I have a 2 1/2 year old Chihuahua and I have tried for all these years to house train him. He goes through the house hiking his leg on everything and pooping everywhere. I work nights and I am there during the day. He stays in the basement most of the time because I have a big problem with pet poop and pee.
I just don't know what to do about this. I feel bad that he has to stay cooped up in the basement all the time, but I don't have any other solution. So if some one could please help it would be a life saver.
Amanda from Cumming, GA
You might be able to make your own doggie diapers and save a lot of money. (01/22/2008)
Crate training is my favorite way to house train. He probably could be neutered too if he isn't already and you don't plan on breeding. He may be hiking his leg or mark his territory. You also have to clean well everywhere he went in the house. The Humane Society has some good info on crate training.
Chihuahua's can be very difficult to housetrain. As suggested, a crate is really the only method to make this 100% successful, as well as neutering if he isn't already. An unentered male is going to mark to stake out his territory and the longer it is allowed to go on, the less success you are going to have stopping it. Male doggie diapers or pee pee bands can help, but the other two should be done first. (01/23/2008)
Definitely crate train your dog! Your schedule "must" be 110% consistent while you're trying to train them. Give the dog 110% consistent feeding schedules and decrease the water slightly before the periods during which you will be gone the longest.
Set realistic times for walking the dog until they go. You might like working a 10 hour shift and driving home, but could you stay for 11+ hours without going to the bathroom everyday? You may need to use your lunch break to go home and walk the dog depending on how long the shift is.
It sounds like your dog isn't getting enough exercise either. Small dogs need the same exercise that large ones do. They do not get enough exercise "running around" your house or apt. You must "really walk" the dog even if you're tired from working all night. It will help "move things along" and do wonders for the dog's mental health as well as help get them housebroken.
Since you're starting fresh; you also need to thoroughly scour your home from top to bottom since your dog has been using it as a toilet for over 2 years. It may seem clean to you; but to the dog it smells like his usual toilet.
Because your dog has trained you to use your home as a free-for-all toilet; it will take rock solid consistency to properly retrain him, but the dog is probably desperately craving the attention and exercise involved in that training. (01/28/2008)
Crate training is good. I would cover the entire floor with newspaper when he is out and praise him when he goes potty. Always say "go potty" while he is hiking his leg on the paper. If you see him hiking or marking anything, but the paper, tell him firmly but calmly "no" and put him on the paper. It will also help him really learn not to go on the floor.
Freedom in the basement is not teaching him anything, but I would not crate him too long either.
After meals, after waking, after playing, every 30 minutes or less ask him to go potty. You can also use a clicker for stubborn learners. When he is on the newspaper or pad and he pees, click the behavior while he is doing it. Immediately give him a piece of hot dog. Say, "Good dog, going potty." Do this as much as you can the first day. Clickers are the fastest way to train stubborn dogs.
Good luck and try to get him neutered if needed. Stay calm during mistakes and you will be on your way to a better behaved dog. Let us know how the clicking goes. (12/26/2008)
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