How to housebreak chihuahua puppies?

I have two 4 month old chihuahuas that I just got about two weeks ago. I am having trouble housebreaking them. We have been trying to crate train them and take them outside plenty, but they still mess (several times a day) in their crates. Any suggestions?

Answer #1

They have too much “crate space”…or else their natural instincts would keep them from doing that…if they have more room than to simply stand up and turn around in, that leaves one end of the crate to be considered “out of the nest”. You want to halt this immediately…once that instictive barrier has broken down, it’s nigh on impossible to get it back.

Measure your crate…and use a piece of plywood, cut to size to divide the crate so that the “puppy side is just big enough to stand up and turn around. If they are being crated together, make it big enough for two to sleep, and move around only as much as a “nest” would allow…but no “open space” for peeing.

After that, follow the directions I’ve put down many times here…You’re probably doing everything right…but vigilence on TWO puppies is twice the work…I suggest you might try getting baby gates, so they are NEVER in a room that you aren’t there, too. They’re too small to tie to your belt loops…so maybe investigate X-pens…they are portable, so you can move from room to room…this is just temporary so you can watch them all the time, till they are house broke. Then you can use it if they are outside, to keep them contained in the yard. It’s a nice investment.

Here is my pat response to this question:

The number one ingredient to have a house trained dog is…VIGILANCE. You must make housetraining your ‘mission in life’ for anywhere from 10 days to two weeks. Keep slip-on’s by the back door, and a bathrobe or something quick to get into handy…because for this two weeks…housetraining will be your mission.

Your goal is…to beat the puppy to the punch…You’ll learn his signals just by doing all that vigilance…like they’ll start sniffing, and circling…you pick him up and take him out BEFORE he goes…Rules of thumb are also…For puppies, take him out immediately when he wakes up (do not let him follow you to the door…pick him up and carry out the door)…take out immediately after eating. During play a little puppy should be taken out every 20 minutes or so (aren’t you glad they sleep so much?? )

Crate the pup whenEVER you cannot watch it (when you leave, or are ultra busy)…instinct is for them to not dirty their nest…so make sure the crate is only big enough to stand up, turn around, etc…A new puppy will need to get out once during the night…but that only lasts a week or so…You don’t want the puppy having to go so bad he dirties his nest…you do NOT want to break that instictive barrier…once that’s happened it’s hard to undo.

When you get the pup outside…say ‘pee pee’ or whatever…then love them up BIG when they go…this will get them to go on command, and save you from having hang out and wait in the future. A pup can learn to go on command by 3 months old.


If the puppy does pee or poop in the house…roll up a newpaper, and hit YOURSELF in the head, repeating the words…’I didn’t watch my puppy’…

Answer #2

PS…I forgot to ask you…were these puppies “kennel puppies”?? Did you get them at a kennel? A kennel dog is way harder to housebreak than puppies who were at least started when they were 6 to 9 weeks old.

They “habit” is ingrained, so that habit has to be undone, and a new habit created…that’s at the very least a 30 day proposition.


Answer #3

Believe me, this and chewing are going to be the hardest to train on! I have a 4 month old puppy and we’ve been training her since she was 7 weeks old, to go outside a puse the restroom. She is starting to get it… finally, but it’s been nearly 2 months of training. Aviod the crate, at least for using the restroom. Use that as like a bed or place to go when you are not home.

Answer #4

okay dont crate train them until they are fully house broken, and second, when they go inside say bad dog, when they g o outside, praise them like you just won the lottery.

Answer #5

Have chihuahua’s it is very hard. you do need a smaller crate because mine will not go in there crate and I do have to watch them like a hawk and look for all the signs when they are about to go. I have to startle them with a clap of hands or coins in a can and shake it, then I take them outside. Please don’t HIT them. but do praise them when they go outside. It does work if you take them out and they go, then they can be out of there pen, if they don’t go take them back to the crate and wait 10 minutes then try it again and again until they get it right. If you let a dog out to much they will not understand the concept of what OUTSIDE is. Good luck

Answer #6

Hi! My name is Veronica. I just got a 3 month old chihuahua, on Thursday. What I do, is 1. My bathroom is his for now. I take out the door of his kennel so he can go in and out. I put newspaper on the ground and thats where he goes to the bathroom. They will get to know their crate much better instead of being locked up then going to the bathroom in there. Everyday for about 20 minutes, put them in their crate WITH THE DOOR LOCKED. If they start to bark, squirt them in the face with a water gun (softly) This technique does NOT hurt them. When they become quiet praise them and say “Good no bark” and when they start barking say “no bark”

Answer #7

Crate training is the best way to housebreak. Smaller create like pharnnie said is best. They won’t go in their nesting area. When not playing with them, crate them. Regular feeding schedules, take them to eliminate 20-30 minutes after they eat. No food in crate or there will be problems with “emergency” elimination. funadvice and pharnnie are right on.

Answer #8

I would have suggested you avoid the crate altogether - once they’re trained to do one thing, it’s difficult to re-train them

When they mess, show them what they did (mind you, don’t rub their noses in it - that’s cruel), give them a firm, but not painful, tap on the rump and take them outside

When they go outside, give them lots of praise

It takes time and persistence, but they will eventually get it

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