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Ian Dunbar: puppy training tips (Naturally Happy Dogs)
Known for their spirited character and complete devotion towards their human companions, Chihuahuas make an exceptionally good companion dogs for elderly owners and apartment dwellers. However, these tiny tyrants would rampage your household if they aren’t trained properly. Although small in size, these Chihuahuas have big attitude and can learn most of the tricks that a big dog is capable of. So, you must be really patient while training a Chihuahua. A trained Chihuahua can be the pride of your family so do try to cultivate in it better manners by providing it some obedience lessons from the day it bonds with you and your family.
A dog must be encouraged often when it is learning a new trick. Giving rewards is the usual practice of any dog trainer. But rewarding a Chihuahua puppy might be a bit challenging. As a tiny sized dog, Chihuahua puppies have, no doubt, also got a very less desire for food. A few treats will make it full-stomached, making it lazy and unenthusiastic for any more training. And what’s more? It will also destroy its diet, causing nutritional deficiencies. So, luckily we are glad to say that we have an easy solution up in our sleeve for this nasty little problem. What you have got to do is to dip a wooden spoon in cream cheese or peanut butter and reward your Chihuahua with just a single lick of that spoon during training. In this way, you can give regular rewards to your Chihuahua for about 15 minutes during training sessions. Training a Chihuahua puppy is not that hard if you know the proper way to train it.
Now when you have mastered the way in rewarding your Chihuahua, let’s start teaching them some good behaviors. Always use a unique word like “Okay!” or “Good!” as the bridge signal the moment your puppy obeys your command and shows the right behavior. Then give it a reward quickly for the best effect. However, it’s the bridge signal that is much effective than giving rewards or praise for the correct behavior during training session. A scientific study also says so.
No doubt, touching the target is the first good manners for a small dog. So, hold your intention out and be patient until your puppy makes a move towards it. Use your bridge signal the moment your Chihuahua puppy makes a move towards the target and then offer it a reward. Go on continuing this process until your puppy finally learns to figure out the target or if it begins to show apathy towards that activity. It may take a good deal of time before your Chihuahua puppy finally realizes that you want it to get the target to earn the treat. Once your puppy masters this behavior, then it can also learn the other behaviors easily. For example, you can teach your puppy other funny tricks such as jumping a small blockage to reach towards the target.
Do make sure that your training periods are short and fun. This will make your puppy always eager for the next training session. And to be frank, the attitude of your dog depends upon the manner in which you have trained it. So, take good care of it. A well-behaved Chihuahua who knows some cute tricks like “Say Your Prayers” or “Wave Bye-Bye” will be beloved by everyone and the pride of its master. Anyway, training a Chihuahua puppy is not that difficult or boring as some people think. On the contrary, Chihuahua puppies are intelligent and learn quickly if they are provided with proper training.