated spot.
Even if you have a fenced yard, you must personally walk your pet on leash to the designated spot. Do not let your Chi go out all by itself, at least in the beginning.
Also, you have to be consistent. You cannot go out once or twice during the day and not go the rest of the time to the designated potty area.
Yes, this might seem like a lot of work, but within a few weeks, you will end up with a fully-house trained dog and cleaner yard as well.
4. Begin crate training
Dogs, Chihuahuas included, are den animals by nature.
By investing in a crate, you will help create a secure den-like atmosphere and your pet will know that the entire house is a ‘clean zone’.
That is why crate training and house training should begin side-by-side.
When you first begin crate training, you must not crate your Chi inside the crate more than an hour at a time. Slowly increase this duration until your pet can stay in longer and longer.
Also, you must take your Chi out to the designated potty spot once before placing your pet in the crate.
5. Follow a strict potty schedule
Below is a rough guideline of potty training schedule or the number of times to take your pet out to the designated potty spot.
This is recommended by experienced dog trainers for potty training a puppy or adult dog.
- Immediately upon waking up
- Just before you leave home for any period of time
- Immediately before you crate your Chi
- Promptly after removing it from the crate
- Immediately upon coming home.
- Before the trip to the vet’s clinic, groomer, etc.
- Before long car rides
- Last time before bed.
- Any time your pet shows an indication that it wants to go: circling, whining, sniffing, etc.
Sample potty training schedule for pet parents who work
6.30 am – Walk and potty
6.45 am – Food and water
7.15 – Walk and potty
7.45 am – Crate
8.15 am – Walk, exercise, training/obedience, play, and final walk before work
8.45 am – Crate
12.15 pm – Get a dog walker/sitter/neighbor to come over for potty break – walk, water, exercise
12.45 pm – Crate
5.15 pm – Walk, potty, and play time
5.30 pm – Food and water
6.00 pm – Walk and potty break
6.30 pm – Free time or crate
7.30 pm – Walk, exercise, obedience
9.30 pm – Last water of the day
10.15 pm – Last walk, potty of the day
10.30 pm – Crate overnight.
(If needed, for pups below the age of 4 months – wake up your puppy around 2 am for a quick potty break. Do not play with your pet after it has voided and put it right back into the crate for sleeping.)
This is just a sample schedule. You will have to change it according to your exact schedule and work hours.
Remember: if you are outside all day, you might end up crating your Chi for prolonged periods and that is never a good thing.
Therefore, it is important to have someone come over to watch and walk your pet.
Also, please spend a lot of time with your Chi during the time you are at home.
Chis need companions, so, if possible, get another Chihuahua.
Also Read: How Long Can a Chihuahua Hold Its Bladder
What Supplies You Will Need for Potty Training Your Chihuahua
1. Leash and collar set
A leash and collar will help you walk your Chi to the designated potty area – if it is outdoors.
This is also a good start to getting your pet to behave on walks.
Training your young Chi to walk on leash can help you ease the process later when you take your pet outdoors.
We recommend the Burberry Pet Collar and Leash Set as it is softly padded and prevents pressure on your Chihuahua’s delicate neck region.
Also read: Best Harness for Chihuahua
As stated earlier, crate training and house training should go hand-in-hand.
Always use a crate that is appropriately sized for your Chi: it should not be too big or too small.
If it is too big, your Chi might use one end of it as a bathroom and that might negate all your house training efforts.
Therefore, invest in a high-quality crate that is specially made for small dogs weighing 5 to 15 lbs.
We recommend MidWest Homes iCrate for small dogs.
3. Enzymatic cleaners for cleanups
In the early days of potty training, accidents will happen.
It is important that you clean up the mess right away. Otherwise, your Chihuahua will use the same spot to pee upon, over and over.
For cleaning odors and stains thoroughly, you need enzymatic cleaners. These break down the pee molecules and completely eliminate odors.
We recommend Rocco & Roxie Pet Stain and Odor Eliminator .
4. Dog pee pads
If you live in an apartment, or simply cannot take your Chi outside for frequent potty breaks, then you can use indoor dog pee pads.
Pee pads have an absorbent core that turns urine into gel and prevents seepage into your floors. They also absorb odors.
We recommend the Amazon Basics 5-Layer Pee Pads .
5. Potty training sprays
Potty training sprays show your Chi where it is okay to eliminate.
Simply spray the product on the designated area and your pet will know it is okay to void.
When used as directed, these sprays are known to considerably reduce potty training time.
