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They may be adorable and one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, but many still questions are Chihuahuas easy to train?
These guys might be small and cute, but they have a complex temperament, making them a tough breed to train, a fact that needs to be considered when they are a puppy.
Bred For Companionship
A Chihuahua might have a temperament similar to a terrier but they are bred for a very different purpose. Terriers were bred for hunting, while Chihuahuas were bred for companionship.
In fact, a Chihuahua is more than happy to spend all of its time with its owner and feels most comfortable when the owner is around.
That may sound great until you consider the side effects of this attachment, and how it influences their already naturally aggressive attitude toward other people, especially ones they are not familiar with.
If another person occupies their owner’s attention, Chihuahuas are likely to get agitated and consider the other person a threat.
Aside from being standoffish to unfamiliar people, Chihuahuas can be nippy with children. Some of this is because a Chihuahua should be handled gently.
They might have an attitude of a dog 4 times their own size, but they are not especially durable, being prone to get hurt fairly easily.
Young children who get excited may not know how to handle a dog like that and could be perceived as too aggressive by the dog.
Chihuahuas are also known to be aggressive towards other dogs. Chihuahuas are territorial and protective of owners, and the presence of another animal infringes upon their comfort zone.
Causing the Chihuahua to get nervous and defend its space and its human, even when the threat is not real.
Chihuahuas have a big bark packed inside a cute little body, and they are not shy about using it.
As they are attached to their owners, if a Chihuahua is left home alone, they will likely bark persistently if not trained otherwise, annoying the neighbors and wearing themselves out.
Just seeing another animal or person passing by could be enough to trigger the bark to come as the Chihuahua seeks to let everyone else know that they are big, mighty, and to let the world know it.
Training Your Chihuahua
The keys to training your Chihuahua are patience and starting very early. Just like any other dogs, Chihuahuas can be trained, it just takes more effort than it does with some other breeds.
If not properly trained, Chihuahuas can not only be aggressive, they can be controlled to the point of dominating their own masters in the home, making them challenging to deal with.
If you are not in a patient mood, try to choose a different time to do the training.
The point of training is so that the dog obeys you instead of manipulating you to get what he wants.
Another reason is that the training process bonds you and your pup more, ensuring your canine’s loyalty. Chihuahuas are energetic and intelligent dogs, so they love mentally stimulating activities.
This is an essential tool to use in their training. Exercise them daily. This does not mean they need long walks as running around the house or apartment can generally be quite enough for their little bodies to handle.
Two of the most important components in training a Chihuahua are encouragement and rewards. Positive reinforcement is paramount especially with a dog who is so attached to its owner.
By pleasing the owner and getting positive vibes back, such as affection, embraces, and a happy demeanor, the Chihuahua is likely to want to continue pleasing its human. It will respond similarly to treats when performing proper behavior.
Remember to stay consistent because Chihuahuas, like other dogs, love a consistent routine in their lives.
The two most important training aspects for a Chihuahua puppy are potty training and socialization with other people and animals.
Introduce your Chihuahua to other, larger dogs that are gentle at a very early age to teach them that other animals are not a threat.
While a Chihuahua is young and impressionable, introduce the pup to neighbors, friends, and family members.
Make certain that as children get introduced, they observe calm, quiet behaviors, move slowly around the dog and pet it gently. The idea is for the dog to not see them as a threat.
If the Chihuahua feels comfortable, loved, and rewarded for good behavior at an early age, they are likely to get adjusted very well.
They might be tougher to train than some other dogs, but they are smart and perfectly capable of learning the right behaviors, given a calm and patient trainer.