If you aren’t using a crate, you will need to work a little harder at house training your Chihuahua. Keep your dog with you at all times during training, and be sure to stick to your dog’s schedule for elimination. Since a puppy will be more likely to go whenever he feels the urge, you will have to watch him closely for the signs that the time is near.
If your dog doesn’t appear to be making the connection between your chosen area and the task at hand, try taking a saturated paper towel from his last accident with you to the potty spot. The scent will encourage your dog to use this area for his bathroom business. For this reason it may also be advantageous to leave your dog’s last bowel movement in the potty area as an example for your Chihuahua.
At some point in the house training process, a number of dogs will begin telling their owners when they have to relieve themselves. Some will scratch at the door, others will bark, and a few might even try bringing their leash to their owners. You can help the chances of your dog alerting you in this way by positioning a noise-making device near the door. A common item used by many dog owners is a string of Christmas bells.
Each time you take your dog outdoors to do his business, ring the bells, so your dog associates the noise with elimination. If your Chihuahua goes to the door and makes the sound, praise the dog and take him outside right away. He is probably trying to tell you that it’s time for a potty break.
If using bells, a small amount of caution must be taken. Although bells can be an extremely helpful both during and after house training, a dog’s claw can accidentally get caught in one of them. This could seriously injure your Chihuahua – possibly even pulling out the nail. This problem is easily prevented, though, by hanging the string securely with the bells themselves facing the door or wall.
Cleaning Up After Your Chihuahua
Whether you walk your dog in public or provide him with a more private area for doing his business, cleaning up is an important part of the process. In addition to being the law on public property, cleaning up after your dog is also a basic courtesy of every dog owner. While there is certainly more freedom involved in cleaning up your own backyard, the area will definitely be more pleasant if you keep it free of yesterday’s feces.
In addition to being smelly and unattractive, excrement contains bacteria that can be harmful to both human and canine health. By cleaning up after your dog promptly, you also keep abreast of any irregularities in your dog’s stool that may indicate a health problem needing veterinary attention.
There are several options for the easy removal of dog wastes. Pooper-scoopers are available in a variety of sizes and designs, although carrying them along on walks is still rather impractical. These items work best for yard cleanup.
Bags are ideal in most situations. By placing a bag over your hand, you can pick up your dog’s feces and then immediately turn the bag inside out before tying it. Your hands stay clean, and the mess is removed in just seconds. Poop bags designed specifically for this purpose can be purchased from pet supply stores. They are often sold in small rolls that attach conveniently to your dog’s leash. Some bags are even scented, making the cleanup task a little easier on the nose.
Feces are not the only waste that can leave behind a reminder of your dog’s presence. Over time, the nitrogen in your dog’s urine will kill your grass. Since the problem has nothing to do with acid, dietary supplements that alter the pH of your dog’s urine will do nothing to prevent this from occurring. The best way to prevent extensive damage is to limit your dog to one small area of the yard for elimination. Otherwise, your lawn will be sporadically spotted with brown spots of dead grass.