Chihuahuas are one of the most adorable dogs in the world! New owners and long-time owners of this smaller breed of dog (the world’s smallest!) not only love their pets but are eager to learn more ways to connect with their pups.
One of the biggest ways to connect with chihuahuas is through playtime, walking time, and building an overall trust with them. One of the most important things about owning a dog is taking it on walks.
All breeds benefit from this, especially chihuahuas!
Walking Tips For Your Chihuahua
Walking a dog not only gives the dog exercise but the owner as well! It’s an opportunity to spend time with the pup while getting in some daily exercise.
With this in mind, what are some critical walking tips to consider for walking chihuahuas? Below are the top 10 walking tips for this pint-sized pup!
1. Consider The Weather Out Side
While walking dogs every day is optimal, keeping an eye out for the weather is important. Storms, heavy snow, extreme heat, etc. All play a big role in how the chihuahua (or other dogs!) will feel during the walk.
If the weather is too extreme, waiting it out is best. Other options can include using paw wax to protect the paws from extreme cold, heat, or even gravel and rocky areas.
The use of raincoats or dog sweaters is another great option to help a pup get their daily walk as well. If the weather is simply too much to bear, playtime indoors can be extended to help get a chihuahua some exercise.
2. Stick To A Time Schedule Or Routine
Making a routine out of the walks is extremely helpful! It not only gives the chihuahua something to look forward every day at the same time but it also serves as a means to help us remember to walk them.
Life gets busy and is truly unexpected, so having a routine and time for walks is beneficial. Finding the right time to go on the walks really depends on someone’s overall schedule.
When is it time for someone to be at work or other obligations? Trying to get the dog out for a walk within an hour of waking up is usually the best route to take.
Similarly, shooting for the hour before bedtime is also a great method to try. These times will vary based on an overall schedule but the common factor is everyone wakes up and goes to sleep.
Setting alarms is a great way to implement this system and remember!
3. Always Walk Within Safe Areas
Anything can happen, in any neighbourhood. However, striving to walk our pups in safe areas should always be the goal. There should always be a sidewalk lining the street if possible.
Moreover, access to parks or beaches is important as well since this gives chihuahuas space to roam and play while on their walks. Trying to stay away from heavy traffic areas is important so no vehicles can come near the dog while walking.
While we can’t control the surroundings around us, we can do what we can to ensure we are taking our dogs to the safest areas possible!
4. Bring Water And Container For Drinking
Bringing water is important for ourselves as well as the chihuahua! This is especially true in the summer or areas of the world where it is mostly always hot outside.
Access to water keeps hydration levels up and energy levels peaked. Bringing a couple of bottles of water is sufficient and chihuahuas will love a cool drink during or after a walk.
Using a small backpack can be beneficial to carry them in. The backpack can be helpful as well for items like a small water dish if a chihuahua won’t drink from a water bottle.
5. Don’t Forget The Rubbish Bags
It is no secret that dogs love marking territories or simply doing their business wherever and whenever the moment strikes them. During a walk, short or long, bringing rubbish bags is an absolute must.
It is simply the most respectable and responsible thing to do as a dog owner. Cleaning up after them during walks takes seconds and disposal is super easy.
6. Pack A Small Bag To Carry Items
Whether its an extended or a short walk around the block, packing a small bag is a good idea. The bag can be a crossbody bag, small backpack, or even a reusable shopping bag.
The contents should consist of bottled water (1 to 2 bottles), a small water dish (if the chihuahua doesn’t drink from water bottles), dog biscuits, paw wax, extra dog sweater, and rubbish bags.
It is important to bring these items, however, never pack things too heavy as this will make walking more cumbersome.
The listed items can be adjusted to suit the needs of the chihuahua and owner!
7. Choose The Right Leash Or Harness
Leashes are readily available online and at pet stores, however, not all are created equally. Choosing the right type of leash for a chihuahua ensures that the dog is comfortable during a walk.
Materials like leather or metal chain leashes are incredibly heavy for these pups. Chihuahuas are small dogs only weighing up to 3kg (or 6lbs) and standing at about 23cm (or 9in) on average.
With such a small frame and weight, having the proper material for leashes is really important. Materials like nylon or cotton are typically lightweight and comfortable for these pups. They won’t add any strain to the pup while walking.
8. Make the Walk Long Enough
Don’t skimp on the length of the walk. It is important to keep exercise in a daily routine for a chihuahua.
Of course, the length can be adjusted for extreme weather, etc, but overall the walk should last somewhere between 20 to 30 minutes.
It is pretty common that humans should get around 30 minutes of exercise up to 3 times a week, so in a way chihuahuas as similar!
9. Pick The Right Size Raincoat Or Sweater
Having a raincoat or sweater on a chihuahua during a walk (or bringing it in the packed bag!) is really important. It helps the pups stay warm, dry, and comfortable.
Just having access to one isn’t enough though. It is important to have the correct size for the chihuahua! Dog sweaters or raincoats come in various sizes to fit all kinds of dogs.
To ensure proper sizing, consider the dog’s weight and length which will determine the size needed. For example, dogs weighing around 1.13kg (2.5lbs) to 1.58 (3.5lbs) and around 23cm long would need a small size.
The coat or sweater should fit snugly but not tightly. A finger should fit easily between the dog and the sweater without too much pressure.
10. Have A Conversation With The Pup
Walking can be…boring. Depending on where someone lives there might not be a whole lot to really look at. Chihuahuas are peppy dogs who enjoy their owner’s company.
