If you own a Chihuahua you know they can be a rambunctious ball of energy and they love to play. With their small little bodies, big expressive eyes, and adorable pointy ears they will capture your heart faster than an ice cream cone melts on a hot summer day.
Since Chihuahua have a lot of energy it’s important to find creative ways to keep them busy – for their health and your sanity. Dr. Robin Downing, of VCA Animal Hospital, states: “Obesity is on the rise among dogs, and its negative consequences are frightening.”
So what are some of the best ways to entertain a chihuahua while also providing them the safe healthy exercise they need?
Table of Contents
- It’s Trick Time
- Simon Says
- Presto Chango Where Did the Ball Go?
- Three Cup Game or Shell Game
- Find the Treat or Toy
- Bubble (no) Trouble
- Hide and Seek
- You Can’t Catch Me I’m the Gingerbread Man
- Clean Up Time
We’ve put together a list of some of the most fun games to play with your chihuahua. Not all games are equal though. In fact, some suggested games you’ll find listed elsewhere are in fact dangerous for your chihuahua. We’ll point out the correct way to play games with your Chi, and the games to avoid, so they have fun AND stay healthy.
We hope you and your lovable Chi love these chihuahua games as much as we do.
It’s Trick Time
Chihuahuas are intelligent dogs that can learn a variety of tricks. While some tricks may be more difficult for them to master than others, with patience and practice, your chihuahua can learn just about anything you want them to.
What’s more, teaching your doggo a new trick is fun and mentally stimulating for them too!
We all teach the basics every dog should know: sit, stay, come, and bring me my slippers, a coffee, and turn on Netflix for me, but what about some fun and unusual tricks you can teach your chihuahua? How about teaching your dog these Harry Potter tricks?
Fetch (AKA I’ll keep you busy while sitting right here where I’m comfortable)
Most people think of fetch as a game dogs play with their owners solely for our own enjoyment. I mean what’s better than throwing a ball or toy and watching our little Chi race after it with their little legs churning?
Fetch, even as basic a game as it is, is a great way to exercise your dog while keeping them mentally stimulated. If you have a small dog, like a chihuahua, you may be wondering how to teach them to fetch. Do chihuahua even like to play fetch?
The good news is that they absolutely love playing fetch. While they might not be bred as big hunting dogs they still have the same prey drive that cause them to race after objects. Just pick a safe small toy or ball that is chew friendly.
As an added bonus fetch allows you to work in teaching moments so you can practice sit, stay, wait, and fetch commands with your Chi. Be sure to praise your dog enthusiastically when they bring the object back to you.
If your dog seems hesitant to fetch, you can try using a favorite treat as motivation. Say the command “fetch” and then offer the treat in exchange for bringing the object back to you. With a little practice, your dog will quickly learn to enjoy playing fetch with you.
If you’ve ever played Simon Says, you know that the game is all about following directions. But what if your Simon is a small dog? While the rules of the game remain the same, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind when playing with your furry friend.
First, be sure to use clear and concise commands. Dogs are capable of understanding a wide range of words, but they may not be familiar with the game of Simon Says. I mean, it’s not like they grew up playing the game in grade school like we did. For this reason, it’s important to give them specific instructions they can easily follow.
Second, keep your commands simple. When you’re playing with a small dog, it’s best to stick to one or two commands per round. This will help them to stay focused and avoid getting overwhelmed. Be patient and have fun!
Small dogs, like chihuahua are known for their boundless energy and enthusiasm, so be prepared for a lively game of Simon Says. With a little practice, you and your furry friend will be playing like pros in no time.
Presto Chango Where Did the Ball Go?
Playing a little game of “which hand is the ball in” is another of our top games to play with your Chihuahua. Plus it helps you practice being a world famous magician. Simply find a small object, ball, treat, or toy, that fits in your hand and have fun trying to trick them. You’ll find they are pretty good at this game.
Start by showing them the item as you place it in your hand. Then put your hands behind your back, switch them around and present both closed hands to them and see if they can nudge the correct hand.
