Did you know that playing with your Chihuahua is a great way to minimize undesirable behaviors?
It helps also to relieve stress and boredom on bad weather days.
And aside from that, a study found out that the frequency and form of play enhances dog-owner relationships.
So there’s no question about it:
Playing with your Chi is essential
How can you play with your Chihuahua? And what games do they like to play?
Read on to discover:
- A game suitable for indoors and outdoors (#6).
- Why Chihuahuas like puzzles (more about that in #13).
- An easy and fun childhood game that you can play with your Chi (#2).
- And more…
Table of contents
How to play with a Chihuahua?
Here’s how to play with your Chihuahua in 4 easy steps:
- Try a lot of different games.
- See how your Chihuahua reacts to each game.
- Pick the 3 or 5 games that your Chihuahua likes most.
- Vary between your Chi’s favorite games.
Below are some great games that you can try…
13 games that Chihuahuas like to play
This game never gets old.
Get your Chihuahua going by making them ‘fetch’ something.
You can do this outside when the weather is beautiful. Throw a small ball and have your Chihuahua fetch it.
Both of you can get your exercise doing this game.
If the weather does not permit it, then the living room will do. Just move that center table aside for more room.
Get something that will be of interest to your Chihuahua.
It could be their favorite toy. Or something else entirely such as an old sock.
One trick, if you’re using an old sock, is to put a small bell inside. The sound will catch your dog’s interest as they ‘fetch’ the sock.
You can also put a small ball inside. The sock will bounce as it hits the floor. That’s another way to make your Chihuahua interested.
Encourage your dog to fetch what you throw. When they drop it in front of you, give praises.
Mention your dog’s name as you say praises. You can say things like, “That’s very good, Oreo.”
#2: Hide and seek
Here’s another fun game that kids and adults can join.
Dogs love playing hide and seek with their owners. Try it with your Chihuahua.
Tell them to ‘Sit’ first. Then go hide. Call their name and say ‘Find Me’ so they can start searching.
You’ll have a dog crazy with excitement and happiness once they find you.
You can also do The Fluff Challenge. This is a variation of hide and seek that once became viral.
This challenge involves pet owners holding a blanket while their pets look on. They would quickly run away and hide as the blanket drops.
It’s as if the owners disappear out of thin air.
This trick confuses the heck out of dogs. They would go in search of their owners in every room.
And when they find you, it’s like a mini-reunion.
Check out this Chihuahua doing this challenge:
Seems like humans have no shortage of ideas to amp up hide and seek. Another variation of this game is the Blanket Challenge.
You just throw a toy somewhere to distract your Chihuahua. While they chase the toy, you hide under a blanket on the floor.
Your Chihuahua returns with the toy. The fun is in the reaction of the dog upon finding you gone.
#3: Find the treats
Putting your dog’s nose to work is one way to tire them out mentally.
It’s also a nice way to help them improve their natural skills.
Did you know that dogs were bred to work alongside humans?
But times have changed and life became easier for dogs. We readily give them shelter, food and toys.
They no longer have to ‘work.’
That’s where this game comes in handy. It lets them work for their food for a change. They can put their hunting abilities to the test.
Here’s how to set your Chi up for success:
Prepare the treats first (you can use store-bought ones)
Or you can chop up some vegetables such as carrots. This way you can control the serving size.
Have your Chihuahua sit and watch you hide the treats around the room. When you’re done, tell them to ‘find the treats.’
Each time they find a treat, be generous with praises.
Once your Chihuahua has picked up ‘find the treats,’ make it more challenging.
The next time you hide treats, have your Chihuahua wait in another room. It’s okay to put treats in areas they can easily find.
Or hide the treats behind toys or under the rug. Just make sure they did not see where you put the treats.
Then put their noses to work. Meaning, let them use the power of sniffing to find the treats.
And as always, give praises and words of affirmation.
#4: Laser pen
Simple things around the house can be used to entertain your Chihuahua.
Give them some physical activity with the help of a laser pen.
Point the laser near your dog. Slowly move it to encourage your Chihuahua to chase it.
Then move it quickly and let your Chihuahua run after it around the room.
