Help My Chihuahua Is Driving Me Crazy

Updated on June 23, 2011
B.P. asks from Denton, TX
13 answers

I have a 3.5 year old chihuahua named Katie (name changed to protect the innocent) that we took in about a month ago. The previous owners said that she is housebroken and I believe that she is because everytime I ask her to go out, she runs to the door. My problem is that she keeps pooping in my house. I have to pick it up everyday. I put her outside first thing in the morning, and everyhour that i am home. I have seen her "go" outside and I praise her when I let her in. I keep her in a large cage when I'm not home and she pooped in that the other day. I have spanked her and put her nose in it. I don't know what else to do. I'm to the point of getting rid of her. I don't want to send her to a trainer. We also have another chihuahua, and I don't have any problems with her, as we watch her do her business as we are waiting for Katie to do hers. I can also tell when she has done it because she hides from me. When she has been good, she runs right up to me.

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answers from Amarillo on

Hi B.,
I have a chihuahua mix and she also has problems sometimes. I read an article on line that when she poos in the house pick her up and pick pick the poo up with a paper towel and tell her bad potty in the house then while carrying her and the poo in the other hand take them both outside putting her and the poo down in the desired area and tell her good potty outside. I have done this and it does work for a while. I know it is frustrating but hang in there.

Hope this helps.

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answers from Dallas on

First of all, correcting your dog for the accident moments AFTER the fact does no good. You have to catch them in the act. Rubbing a dog's nose in it doesn't work. Dog's love the smell of their own "stuff" so it isn't a punishment for them. It will take time and discipline for you and/or your family to take the dog out on a schedule whether she goes every time or not. Give her LOTS of verbal praise (higher pitch is praise to a dog) for every time she goes and/or tells you she needs to go. Part of it could be the transition of a new home, so be patient. If you find she's going in the same spots then you may need to get a product that eliminates the smell. Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

I've not done this myself, but I've read that you should put food dye on your dogs food and feed him/her and then take all the food up. Take the dog outside every hour until he/she passes the colored poo. Now you know how long it takes for your dog to digest his/her food. You then need to adjust feeding times based on when you will be around to let the dog out - do not leave food out all the time, because then you'll never know what your dog's poop schedule is.



answers from New York on

Stop hitting the dog. Stop putting her nose in her poo poo. This is not the way to train an animal. There are many internet sites and/or books that make potty training easier and less violent. If you cannot figure out a solution quickly, I suggest giving the dog to someone else who loves dogs. Potty training takes patience but it can be done, without hurting the dog. The dog should not be afraid of you. I wish you and Katie all the best!



answers from Dallas on

If you are able to take your dog for a walk every day, that will give her the opportunity to poop several times and possibly not need to go again until the next day. I had a rat terrier for over 13 years that would poop in the house, in the crate, etc., but I rarely took her for walks (just let her out in the fenced back yard). After she passed away we adopted a medium sized mutt. I walk him almost every morning and he will poop two or three times, but then he usually doesn't need to go again for the rest of the day. We also adopted a small mutt who used to have accidents in the house, but once he adjusted to the daily walks there were no more accidents inside. Good luck to you!



answers from Dallas on

Hi B.,
Please don't toss her out. You don't know what's she's been through and you've only had her one month. Dogs don't learn anything but fear from the 'rub your nose in it'. It causes them anxiety and they'll go hide and poop when they have to so that they can avoid the consequence of fear.
If you have a place to let her and your other dog out for periods of time, let the experienced dog guide her behavior.
Our son's dog has stayed with us numerous times. She was a wetter indoors even after being out. Our Great Dane, Graci, mothered her and within six weeks she was no longer wetting in the house (on my carpets no less). Continue to give her treats any time she goes poop outdoors. When you find poop indoors, take her to it and then gently lead her outdoors. She'll connect the dots sooner than you think.
You wouldn't give away your child if she pooped or peed on the floor. You'd find a solution. This new member of the family needs your love and guidance to succeed at this.
Good luck,



answers from Dallas on

Hitting her and putting her nose in it will not do anything except frighten her more! And you'd rather dispose of her than have her trained? That is wrong.

Try properly crate training her. She needs a small crate, not a large one. If it's too large, she will designate one area to go in and another to live in. If it's small, she will not go in it (unless she physically cannot help it) because it will be her den, and animals do not go in their dens.

She is also probably readjusting due to the change of environment. Work with her properly and she'll train.



answers from Dallas on

Chihuahua's are notorious for having house training issues. Not all do but the majority of this breed do. Yorkies, pomeranians and other toy breeds do as well.

First rule out a medical issue. If she can not help it you'd hate to punish her for it-right?

With that ruled out-here are a few steps you can take-

a dog show trick that is not harmful at all but is slightly gross-is to take a wooden matchstick and wet the sulfer end. Slid it just a centimeter up the chi's bottom. This stimulates the dog to immediately empty her bowel. The match comes out right away and along with it ANY poo that is in the bowel at that moment. The minute you put it in you tell her to "do her business-go potty" or whatever your catch phrase is. Do this as though she is a puppy and has never been trained.

Second you put food down at her normal hour in the morning. Take her out first thing when you get up and first thing when she is done eating. Follow up again just before you leave if you can. Upon returning home-take her out first thing. (I bet you already do anyway. Good job.) DO NOT LEAVE food with her all day. DO leave water with her all day. She will learn to eat when you put it down. Take all food and water up by 5PM. I promise this will not harm her but train her to eat when she is hungry and also prevent her from overly filling her bowels and bladder when she can not be taken out with you not home and when you are sleeping. It will also help prevent obesity.

