Training

How to Deal with a Destructive Chihuahua

The tiny teeth of your Chi can easily cause more damage around your home than you expect. Not all destructive behavior in Chihuahua’s is the same. Depending on your Chi’s signs and symptoms, your Chi may have a specific type of destructive behavior that can help them be treated properly. Chewing, digging and aggressive behavior are all signs of a problem, but they’re not always the only symptoms. In order to help your Chi overcome this stage in life, you must first find out why your Chi is acting out.

Reasons for Destructive Behavior

Finding out why your Chi is chewing or scratching on everything is the first step in helping you both deal with it. Stopping you fur baby from chewing and digging altogether is impossible because it’s a natural instinct. Rather than trying to stop the destructive behaviors, the goal is to limit and restrict it. The main reasons your Chi may be acting out are because:

  • They are cutting teeth.
  • They are bored.
  • They are nervous/separation anxiety.
  • They want to explore.
  • It’s a (bad) habit.

When your Chi cuts teeth it’s the same uncomfortable feeling babies have. Their gums get red and sore and their whole mouth is irritated. The only way they can find to alleviate the pain is by chewing. If your Chi is bored, then it’s just chewing to pass the time. The same is true for being nervous. As human beings, we fidget when we are nervous; Chihuahua’s chew. All Chi’s are nosey, and they naturally want to explore, that involves licking and chewing. While all of these can contribute to destructive chewing, it may just be a bad habit that has gone on for too long. We chew on our nails, Chi’s lick and chew. Once these behaviors go for too long unnoticed, they because oblivious to their actions.

Preventing Your Chi from Destructive Chewing

Many Chihuahua’s are born with destructive personalities. They have more energy and curiosity which can lead to trouble. Regardless of your Chi’s personality, they can be taught to not destroy furniture, shoes and other belongings. Just like teaching your Chi new tricks, it will take time, devotion and many treats to help them learn boundaries of chewing.

Chewing is a natural reaction for Chi’s, but it shouldn’t be destructive. The best way to help prevent destructive behavior is to give your fur baby something they can chew on. Toys such as ropes, kongs, and squeakies are Chihuahua’s favorite and are acceptable to chew on. You can also incorporate rawhide chews for chewing and to help with teeth cleaning. If your Chi is destructive because they are nervous, find ways to help them cope and reduce stress.

Even though preventing destructive chewing may take time, you can’t allow your home and belongings to get destroyed. If the behaviors are excessive, try crating them. This is not the first method of choice due to separation anxiety, but if they are limited to space in the home then the destructive tendencies should weaken. Whichever method you choose to help your Chi, remember to always stop them when you see destructive behavior. They need to know what they are doing wrong and that the behavior is unacceptable.

Types of Destructive Behavior

There are several types and symptoms of destructive behavior. Chihuahua’s can exhibit signs of primary destructive behavior by chewing on furniture, eating house plants or digging holes in the grass. This type is often gone unnoticed and thought to be normal Chi behavior. Secondary destructive behavior is done on purpose in front of you to get your attention.

Obsessive-Compulsive behavior is when your Chi spends too much time licking and chewing on everything, including its own body. Separation anxiety related destruction is a little different because not only will your Chi chew on furniture and other belongings around the house, but they will attack your personal items. Bad behavior will occur when you are not in the home and even though your Chi may be potty trained, they will go to the bathroom in your home. Lastly, there is an aggression related behavior where your Chi is protective of their territory. Destruction will happen when other people or pets come into your fur baby’s personal space.

Knowing the type of destructive behavior will help in treating your Chi. Many of these symptoms can be avoided by supervision, the right kind of chew toys, exercise and daily stimulating activity. There are also cases where a veterinarian will need to exam your pup to see if an underlying illness is causing them to lash out.

Treating Your Chi

If there is a medical reason your Chi is acting out, it must be addressed and properly treated. Proper medication and training alone can help the destructive behavior disappear. Other techniques you can do around your home is to puppy proof it! Destructive chewing is only when you Chi is chewing on something they shouldn’t. This means changing their environment to keep only toys that are acceptable on site.

For some Chi’s a bitter spray will help deter them from chewing and digging. This method may seem harsh, but it operates in the same way you would teach a child about safety. If something is undesirable, your Chi will move on and not want to repeat their behavior. Another simple way to help with destructive behaviors in your Chi is to supervise them while you’re home. This will ensure that any inappropriate behavior is not going unnoticed. The absolute best way to treat your fur baby of bad behavior is to train them. Your Chi has no way of knowing what they are doing wrong if you do not tell them.

Recognize Destructive Behaviors and Correct It

Excitedly playing, good-natured chewing and curiously exploring their environment I perfectly normal behaviors for Chihuahuas. However, without training these normal tendencies can easily lead to destruction of your belongings and home. Remember that Chi’s do not lash out in destructive activities just for spite. There is a reason behind the behavior and it’s your responsibility to determine what that is. Find the cause of the problem and come up with a game plan to help your Chi!

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