Taking Your Chihuahua Puppy Outside

Some basic training tips to ready your puppy for the outside world.

ChihuahuaAs your puppy gets older, you can teach him to sit, always using a simple one-word command, Sit, while exerting gentle pressure on his rump to show him what you expect. This will take a little time, but you will soon succeed. Always give plenty of praise when appropriate. Never shout or get angry when your dog does not achieve your aim, for this will do more harm than good. If yours is destined to be a show dog, you may decide not to teach sit, as in the show ring he will be expected to stand.

When your Chihuahua puppy can venture out to public places, begin by taking him somewhere quiet without too many distractions. Soon you will find his confidence increasing and you can then introduce him to new places, with exciting sights, sounds and smells. He must always be on a safe lead that cannot be slipped (quite different from the type used in the show ring). When you have total confidence in one another, you may be able to let him off-lead, but always keep him in sight. Be absolutely sure the place you have chosen for off-lead exercise is utterly safe and securely enclosed, and that no strange dogs can suddenly appear from nowhere.

You will need to train your puppy to stay in his crate when required; this is recommended for both show and pet dogs. At shows in most countries, Toy breeds are housed in crates for at least part of the time while not actually being exhibited in the ring. Crates are useful for safety while traveling and, if used in the home, most dogs seem to look upon them as a safe place to go and don’t mind staying in their crates for short periods. This is useful for safe confinement whenever the need arises. When you commence crate-training, remain within sight of your dog and give him a toy or treat to occupy his mind.

To begin, leave him in the crate for very short spells of just a minute or two, then gradually build up the timespan. However, never confine a dog to a crate for too long, for this would be unkind. Always spend some time with him, playing or just petting him, after time in the crate.

Next step: Training Overview

Reprinted from Breeders Best: Chihuahua © 2004. Permission granted by Kennel Club Books, an imprint of BowTie Press.

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