How to Train Your Chihuahua
Just kidding. You can’t. They’re the worst.
I was never a small dog person. The dog I had before this hellion was a 105 pound yellow lab named Charlie. He was a Hurricane Katrina rescue. He was a good boy. Okay, he wasn’t. He once ate the contents of the entire pantry. But enough time has passed that I remember him well.
My friend was working with a rescue that specializes in taking in pregnant strays. Mama dog had lots of cute puppies. That’s how I ended up with a 12 pound fireball. A longhaired Chihuahua mutt. A “ Wee Wee.” God help me. Her name is Pippa.
Training Tip #1 — Make Your Dog a Comfortable Bed to Sleep In
Buy an expensive dog bed. Make sure it is super fluffy and warm. Chihuahuas like to be toasty and like to burrow under covers. Get a warm blanket so you can tuck in your dog every night. If you can read her a story before bed, even better.
Once you tuck her in, give up. Wait 23 seconds for her to break free, jump on your bed, and claim one side. Tuck her in with her head on the pillow like damn human. Adjust yourself as she needs.
Training Tip #2 — Dogs Should Not Be On the Furniture
The best way to keep your Chihuahua off the couch is to continually reinforce and redirect. Use a firm “NO!” and point a finger. Intimidation is key here. Sadly, you are not the one doing the intimidating.
After a few minutes of reminding your dog where her place is compared to yours, you will get “Wee Wee Side Eye.” Chihuahuas are better at the side eye than Michelle Obama.
It’s terrifying. There have been moments I have feared this sweet thing may shank me in my sleep. If she had opposable thumbs…
Succumb to the intimidation. Quit working on whatever was in your lap. It’s not important anymore. Your dog wants to cuddle.
Training Tip #3 — Socialize Your Chihuahua
Option 1 — Take your dog to the dog park. Sit down in the heavily peed on grass. Let your chihuahua sit in your lap. Look! Socialization!
Option 2 —Find a pet friendly patio. These are great for introducing your dog to a myriad of other people who want to fawn all over her. Be sure to find a place with benches because if she has to sit on the ground while you enjoy a glass of wine, there is sure to be something unsavory in the hallway later.
Training Tip #4 — Barking is Discouraged
If you live anywhere other than a subterranean hobbit house, this will be a challenge. Chihuahua are nosy sons of bitches who want to know what is going on at all times.
Again, redirection is key. A firm voice and a nudge away from the window should be practiced.
Do not worry about reinforcement of good behavior with treats. This will never happen. Give up and cover every window in the house with something so she can’t see out. Congratulations, Frodo. You now live in a hobbit house. At least you have company.
Training Tip #5 — Potty Training Your Chihuahua
They are small dogs with small bladders. Install a dog door so they can go outside when they want. You now have a low to the ground solar tube as Chihuahuas are afraid of everything and do NOT want to go outside without you.
Take your Chihuahua out frequently. Walks are a great idea! They love to go outside with you and smell all the things and bask in the sun. Give them ample time to enjoy the outdoors.
When you get home, give your dog some needed water. After this, wait seven minutes and then go search the house for where she took a post-walk shit. The hallway is a good place to start.
There are days when wonder why I even do this. Then she looks at me. The rest of my house is quiet and it’s just she and I. Well, we have two cats but they’re a whole other ball game… She’s my companion. For now. I still hold on to the hope and dream that someday someone will look at me like Pippa does when I’m eating popcorn.