Now-if after several weeks of this you do not see improvement and she continues to poop in your house and in her crate then you know you have a problem dog and you will nto be able to train it out of her. Consistency is key but I will tell you there are some dogs that just WON'T stop.

A dog that will poop in it's bed when it has the choice NOT TO is a very filthy animal. Dogs naturally do not deficate or urinate in their beds or near their food unless of course they have absolutely no choice or can not control it. A dog that does without medical issue and with consistent positive training is one that chooses to do so and can not be broken of it.

I know dogs! I know many dog breeds! I dog sit. I own 3 dogs right now down from four. (Forced to put one down in Jan.) Currently own a 15 year old Pom I've had since she was just six weeks old. I also have a teeny tiny pom of 3 years that weighs just under 5lbs. She has been consistently trained HOWEVER she can not hold it if she needs to go. Medically there is nothing wrong-she quite simply has a teeny tiny bladder to go along with her tiny body size. So she truly must go out to piddle every 15 minutes or she will puddle on the floor. WHEN she has to poop there are no tell tale signs and she simply isn't smart enough to let me know somehow and she finds an out of the way spot-usually upstairs far away from food and bed to go. I have to clean it up. It's not acceptible to me but I do love her and have invested a lot of time and effort on her.

My solution is to leave her outside during good weather days in secure fenced yard. When I keep her indoors she wears a custom dog diaper (bought off EBAY for a fraction of the cost the ugly petco/petsmart type sell for) and I use a maxi pad cut in half as the disposable liners in it.
I use the wooden match stick trick to void her of poop in the morning and evening if she doesn't go on her own. In this way I no longer clean up poop from my floor (unless I slip up by not letting her out when she needs or allowing her to eat at times outside her set scedule throwing off her typical schedule) and I prevent piddles upon our floors.

I HATE CLEANING UP ANIMAL FECES inside my house. You can NOT get all the pee out of carpet no matter how you clean it-it goes down to the padding beneath and even steaming the carpet doesn't remove it all. Tiny puddle or big puddle- there's a residual amount you can NOT get. Gross.

Good luck in your training and if this is too much work and you do not care to invest THIS much time in her-then I would rehome her. Just be upfront about her issues to her new owner because the next owner will react just as you have and will most likely pass her on again if they do not realize what they are getting into.

I can not tell you how many dogs are claimed to be housebroken that are not as a selling point or a giving point so the owner can rehome the dog but also find a good person for it that won't harm it. It happens constantly-everyday with all sorts of breeds.

What one person calls housebroken can vary a great degree from what another person calls housebroken. BE WARE of this! Even the nicest people can be blind and tell the white lie and DO!

Hope this helps you!



answers from Dallas on

It makes sense to use a large crate so that your dog has room to run around while you're not there, but if the crate is much bigger than the dog itself, the dog will poop in there and then just lie somewhere else.

I would suggest keeping the big crate and getting another smaller one, like one of those travel crates for airplane rides. Put the dog in there during the day and see if the poop problem continues. If she's able to keep herself under control, then move her back to the big crate. If she goes back to pooping, then go back to the small crate again.

She'll get it eventually. Dogs don't want to poop where they have to stay close to it.



answers from Dallas on

We trained dogs growing up, and for what it's worth I second the crate training. It works pretty well.

That said... the smaller dogs are notoriously difficult to potty train. This likely will *not* happen overnight!


answers from Dallas on

you have received good advice so far, I will second (or third or forth or whatever ) that they crate is probably to big for right now. and putting the dogs nose in it just doesn't really work either, although with two small dogs of my own I can understand your frustration.

we crate train our dogs, and it has always helped, but we also teach out dogs to go poop on command, not that it works but they have an understanding or what we are talking about.... for example when I take them outside I always tell them "go hurry up" then when they poop I praise them "good hurry up" they eventually know that what I want them to do is hurry up and poop, so I can bring them inside,

another tool you can use is if you can't be watching your dog then put the dog in the crate, we will use a (baby) gate to section off the house so they are easier to watch and if I can't keep an eye on them they get put in the crate, or I will tie the leash to my belt loop so that they are easier to watch and they stay close to where I'm working. if they as sniffing around it is because they need to go out.

some dogs can be taught to "indicate" when they need to go out, to do this you would teach the dog to bark at the back door if s/he wants to go out side (you can email me of the boards for this)

keep n mind your dog is going through a transition right now, with a little love and guidance this should clear up pretty quick

long time dog trainer, S.



answers from Dallas on

Noooo!! Spanking your dog and putting her nose in it is a classic no no. That only teaches her that you have a problem with her poo and she will just hide to do it and poo behind your back! It also sounds like your crate is too large for her, at least for now while she's going in the crate. If the crate is too large, that means she has plenty of room to do her business in a corner, without it affecting where she lies down. I have taken my puppy Petsmart to go through dog training and I learned all of this in the class and through research online.

She could have been housebroken with her previous owner, but regressing because she is in a new place. So it's time to show her who's boss and what your house rules are!

Search "how to crate train" online and there are plenty of useful sites and articles that can give you some great tips. Here's one that has some tips on crate training an older dog who is no longer a puppy.

Good luck to you, I hope everything works out!



answers from Dallas on

Put her in a much smaller crate, Let her outside, and if she does not go, put her back the crate. Wait some time and let her out again and if she goes she gets to be out of the crate, if not she goes back in. I have trained many dogs over our 35 year marriage and this truly works. A smaller crate (more her size) will come to be a home for her, she will feel safe there and will not have accidents. In the beginning it will be a little work, but if she is social she will want to be out with you so she should catch on what you want pretty fast.

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