Indoor training offers one major advantage over outdoor training – your dog can relieve himself whenever the need arises, whether anyone is home or not. This may be a considerable asset to you if you work outside the home. Many Chihuahua owners also choose this route because it is more convenient for their individual lifestyles.
People who live in apartment buildings (often complete with several flights of stairs), elderly dog owners, and those who reside in colder climates all have good reasons for preferring indoor house training.
Choosing the Proper Surface
The first decision you will have to make when training indoors is the surface on which your Chihuahua will eliminate. Newspapers are common choice, since they are both convenient and inexpensive. Some owners, however, prefer a litter box. Although this option is more expensive than newspaper, it is fairly easy to clean and generally more attractive. Both methods are equally effective.
Dog litter may sound like a new-fangled word used merely to charge a higher price for an old item (cat litter), but there are legitimately important differences between the two mediums. Dog litter is larger than its feline counterpart and also more absorbent. Many dogs also have an inexplicable tendency to eat kitty litter, and this can be harmful to your dog’s health.
To give you an idea as to how much you would spend on dog litter, a 12-pound (5.4 kg) bag should last the average toy dog approximately three to four weeks. Depending on your litter – and newspaper – of choice, the difference in cost (after the initial litter box purchase) may be minimal.
Although few things may seem more difficult than properly balancing a puddle of urine on a piece of newspaper while disposing of it, the more manageable choice of canine litter boxes do come with a certain amount of necessary housekeeping. In order to keep your dog’s litter box smelling fresh and clean, you will not only need to change the litter itself, but you will also need to give the entire unit a thorough cleaning about once a week. This will keep the box more pleasant for both your dog and the rest of the household.
How to House Train Indoors
Not surprisingly, indoor training is very similar to outdoor training. You will still need to establish a schedule for your puppy and bring him to his paper or litter box frequently. Place your dog on the papers at all the same times – following meals, after naps or periods of play, etc. When your Chihuahua goes on the paper, praise him delightedly. When he eliminates in unacceptable spot, remove the dog from the room temporarily while you clean up the mishap entirely, and then continue with the training schedule.
While you don’t want to leave several urine-soaked areas of newspaper on your floor, do leave one wet paper when cleaning up your dog’s successes. Place this piece just underneath the top layer of fresh paper, as a way of reminding your Chihuahua of the purpose of the newspaper. Once your dog is fully house trained, you will be able to do away with this step.