We recommend Bodhi Potty Training Spray which is an award-winning product that has helped thousands of pet parents considerably shorten the potty training duration.
6. Healthy training treats
You must praise and reward your Chihuahua every time it pees in the designated potty spot or uses pee pads.
Use treats that won’t make your pet feel overly full that it has no appetite left for its main meals.
The treats should also be small and nutritious for your tiny pet.
We recommend Pet Botanics Mini Training Rewards as they are lower in calories and perfect for repeated treating.
When is the Best Time to Potty Train a Chihuahua?
Just because your Chihuahua puppy is cute and cuddly, doesn’t mean you should let it get away with anything.
Remember: early training means fewer headaches later.
Habits are very hard to break, so you need to start early.
At 2-4 months of age, your puppy’s mind is like a sponge. It will absorb whatever information you present to it.
Therefore, this is a good time to start potty training. In fact, you can also teach it basic commands at this age.
Also Read: Are Chihuahua Easy to Train
How Long Does it Take to Potty Train a Chihuahua?
Chis are smart dogs and they learn quickly.
However, you need to put in consistent efforts if you want to see quick results.
As stated earlier, you need to take your pet out several times a day to the designated potty area.
The more consistent you are in following the above sample potty training schedule, the faster your pet will be house trained.
With the above schedule, plenty of rewards, and loads of cuddles, there is no reason why your Chi won’t be fully house trained in a few weeks.
Most Chihuahua puppies can be fully house trained by the time they are 6-12 months old.
Remember: indoor potty accidents could still occur while your Chi is growing up. But you must never rebuke or hit your pet. This will only make it aggressive or fearful.
Also Read: Reasons Why Chihuahuas are So Aggressive
FAQs on How to Potty Train a Chihuahua
1. Why are some Chihuahuas so hard to house train?
Some Chihuahuas are very stubborn – its a genetic trait of the breed.
They can be hard to train but, with consistent effort, patience, tasty treats, and hugs, you can house train even the most stubborn Chi within a few weeks.
2. How do I stop my Chihuahua from peeing inside the house?
Take your Chihuahua out on walks so it pees and poops outdoors. When it does, reward and praise your pet.
You can also confine your Chi to a crate during the day for short periods of time so it won’t pee indoors. Use the above schedule so you know exactly how long to crate.
The use of pee sprays and enzymatic odor eliminators can also help.
3. Can I use a litter box to house train my Chihuahua?
Yes, many pet parents have successfully used litter boxes to house train their Chis.
Take your Chi to the litter box several times during the day. When it voids there, praise and reward it.
Do this as many times as needed and until your pet associates rewards with using the litter box.
We recommend the PuppyGoHere Litter Box for Small Dogs .
4. Why does my Chihuahua poo in the house?
Chihuahuas won’t know that peeing or pooping indoors is not a good thing, unless you specifically teach them so.
If you follow the above house training steps, you can completely avoid these accidents.
Walk your pet outdoors several times until it understands that only the outdoors are the right place for voiding.
5. Do Chihuahuas need to pee a lot?
Yes, Chis are small dogs with tiny bladders. Therefore, they need to empty it frequently, especially if they drink a lot of water or are fed wet or canned dog food.
6. What can I use to prevent my Chi from peeing in the same place inside my house?
You can use strong enzymatic odors and cleaners.
These break down the pee molecules and remove the stain and odors so your pet won’t find that spot to void on again.
Alternatively, use strong citrus essential oil spray – it is a scent that dogs hate and will likely stay away from.
7. How often should I take my Chihuahua outside to pee?
Young puppies need frequent potty breaks – at least 4-6 times a day.
As your pet grows older and has more control over its bladder, you can take it outside to pee thrice a day, and if needed, once just before bed time.
8. How long can Chihuahua hold their pee?
A healthy adult Chi could hold its bladder for about 6-7 hours.
9. Will vinegar stop my pet from peeing?
Yes, you can pour concentrated vinegar over previous pee or poop stains. The strong scent will break down your pet’s odor and prevent your dog from voiding in the same spot again.
10. How many times should my Chihuahua poop?
Most Chis (adults) have a bowel movement 1-3 times in a day. Younger puppies might have more frequent bowel movements – sometimes up to 5. The frequency of movements will reduce as your Chi grows.
Conclusion – How to Potty Train a Chihuahua?
How to potty train a Chihuahua? The answer lies in consistency, patience, and positive reinforcements.
We hope the above guide helps you potty train your Chi within a few weeks.