Tips on Chihuahua Training

Published: 20th April 2006
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A good obedience class to train your Chihuahua is always helpful. However, you don't have to go to obedience classes. Many classes are especially for handling big, out-of-control dogs and may emphasize force methods to try and dominate and calm these dogs. These methods are not good for Chihuahuas, or any dog for that matter. If you run into instructors and classes like this, you are better off training your Chihuahua on your own or with other small-dog owners.



Old-fashioned force-training methods are ineffective and no fun for your dog either. Chihuahuas respond best to amendable training and only the gentlest of techniques.



Some guidelines to keep in mind:



Guide, don't force. Chihuahuas want to please you. Your job is to show them what pleases you. If you force a Chihuahua you might bring out that notorious Chi stubborn streak.

Punishment does not work. Chihuahuas seldom require anything but a mild correction.

Accentuate the positive. Reward your dog for behaviors that please you.

Will work for food. Your Chihuahua will work better for training sessions if her stomach is not full. She will be more responsive to food rewards on an empty stomach.

Happy endings. Keep sessions short and fun, no longer than 10 to 15 minutes. Begin and end each training session with something your dog can do well.



Chihuahuas are intelligent. Just because your Chihuahua lives a life of leisure does not mean she can't learn tricks. Chihuahuas don't hunt, herd or guard so they don't have an opportunity to show off like some of the other breeds. Obedience and agility trials give Chihuahuas a chance to show what they can do. But you don't have to compete in the competitions to enjoy training your Chihuahua. Training should be a fun time for both of you. Chihuahuas need to have some kind of schooling.



Clicker training works well for Chihuahuas. In clicker training you teach the dog that a "click" sound signals a coming reward. A clicker signal is used because it is fast, noticeable, and something the dog otherwise does not encounter in everyday life. Once the dog associates the click with an upcoming reward, you wait for the dog to do the behavior you want her to do. The instant she does so, you click to tell the dog her behavior deserves a reward. Then you give her the treat. If the dog makes a mistake, no treat. You just wait for her to do it right, then reward with a treat.



Connie Limon raises Shih Tzu puppies. She owns Little Guys Dog Clothes Shop. Purchase designer dog clothes and accessories for your Chihuahua and other toy breeds at: http://www.littleguysdogclothesshop.com



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