August 13

by Milo and Helen

Are Chiweenies Hard to Train?

Chiweenies are cross breed dogs between a Chihuahua and a Dachshund. They are considered to be a hybrid or designer breed. They are small loyal and popular companion dogs. They are independently minded and able to stand up for themselves despite their small size.


Are Chiweenies hard to train? They can be a challenge to train because of those very qualities of single mindedness and bravery. They are stubborn and believe they know better than you do. You have to establish your dominance over your Chiweenie at an early stage of their development.


Chiweenies don’t like to be pushed around by other animals or people. They can have 'small dog syndrome' and can believe they have to fight a constant battle to be noticed because of their small size. But, as with all dogs that have small dog syndrome, Chiweenies can also believe they are bigger in stature than they really are. 


This article will examine how you use dominance, body language, positive reinforcement, and deterrents to negative behavior to train your Chiweenie. None of these training methods are as harsh or severe as they sound, but they must be carried out every time you interact with your Chiweenie to become good habits both for you and your Chiweenie. 


Why are Chiweenies hard to train?

Chiweenies are hard to train because they are bred from two independently minded dogs, which in turn were bred from hunting dogs which by their nature are bred to think on their feet and make their own decisions. Chiweenies like to be dominant even though they are small in size.


If your Chiweenie senses what it thinks is a weakness in you, it will try to play on that and be the leader rather than the follower. It is up to you to show who is the boss, not in an aggressive or overpowering way but rather in more subtle ways, so they are in no doubt as to their position within the family group.

Chiweenies may not be suitable for very small children as they are a bit delicate and can get aggressive. As the Chiweenie is a small dog, they are usually good for older children, but it is important they are not handed too roughly.

Chihuahuas can be yappy dogs who like to bark, growl and generally be aggressive. They usually get away with this because they are so small, and nobody pays much heed to them. However, if this yappy trait is passed onto your Chiweenie puppy, then this constant barking can become very frustrating, and frustration is an enemy when it comes to proper training.


When you get frustrated, you start doing things that are not consistent with the commands you have been trying to teach. It doesn't really matter what commands you use as long as you use the same command every time you want your dog to do a particular task.

Are Chiweenies smart dogs?

The Chiweenie is not the sharpest knife in the box; I’m sorry, they are of medium-low intelligence according to; Stanley Cohan's assessment of the two parent breeds, but I wouldn’t read too much into this. The fact they are hard to train and not very obedient could be just down to their independent nature rather than a lack of intelligence and could be viewed as a positive and attractive aspect of their personality. 

How does 'small dog syndrome' affect Chiweenies?

When I hear the term 'small dog syndrome,' one of the first dogs I think of is the Chihuahua because they are very small and can be very yappy and assertive, the Dachshund, always seems more understated and quieter. They both have similar personalities, but the Chihuahua likes to get noticed more.


There is a good chance your Chiweenie will believe they are bigger and more important than they are, but if they take after their Dachshund parent, they are likely to be a lot less vocal about it.

How to reward your Chiweenie when training?

During training sessions with your Chiweenie, as with any dog, it is essential to reward good behavior and discourage bad behavior. To do this, you need something to give as a reward and something to withhold as a punishment. 


The best thing to use for these purposes is your attention and affection towards your Chiweenie. When your dog does what you want them to do based on whatever command you are using, reward them with lots of attention and cuddles and tell them how great they are. You can also use edible treats. When they don’t do as they are commanded or are misbehaving, simply ignore them, position them in at your feet, make no eye contact and force them to sit and not move.


This 'punishment' needs to be carried out instantly after the misbehaving, or your dog won't know the reason for the punishment and you need to be consistent. This discouragement of bad behavior can be very discrete and be carried out in public, and people won’t even know you are ignoring or punishing your dog. It is much better than scolding your dog, which doesn't really work, and your dog will see scolding as you giving them attention which they see as a reward.

Being dominant is also important for training.

Your Chiweenie will see you as the leader of their pack. You are the one that provides the food, and you are their protector. A dog needs to know you are in charge and dominant. Therefore, capable of protecting them. Dogs can sense this dominance through your body language and how assertive you are. You need to have a clear, assertive demeanor and always look like you are in control. Stand upright, be consistent and never give in to the temptation of giving attention to the behavior you want to stop.

Types of dog training

Dog training can be split into five main types and objectives you wish to achieve. 


House training;

Chiweenies need potty training from a young age. To keep your living conditions clean, you want to get this training in the bag as soon as possible for obvious reasons.

Socialization training;

You want your Chiweenie to integrate into the family unit fully and get along with any other animals or people in the household. 

Obedience Training;

When you are out for a walk with your Chiweenie, you meet someone you know, and stop for a chat. But, first, you need to know you have complete control over your dog, and they are not jumping up on people or generally trying to be the center of attention by misbehaving. Training your dog on how to behave in this kind of situation is called obedience training. 

