how to care for a chihuahua, Despite the Chihuahua’s small size, like all dogs he needs exercise and training. The amount of energy an adult Chihuahua has can be surprising. He’ll endlessly chase squirrels in the backyard and is willing to play as long as you are.
Chihuahuas enjoy walks, supervised romps around the yard, and retrieving toys. They’ll go until they drop, so it’s important to make sure they don’t tire themselves out, especially on hot days.
As much as they enjoy playing outdoors, Chihuahuas should never live outside.
They aren’t safe from raptors such as hawks, coyotes, or other larger dogs that could go into your yard. They are bred as companions, and the best place for a companion is with you.
Training a Chihuahua can be an enjoyable task.
They are successful in several different dog sports such as agility and obedience, but puppy kindergarten and basic obedience class are important even for a Chihuahua who’s strictly a companion. Your Chihuahua will meet many different dogs and people in a class, contributing to his socialization, and he’ll learn the manners all dogs should know.
Chihuahuas are as easy to housetrain as any other breed as long as you take them out frequently and on a consistent schedule. Puppies need to go out as soon as they wake up in the morning, after every meal, after naps, after playtime, and just before bedtime. Using a crate to confine them when you’re unable to supervise them will teach them that they can control their bladder and prevent them from having accidents in the house. If they’re not crated, plan to take them out every one to two hours, and don’t crate them for more than two to four hours at a time except overnight.
Beyond housetraining, crate training is a kind way to ensure that your Chihuahua doesn’t get into things he shouldn’t. Like every dog, Chihuahuas can be destructive as puppies. They might not do as much damage as a Lab puppy, but those little teeth can definitely leave their mark. Crate training at a young age will also help your Chihuahua accept confinement if he ever needs to be boarded or hospitalized.
Never stick your Chihuahua in a crate all day long, however. It’s not a jail, and he shouldn’t spend more than a few hours at a time in it except when he’s sleeping at night. Chihuahuas are people dogs, and they aren’t meant to spend their lives locked up in a crate or kennel.
Train your Chihuahua using positive reinforcement techniques such as food rewards, praise, and play, and you will soon find that he can learn anything you can teach.