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Tricks

How Do I Teach My Chihuahua Tricks?

What a soft coat!
Photo courtesy of Candy and Dale of Candy O' Farms Chihuahuas
Overview

The Chihuahua is a very intelligent dog; as a matter of fact this breed has the largest brain in comparison to body size out of all of the dog breeds in the world. So whether your Chihuahua is a puppy or an older dog, you can certainly teach your dog some cute tricks. The key and secret to training your Chihuahua to perform tricks to repetition.

If you show your dog something over and over again; always teaching him the same way, he will eventually learn it. This breed picks up information quite quickly; some tricks will only take a matter of a week or two to learn.

When you are teaching your dog, it is best to do so in a quiet area where there are no distractions. Make learning fun, act excited when he learns something and never scold him if  he is taking time to catch on. When he does master a trick, be sure to reward your Chihuahua with a lot of happy words of praise.

When a Chi is first trying to learn and is putting in effort, do offer a tasty treat as reward... But don't worry about always having to give food as motivation. When you also give praise at the same time, after a while a dog will have an automated response... and at that time your smile, praise and the attention that your Chi receives will be all that is needed for him or her to want to keep performing.
Some other good tips to keep in mind is that taking time each day to work on these commands will bring about the best success... After all, sporadically having sessions once or twice a week simply won't offer the repetition that is needed.

And, you must be in an enthusiastic mood in order for your Chihuahua to be in one! Dogs read body language and tone as if they were able to read our minds. If an owner is feeling positive with a good mindset that learning is fun and a gradual process, a dog will often mimic that attitude...And that is what is needed to set a good learning foundation. 
Cool Trick # 1 - Which Hand? 

A really cute trick to teach your Chihuahua will make it appear as if your dog is a bit psychic! You should have your dog sitting in front of you. Reach to grab a handful of small treats; but be sure that it is a small enough amount so that your hand can completely cover the food while making a fist.

Put your hands behind your back. Then, put both hands out toward your Chihuahua at the same distance from him.

Say the command words of "Which hand?" using an excited voice. Your dog should be able to know which hand holds the treats simply from the smell. A dog's ability to smell is absolutely amazing! When your dog put his paw on the correct hand, open your hand to reveal the treats. In this case, the treats will be the reward. 

Do not offer the treats until your Chihuahua puts his paw on the hand that hides them. This will teach him that simply nosing it is not enough.

Neat Trick # 2 - Saying Grace

This is a great trick to teach your Chihuahua, especially when you have company over for dinner. In order for this to work, you will need a small toddler's chair or booster seat that is placed on the floor.

You may also use a solid box or other object that is usually in your kitchen or dining room. The height of the object must be so that your Chihuahua can stand and rest his or her front legs on the object.

This trick is "Saying Grace" however you should not have food out when you are training your Chihuahua to do this trick, as it will distract him from learning this. Have him sit in front of the object. Say the command words, "Say Grace" while you gently lift his front paws and put them on the object.
Again, repeat the command words and gently place his face softly down upon his front paws. Your Chihuahua will now be in a position that appears that he is saying a prayer. You should pat his head and say reassuring words to keep his face down for a few moments.

Never hold his head if he resists. After a count of 3 or 4, release your gentle touch and reward him with excitement, pats and hugs. 

The key to a dog learning to do this automatically when hearing the command words is to train him often. 

Doing this 4 to 5 times a day for 1 to 2 weeks should have your Chihuahua able to do an amusing dinner time trick.

Trick # 3 - Greetings!

This trick is very easy but will make your Chihuahua seem very smart! Sit your Chihuahua in front of you. Gently pick up one of his paws and gently shake it while saying the command word, "Hello". 

Act very happy while you are doing this and show your Chi that you are very pleased that he is allowing you to do this.
This is one enthusiast Chi
Photo courtesy of Cathy of Cathy's Charming Chihuahuas
After a while, say the command word again, but this time you will just gently touch his paw without shaking it. Act as if you expect him to take action. If he does not, lift the paw and repeat the hand shake.  

After a while, your Chihuahua will understand what to do when you sit in front of him and say, "Hello". This is a wonderful trick to have your dog know for when you introduce him or her to friends, family and other.
Super Cool Trick # 4 - Sweet Kisses

This is a wonderful Chihuahua dog trick and very easy to teach. You must sit your dog in front of you. Before you do the next step, do remember that this is temporary and very soon you will be able to eliminate this first part! 

Put a very small dab of wet dog food on the cheek of your face. Say the command words, "Kisses" and allow your Chihuahua to lick the treat off your face. As he is doing so, repeat the command word. 

Then, attempt to do so by simply pointing to your face and saying, "Kisses". If your Chihuahua kisses you, make sure to praise him with happy word and excited pats. After a while you should be able to simply say "Kisses" and get a sweet Chihuahua kiss. 
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