Chihuahuas are the most noticeable dog breeds owing to their endearing small size. Although Chihuahuas can weigh as little as 3kg/6lbs in size and 10 inches, they have big, adorable personalities. Moreover, Chihuahuas are very energetic and tend to enjoy different forms of playtime. In this guide, we highlight some fun Chihuahua games to play with your pup.
Since Chihuahuas get excited at any chance of playtime, you should take advantage of this opportunity to bond with your dog. Studies have shown that frequent play between dogs and their owners enhances their relationship and strengthens the bond.
Having Fun with Your Chihuahua
Chihuahuas love positive playtime as it helps them feel treasured by their owners. Playing with your Chihuahua will also help you gain your pup’s respect and foster a long-lasting bond.
Apart from the ordinary tug and chase games, there are several game ideas that’ll go a long way in helping boost the overall playful demeanor of your pup. It’s, therefore, a good idea to explore and experiment on a wide range of play ideas so you can freshen up your Chihuahua’s playtime.
Thinking Outside The Box!
In essence, you should think outside the box when trying to figure out the best games to play or teach your pup. This will help in stimulating your dog and prevent boredom.
However, it’s important to remember that this small dog breed prefers certain games over others. The idea is to try and experiment with one new game at a time so you can keep your pup interested over time.
Before we delve into some of the most interesting game ideas to play with your Chihuahua, let’s talk about popular dog toys. Understanding the type of toys that Chihuahuas love will help you get a good insight into the kind of Chihuahua playtime sessions to try out.
Cute dog toys such as tugging rope, stuffed ducks, dogs, bears, and rodents are some of the best ideas you should consider trying out. In fact, when it comes to the different types of toys suitable for your Chihuahua, your options are limitless. Adding more toys into your collection adds variety to the playtime itself.
Consider including small treats to reward positive behavior during and after playtime. Rewarding your pup after playtime is one way of boosting positive traits. The rewards or treats will come in handy in helping your pup develop a positive association with a new game.
Why Play With Your Chihuahua?
Here are a few reasons playtime is very crucial for Chihuahuas:
1: Provides mental stimulation
Never undermine the significance of mental exercise in your dog. Interactive games such as the tug of war keep the pup busy and give them positive mental stimulation. If your dog has to follow a specific instruction like “You need to get the Frisbee back for you to continue playing,” he will have to make his own decision and become more focused.
2: Playtime compliments training
Playing with your dog is part and parcel of training your Chihuahua some tricks. While training requires that you introduce new desirable tricks to your dog, you can reinforce what the dog has learned through playtime. For instance, does your dog become mouthy when playing tug? If that is the case, you should stop the game to discourage the dog from biting your hand.
3: Physical exercise is good
Dogs need to release pent energy that may cause them to bark and whine excessively at night. The best way to release that negative excess energy is by introducing playtime to your pup’s everyday routine. Furthermore, since playing with your pup requires that you participate actively, you’ll also benefit from the extra physical activity.
In practicality, playing with your dog doesn’t mean participating in a 3-hour long tug of war! Instead, you should engage in short playtime sessions of about 5 to 10 minutes. Adding games such as Frisbee into your dog’s playtime routine is a sure-fire way of getting plenty of exercises each day for both you and your Chihuahua.
4: Relieves stress
Playing with your Chihuahua will incredibly help boost both you and your pup’s mood. Spending quality time with your dog or simply playing with your dog can have a calming effect. According to a recent study, playing with your dog helps lessen anxiety and depression-related symptoms.
5: Strengthens your bond
Which other better way to strengthen the bond between you and your dog other than playing with the dog? Playing with your dog regularly will give him the idea that you’re the bringer of good things. In other words, playtime speeds up the bonding process.
6: Improves social life
Playing with your Chihuahua on a daily basis will incredibly help improve your social life. Taking your dog to the neighborhood playground or for a walk at the park is one way of meeting new people and socializing. It also helps Chihuahuas polish their social skills. According to a 2015 study, being a pet owner is the 3rd most common way that a majority of people met with their neighbors. Sixty percent of the respondents admitted that being a pet owner has enabled them to meet with the people they didn’t know in their neighborhoods.
7: Decreases problem behaviors
Dogs, in general, have a way of developing problem behaviors if they’re not monitored closely. Before you even know it, you might be shocked to learn that your dog has started chewing and barking excessively. Your Chihuahua is likely to develop these annoying behaviors due to boredom or being too idle: the dog is simply trying to self-entertain. So, to discourage your dog from chewing the carpet, you need to find the time to engage him in some games.
Indoor Chihuahua Games To Play
While outdoor games are great for dogs in terms of giving them a real breath of fresh air, indoor games are equally as important. While Chihuahuas are not hunting dogs that can go out into the woods, you can enhance their tracking skills by engaging them in playtimes. Help your dog exercise their limbs, especially during snowy days, through sufficient indoor playtime.
