We all know that it’s scary when your Chihuahua runs away.
But most of us don’t know why Chihuahuas do so.
In this article we’re going to talk about the top 7 reasons why Chihuahuas run away.
- Why YOUR Chihuahua runs away.
- 15 simple tips to prevent your Chihuahua from running away.
- How a ‘dedicated place’ can ensure that your Chi doesn’t run away.
- And more…
Table of contents
- Why do Chihuahuas run away?
- 15 tips to stop your Chihuahua from running away
Why do Chihuahuas run away?
Chihuahuas run away for different reasons. It could be because they lack mental and physical stimulation, companionship, and security at home. Or they could be in heat. Other reasons include the love of adventure, lack of obedience, or abuse from the owner.
To get a better idea of why your Chihuahua might run away, check the reasons below:
#1: Chihuahua in heat
Whether a male or a female, your Chihuahua is bound to run off when they’re in heat.
You can recognize this is the case with your female Chihuahua when the vulva is swollen and they’re bleeding. Bleeding lasts between 2-4 weeks.
Male Chihuahuas cans smell a bitch in heat from kilometres away. Once they do, they’ll be after her because their sex drive is too strong.
The most effective solution to stop that would be to neuter your Chihuahua.
#2: Lack of mental and physical stimulation
Chihuahuas might be small but their needs for mental and physical stimulation are as big as the ones of an average dog.
Your Chihuahua is not a cute toy-looking accessory. They’re a dog and you should treat them like one.
When a Chihuahua lacks mental and physical stimulation, they’re bursting with energy. This energy could be manifested in snapping at children, other dogs, and strangers.
Or, it could be put into playing fun games such as tug of war and fetch.
A big mistake some Chihuahua owners make is leaving their dog home alone for long periods of time. Then, they barely take them on walks.
Sure, the size of a Chihuahua might deceive you into believing that they don’t need that much space to run but this couldn’t be further away from the truth.
Mentally and physically stimulating your Chihuahua will prevent them from running away. It will also ensure they’re calmer at home, as well as around other dogs and people.
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You’re in the dog park. You’ve taken your Chihuahua out for a walk but they go wherever they want and don’t pay attention to you…
So, who’s walking who?
You call them by name, your raise your tone of voice, you try to get them… but none of it works.
You’re not alone.
Chihuahuas can be pretty opinionated and might challenge their owners with disobedience.
To overcome disobedience, you should work with your dog so that you strengthen your bond and they learn to follow commands.
#4: Abuse from owner
Sometimes, when an owner gets frustrated that they’re Chihuahua doesn’t listen to them, they might attempt to physically punish the dog.
Hitting a Chihuahua or holding them by the scruff is not only dangerous for their health but can also make them run away the minute they get the chance.
Dogs are loving and devoted creatures but everyone has their boundaries.
Physical punishment should never be seen as an answer to teach your Chihuahua a lesson.
All dogs are social animals and Chihuahuas make no exception.
When left home alone, without toys, games, and company, it could make them feel lonely.
What are they to do?
As soon as they get outside, they’ll try to compensate for the lack of entertainment, love, and affection at home.
They’ll run away to find company and play.
#6: Loves to run
Chis are small. So you might think they don’t need that much exercise.
Well, I’m here to tell you that they’re very energetic. And love running!
So, if you want to have a cuddly Chihuahua at home, you better let them run outside. There are different places where you could do that.
This could be a dog park or a garden where a lot of dogs who know each other gather. It will be easier for you to keep track of your Chihuahua if they’re running together with dogs they know.
They’ll also be less likely to hit the road on their own.
Believe it or not, some dogs love adventure. So they’ll do a lot to explore and sniff around new places they come across.
Sometimes a Chihuahua who’s the adventure type might wander off, by tracing a certain type of smell.
15 tips to stop your Chihuahua from running away
Not all is lost. To keep your Chihuahua safe from running away, check out these tips:
The number one solution on the list is socialization.
Socialization with people and dogs will help your Chihuahua feel more confident around others. This will minimize the chances of your Chi running away.
Usually, if a Chihuahua is not socialized well, they can not only get into fights but also hit the road if they feel threatened by another dog.
The outcomes in such cases are two – the fight or flight response.
A well-socialized Chihuahua on the other hand is likely to keep their cool when meeting new dogs. And will not respond to provocations.
Don’t neglect playtime with your Chihuahua.
It’s both fun and necessary. Playtime will help your Chihuahua deal with their energy levels in a healthy way.
Schedule daily playtime sessions during a walk or after that to keep you Chihuahua entertained.
Sparing at least 30 minutes 2 times a day (usually before and after work) should do the trick.
