Chihuahuas are wonderfully spirited little dogs full of love and energy! Anyone who knows them can tell you how lively their personalities are. I have 5 chihuahuas, 3 of which are puppies. Susu, Ginger, Cori, Fen, & Cinna. I'll be sharing my thoughts here on everything from health issues, to food, to fashion and fun for the small dog.

I hope you enjoy the blog, leave me a comment and follow along!!

-- Michelle K.

While the main dog here is the Chihuahua, I believe the information here is valuable and entertaining to any small dog owner.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Teaching Your Chihuahua Self Control

Training out excitement and teaching self control are two of the most important things you can do with your Chihuahua.  Right behind a good bite inhibition, calm self control is an important step towards having a great family member in your dog.

A dog who is calm will actually hear instruction and will have clarity of mind to act appropriately even in challenging situations.  Teaching self control and encouraging calmness is easy when you pay attention to your own behavior first.

Here are few simple every day things anyone can do to help their little dogs have good self control.  If your dog can maintain his composure at a high state of excitement with you in your home he is more likely to be able to do this outside of your home and with others.  He is practicing a valuable skill.

  • Greet your dogs when they are calm and keep it calm and brief.  When I walk into a room or come home from work I do not greet my dogs until they are calm.  Once they catch on to this I come home to quiet little dogs who watch me with tails wagging waiting for me to get to them.  I come in and set my stuff done, talk to my family, or just piddle for a few minutes.  Once everyone is calm, I go to each one and give them a little TLC.  

This is a daily practice in self control for them because they are excited that I am home and they all want my attention.  Having learned that they will not get me until they are calm demands that they make the effort  to remain calm.

  • Give treats when your dog is calm and has all four paws on the floor.  When I give treats out I expect everyone to remain calm.  And I say the name of the dog the treat I have is for. (helps with swiping) I don't mind if they jump up to get their treat as long as they not out of control or all over me.  

I like to give treats in the order of who is the most patient or who used the most effort.  So typically the most calm get the first treat but if Cori who usually acts a complete fool actually manages to get himself together he gets a treat right away before he has lost it.

Also, don't forget to reward calmness if one doesn't get up for a treat!  Sometimes one of mine will be in their bed and will stay there watching the others get treats.  I always take them one too.  They get the last one but they are not left out because I like to reward calmness and patience at my house.  You will always get more of whatever you reward!!

If you are just starting out with this one a good place to begin is when they all over place just take one hand and set them a little away from  you with the feet on the floor and give the treat.  Be consistent and will start to learn that this is what is required to get that treat.

Again we have a regular practice of using self control during a high excitement event.  And trust me, getting out the treat bag with 5 chihuahuas in the house is an excitement overload!

  • Randomly notice your Chihuahua and give love when they are being good and calm.  Anyone who has a Chihuahua can tell you what little affection hungry attention hounds these dogs are.  You can use this to your advantage however and give affection whenever you see your Chihuahua sleeping or just chilling out.  It's just a nice way to reward your dog for behaving.
If I walk through the room and see one sleeping in their bed I go give them a little belly scratch or stroke their fur and tell them I love them.  Keep it brief because you don't want to disturb their quiet time.  

You just want to take time to notice when your little dog is being calm and give attention then.  If you do this your Chihuahuas need for affection will be getting filled without him having to be pushy and he won't feel like he has to pull out all the stops to get your attention.

Self Control is easier for some dogs than it is for others but it will come to them if you are consistent and patient.  Age and temperament play a large part in gaining self control.  

These really are simple little things to incorporate into your day and your dog will be learning to control his impulses in an easy pain free way.  I like that these are all very positive experiences for my dogs.  You do these things whether you have an older or a puppy and regardless of your dogs temperament.  

Cinna from time she was a pup would stay in the back with the grown ups and wait patiently for a treat.  Fen who is high energy and naturally pushy was all over me and Cori just seemed to lose his mind entirely!  But this system works for all of them, they just each progress along at their own pace. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Mischief: Food before Fashion Please!!

Well this week's winner of the Monday Mischief Award goes to ME!!  lol   We headed off with all the babies for a quick little weekend out of town and umm... I managed to forget to pack any food for the dogs.  But in my defense I was very distracted by choosing their wardrobe for the weekend! So in the end we loaded up and hit the road with a bunch of Chihuahuas, 2 outfits for each of them and not a kibble in sight!  Not to worry though.. they all survived on Chicken, salmon and rice thanks to Dad!

Note to self: Food before Fashion, Mom!! Don't forget the Food!  lol