House training your chihuahua is going to be the biggest task that you will undertake in owning a chi puppy. There is a table later in the document that tells you how often to take your pup outside. Follow the same steps each time that you take your pup out.
However, people are lucky in the fact that, by nature, dogs do not like to soil their den or sleeping area. This can be used as a training aid when combined with crate training. For this to work, the crate must be small. A crate that is large enough for the pup to walk around in is too big, as they could walk to the other side and go to the bathroom there and still not soil their sleeping area. The crate must be big enough to allow sleeping room only. If the crate is larger, it can be partitioned so as to allow only sleeping room. To make crating easier, put a toy or small treat in before him and say "crate" as you are putting him in, then walk away. Soon he will learn what the word crate means and will enter it on his own. At night, put his crate in your bedroom and if he cries, and he will, talk to him, but do not let him out. If you let him out, it will teach him that whinning will make you give into what he wants. The first few nights will be the hardest because he is used to sleeping with his mom and littermates. Be sure to take him out at least once during the night to go potty.
Many people want to sleep with their new puppy from night one, but unless you want to wake up with messes in the bed, DO NOT LET YOUR PUP SLEEP IN THE BED TILL THEY ARE FULLY HOUSE TRAINED.
Keeping your new puppy on a regular schedule and consistancy is the key to successful house training. As soon as you wake up of the morning, take your puppy outside. Give him several minutes to go to the bathroom. If he does, praise him repeatadly. If he doesn't take him back in and crate him for 5 minutes or so and try again. Once he does, lay the praise on thick. Chihuahuas love to please and the positive reinforcement is the best reward that you can give them. Small treats also help, but only one small one because chis are so small that you might not think that it is much, but would be alot for a small chi belly.
After they potty, take them in for breakfest. Allow the dog 10-15 minutes to consume their food. After this time, take the food away. If you allow a dog to "free feed" through out the day, there is always activity in the digestive tract and that will make house training more difficult. Also, by leaving food all day, you are incouraging finicky eating. If a pup knows that the food will be taken away, he is more likely to eat what is offered.
After the pup is done eating, take him back outside to potty. Once he has pottied, allow him to play inside, under supervision. If you have to leave the house, take him out and allow him time to relieve himself again and praise him when he does. Crate the puppy while you will be gone, but keep in mind the amount of time that the pup will be able to hold his bowels. The following table is a general guideline as how long they can wait.
6-8 Weeks or 2 Months
9-12 Weeks or 3 Months
13-16 Weeks or 4 Months
17-20 Weeks or 5 Months
21-24 Weeks or 6 Months
25-28 Weeks or 7 Months
29-32 Weeks or 8 Months
Do not try to make your pup hold himself too long. One of two things will happen. One, he will soil his sleeping area, and this will have an adverse effect on his crate training, not to mention that he and his crate will need washed when you get home. Or two, he will hold it and get stressed which causes direaha which is not good or small pups of the toy breed cause its leads to dehydration will can kill a pup this small very quickly.
Upon returning, take your puppy outside. Give him several minutes to go to the bathroom. If he does, praise him repeatedly. If he doesn't take him back in and crate him for 5 minutes or so and try again. Once he does, lay the praise on thick, and maybe give a small treat.
Give lunch the in the same manner that breakfest was, that is allow him 10-15 minutes to eat it and take it away. Then allow the dog to go back outside to do his business. If he doesn't go, crate him for five minutes and try again. Once he does praise him again.
Give dinner the same way that breakfest and lunch was, then allow the pup to go outside.
Some owners prefer to take the pups water about 2 hours before bedtime so that they don't have to worry about getting up in the middle of the night to take their pup out to potty.
Allow the pup to go out once more before putting them to bed.
Take your pup out according to the chart between feedings and at NIGHT, yes, I said at night too.
Once your pup has relieved himself, do not rush him back in the door every time. If it is a pretty day, take him for a walk. Chi's love to be outside. But keep his safety in mind, and always have a properly fitted harness and leash on him.
Do not just push your pup out the door and hope that he goes to the bathroom. Just because he spent 10 minutes outside doesn't mean that he went potty. In fact, if you were not out there with him, he probably spent 10 minutes trying to get back in to you. There is also the possibilty that someone will steal your puppy!!
If an accident happens, and chances are good that it will, clean the mess up ASAP!! You will have deodorize it so that the pup is not inclined to return to the same spot to go again. There are many products on the market, we use Wool-lite Pet Stain Remover, but one of the best is a solution of 1 part white vinager to 5 parts water.
Signs that a pup need to go outside are whining, sniffing and circling.
Right after heavy play sessions or heavy drinking most dogs will have to go outside to pee.
If your chi does start to go inside, say a firm "NO!" and pick him up and take him outside to the selected spot.
Do not punish your chi for accidents. Rubbing their nose in it or swatting them with your hand accomplishes nothing accept making your pup fear you, and that can cause submissive urination that is even harder to correct. This also teaches your dog NOT to relieve himself in your presence which is the OPPOSITE of what you are trying to accomplish.
Do not use the crate as a time out pen for mistakes. You want the crate to be a place that you pups feels secure in.
Most chi's are not fully housebroken until 6 months to one year of age.