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Old 08-20-2005, 03:36 PM
Swtlildove's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: SC
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chihuahua potty training

Help! I have tried to train our two chihuahuas to go to the bathroom outside. I read the books, and tried everything. Crate training, litter pans, training pads, everything I could get my hands on. Never have I had such a problem. They are brother and sister, from two difference litters. they are part chihuahua ( their dad) and part pek ( their mom). Here's the problems. They hated the litter box. refused to use one. They used the pads-- as play toys to shred! If you pay attention constantly, they will go outside to potty as long as it is dry, not too cold, and the grass hasnt grown up very much. The younger male ( 20 months old) refuses to go outside or down the steps unless his sister does. He is terribly dependant on her. One of our housecats bathes them, and that's the only other animal he will cling to. Molly ( the 3 year old girl) will not go outside if it is:1. raining, molly refuses to get her fur wet; 2. if it is snowy, she actually hates percipitation of any sort; 3. the grass has dew or left over wetness from rain on it ( molly cannot have wet , dirty paws... this is a serious issue with her); 4. the grass is too high ( if she goes to squat, and the grass touches her tushy, that's it)' and if the weather is too cool for her ( molly hates cold).
If Molly wont go down the steps, or does, and runs back up, Mickey ( the boy) follows. They are ruining my carpets. This is n t the first time we have had dogs, but, these are the only ones I've been unable to break.
Molly hates wetness so badly, she will snap at a person (well not me, but other people) if she thinks they are trying to get her wet. ( she even snapped at my mother when she was trying to dry her off, because she though my mom was rubbing wetness on her). When she gets a bath, she goes nuts, she whines and cries awfully ( tears even!) and runs all over snapping at things and trying to rub the wetness away. PLease please help.

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Old 08-26-2005, 12:58 PM
Amanda's Avatar
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Location: southeast Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by Swtlildove
If you pay attention constantly, they will go outside to potty as long as it is dry, not too cold, and the grass hasnt grown up very much. The younger male ( 20 months old) refuses to go outside or down the steps unless his sister does. He is terribly dependant on her....
Hi Karla

I'm sure that there are tons of issues that need to be dealed with here, but that would need the help of an animal professional, which I am not. I also have always had large dogs, so I'm not much help with the differences that presents.

However, I can see that they are definitely fearing the outdoors. I am going to make a suggestion because it worked for a friend of mine years ago who had a poodle. She used a garden stone, one of those square stepping stones that you put in your yard. She taught the dog to go on that. This could eliminate the "grass touching the butt" problem or the wet feeling that comes along with walking on grass.

Another option would be to get a piece of old carpeting and put it outside for them to go on. Now some will probably disagree with me on this thinking it may encourage them to go on yours, but my idea is to wean them off of that piece of carpet and onto the smooth garden stone(s). The key is actually getting them to go while outdoors, on carpet or not.

Another thing to consider is the fact that these types of dogs are tiny and thin haired. If they feel cold or afraid in the great outdoors, you will want to take them outside more often to get them used to it. Do you ever sit out on the porch? If so, make sure they are put there with you. Bring them out whenever possible and make it a happy event. Praise them, feed them treats outside, etc.

Do you keep little sweaters or shirts on them? They are very tiny animals and shake all the time. maybe even little booties to help their sensitivity to the outdoor feeling on their feet.

I don't know if these suggestions will help at all, but these are what came to mind when I saw your post. Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 08-26-2005, 08:00 PM
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Location: MN
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Disclaimer: Not an animal expert here either.
However I listen to public radio when I do my mail route and there's a zoologist on one of the programs that takes calls from pet owners with woes. Her suggestions are generally as follows with potty troubled dogs/cats:

1. Whatever they have urinated/defecated on already needs to be cleaned with a neutralizing cleanser made especially for this purpose. Household cleaners make it worse, even more appealing to the animal.
2. Never yell or frighten or punish your pet for doing it. Though she may suggest you use a voice that sounds like you're let down or to shake your head and say "tsk, tsk" when caught doing the deed. After the fact is too late of course.
3. Unless you want them to go indoors, they have no choice but to do it outside. To make them actually look forward to it, the zoologist would tell you to find the best treat in the world (she often suggests chicken, turkey or cheese) and put some in your pocket. Be persistent and keep bringing them out so they have opportunity. As soon as they have done their business you say something like "good boy/good girl" and give them the treat. They will learn to associate going potty as something great-they get this awesome goody and you're so happy and all they have to do is go potty!