Command Training;

Command training is part of all dog training where you teach your Chiweenie to do things when you give them a certain command. It could be basic tricks, carrying out chores, or whatever. Chiweenies are probably not the best candidates for this type of training, but if you have the time, you can probably teach them anything you want them to do.

Excessive Bark Training;

This might be a good idea for the Chiweenie due to its relationship to the chihuahua, one of the louder dog breeds. Barking is natural in a dog and designed to get your attention. It is a positive defense mechanism. The same rules apply when it comes to training.

Bad behavior needs to be ignored when it becomes excessive. Removing the stimulus that caused the barking can also be a way of reducing this behavior. Excessive barking can also be associated with separation anxiety, and trying to reduce the time your Chiweenie is left on their own will also help.


Are Chiweenies hard to Housetrain?

I would not say it was hard to potty train a Chiweenie, but it will take consistency and quite a bit of time. Dogs tend not to spoil their own beds, so they will tend to want to go outside. You must potty train as soon as possible and as young as possible. You need again to be consistent when potty training your Chiweenie. 


Bring your dog outside for a pee about 10 to 15 times a day or every two hours, lengthening the time as your dog is learning. Bring your dog to the same place to pee each time. Use the same command, i.e., 'potty,' every time he is brought outside. If they don't pee, do not react to your dog in any way and make no eye contact. If they pee, make a big fuss, lots of cuddles and attention, and maybe a treat.

Chiweenies, like all dogs, are attention seekers. Therefore, attention is their reward. After a while, by consistently saying the word 'potty,' your dog should start to understand what the word/sound means to them and will respond by going outside to relieve themselves. 

How do I stop My Chiweenie from peeing in the House?

If they pee in the house, as before, do not react or make eye contact, clean up the spill, and use a smelly household disinfectant, preferably one your dog detests. Dogs, are creatures of habit and will return to the same spot. Best to discourage this by masking the smell. 


If this is unsuccessful, you may need to increase the number of times you take your dog out to their 'potty spot' and up the excitement levels when they complete a successful operation.

How to punish your dog for peeing in the house?

Clean up the mess in silence, and have your dog beside you with no eye contact. You can give them a little sniff of the household disinfectant you will be using and then apply it to the floor. If your Chiweenie puppy is very small, they won’t understand what’s happening but will quickly catch on.

How many times a day should a Chiweenie pee?

A dog should go to the toilet 3 to 5 times a day, so when you are training them, you need to take them out, a lot more than this, so you are always ahead of the game.


How to train your Chiweenie to Socialize properly?

This one is pretty much as you would expect, introduce them to other animals and people as early as possible. Early socialization is the secret to making this training as easy to do as possible. 


Let's say you have an old Chiweenie who is set in their ways, and a new animal is being introduced into the family unit. Of course, this is harder and will take more time. 

  • Introduce your Chiweenie to the new animal a bit at a time to get used to them.
  • Try not to give too much attention to the new animal.
  • Ignore negative behavior from your Chiweenie.
  • You may have to keep your Chiweenie on a lead.
  • Allow your dog to nearly touch the new arrival but not attack. 
  • Don’t pull back sharply on the lead but keep him just out of reach.
  • Reward with attention when relations between the two improve.
  • Leave your dog with no other choice but to get on with the new family member.
  • Keep a close eye until they are entirely comfortable with each other.

How to train your Chiweenie to behave correctly?

  • Keep your Chiweenie on a lead.
  • No interaction when they misbehave.
  • Keep the lead tight.
  • Pull them in by your side.
  • Use a command like sit.
  • No eye contact.
  • Reward with attention when they behave as you want.
  • Loosen the lead.
  • Full eye contact. 
  • Repeat until they begin to understand what you expect from them.
  • Be consistent.

How to train your Chiweenie to follow your commands?

  • Concentrate on one command at a time.
  • Always use the same word for each command.
  • Try not to use words that are similar for different commands.
  • Use a lead.
  • Make sure your dog fully completes the command. 
  • Keep repeating the exercise until it is fully learned.
  • Be in control at all times.
  • Be consistent.

To Conclude

Chiweenies are regarded as quite hard to train and not the brightest dog on earth, but it may be just that their independent nature and stubbornness make them more challenging when it comes to changing their behavior. As a result, they may take a bit more time to train, but they can certainly be taught. Chiweenies are worth the extra effort if you enjoy a pet with a bit more of a free-spirited personality.

The Chiweenie, as a cross breed dog is not eligible for registration with American Kennel Club but you can register with the International Designer Canine Registry and they are recognized by the American Canine Hybrid ClubThe Designer Breed Registry and The Mixed Breed Dog Clubs of America.

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