How to Train a Chihuahua Terrier

By Kasey Hargan

The basic obedience commands of sit, stay and come are vital to your Chihuahua's safety and are good building blocks for other commands and tricks you may want to add later on. Chihuahuas are intelligent dogs and catch on very quickly to new concepts. They are affectionate and loyal in nature and will want to please their owner. Training your Chihuahua should begin immediately as soon as it comes to your home to establish its place in the new pack.

Concentrate on housebreaking first. Other training can wait a few days. Begin immediately upon bringing her home. Even in a fenced yard, leisurely walk your Chihuahua on a leash, allowing time for the dog to get familiar with the new property. Praise lavishly when it uses the bathroom. Your guidance will show that this is the special place "to go". Repeat this several times during the day, and at bedtime. Four or five days is all that's needed to establish a lifelong pattern.

Perking up its ears to listen is a sign of responding to leadership.

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Be the leader. Dogs are pack animals and need a leader. This is simply the canine nature as ordained from the beginning. When you talk to your Chihuahua, it will perk up itsr ears. This simple interaction of you speaking and the dog wanting to listen is a natural demonstration of a dog reacting to leadership. Always be firm and consistent with your commands. Don't leave out the components of love and praise. Even the most temperamental of dogs will respond to a good leader.

Teach sitting by placing your fingertips on your Chihuahua's rump and pushing down lightly while firmly saying "Sit." Leave your fingers in place as it continues sitting and praise the dog. Repeat the command as you remove your hand, allowing it to sit unaided. If the dog gets up, duplicate the previous steps. After a moment or two allow, the dog to get up and lavish with praise for cooperation.

Instruct the dog on the concept of "Stay", showing your Chihuahua the palm of your outstretched hand while saying "Stay." If the dog moves, return it to its original position and repeat the command until it stays in place unaided. As always, give affection to reward your dog's cooperation.

A Chihuahua displays an exuberant finish to the "Come" command.

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Invite your dog to "Come." Dogs naturally interpret a clap of the hands and outstretched arms as an inviting gesture. Do this motion while enthusiastically calling out "Come Here." After a few times, your Chihuahua will associate the word with the act of going to you. Next, practice saying the word "Come" in a natural speaking tone instead of an excited one and repeat it this way until your Chihuahua will respond to your customary voice level.