How to House Train Your Chihuahua: A Complete Guide

The Definitive Guide to Scheduling and Routine for Successfully House Training Your Chihuahua

A Chihuahua sitting next to a well-organized training schedule chart, highlighting the importance of routine in house training.

Have you recently welcomed a Chihuahua puppy into your home? Or maybe you adopted an adult Chi who is having accidents inside. Regardless of age, implementing a solid routine is the key to Chihuahua house training success.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about using scheduling and consistency to potty train your Chi.

Why Routine Matters So Much for Potty Training Chihuahuas

Routine is crucial for Chihuahuas during house training. As the tiniest breed, Chihuahuas have miniscule bladders that need frequent emptying. By sticking to a strict schedule, you’ll make potty training a breeze.

You’ll prevent accidents by:

  • Taking your Chi out preemptively
  • Aligning potty times with meals (when digestion triggers peeing)
  • Communicating effectively through consistency

Additionally, Chihuahuas thrive on routine. Knowing when to expect meals, walks, playtime and cuddles prevents anxiety. Help your Chi feel secure by being reliable and predictable.

As creatures of habit, instituting a routine sets your Chi up for house training success. Keep reading to learn exactly how to implement scheduling for puppies and adult Chis.

House Training Chihuahua Puppies: Schedules and Routines

Chihuahua puppies under require vigorous house training schedules. Their tiny bodies aren’t physically capable of “holding it” for long stretches. Establishing a thorough routine is crucial during this impressionable phase.

Feeding Times

  • Schedule 4-5 small meals scattered through the day
  • Pick consistent times, like 7am, 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, 9pm
  • Remove food after 15 minutes to prevent grazing
  • Take puppy out immediately after eating

Potty Times

  • Take puppy out every 30-60 minutes (except when sleeping)
  • Always go to the same outdoor potty spot
  • Use a potty cue like “go potty” when they go
  • Reward instantly with high-value treats for going in the right place

Nap Times

  • Enforce naps in crate 1-2 hours followed by potty
  • Puppies need 18-20 hours of sleep per day
  • Prevent accidents by not allowing free roam until fully housetrained

Play Times

  • Schedule multiple vigorous play sessions throughout the day
  • Play for 5-10 minutes then directly take outside to potty
  • Interactive toys provide mental stimulation when you’re busy

Night Time

  • Establish a bedtime potty schedule like 10pm, 1am, 4am
  • Use crate overnight in your bedroom
  • Ignore nighttime cries to reinforce self-soothing

As you can see, Chihuahua puppy life is regimented. While strict scheduling is temporary, it develops good lifelong habits. Consistency is essential during house training.

Now let’s look at implementing routines for adult Chis.

Housetraining Adult Chihuahuas: The Role of Routine

So you’ve adopted an adult Chihuahua. Maybe previous potty training efforts lapsed, or their history is simply unknown. Regardless, don’t worry. Instilling a consistent routine will get your adult Chi back on track.

Feeding Time

  • Feed 2-3 meals at the same times every day
  • Pick predictable times matching your schedule
  • Give 15 minutes to eat before taking them out

Potty Times

  • Take newly adopted Chis out every 2 hours initially
  • Quickly stretch to 4 hours as they demonstrate control
  • Use a consistent potty cue to remind them what to do


  • Commit to the same 1-2 walk times daily
  • Bring them directly outside when returning home
  • Vary walk durations and locations once reliable

Quality Time

  • Dedicate focused segments of quality time
  • Learn when they crave attention the most
  • Meet their needs consistently at those times


  • Establish the same relaxing pre-bedtime routine
  • Always take them out immediately before bed
  • Be consistent with their last potty break timing

Adult Chihuahuas often only require clarification around existing good habits. An inconsistent routine is usually the culprit behind indoor accidents. Reinstituting regularity again paves the pathway for success.

Now that you understand the vital importance of routine while house training Chihuahuas, let’s get more tangible. Keep reading for a sample daily schedule integrating all these components.

A Sample Chihuahua House Training Schedule

Below is an example routine for a 16 week old Chihuahua puppy. Use this as a model, tailoring times to fit your lifestyle.

The key is preserving strict consistency after choosing times. Routine creates results.

Monday - Friday Adult & Puppy Chihuahua Schedule

6:00 am - Take puppy potty

6:15 am - 1⁄4 cup puppy food. Take back out 15 minutes after eating finishes

7:30 am - Potty break before human’s breakfast

8:00 am - Dog breakfast, human breakfast

8:30 am - Potty break, then crate for nap

10:00 am - Potty break

10:30 am - Training session using food puzzles

11:00 am - Potty break

11:30 am - Squeaky toy playtime

12:00 pm - Potty break, dog lunch, human lunch

1:00 pm - Potty break then crate for nap

3:00 pm - Potty break

3:30 pm - Obedience training session with treats

4:00 pm - Potty break, snack, quick play fetch break

6:00 pm - Dog dinner, human dinner

7:00 pm - Potty break, family walk

9:00 pm - Potty break, relaxing downtime

10:00 pm - Final potty break

10:30 pm - In crate for bed

This schedule accounts for potty opportunities surrounding all food intake and naps. Play sessions encourage movement followed immediately by going outside.

