Housetraining a Chihuahua

Small dogs get a bad rap when it comes to house training

Farfl in a sun patch

Farfl in a sun patch

Because they're little, it can be easy to overlook a chihuahua puppy's accidents, because they're not as gigantic or disastrous as those left by a rottweiler or shepherd puppy. But this is a big mistake.

I live in Toronto, which is very, very cold and snowy in the winter time. This makes housetraining tricky because it's not safe to take a chihuahua who is under 2 pounds out in the freezing temperatures. Luckily for me, my breeder Lenni Reed, started Farfl off on pee pads.

A pee pad is like a diaper, or nappy, which is flat and square (you can see one in the video below). It's way better to use for housebreaking indoors than newspaper, because it's super-absorbent, and if you have as many newspapers as us lying around it avoids puppy messing up the one you haven't read yet! I just tip the poo into the toilet when she's used it and let her use each pee pad a few times before it goes in the compost. They absorb the odour too!

When she gets up every morning I make sure she hangs around the pee pad in our dining room long enough to pee and poo. Each time she gets it right I use the clicker and give her a treat. It's imperative to keep an eye on your puppy all the time, so that when she starts to go in the wrong place you can pick her up and put her straight on the pee pad.

On a couple of occasions Farfl has pooed somewhere where she shouldn't and I've missed it. In that case there's no point yelling at her - she won't get why I'm shouting. I just cleaned it up and sprayed the area with organic odour coverer so she won't do it there again. In just under two weeks she's getting to the pee pads every single time.

Because we have a large house there's also a pee pad near the front door, which is getting her used to the idea of going outside to do her business. When it's warmer I will be taking her on plenty of walks and cutting out the pee pads altogether.

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