Most people are surprised when I tell them how high Chihuahuas can jump.
Why? Simply because it’s (much) higher than most people think.
In this article you’ll find out:
- 5 common reasons why Chihuahuas jump.
- The effects of jumping on your Chihuahua’s health.
- 3 ways to train your Chihuahua to jump (even) higher.
- And more…
Table of contents
- How high can Chihuahuas jump?
- Why do Chihuahuas jump?
- 5 reasons why Chihuahuas jump
- Fact: Chihuahuas can learn how to jump higher over time
- 3 methods to train your Chihuahua to jump higher
- Risk of injury and health
How high can Chihuahuas jump?
Chihuahuas can jump between 2 – 10ft high (0.6 – 3 meters). How high a Chihuahua can jump depends on their size. As a Chihuahua grows, they will gradually be able to jump even higher.
Why do Chihuahuas jump?
Chihuahuas jump for a variety of reasons. These include: excitement, pent-up energy, frustration, boredom, and seeing new people or animals.
We will explore each of these reasons more in-depth.
5 reasons why Chihuahuas jump
#1: They are excited
Chihuahuas are easily excitable. They love to jump around and play. Lots of situations can excite your Chihuahua.
- When they are offered treats.
- When you come home from work.
Excitability can be very cute. However, it’s important to distinguish excitement from stress. The truth is: Chihuahuas are dogs that could get stressed out easily.
Other symptoms of stress include:
- Changes in temperament.
- Unusual aggression or standoffishness.
If your Chi is stressed, try to identify the source of stress.
#2: Pent up energy
Chihuahuas’ size can be misleading. Because they are small, many assume they need less exercise. Chihuahuas may grow tired faster than big dogs. However:
Your Chi still needs lots of activity. That’s because they have a lot of energy.
Staying in a house or small space for long periods of time can cause:
- Excessive jumping.
- Outbursts of energy.
Chihuahuas do not require as rigorous activity as big dogs. According to the AKC they can remain healthy with several short walks throughout the day.
The AKC also notes not to overexert your Chi. Signs of overexertion include:
- Refusal to walk.
- Extreme exhaustion.
- Sitting or laying down on a walk.
If your Chi becomes overexerted, it is best to carry them home.
Your Chi does not speak your language. Many dog behaviors are used as tools for communication. Excessive jumping can be one of these.
Your Chi may be trying to communicate a need.
This can include:
- Irritation at something.
- The need to go to the bathroom.
Chihuahuas can be easily irritated. Especially by changes in their environment. Environmental changes include:
- Loud house parties.
- New furniture or objects.
- Unfamiliar people or animals.
This type of jumping may be paired with barking and growling. It is crucial to understand what factors irritate your dog.
That’s how you can eliminate any stressors. Which in turn will make your home a safe and a comfortable place for your Chi.
#4: Boredom and lack of stimulation
Boredom goes hand in hand with pent-up energy. Chihuahuas need a lot of attention. They also need a lot of mental stimulation
Without it, they become easily bored. Jumping is likely to get a reaction from you.
So, they will use jumping to garner your attention.
But hey, here is what you can do:
Keeping your Chi mentally stimulated is key
This will help to combat any unwanted behaviors.
The most common ones of these include:
- Excessive jumping.
- Erratic running (aka, zoomies).
- Chewing or destroying objects.
Combat this by creating a regular activity routine. Your Chi will benefit from having a known schedule.
#5: New people or animals
Chihuahuas can be very territorial. Without proper training, they can be too aggressive. This is because they assume the role of the protector.
Your Chi is very loyal to you.
Which will make them protective of you. Especially around new people or animals.
A big part of the reason why is because your Chi is naturally suspicious. Even well-trained Chis will be suspicious of new people.
Besides jumping, your Chi may also:
It is important to manage your Chi’s behavior. Obedience training can help. Socializing your Chihuahua is also a must.
Fact: Chihuahuas can learn how to jump higher over time
Most Chihuahuas are good jumpers. They will begin jumping as puppies. And they can master bigger jumps over time.
As they grow, they will jump:
Many owners bring their Chihuahuas to dog shows to compete. One category to compete in is agility. This involves a lot of high jumping.
Chihuahuas can excel in this category with proper training.
- Keep in mind: Dogs must be at least 15 months of age to compete (according to the AKC). However, training can begin much earlier.
3 methods to train your Chihuahua to jump higher
Training is a great way to exert your Chi’s energy. It is also a way to manage unwanted behaviors. For example:
Training your Chi to jump on command can reduce unwanted jumping. This is because they will associate the action with the command.
It is important to only offer rewards after the command. That way, your Chi learns action without command brings no reward.
I will cover 3 methods of jumping training:
Using incentives is also known as treat training. Offering your Chi rewards is a great way to alter behavior. Steps to follow:
- Show your Chihuahua their favorite treat.
- Give the command to jump.
- Reward with a treat after they have jumped.
- Do not reward if they jump without command.
This type of training is also known as positive reinforcement.
According to VCA Hospitals:
‘The best way to train your pet is through the proper use of positive reinforcement and rewards while simultaneously avoiding punishment.’VCA Hospitals
Thus, incentive training works for both:
- Teaching your Chi to jump.
- Stopping your Chi from jumping excessively.
- Doesn’t let you to pet or cuddle him
Using a bar may require you to first master the incentive method. This method is more difficult than the last and requires patience.
To do this method, you will need:
- Treats or other rewards.
- A bar or stick your Chi can jump over.
You can either hold the bar yourself or purchase a stand. To begin teaching, keep the bar low to the ground.
As your Chi learns what you want, begin to raise it higher.
Reward quickly after the task is complete. Rewards can be either treats or praise. Your Chihuahua may respond better to treats initially.
Caution: If your Chihuahua is just learning to jump, they may not be very agile. Do not overexert your Chi. Too high of jumps can lead to strains and injuries. It’s best to progress slowly and steadily.
In this method, you need a surface to serve as a platform. You can purchase actual training platforms. Alternatively, you can use:
- Short stools.
- Your lap or knee.
All of these can serve well as platforms. Like with the bar, you will want to start with low jumps. You can progressively make them higher over time.
Here are some steps to follow:
- Ensure your Chi understands the ‘jump’ command.
- Pat the surface you want them on and say ‘jump’.
- Immediately offer reward upon completion.
As with bar training, be careful not to overexert your Chi.
Jumping training for Chihuahuas is a great way to expend energy. Plus, their size makes it an easy activity to do so indoors.
Risk of injury and health
As I have mentioned, Chihuahuas can easily be overexerted. Your Chi may be rambunctious, but they are still small.
The impact of landing a jump can break, fracture, or strain their legs.
One study from the Veterinary Journal reports:
‘A recent survey reported an increased risk of injury in dogs participating in agility, a competitive canine sport involving different jumping activities.’Veterinary Journal
This is why it is critical to train slowly. The maximum height a Chihuahua can jump is 10 feet. However:
- The impact from that high of a jump can be severe.
- Not all Chis can jump that high.
It is crucial to start small and work up in jump heights. You may find your Chi has a much smaller jump limit.
Plus, certain health conditions can affect your Chi’s agility. Arthritis especially will weaken your Chi’s jump.
If you are unsure if jump training is good for your Chi, consult with your veterinarian.