The smallest breed of dog in the world is unsurprisingly one of the cutest. You just want to pick up your Chihuahua and cuddle him all the time. He’s relatively new to your home, but everyone in the house is already head over heels for him. However, he doesn’t always seem quite so happy. Several times now he’s tried to run away. You’re aren’t quite sure what the problem is, but you’re worried for his safety when he escapes. If he runs out onto the road he could be killed or seriously injure himself. Any injury could bring with it expensive vet bills.
You’re also worried he could get attacked by another dog, or generally lost. Training him not to run away then is paramount for his safety. You also can’t socialize him in the house properly with other pets if he doesn’t get settled.
Training any dog not to run away can come with challenges. However, with Chihuahuas, the hurdle is particularly big for two reasons. Firstly, they are so small they can escape easier than large dogs often can. Secondly, because of their size, they are at more risk of harm outside the safety of your home. Training him not to run away will mean remedying the underlying cause of the problem. You’ll also have to take steps to deter him from running away, while employing a number of incentives to keep him safe and secure inside.
If he’s a puppy he could still be adjusting to his new home and he should be receptive to training. You could see results in just a week or two. If he’s older and set in his ways then you may need up to six weeks. Get this right and you’ll be able to sleep easily and not panic whenever you can’t see him.
Before you get to work you’ll need to get your hands on a few things. Baby gates will be needed for one of the methods. You’ll also need to stock up on treats or break his favorite food into small pieces. You’ll also need some toys and food puzzles to help him feel at home, and possibly a new bed.
You’ll need to set aside 10 minutes each day for training. The only other things you need are patience and an upbeat attitude.
Once you have all that, your work can begin!
My chihuahua keeps running off after my cats
Hello Bridget, First, work on teaching Coco a high level come command. Once he knows the meaning of the word really well and can do it consistently in calm locations, then practice the command around lots of distractions, such as other dogs, the cats, people, park sights and smells, and new locations. Start with easy distractions and gradually progress to harder ones as he improves. Make sure that you practice around the cats too when he is ready. Here is an article on how to teach "Come". You can use any of the methods to initially teach him the meaning of the command, but once he understands the word and you are ready to practice in other locations and around distractions, then use the "Long Leash" method so that you can reel him in if he disobeys. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-terrier-recall Also, teach your dog a high level "Leave It" command. Start by simply teaching him the meaning of the word. Once he can leave things like food and toys alone when you tell him to, then practice with the cats while he is on a long leash. Again, use the long leash so that you can prevent him from chasing them and reel him in if he disobeys. https://wagwalking.com/training/leave-it Start by using one of the first two methods from the leave it article. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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