This is the perfect opportunity to teach them sit and wait commands. Or even more advanced tricks like pointing to the correct hand or nudging it with their nose. This is another mentally stimulating game your chihuahua will learn to love.
Three Cup Game or Shell Game
Another variation of the previous game is the shell game, also called the three cups game.
Once they have mastered the “which hand” game it’s time to mix things up with the three cups game!
This simple yet fun game is sure to get your chihuahua’s tail wagging. You can dress up like a carnival barker if you really want to get in the mood. To play, you will need three small cups or bowls and a treat that your dog loves.
Start by placing the treat under one of the cups and then shuffling the cups around. Once the cups are in position, invite your chihuahua to choose a cup. If your dog picks the right cup, they get the treat! If not, simply try again. With a little patience and practice, your four-legged friend will be a master of the three cups game in no time.
Find the Treat or Toy
When your chihuahua has mastered the cup game you can get even more tricky with this fun game to play with your chihuahua. Start with a handful of treats, plushies, or chew toys your dog loves. Then have your dog wait while he watches you hide them around the room or outside if it’s a nice day.
When you are done hiding them all tell your dog to “go” and watch as they scramble around trying to find all of the treats or toys. It might take awhile for him to find them all but with practice your little guy will be a super sleuth in no time.
Bubble (no) Trouble
Watch Audrey the Chihuahua Puppy enjoy those bubbles!
One of the best ways to bond with your chihuahua is to play catch the bubbles with them. This simple game is not only great fun for Mr. Chi-Chi, but it also helps keep them active and engaged.
To play catch the bubbles with your chihuahua, simply blow a bunch of bubbles and let your chihuahua chase after them. They will quickly learn that they can pop the bubbles by biting them, and they will have a blast doing so.
You can even encourage them to jump and catch the bubbles in mid-air. Just be sure to keep an eye on them, as they may get too excited and start biting at your hands if you aren’t fast enough with the bubble blowing!
Hide and Seek
Another great way to keep your small dog entertained is to play hide and seek. This fun childhood game is just as fun with your dog as it was when we were kids.
Have your dog sit and wait while you run and hide. This can be played inside or outside if you are in an area with lots of outdoor hiding spots. When you are ready yell “come get me” and sit tight while they race to find you.
When they discover your best hiding spot in seconds be sure to give them lots of hugs and cuddles to let them know what a good job they did.
You Can’t Catch Me I’m the Gingerbread Man
I’m pretty sure your chihuahua will love a good ‘ole game of chase. Because, well, what dog doesn’t love to chase?
Whether she is chasing you around the house, outside, or even a darting around after a flirt pole this is a good game to keep your pup healthy, engaged, and in tip-top shape.
There are many ways to play chase with your dog, but one way that a lot of people recommend is not safe. Laser pointers. You may be surprised to hear this quick and easy toy is a no-go for dogs.
Read this to find out why laser pointers are bad for dogs. Simple put it messes with their heads because they can never “catch their prey”. A safe alternative is a flirt pole because they can actually capture the lure.
If you don’t have a flirt pole simply running around with your dogs favorite toy can spark up an intense game of chase that will give them, and you, a lot of great exercise and enjoyment.
Clean Up Time
If your house is anything like ours there are dogs toys (and bits of dog toys) strewn about everywhere. Another fun game to play with your chihuahua is clean up time! A rousing game of clean up the toys helps your dog get some energy out and pick up their messy toy addiction. (Or well, our addiction with giving them the cutest toys we can find every time we find them)
If you want to get even more mental stimulation from this game you can practice naming your toys and have them retrieve them by name. It might take some work but your little Chi is the smartest dog on the planet, am I right?
These are only a handful of fun games to play with your chihuahua. The number of games they will enjoy and give you their excited dance of joy while you are playing them are as endless as your imagination.
If you are stuck for ideas on a rainy day here are some more fun indoor games to play with your chihuahua.