How far does your chi walk?

Somewhere a mathematician should be able to work out a formula that converts how far your chihuahua walks in a day. I call it chi-miles.

Chihuahua have little legs and the world is a much bigger place when you’re only ten inches off the ground. Often people underestimate how much ground their chihuahua will have covered in a day just from scampering around the house and garden.

Full of beans

Chihuahuas are naturally very excitable and charge about full of beans. They are also very inquisitive. Even though they like a snooze they are apt to jump up to investigate every noise or interview every bird that dares to land in the garden. Add into that the need to follow you about you start to see just how much ground your chihuahua covers.

Over tired

Tiredness will pay into your chihuahuas reactivity, making them more prone to barking. This barking creates additional excitement which then creates more excitement (especially if you have more than one dog). The whole thing then becomes cyclic, and you end up with the ‘Chihuahua Feedback Loop.’ With excitement driving reactivity which creates excitement.

Tiredness creates excitement which fuels hypervigilance

One of the ways to put a break on the feedback loop is to cut down on the tiredness and make sure your chihuahua has ‘active rest’ in the day.

Take a nap

Find a place that your chihuahua can have an undisturbed rest. Covered crates are good for this as it takes away any decisions from your dog and they will settle. Pens or a quiet room can also work. Make sure the family know not to disturbed them when they are sleeping.

Grow independance

Grow some independence so your chihuahua is not up and following you about every time you get up. This is exhausting for them and can lead to separation anxiety.

Teach your chihuahua to have value in lying calmly on a bed or mat by giving them a long-term to chew like a hoof or pigs ear. (Nothing too fatty). Raw bones are good but take out most of the marrow. Don’t give them cooked bones or anting plastic that is flavoured like meat. We are looking for a chewing nor eating.

Reduce rehearsal

What is your chihuahua rehearsing and think about how you can manage it. Rehearsal is huge for dogs as they become what they do. For example, if your chihuahua is up and barking out the window every time someone walks by, what can you put in place to prevent this. How can you make the window inaccessible and ‘none of their business?’

Let sleeping chis lie!

Stop yourself being an event. If every time you come and go you pet or fuss your chihuahua they are more likely to get up when you move or become stressed when you leave.

Also remember the term ‘let sleeping dogs lie”. The problem is they look so darn cute when they’re asleep we feel the need to just go check they still love us. A little fuss on the head or stroke. But this turns your approach into an event and disturbs your chihuahua sleep.

Resist the temptation to disturb your chihuahua

So think about how far your chihuahua is walking in a day in relation to their size and start to look for opportunities to create more undisturbed rest. Put a break in that feedback loop.