Ok, heres my story...
We really struggled to house train our other dog from a puppy, we tried various methods but she seemed to defy them all, esp the 'puppies wont mess near where they sleep
We bought her a crate and she literally 'messed' herself everyday, id have to bath her and clean the crate...horrible job. (there wasnt anything medically wrong either)
So we turned to the puppy pads which she caught onto, as she got older we trained her to bark at the back door and she was housetrained...although, we got her spayed at 6 months (before her 1st season) I believe doing so is a risk to incontinence and I believe perhaps this made things worse as she never to this day managed to hold her wee for long when we 'weren’t' there and we were also told this could be attention seeking.
When she was older we picked up with crate training again and this time it worked whilst we weren’t around and she learnt to hold it (the majority of the time anyway, she still sometimes had accidents!)
Now we tried everything with her, letting her out every 20 mins, etc etc she certainly had a good routine but still we couldnt leave her for long and return to a mess free house she just sometimes wouldnt wait.
I remembered when we went to collect her from the breeder the puppies were in like a 'pen' seperate from the mother and now I wonder if the breeder kept the puppies like that for some time she probably never got chance to learn to be clean off her mother?
So when we got Pixie we were a little disheartened when we read Chihuahuas are quite difficult to train? And I admit we havent been as enthusiastic with Pixie recently (8 motnhs) probably due to our exuberated experience we're almost giving up thinking we're failures! But I need to sort this..
We tried to puppy pad train Pixie, although I found this really difficult to re-position her onto a pad as opposed to bigger dogs as her wee's were so short she'd stop and I wouldnt get chance to praise her on the pad!
She didnt seem to pick up anything from our other dog barking at the door and weeing outside either.
Pixie is crated at night although I have noticed she wont hold it and WILL wee in her bed. So Ive recently started leaving the crate door open and the indoor potty out (in her own room not ours), Ive noticed she doesnt go at all UNTIL we are up/awake??? Why does she wait for me to be up to go to the toilet (on the carpet)?
Im also still having great difficulty spotting her going to the toilet inside the house, shes so quiet I turn around and its on the floor within a split second...(I never shout at her etc) so I cant practice the reinforcement!
With other dogs they do seem to have a pattern - ie after playing or after food they want to go to the toilet, Pixie 100% doesnt.. I cant predict it, and she doesnt seem to go 'that often'!? I can put her outside hoping she will then I can praise her but she just doesnt no matter how long I stand there, as I say she doesnt go that often?
The only time I can guarantee she'll wee is when we greet her, so now we have to practically ignore her to avoid her weeing whilst she jumps around (poor thing!)
Im not getting angry about it as the accidents are so small but I need to get to grips with why Ive had 2 dogs that ive failed to housetrain yet out of the people I know with dogs, Ive put in the most effort. (& funnily enough I had a dog when I was a child and my parents failed to house train her properly either, a Cocker Spaniel!)
When we collected Pixie from her breeder I noticed she was sleeping with her mum in a GIANT crate (probably the largest sized crate you can imagine!) and she was weeing in there in front of us, again this probably didnt help her learn to be clean if she was allowed to do this from the start, even her dad wee'd in her bed!
Ive had foster dogs and can manage to train my dogs to be well behaved etc but house training must be my weakness!
Any help other than the usual, or if anyone else has similar experiences with their Chi's toilet habits - most welcome