By Kelly from Tuscaloosa, AL
We recently took in a year old Chihuahua whose last owner died, and has had a total of 3 owners in his first year of life. I am having a problem getting him to stop peeing in the house! He came with pee pads, but I really want him to learn to go outside. I have been crating him at night, he will go outside with our other dogs and do his stuff, but then comes in and pees again. He even peed on my son's bed. I know this takes patience, but I don't know if I should be using the pee pads while trying to get him to go out.
He also has never been walked on a leash, so when I tried that, he just stands there shaking. I am used to having big dogs, so this is new to me. I am totally in love with the little guy, but am frustrated with the odor that he is putting in my house. Any advice about any of it?
By Minda C
In this situation I would use a clicker to train with. Here is a video explaining why this is a great way to communicate that you want your dog to go outside. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFvV0DVdg7o
Here are some links to some free podcasts form leerburg.com. One is "Train your Dog with Markers" and the others are "Theory of Motivation in Dog Training, and the other one is "Learning to Use Food Rewards during Dog Training.
Here is that link. I go here all the time to watch these free podcasts. They are all around 40 minutes or so. http://leerburg.com/dogtrainingpodcasts.htm
Get a clicker. Click in front of the dog, and he will look at you like you are crazy. When you have clicked then right away drop a liver treat that you only use for training. There are liver treats at the store or you can buy them on line at leerburg.com.
In order to house train the dog, you will need to take him outside all the time.
By all the time I mean: After eating, sleeping, playing, running around. Mornings, nights, afternoons,etc.
After you have clicked the thing for no reason in front of him and given him liver treats directly afterwards he will start to associate this with getting a treat Still take him out with the clicker even before he knows what it is for. When he goes, click and drop the liver treat.
After he finishes pooing and peeing click within a second or two. Click for each act of going to the potty he does outside. You can't wait to go back in the house for the treat, you must drop it within a few seconds. The size of the treat should be easy to eat quickly. Tear them up in to little bits if you have to.
I have used my mouth before to make a clicking sound. It works too but some people prefer the clicker. It is kind of loud so you might want to click with your mouth. The best way to start actual training with a clicker is to "target".
This is when you h old your hand out and call the dog to you. He will probably run into your hand. If not gently put your palm close to his face. The minute he touches your hand, click and drop a treat.
Repeat this game whenever you can. It is a fun way to treat a dog for coming to you. I love to target. When the dog messes up, say "no" in a not angry way, but just say no and go outside with him.
If you get too dramatic and start hollering about how awful a thing to do the dog will be distracted and not pay attention to the more important details of actually being carried outside and going to the bathroom.
Do not put his nose in the poo. That is what uninformed people tell you to do. That is not communication at all that is stupid advice.
Take him out at all times of the day and whenever he looks like he is going to do the sniff thing on the carpet. I usually have a key word I say about going outside.." Go potty". Some folks just say "Business" or "Lets Go Do Our Business!" It has to sound happy.
I like to kind of act like going to the door is the greatest thing in the world. Put a light jump in your step and sound happy! Wanna go outside? Ya!
Some people have a special place outside where they want their dog to go. Others just let them decide. If you can get another neighbor dog to go over and pee on a stake in the ground or a certain spot that is flagged you wont have any problem getting the chihuahua to mark that spot.
Good luck and have fun, and remember half of the fun of training is figuring out how to get them to do the right thing and the other half is rewarding them appropriately.
PS Here is one more video for you:
Good Luck! Most of all have fun. You want you dog to lay down after you have trained him that night and think of how wonderful it was to spend time with you. It is up to you to make your pet's day special to him.
Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to answer this question.