Having a little conversation during walks helps make the walk more exciting both for the human and dog.
While dogs are naturally curious about their surroundings and will be exploring anything around them during a walk, talking to them too keeps them engaged.
They might be able to answer but small talk is nice anyways!
Do Chihuahuas Need Walks?
Chihuahuas should be walked just like any other dog. It is a great way to keep up with exercise as well as social health as well.
During the walks, chihuahuas can enjoy being engaged in nature or passing people and dogs.
While other people and dogs should be taken carefully, dogs have strong scents and chihuahuas will enjoy just smelling the smells of the surroundings!
These reasons are what make walks so important to chihuahua’s daily routine!
How Much Should I Walk My Chihuahua?
Part of Chihuahua walking tips includes just how much to actually walk them!
The appropriate time frame is considered between 20 to 30 minutes. Much like humans, this amount of exercise helps chihuahuas stay happy and healthy.
Walking them any shorter of a length isn’t very beneficial and should only be done if the weather isn’t very suitable. This is where making up for lost walking time can be done through playtime.
Indoor playtime can provide exercise for chihuahuas as well. A good game of hide and seek or find the treats are great examples of games to get your pup moving!
Can You Walk a Chihuahua Too Much?
Generally, one walk a day is sufficient for these tiny pups. Still using the 20 to 30-minute time frame is important! While one walk is good enough, a chihuahua can be walked up to two times daily.
This can be once in the morning and once at night. Obviously, potty breaks should be given as well through the day as needed, but these aren’t going to be full-scale walks.
When taking a chihuahua for a walk, always consider rest time between walks. They are tiny pups who can handle walks, however, they should be given time to rest up and get hydrated between any walks.
This is why two walks a day should be the max number of walks and spread out from morning to night or evening.
How Do You Train A Chihuahua To Walk On A Leash?
Leashes are a very critical part of walking any dog. They serve as a means of keeping the dog within safe distance while still giving them freedom to enjoy the great outdoors.
Some dogs take to leashes just fine while others need a little more convincing to use them. Chihuahuas are just like other dogs in that they either will be fine with the leash…or not.
Luckily, there are some tips for training a chihuahua to walk on a leash. Below are the tips to consider for training a chihuahua on leashes as well as various methods to try using.
Tips for Leash Training
Always Use The “reward” Method To Train
Chihuahuas are a breed known for being quite intelligent but rather stubborn. With this in mind, using a reward-based method for training is important.
Essentially, after any good or positive reactions to the steps of training, using biscuits or treats to reward the pup is important.
This positive reinforcement gives the pup a good association with what they’ve learned and they’re more likely to retain and continue the desired behaviour.
Never Force Them To Use The Leash
Dogs, especially Chihuahuas are impressionable towards and of their owners. No training should ever feel forced and the dog will respond better if they feel like an action was their idea.
This tip goes hand-in-hand with reward-based training. Showcasing the leash walking by rewarding keeps everything on a positive note. This includes not being forceful. Rather, lead by example and ease
Remember The Purpose Of Walking On A Leash
The idea behind leash walking isn’t so that the dog isn’t pulling you in every direction, rather so that the pace of the walk remains consistent.
If the pace of the walk remains consistent, there won’t be an issue of the dog pulling off in every direction. It is a very streamlined process and having a proper pace ensures walks will always go smoothly.
Use A Dog Walking Harness
Harnesses encompass the dog’s chest area making for an easier time while walking. These provide better support and prevent any tugging or pulling.
When just a collar and leash is used, there is a risk of neck injury if the dog pulls too hard. Harnesses are a better way to not only get the pup more comfortable with leashes but provide the safest experience.
Methods For Training a Chihuahua to Walk on a Leash
Commanding With The Leash Method
This method starts with the leash itself. Using rewards, show the pup the leash to understand its time to go outside. When they gain the association with the leash being brought out, it sets the pace so to speak for the entire walk.
Start with walking around the house. Once a chihuahua has gotten used to the feeling of the harness and leash, the next step should be getting them comfortable with the motions of actually walking.
Keeping the leash at a proper distance helps keep the dog close, which is critical. This way, you can lead by example of walking and having them follow!
Given them a treat every step taken is a way to gain pace and continued steps. This method “commands” the leash as part of the walk, giving positive association with the leash and the emotions that go with it!
Redirection Method To Keep Them Focused
Chihuahuas, like most dogs, are curious about their surroundings. During walks, they may be tempted to stray off. This method of training can be most beneficial to only getting the dog used to the leash but also keeping them focused.
Once again, always have treats available for rewards. After attaching the leash and harness, let the pup walk around with it for a moment to get used to the feeling of it overall.
After picking up the leash, ensure the proper distance is between you and the dog. There should be some slack, but not enough to let the leash drag beside the dog.
This keeps him walking alongside you. If the chihuahua starts to walk in a different direction, immediately stop. Wait for the dog to realize you’ve stopped.
Redirect them to the proper position and reward them for this. Repeat and practice as necessary to ensure they understand the focal point of the direction.
There are other methods out there, but these two really gain the best results when put into practice. Remember, also reward, use proper commands, and lead by example.
A dog cannot know what to do if there’s no example being set. We cannot simply tell them to walk or follow without showing them those motions.
Chihuahuas are such lovable dogs with big personalities despite their size! Knowing these great Chihuahua walking tips as well as proper ways to leash train them will make for the best walks ever!
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