This is a trusty game even when you’re under the weather. Simply whip out the laser pen and get your Chihuahua running around.
Caution: Do not shine the laser pen on your Chihuahua’s eyes. Put it away after use.
#5: Shell game
Hone your Chihuahua’s problem-solving skill through the shell game.
The shell game is also called a three cups game because you need 3 cups for it. Your Chihuahua is going to love this game since it involves treats!
Here’s how it works:
First, get 3 cups and some treats. You can also use small bowls or containers.
While your Chihuahua watches, place a treat under one of the cups.
Shuffle the cups a few times. Then encourage them to ‘find the treat’ by nosing or pawing the correct cup.
Give them the treats under the cup when they choose the correct cup.
If they choose the wrong cup, hide the treat again and continue the game.
Do this game for several days until your Chihuahua understands how it works.
Some dogs are so good at this that their owner adds a fourth cup.
Note: Watch over how many treats you give your dog. Treats are not a replacement for their meals.
#6: Chase bubbles
This is a simple game that can bring so much fun.
You can use this to keep your Chihuahua busy even when you’re lying down.
Or even when you’re not in the mood for some vigorous activities.
Chasing bubbles could entertain your Chihuahua even for a few minutes.
But those few minutes could mean the difference between a bored and a happy Chihuahua.
Teaching your Chihuahua how to chase bubbles is easy if they’re not used to it.
First, blow some bubbles several times.
If your Chi shows interest, good. If not, try pointing at the bubbles.
Second, encourage your Chihuahua to catch the floating bubbles.
If they’re still uninterested, catch the bubbles yourself.
Then do the whole thing over.
Given Chihuahua’s love for chasing, they’re going to have so much fun with bubbles.
Unconvinced? Look at this cutie chasing bubbles away:
Soon enough your Chihuahua will be chasing bubbles. And now you’ve got a trick to tire them out easily.
Even 3 minutes of chasing bubbles can do wonders to your dog. It makes them happy, keeps them active, and chases away boredom.
You don’t have to buy fancy bubble-making toys. If you have a bottle and a wand, you’re set.
You can make the bubble mixture with just dish detergent and water.
But if you’re worried about the ingredients, use bubbles for kids. Those are nontoxic.
After playing, wipe your Chihuahua’s face with a damp towel. Also, wipe bubble mixture splashes off surfaces and the floor.
#7: Which hand?
This is another game to put your Chihuahua’s nose to work.
As this involves treats, this is going to get your Chihuahua excited.
Here’s a tip to ensure the health of your Chihuahua:
Use chopped up carrots or other vegetables your dog likes. This is healthier than store-bought treats.
To begin, hide a treat in one of your hands. Then put them in front of your dog.
Encourage them to find which hand has the treat. When they sniff or paw the correct hand, open it and give them the treat.
If they choose the wrong hand, it’s okay. Do the whole thing over.
Note: Do not overfeed your Chihuahua with treats, especially close to their meal times.
#8: Go find…
If you know Chaser the smart Border Collie, you’ll know how this goes.
You are to teach your Chihuahua the names of their toys. Now this may take a long time until they learn their toys’ names.
That’s okay. Teaching them the names of their toys is already a game.
Here’s a tip:
Assign a short name for a toy so your Chihuahua remembers quickly. Something with 1 or 2 syllables will do.
Once they’ve learned the names of their toys, the exciting part begins.
Get 5 toys and lay them on the floor. Tell your Chihuahua to ‘Go find Peach’ or whatever the name of the toy.
If they get the correct toy, praise them and reward them with a treat. Or a brief tug of war will suffice for reward.
Do this repeatedly until your Chihuahua gets the hang of it.
Eventually, you can add more toys to make it more challenging.
#9: New tricks and old tricks
Sometimes dogs forget old tricks.
That’s because we have forgotten to use and refresh these ones.
So ask your Chihuahua to do something they haven’t done in a long while. Maybe it’s ‘play dead’ or ‘roll over.’
Whatever it is, give your Chihuahua a refresher once in a while.
They’ll show new enthusiasm for these old tricks as well as new ones.
Also, they will benefit from learning new tricks. It gives them mental stimulation.
