As with all dogs, Chihuahua obedience training is an important factor in the successful relationship between animal and master. Chihuahuas are known for having certain behavioral issues, among them stubbornness, testiness, territoriality and sensitivity. All of these issues make Chihuahua obedience somewhat lacking as compared to that of other dogs. Still, despite their shortcoming, Chihuahuas are undoubtedly trainable and in the right situation can make loving, faithful and yes, even obedient pets.
Chihuahua Obedience Issues
Before purchasing a Chihuahua, it is important to be well aware of the various problems that the breed is susceptible to. It is important that the word “susceptible” be particularly noted, though. Just because a dog belongs to a certain breed does not mean that they will act in strict accordance with the traditional characteristics associated with their kin. There are many instances of Chihuahuas behaving almost entirely against type. With that being said, prospective Chihuahua owners should expect to find at least some of these traits in their animal:
Aggressiveness, particularly with strangers and dog breeds other than Chihuahua
Jealousy, Chihuahuas frequently form a strong attachment to one of their owners to the exclusion of all others.
Excessive Sensitivity, Chihuahuas oftentimes don’t like to be handled and are easily upset by loud noises. This is especially problematic in households with young children where this sensitivity sometimes turns into snapping.
Wariness of Strangers, in some cases this only takes the form of shyness, but Chihuahuas aggressive towards strangers are not uncommon.
Stubbornness, Chihuahuas are oftentimes resistant to obedience training. They are particularly susceptible to housetraining issues.
Dominance, It is not uncommon for Chihuahuas to assume that they, rather than the owner, are the alpha members of the “pack”
Chihuahua Obedience Training
All of this makes Chihuahua obedience somewhat difficult to come by, but it is not by any means impossible. The owners must make it known that the Chihuahua is on a distinctly lower level from the human members of the household. This can only be accomplished through a group effort from the entire family, so it is important that before beginning a training regime, everyone be on the same page.
In order to establish the correct social hierarchy in the household, it is important to set boundaries between what humans can do and what the dog can do. If a dog eats at the table, sleeps on the couch and is allowed to do whatever else it pleases, it will never understand the distinction necessary for things to operate smoothly. Chihuahuas are more resistant to understanding this distinction than other dogs, so it is all the more important to make it clear with them.
After the proper mindset has been adopted by all of the owners, training can progress onto basic commands. This helps to solidify human dominance and introduce the idea that a dog can be rewarded if it responds to humans. This is very important in Chihuahua obedience training, as the breed has a tendency to ignore the commands of its owner, particularly if it does not come from its favorite owner.
Obedience is Attainable by all Dogs
Although Chihuahuas may not be the most obedient breed by nature, they too can become wonderful companions for the whole family. Owning a dog takes patience and dedication, but the rewards are immeasurably valuable.