The most mistakes what Toy-breed owners make often, is teaching their dogs how to walk on a leash too late. It’s so easy to carry a tiny dog that some people just don’t get around when it comes to leash training a Chihuahua.
Some breeders teach their puppies to walk on a leash before selling them. If your Chi doesn’t know how to walk on leash, though, and isn’t used to her collar or harness, follow these steps:
- Put the collar on her and play with her. Is she a chowhound? Put the collar on her just before meals and let her wear it a little longer each time. After a few days, she’ll ignore it.
- When your Chi is accustomed to her collar, attach the lead and let her drag it around. Keep an eye on her so she doesn’t catch it on something and start struggling.
- When she’s nonchalant about dragging the leash (or if she’s too busy playing with it to drag it), pick up your end and follow your pup wherever she takes you. When leash-breaking a Chihuahua puppy, five minutes a day is enough, and more than ten minutes is too much.
- When she’s comfortable with her collar and leash in the house (this may take a few days), put a few of her favorite dog treats in your pocket and carry her outside wearing her leash. If you live in a crowded city, save lead training for early on a weekend morning or for whenever the fewest people are out rushing around.
- Carry her about a quarter-block away from the house, put her down, and walk her home (it should probably take plenty of verbal encouragement and a few treats). If she pulls and rears like a baby bucking horse, wait until her tantrum subsides and try again.
Keeping the experience a positive one is important, so ignore the rebellion and praise her when she walks with you (out in front, following behind, or beside you are all okay), just watch your timing. Be sure to give her a treat when she’s moving with you, not when she’s balking like a belligerent mule.
Does your Chi scream and turn herself inside out in a ploy to make you remove her leash? Just stay calm and keep trying. Whatever you do, don’t give in and decide to put off training until she’s older. When she’s older, she’ll be more set in her ways and will throw bigger tantrums.
- After she begins to walk home with you rather well, put gentle pressure on the leash to decide the direction both of you will go.Instead of stopping in front of your house, continue past it for a few steps, encouraging her all the way. Gradually show her how to walk both toward and away from home. More important, keep your sessions short and upbeat.
Does your Chi cough when you put the slightest pressure on the leash? She may have a tracheal collapse. Consult your vet. You can relieve that problem by having her wear a harness rather than a collar.