There is a wide variety of tried and tested fun games that you can bring indoors and enjoy playing with your pup.
This is especially necessary when it’s too hot or raining and snowing outside. With the following indoor game ideas, you’ll keep playtime booming.
1: Scavenger Hunt
This game idea borrows from the concepts of positive dog training. In other words, you incorporate playtime into the training. You can keep your Chihuahua busy by hiding a few treats around the house and helping the dog hunt for them. This is an amazing way to bond with your Chihuahua.
You can hide the treats inside your dog’s cute toys. Putting biscuits in plush toys and letting your Chihuahua scavenge for them adds a lot of excitement to the game. Simply insert a treat into a toy and hide the toy under a couch, table, or kitchen to give your Chihuahua a range of areas to explore.
2: Hide and Seek
There are different forms of playing hide and seek to try out with your dog. The most basic form of this game idea is using hallways with access to several rooms in your home. Keep the game simple by peeking around the rooms’ doorways. Keep the hiding location fairly simple lest the dog loses interest and gets bored.
The other effective way to play hide and seek with the Chihuahuas is by holding the dog while you let another player hide. Once the other player hides in one of the rooms in your house, you can now release the dog to find him or her. The other player should make a big fuss when found so as to encourage the dog to continue playing.
3: Dog toy box
The putaway or toy box is a great indoor game that encourages Chihuahuas to learn how to keep their toys tidy. It helps the dog know where the toys get put after playtime. You should play this game as an end game to help your Chihuahuas learn the importance of putting their toys away after play. Train your Chihuahua to master the tendency of putting the toys into the bin or box after playtime by rewarding them with treats.
4: Shell game
This is a relatively new and trendy way of playing with Chihuahuas. Also known as the three-cup game, the shell game is an engaging game that lets you use three cups to conceal a treat under one of the cups and letting the pup search for it. Next, you shuffle the cups around as your pup watches and hope that the dog finds the right cup.
While the game is often played with an intent to con the player, you should be a little lenient to your dog during playtime. For instance, after turning the three cups upside down, you should take the time to show it to your pet by using signals and very slowly pass the cups around to mix the arrangement.
This is to avoid confusing the dog and disappointing him rather than entertaining your little friend. Always reward the pup when he finds the ball or toy under the cup.
Outdoor Chihuahua Games To Play
When venturing outdoors, here are some fun games to play with your Chihuahua:
This is a classic game that makes Chihuahuas feel proud of playtime. In fact, Chihuahuas are known to love this particular game so much because they often feel a unique accomplishment when they catch a toy or ball that was thrown.
Ensure you have some treats handy before the game starts and as it proceeds, so you can keep encouraging your pup to master positive behaviors. Always use a mid-sized ball or stuffed toy for the fetch game to ensure your pup doesn’t choke when carrying the ball back.
All you need to do is toss the ball across the yard, and your Chihuahua will eagerly run and retrieve it. Once the pups have successfully brought the ball back to you, they ought to be rewarded. You can also use a small stick in the place of a ball, especially when taking a walk.
Types of Fetch Games
Fetch can be customized to fit the specific personality of your pup. Some of the items to consider using when playing fetch with your pup include:
- Balls: Explore different textures of small balls suitable for your small Chihuahuas. The ideal ball can be coated like a tennis ball or a plastic ball with nubs along the surface. Balls are perfect because they can go far or easily roll away to encourage the pup to run, fetch and bring them back with ease.
- Stuffed toys: Your pup’s toy box should have a variety of soft stuffed toys that are easy on the mouth. Such toys are available in many designs and shapes. Stuffed toys can take different shapes, including but not limited to newspapers, ducks, and dog food items. Chihuahuas can easily put these stuffed toys in their small mouths and carry them along.
- Sticks and branches: Small sticks from broken tree branches are great for playtime when playing fetch with your Chihuahuas. Your Chihuahuas will be excited to find a stick in the park and turn a warm evening stroll in the park into quick playtime. However, you must inspect the stick to ensure it doesn’t have weird bugs. Even a splintered stick or tree branch can cause injury to your young pup. Alternatively, you can buy toy sticks at pet stores near you. These customized sticks are much better because they come in different textures to give Chihuahuas something they can sink their teeth into.
- Old shoe or slipper: Dogs are sometimes fond of tearing up shoes and slippers, perhaps because they smell the owner in the shoes! Nonetheless, instead of throwing away your old slipper or shoe, consider using it for a fetch game with your Chihuahuas. Just be sure to keep away the new pair of shoes you just bought recently so that the dog doesn’t try the same thing with the new pair.
- Plastic Toys: Pet stores stock plastic Frisbees that are specifically designed for small dogs such as Chihuahuas. Your pups can carry the Frisbees when playing fetch and go far distances.