Exercise is a must. It’s also the most common solution to various behavioral issues.
If your Chihuahua is too noisy at home, has excessive amounts of energy, or is disobedient, exercise will help.
Exercising your Chihuahua will keep them in top physical shape and health.
#4: Coexisting with other pets
Some Chihuahua owners pick this breed because they think they can easily have two pets of a different kind that way.
Your Chihuahua could have some objections on the mater though.
When a Chihuahua is forced to coexist with another pet, the Chi can experience certain amounts of stress.
This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to have a Chihuahua and another pet at the same time.
Stressful or dangerous situations could be avoided as long as both pets have been introduced properly to each other and have their own private places in the house.
When introducing your Chihuahua to another pet, it’s advisable to do it with the Chihuahua leashed.
Then, you can start gradually decreasing the distance between them to see how they react. It’s best to have a friend help you out in case the two animals don’t like each other and one decides to attack the other.
A second option is to let the Chi and the other pet smell each other through a closed door. You can then monitor their reactions and tell if one gets angry and territorial or stays rather curious.
#5: Dedicated place
Let your Chihuahua have its safe haven in the house.
Don’t assume that just because they’re able to roam around the house whenever they want, it’s enough for them.
Just like you, your Chi needs to have their own private space where they feel unbothered by external noises or other irritations.
Other pets shouldn’t have any reach to your Chihuahua’s safe space. This could be a crate, a dog bed in the corner of a room or playpen.
The pros of your Chihuahua having their own space are many. It will contribute to your Chihuahua being calmer, relaxed, confident, and independent.
#6: Baby gates
Another option to literally stop your Chihuahua from running away is to place baby gates around the house.
Bear in mind that these might not work for all Chihuahuas as these dogs can be quite good jumpers. If so, they can easily overcome such an obstacle.
#7: Puppy playpen
A puppy playpen can come in handy when your Chihuahua attempts to run away.
Ideally, the playpen would be bigger so your Chihuahua has enough space to run and spin.
This will keep your Chihuahua safe from getting into trouble.
If you leave them roam around freely in the house while you’re away, they might hurt themselves in an attempt to escape.
#8: Obedience training
What’s even better than a playpen is obedience training.
Any dog can benefit from it.
During your free time in the morning or evening, work with your Chihuahua, and teach them commands.
Reward each progress but careful not to overfeed them.
For safety, consult with your vet about which snacks are best for training. You can choose some that are smaller and low in calories.
A good option is to sign your Chi up for obedience training with a professional. You’ll still be working together with your dog
#9: Agility training
A suitable way to put your Chihuahua’s energy into something productive is to enroll them in agility training.
This is mentally and physically stimulating for them.
Chances are you’ll get a well-behaved Chihuahua at home, and a happy one.
#10: Positive reinforcement
I can’t emphasize enough on the importance of positive reinforcement.
It’s rewarding the behavior you want from your Chihuahua.
For example, giving snacks when they come back to you after being called.
Using a keyword to add to the action of rewarding them.
It’s always a good idea to leash your Chihuahua is busy areas.
These can be sidewalks near big roads with a lot of traffic. Or when you’re walking in the city center.
All the noises from unknown vehicles and crowds could stress out your Chi.
Either take them in your arms or walk through these areas with extra caution and a leashed Chi.
#12: Stuffed Kong
A Stuffed Kong is an entertaining way for your Chihuahua to stay out of trouble.
They can’t be thinking how to get the treats out and leave the house at the same time 🙂
And by the time they’ve gotten the treats out, they’d probably need a rest.
Food puzzles like that are always at your disposal.
#13: Don’t punish your Chihuahua
Punishment is a big NO for the education of any dog.
If your Chihuahua does something you’re not okay with, think how you can prevent it instead of how to punish them.
Punishing could backfire and make your Chihuahua want to escape the moment they get the chance to.
Your Chihuahua will feel at ease once they know they’ll get food, water, and their walks.
If you stick to a schedule, it will make it easier for your Chihuahua to feel secure.
That way you minimize the Chances of your Chihuahua running away in search of food, water, or freedom.
#15: Crate training
When traveling in a car it’s fairly easy for your Chihuahua to jump out of an open door and head somewhere far.
Not if your Chihuahua is crated though.
Before you begin creating your Chihuahua, you should get them used to it.
Begin by putting an open crate in your home. Put a comfort blanket there so that when your Chi walks in, they sense a familiar smell.
Wouldn’t hurt to have some treats.
On occasions when your Chihuahua takes the initiative to enter the crate, reward them with a snack.
The sooner you get them used to the crate, the better.
You’ll then be able to take them on trips or simply leave them home alone without worrying about them.