The same routine preserved on weekends, adjusting only for sleep schedule variation. Exercising, feeding and pottying happen at the identical times daily no matter the day. Consistency enables both adult Chis and puppies to anticipate events and “hold it”.

Now let’s dive deeper into aligning feeding and potty times, since that correlation enables success.

Important Considerations for Feeding Times Relative to Potty Training

As touched on briefly already, deliberate coordination of feeding and potty times smooths the house training path. Here’s why:

Eating triggers the gastrocolic reflex, which stimulates defecation. Dogs instinctually avoid soiling in their dens. If you take them out soon after meal completion, they associate outside rather than inside with relieving themselves.

Additionally, the physical act of eating and drinking causes liquid to pass through the body. Ten minutes later, the puppy or dog will likely need to urinate.

Here are feeding best practices to prevent accidents:

For Puppies

  • Feed frequently - breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks
  • Only leave food out for 15 minutes
  • Carry them directly outside 10-15 minutes post-meal
  • Keep them with you for 30 minutes post-eating/drinking for potty opportunities

For Adult Dogs

  • Feed two or three times on a consistent schedule
  • Pick predictable times matching your routine
  • Give 15 minutes to finish then head outside
  • Take them out on leash until fully housebroken

Be vigilant about post-meal potty breaks if struggling with continued accidents. Limit water intake before bed to prevent overnight issues. Consider switching to scheduled mealtimes instead of grazing if appropriate for your dog.

Aligning external potty prompts with internal digestive cues keeps messes minimized and ensures success.

Now that you know exactly how and why to implement rigorous scheduling for housetraining Chihuahuas, let’s address some common questions.

FAQs: Scheduling and Routine for Housetraining Chihuahuas

How long does it take to potty train a Chihuahua puppy?

With a consistent schedule, Chihuahua puppies can be reliably house trained by 6 months old. However, accidents may still occasionally occur up to a year old if bladder control lapses.

What if my Chihuahua has an accident during house training?

Stay calm and neutral if they have an accident inside. Never punish physically or yell. Without reacting emotionally, promptly carry or lead them outside mid-stream if caught in the act. Provide substantial praise when they finish properly outside. Thoroughly clean all accident sites to avoid repeats.

Is crate training required for housebreaking a Chihuahua?

Crate training paired with a routine greatly accelerates house training during the puppy stage. By reinforcing their desire to remain clean in a confined sleeping space, it motivates holding it until outside opportunities. However, crating is not mandatory for adult dogs.

How often should an adult Chihuahua go outside to potty?

Initially take newly adopted adult Chis outside every two hours. Gradually extend intervals to 3-4 hours as their control demonstrates consistency. Well-established adult Chis can wait 8+ hours depending on health considerations.

Why does my Chihuahua have sudden accidents after being housebroken?

If a previously reliable adult Chihuahua starts having frequent accidents around the home, several medical conditions could be to blame. Issues like urinary tract infections, bladder stones, diabetes or kidney disease often manifest this way. Schedule a vet exam to rule out health causes if this occurs.

How can I tell if my Chihuahua needs to potty?

Telltale signs your Chihuahua needs to go include circling, sniffing, whining, moving near doors, or stopping play. As you learn their individual signals, hustle them outside at the first hint. This prevents the inevitable accident that follows shortly thereafter.

Final Thoughts: Scheduling for Chihuahua House Training Success

For tiny Chihuahuas, implementing a rigorous routine is central to housetraining achievement. By proactively aligning external potty prompts with predictable internal digestive triggers, you can prevent accidents. Consistency sparks quick learning, helping both adult rescues and young puppies catch on fast.

Stick to the same strict schedule every day - especially surrounding feeding times. Be patient, yet persistent and structured. If an accident occurs, avoid reacting emotionally. Clean thoroughly then redouble routine efforts.

Within several weeks of dedication to consistency, your Chi will joyfully anticipate potty time. They’ll proudly keep their surroundings clean and do their business in appropriate places.

Setup your Chihuahua for success by taking them out on a leash, praising instantly and giving high-value treats when they go. Your sweet-faced, graceful Chi will be house trained before you know it!

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Justin Anderson
Welcome to the world of pet influencers! I'm Justin Anderson, the proud owner of Cheech, a lively 2-year-old Chihuahua with a huge personality. With over 30 years of experience raising Chihuahuas and a passion for pet care, I've turned my love for pets into a thriving career. As the founder of Social Petworker, I share insights, tips, and success stories to help pet owners and aspiring pet influencers navigate the exciting world of pet affiliate marketing. Through collaborations with top brands and a knack for social media, I've built a community of pet enthusiasts who are eager to learn and grow. Join me on this journey, and let's turn our love for pets into a rewarding adventure together. Whether you're a pet owner looking for tips, an aspiring pet influencer seeking guidance, or a brand interested in pet influencer marketing, you're in the right place!