Chihuahuas do enjoy hunting and chasing after little critters, such as the favored lizard. If a critter goes down a hole, the Chi may attempt to go after it by digging. Not having buckets for paws (as some breeds do), the Chihuahua is not very efficient at moving large amounts of earth in short periods of time. Beware, however, the determined Chi that’s found a vole underground or suspects a lizard lair. Given time, she can dig. Chis may also dig to unearth cool ground to lie in on a hot day or bury a favorite chew or toy for later. Still other Chihuahuas will dig out of sheer boredom.
In working with problem diggers, it is important to determine why the Chihuahua is digging. If there’s no reason you can see for the digging, exercise your Chihuahua more. Play more games, and get her active. She is likely digging because she’s looking for something to do.
If your Chi is running after critters and is digging in an area of your yard where you don’t want holes, make this area inaccessible to your Chihuahua. You can use temporary or permanent fencing to keep your Chi out.
If it’s burying and digging things back up that your Chi likes, consider blocking off part of your yard and only giving your Chi access to a small area that has a digging pit in it. Dig out a two- by three-foot area approximately eight to twelve inches deep, and fill it with sand. Put a couple of your Chi’s favorite toys partially into the pit and reward your dog with praise and a treat when she digs the toys out. It doesn’t take long for a dog to figure out that this digging pit can be a lot of fun.
Chewing and Shredding
Puppies are notorious chewers. When a puppy is losing her milk teeth (at around five to six months of age) and her adult, permanent teeth are breaking through the gum line, the sensation is itchy, painful, and annoying. It is at this time that your puppy really needs something to chew on.
Good chew items include puppy toys made of dense or solid rubber, hard chew bones (either synthetic or baked) such as those made by Nylabone, and dog toys made of twisted, knotted, multistrand ropes. These items do not break down into small pieces that could be swallowed or choke the pup accidentally.
To discourage a Chihuahua puppy from chewing on chair legs and carpet fringes or to discourage idle gnawing on baseboards, cabinet doors, and the occasional low windowsill, consider using a pet product designed specifically for this purpose. Nontoxic products such as Bitter Apple come in gels and sprays that are extremely distasteful to most puppies.
Applying a product such as this to an endangered surface will often ward off the chewiest of puppies with just one taste. There are, of course, those pups with no taste. In these instances, keeping the pup away from her favorite inappropriate chewing items is the only way to ensure that these items remain safe.