2: Walk Game
The walking game is often recommended when playing with a trained Chihuahua. Effective dog training is associated with patience, praise, and a system of rewarding or encouraging the pup. That is why the game is suitable for Chihuahuas who have been trained to listen to and obey commands.
In other words, you can only play the game with pups that have been trained to respond positively to voice commands. It’s a great game for both you and your pup; it gives double benefits to the playtime activities. The best place to engage in this game is out at the park or in your backyard.
Just like bigger dogs, Chihuahuas also love playing with Frisbees. You need to shop for the smaller versions of these plastic discs because the larger ones won’t be suitable for the Chihuahuas’ small mouths.
The fact that the plastic discs float in the air is a guarantee that your pup will enjoy running in different directions to fetch them. Buy different colors so as to add more jazz to playtime.
It’s advisable to ensure your Chihuahuas have shock collars for easier traceability in case they get lost. This is crucial, especially when you take long walks far away from the neighborhood.
3: Game of Pounce
Chihuahuas love pouncing on small balls or stuffed toys that squeak. Get the pups to leap on squeaky toys and catch the prized rewards. Regardless of the age of your pups, you can’t go wrong with soft stuffed toys.
The squeaker in the stuffed toys will keep the dogs alert and active during playtime. Start by squeaking the stuffed toy to grab your pup’s attention. Next, toss the toy in the yard and watch as the pup runs to catch it.
Cornhole is commonly played at family gatherings. Tossing beanbags into wooden boxes is a popular game for dogs across the world. Once again, you need a few treats to start playing the game with your Chihuahuas. You simply get a slanted box with a small hole and beanbags to get started.
If you don’t have beanbags, you can train your Chihuahuas to toss their toys in the wooden box. You should act as an example in showcasing the principles of the game to your pups. The pups ought to be rewarded every time they successfully toss a toy or beanbag into the hole.
5: Game of “Gotcha.”
This is a very affectionate game that shows how you bond you’re your pup. It’s a great way of expressing affection and rewarding your pup. All you need to make the dog happy during play is a few treats.
Chihuahuas enjoy having their bellies tickled or rubbed. Use a tickling motion to enhance the gotcha mindset. You have to reward the pup almost immediately to avoid letting the game get too out of hand.
6: Tug of War
While some dog breeds may develop aggressive behaviors when playing tug of war, Chihuahuas are less likely to become aggressive when playing the game. Either way, it really depends on how you play the game with your dog; you need to allow your pup to win the game gently.
The game should be played in such a manner that encourages positive responses, not aggressiveness. You should be careful to avoid letting your pup take full control of the robe.
In essence, you should create some balance between you and the dog as the game progresses. The game will naturally play out as it should if you stay calm when pulling the robe back and forth. You can give your dog a puzzle toy to solve in case you’ve some chore to attend to.
7: Teach the Chihuahua a new trick
Teaching the young Chihuahua new commands or tricks is one way of playing with your dog. However, you need to be consistent by repeating the training sessions regularly so that the Chihuahua doesn’t forget the commands. For instance, if you teach your pup how to roll perfectly and forget about it, the pup might not remember the trick a few days later.
8: Blow Bubbles
Chihuahuas love playing with bubbles. Simply blow some bubbles and watch as your pup enjoys the fun. Your Chihuahuas will draw a lot of fun from reacting to the bubbles.
Blowing bubbles is a simple game that you can play with your Chi while lying down. You can also play the game when you don’t have the mood to be all that active outdoors playing with your Chihuahuas.
Simply teach your Chihuahua how to chase the bubbles you blow. If the Chihuahua doesn’t show interest immediately, point at the bubbles. Keep encouraging the Chihuahuas to catch the bubbles as the game progresses.
9: Find the treats
Put your Chi’s nose to work to tire him mentally. Somehow, dogs are naturally bred to work alongside humans. Through domestication, dogs in the modern world are given food, toys, and even shelter on a silver platter. This means that today’s dogs never work at all! So, making the dogs work and earn their food is one way of encouraging them to put their hunting skills to the test.
To get started, chop some veggies or use store-bought dog food with the right servings and place them in different locations; have your pup watch you hide the treats. When you finish hiding, command your Chi to find the treats. Be generous with rewards and praises every time your pup finds the treats.
Try making this game more challenging with time. For example, you can have your dog wait in the other room as you hide the treats in obvious locations they can easily access. This means the pups need to employ their sniffing power to find the treats.
No matter the type of game you choose to play with your Chihuahua, great playtime with your dog helps foster strong bonds. Your dog will gradually start enjoying being around you or simply staying closer. Always remember to play with your Chihuahuas every day and reward them with amazing treats for positive traits. Be as pleasant and engaging as possible with your pup. Never tease your pup while playing since that will discourage the dog from participating in a particular game.