Teach them to pick up their toys and put them in the basket. That’s the foundation for putting their toys away.
Another trick to teach is to get the leash when going for a walk.
Your Chihuahua will have something to do instead of jumping all over you. And it gives you time to grab your hat or put on shoes.
Look at these adorable Chihuahuas showing off their tricks and agility:
There are tons of tricks out there that you can teach.
Remember, though. Make each training a fun experience for your Chihuahua.
Reward them with treats and praises.
#10: Put away toys
Learning to put away toys achieve 2 things:
They learn a new trick and clean after themselves.
And what’s more? You’ve given your Chihuahua their own daily task!
A busy and entertained Chihuahua is a happy Chihuahua!
Begin by encouraging your Chihuahua to pick up a toy. If they do, give praises and a reward.
Ask them to pick up the toy again.
Once they’ve learned this, you can move on to the next part. Now it’s time to put the toy in the basket.
At times you may have to prod your dog to do what you ask.
But do so with gentleness and patience. Learning a new trick takes time and a lot of practice.
Check out this video for reference – just look at this cutie being told to put away toys.
Sometimes he was confused and distracted and didn’t know the right thing to do.
But he was eager to do as asked.
The long-term benefit of your Chihuahua learning this trick is worth it.
You will no longer have to tidy up after them.
#11: Under and over
Your Chihuahua needs mental stimulation and physical activity.
The under and over game provides both.
Get a chair or a stool. It should be small enough so it won’t be difficult for your Chihuahua.
If you don’t have a small chair, a small box will do. Lay it on its side and make sure both ends are open.
Then teach them to go ‘over’ by jumping over the chair. Then ‘under’ by crawling underneath.
With lots of love and patience, your Chihuahua will learn under and over.
Be generous with giving praises. But don’t overdo the treats.
#12: Upstairs and downstairs
What else can you do with your Chihuahua when you’re stuck at home?
When it’s raining, or too hot. Or the snow does not permit walks outside.
Imagine the trouble they can get into with all that pent-up energy!
It’s important to keep them entertained so that they won’t destroy things.
Good thing Chihuahuas are small. Hence, they don’t need wide space to move around.
This allows you to do simple activities inside the house. And you don’t need special equipment for that.
If you’ve got stairs, for example, your Chihuahua is good to go. Simply running up and down the stairs will do it for them.
If your Chihuahua doesn’t know how to use the stairs, this is a good start.
First, go to the top of the stairs and call your Chihuahua. Use the word ‘upstairs’ when they’re running up. Give them praises and treats.
When you go down the stairs, use the word ‘downstairs.’ Encourage them more using praises and treats.
Dogs are smart. Soon your Chi will understand this game.
Just look at Phoebe’s first time to go down the stairs. You can hear her owners cheering her on and giving praises.
#13: Puzzle toys
Improve your Chihuahua’s IQ through puzzle toys.
These are great tools in honing their problem-solving skills. Plus, playing these toys provides mental stimulation.
There is a wide selection of puzzle toys to choose from. Some are simply puzzle toys. Others can be stuffed with treats.
Your Chihuahua is guaranteed a busy time figuring out how the toy works.
Some toys have flaps that flip or slide and hide a treat. There are stuffable toys that bounce.
You can also get a wooly snuffle mat where you can hide treats. This is terrific to put your Chihuahua’s nose to work.
These interactive activity toys come in various shapes and sizes.
Your dog may need to shuffle, roll or move things around. Figuring out how the toys work can take some time.
Or not, depending on how motivated they are to get the hidden treats.
Here’s one tip so that they don’t get tired of the toys easily:
Don’t give them the toys all at once. Let them play with some first.
When they get bored with the toys, take them away. Then introduce other toys.
Keep a rotation so that they are always enthusiastic to play with their toys
You can also make DIY toys for your Chihuahua. Old t-shirts or towels can be braided into tug toys.
But what’s even more important than giving these toys to your Chihuahua, is to get involved. Play these fun games with them.
Your dog can enjoy playtime with your participation. It enhances your relationship.
In return, your Chihuahua will trust and obey you more.
And they will become more confident and comfortable around you.