There’s a few ways to train a Chihuahua to potty outside. First thing in the morning take her to that quiet location that you previously scouted out for suitability. Your puppy should be leashed and escorted to the potty spot, as puppies get easily distracted and will “forget” that they had to go. Use a leash or carry your Chihuahua to the potty spot, and no monkey business on the way!
Retrain your pup if she tries to wander off and hasn’t attempted elimination. allow the pup to sniff around as you stand in the potty zone, though, because sniffing usually leads to potty success. You can put down a piece of previously soiled paper and leave it there to encourage the pup to sniff and squat.
Puppy potty time is where the patient owner gets results. Some pups will immediately do their thing, but others may take upwards of five or more minutes to relax enough to empty out. If you’ve tried the waiting game without any success, don’t assume the wee one doesn’t have to go, just confine the pup for another fifteen minutes and try again later.
Once the puppy is successful, follow up immediately with a high value reward that you have hidden in your pocket and a little off leash playtime before heading back in for breakfast. A word of caution – don’t let your Chihuahua learn that you go inside immediately after potty time, or she may learn to hold it to enjoy the outdoors longer.
Offer your Chihuahua food and water on a schedule recommended by your veterinarian. It’s usually better not to leave food out all day, because if your pup is nibbling all day, she will be dribbling all day! Of course, consult your veterinarian if your Chihuahua is very tiny or has a health issue for specific recommendations on feeding schedules, since small dogs may be at risk for low blood sugar.
After each meal, confine the puppy for a few minutes to let that digestive system get to work but watch closely; at the first sign of the “potty dance”, or any sort of unease or distractedness, it’s time to head back outside to the potty spot. Some puppies will need to head back outside immediately after eating, and some may need to ruminate a little longer, until fifteen or twenty minutes later, bingo! Time to potty!
If your pup is successful during the after meal potty run, she can play off leash while supervised. Use this time to introduce her to increasing areas of the home, since you know she’s empty for a while. If not truly successful on this potty run, it might be a good idea to place her back in the crate for another, maybe shorter, confinement period and have another opportunity later. Every pup will have a different body schedule, but if the pup is eating, exercising and brought to the potty spot on a very regular schedule, say every thirty to sixty minutes while awake, the schedule should become regular.
When the family is leaving the house for work and school, have a final potty run, put your pup in her confinement area, give her a distraction, and keep goodbyes low key. Very young pups, up to four months old, should have someone coming in to potty them every three hours. Pups older than four months can be gradually accustomed to a less frequent schedule, but should not be crated longer than about four hours at the most. While crates can be a great tool, if your pup is forced to potty in it because you were gone too long, it will be useless.
Repeat the potty routine after every meal, and after sleeping, playing, and before bed. For very young pups, this may need to be repeated every thirty minutes, gradually increasing the time to several hours at a time as the pup gets older. Use the periods after successful potty trips to introduce the pup to gradually expanded areas of your living space, while supervised or on leash.
If the room you’re in has a door, close it, or use a portable baby gate as a temporary boundary. Bring the pup’s bed or belongings room to room to help her establish those areas as hers, too. Remember, if it’s not a bed, it’s a toilet, so establish each new area as her “bed”.
If the pup regresses or has accidents, decrease her freedom and increase your supervision. Use those mistakes as an opportunity to interrupt your pup during the act by startling her (not too scary, just a hand clap will do), and then redirect her to the right location. Think of it as a learning experience, and make it a point to tighten up your supervision. You have gone too fast, and your pup will need to spend more time honing her skills before she can be trusted loose in the house.