Chihuahuas are dogs and they are territorial, like any dog. For that reason, a large area for them to patrol and protect can be quite stressful for them.
Until your pup is house trained and can get through the night without needing to pee, you should set up a small pen for your puppy, somewhere quiet and with their crate inside the pen for comfort and security along with their toys, water and chews to help their teeth.
This serves a number important functions:
It gives your dog a chance to get used to their new environment while being safely contained.
It gives the dog less area to “patrol”. Your proud little wolf can get anxious (which means snappy and bitey) if they feel they have to protect too big an area of their new home.
It teaches them to be OK with being alone.
It allows them to get enough sleep.
It keeps them safe from other pets who might also need to adjust to this new family member.
It means you can leave the house without your dog and know it is safely contained, relaxed and comfortable until you return.
At first, your pup might find this unfamiliar, but if they start to whine, IGNORE it. We cannot stress this enough. Your dog will settle in their familiar crate once they realize there is nothing to fear from their new environment. You may have to be very strong, but if you give in, you have told the dog from the very first that you are not the leader and they’ll have to take charge.
Letting a small dog believe they the pack leader and are now responsible for their new family is unfair to the dog and sets up a perfect storm for aggression and separation anxiety.
Your Kitaco pup will come to you with an airline quality crate. All our puppies and dogs are used to sleeping and playing in crates. For some, it is their favorite happy place. A safe crate your dog can call their own is critical to their safety and wellbeing and will reduce the likelihood of them developing separation anxiety.
If the dog has flown to you and the crate is soiled, just wash the bedding and disinfect the crate before using it again.
Dogs are den animals and their crate is their very own room in the house. They do not consider their crate a punishment (nor should it ever be used as such), but a den where they are protected, somewhere they can retreat to with their treasures (toys, chews, etc.), and somewhere they can sleep in peace.
A crate establishes a safe living space for your puppy and his/her instinct will be to keep it clean. It is not cruel to crate-train your dog. It is quite the opposite. Dogs love their crates as a safe haven. It is cruel to deny them their own den.
Having said that, never force your pup into his crate. Anger should never be associated with their happy place.
If you want a happy dog, you will leave their crate down on the floor in a quiet place with their bedding a small rug to make a nest, so they can use it as often as they wish.
Remember, in the wild, your brave little hunter would be seeking a safe den from predators to sleep. The secret to a happy well-adjusted dog is working with their natural instincts, rather than trying to impose human thoughts or emotions on them.