As a side note, the potty mats are a huge no-no. It's merely teaching them to go in the house (my sister in law has found this is true the hard way also). Here's the website for the show. You could do a search on the site or in the archived programs. Good luck.

Last edited by beckri; 08-26-2005 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 08-26-2005, 11:26 PM
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First, welcome to Family Corner Swtlildove!

Next, I have 2 pure bred chihuahuas and both are males. I don't know anything about the other part of your breed. However, I can tell you that I am gone a lot at school and I have a dog who is on Lasex (makes him drink a lot of water and urinate a lot as well as not as good of control of his bladder). Like you, I had grown very frustrated with this problem. Poncho (white) won't go outside potty unless his Uncle Jet-Bo will go. They refuse to go when it is cold outside and especially will NOT go if it is wet.

Here has been my resolution. Most dogs will not potty in a place where they eat. Put their food and drink in a place that they absolutely cannot urinate. (Mine hate hard slick floors and only like carpet too.) I have also noticed that there is only one place that each dog likes to "go potty" indoors. I got some vinyl at Wal-mart and a roll of carpet--both about the same size. (This may look ugly.) I roll the vinyl out where they usually potty indoors. Then, I roll the carpet over that. Then, I put down their wee-wee pads. (Mine are older dogs and don't chew on the paper.) Get you a softball sized rock from outdoors as male dogs need something to pee on. Put the rock on the middle of the wee-wee paper. This will encourage the male dog to hike his leg on the rock to pee. (Yes, you'll need to take it out to rinse off the urine every now and then.) Young dogs need something to chew on as well. (Like babies needing something to suck on.) So, go find you some old socks or even an old tee shirt that has your smell on them. Tie each in a knot and get your dogs used to chewing on them. Play Tug of War with them. I put out a little basket for their toys--kinda like a children's toy box. You may notice that they will remember where that toy box is and go get toys when they are placeful instead of grabbing the potty paper. My boys have a few stuffed toys as well as a sock tied in a knot in their little basket. That should take care of your indoor situation when going outside is not possible.

Now, if you want them to go outside, you will need to make frequent outdoor potty trips. I suggest that when they do go potty outdoors (or indoors ON the potty paper) get excited and baby talk. For example, "Good boy Jet-Bo! You are such a good boy!" I talk baby talk with excitement because they love it. I immediately give them a treat. Mine like Beggin Strips, but you can give them anything. Poncho always comes and tells me when he wants to go potty outside. Then, when he comes in, he expects some "bacon." When I come home after being gone, and I notice that someone pottied on the paper, I point to the paper and excitedly say, "Oh boy! Somebody pottied on the paper!" Then, I give them BOTH a treat. It seems like one is the leader and the other one follows.

When I first started potty training, I did make a big deal when they didn't go potty outside or on the paper. I never punished them, so to speak. But, they knew I was not pleased. I would say, "Who pottied on the carpet?" Then, I would pat the paper and remind them they need to potty on the paper. Another thing that you can try is to use some paper towel to soak up the urine where they try and potty and smush it on the potty paper and then leave it. They will hopefully smell their urine there and know that is where they need to potty.

Now, when I come home and they have properly pottied on the paper, and after our, "Good boy!" speech, I roll up the paper and throw it away and replace it with a clean one in the exact same place. The vinyl and cheap carpet will be there for when they miss the potty paper. It's no big deal because the vinyl will keep the urine from soaking though to the good carpet. The old carpet and eventually thrown away, after all, it only cost you $5-$10. You can replace it if you just cannot get them to go outdoors because of cold and wetness. Like I said, I have to take drastic measures becauses A) both my chihuahuas are males and feel the need to "mark" things. and B) The oldest is on medication the makes him drink a lot and urinate a lot and I'm gone between 3 and 7 hours at a time unless my DH is off. I don't want my house smelling like urine. Also, if you get a 5 feet by 5 feet piece of indoor/outdoor carpeting to put over the vinyl you not only can get it to be a similar color as your good carpeting AND it can be washed.

I hope that I didn't just ramble and actually gave you some things that you can use. We are really having a problem with our oldest being on the medication as we have to get up a couple of times per night as he wants to go outside and potty. The potty paper only holds so much urine and he goes a lot! So, since he has started this med, I have to change them quite often.

Good luck Karla and again--WELCOME!
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