Do you know why Chihuahuas and some other toy breed dogs have such a bad reputation? Here’s a hint: it’s not because they were born bad. Two reasons actually:
- The dog wasn’t properly socialized
- Because they are so small, owners let them get away with rudeness. Some even think it’s cute.
I love to take my Chihuahuas with me whenever I can. It’s one of the best things about having a toy breed dog. If you want your Chi to be welcome at more places, manners are a must.
I had to learn this the hard way. I will admit that I let my first Chi get away with barking and snarling at strangers because when he was little, I thought it was cute too. “Oh look, he’s protecting me.” It wasn’t so cute when he got older. When I realized my mistake, I did not make the same one with my other Chis.
Do you want your dog to be a good ambassador for this wonderful, intelligent, adorable breed?
Here are 5 tips.
- Correct bad behavior immediately!
- Always use positive training methods
- Catch them doing something good.
- Be firm, but kind.
- Never correct them after the fact.
Correct Bad Behavior Immediately!
If you don’t correct bad behavior immediately, it will become a habit. If you allow it to continue, it will get ingrained in their little brains that you expect this behavior. It’s easy to teach them good manners, but very difficult to un-teach a bad behavior.
Always Use Positive Training Methods.
Always, always use positive training methods. Never, NEVER hit or yell at your dog! If you do, they may stop the behavior in that moment, but will only start to fear you. A fearful dog is NOT a happy dog.
Positive motivation works because they love your attention and they will perform anything you teach them over and over to get that positive attention that they love.
Catch Them Doing Something Good.
The best and easiest way to teach them manners is to catch them in the act of doing something that you want them to do. Then praise and/or treat them immediately. They will soon get the idea that you approve of this behavior.
Be Firm, But Kind.
When they begin a behavior that you don’t want, in a firm, but kind voice tell them NO! You must be consistent. They will soon get the idea that you don’t like that particular behavior and will stop. If they are sitting on your lap or near you at the time, firmly tell them “no” and gently place them on the floor.
This works because along with your positive attention, they love nothing more than to be on your lap or near you. Again, if you do this consistently, they will soon get the idea that you don’t like that behavior. Chihuahuas want to please you and they know when you are not pleased.
Never Correct Them After The Fact.
Never tell them no, or bad dog after the fact. They will have no clue what they did wrong. For instance, if they have an accident, but you don’t find it until later, don’t give it any attention at all, just clean it up and say or do nothing. Your dog will not understand the correlation between the accident and your displeasure.
Together, maybe we can dispel the myth that Chihuahuas and other toy breed dogs are mean little ankle biters!
I LOVE to hear from other Chi owners and lovers. Please leave a comment or a question below. Thank you