How to Stop Your Chihuahua from Running Out the Door

Part of being a responsible chihuahua parent involves training the little dog, to have an obedient dog, to enjoy his/her companionship, and for their safety. One of the Unwanted situations for every chihuahua’s parent is when the dog runs away and refuses to come when called. And they cannot find their way home if they run too far away. In This section, we will offer you guidance on how to stop your Chihuahua from running out the door.

Why Does My chihuahua Run Away anytime I open the door?

chihuahua satring at her owner

source: pexels

Put in mind that every dog is unique. This means that motivations to run away are various and depend on each dog’s personality. However, there are common reasons why a dog chooses to run out when you open the door including :


1. High prey drives.

Some dogs including chihuahuas have a high prey drive for prey animals. Most often they chase small animals such as squirrels, birds, or mice whenever the opportunity presents itself. If a door is open and a chihuahua with a high prey drive spots her prey of choice or smells it nearby, she likely will not control herself.

Depending on the strength of the prey drive, some chihuahuas will completely refuse all commands and remain focused on the prey animal. This is a hazardous situation because they may run into the street or run so far away that they get lost.

There are a lot of stories about dog parents who lost their dogs because of this reason. This is why we should be very careful.

2. Bad habits.

If you let your chihuahua run out another door freely, such as out the back door of your home for reasons including potty breaks or naps in the sun. Your chihuahua may assume that anytime you open a door he or she can go through it. The best way to stop this misunderstanding is to form good habits via consistent training.

For Instance, do not just open the back door and allow your chihuahua out. Call your chihuahua over to the door and ask, “Do you need to go potty?” then have him sit and wait before he goes outside. When your chihuahua looks up at you for permission then say, “Ok! Go!”

3. Mating.

Chihuahuas who are not neutered or spayed may try to escape if they smell the scent of a potential mate. For this reason, having your chihuahua neutered or spayed is so crucial. Sex is a high and strong motivator for any dog. 

4. Adjusting.

If you recently adopted a chihuahua, she may not yet have bonded to your family and home and may run away seeking something familiar. In this case, the dog will need time and effort to adapt to her new environment. 

Put in mind that an adopted dog will run out every chance he got to go back to her previous home.

Training pieces of equipment

chihuahua oustide

source: pexels

These are items you will need before starting training your chihuahua not to run out:

1. Time and effort to dedicate to training– You should have enough time to train your chihuahua. Focus during training is required. If you are busy you can outsource this task to a professional.

2. Assistance- You will need the assistance of another person to hold the long leash.

3. Traits- to encourage your dog to stay focused during training sessions, you will need to reward him by giving him traits.

4. Gates- Put in mind that training your chihuahua not to escape is not an easy thing. So, for safety reasons, you will need to install gates around any door that your chihuahua may use to run out.

5. A long leash- Your assistant will need to hold the leash. This is why you will need an extra-long training leash. 15 foo is enough.

How to Stop Your Chihuahua from Running Out the Door

chihuahua on leash

source: pexels

Training a chihuahua not to run away involves a two-step process. Firstly, good door manners, teach a chihuahua not to dash out the door. Secondly, teaching a chihuahua to come back when called if he does dash. This technic is formally called “recall training“. If you consistently work on these two skills, your chihuahua should learn not to run away and to return to you when called him.

keep in mind that you must practice these skills regularly and get your chihuahua used consistently to remain responsive to them. Also, remember that no dog is perfect, your chihuahua may not listen 100% of the time. So continuing to take precautions to keep your dog safe is crucial. For instance, never allow your chihuahua to roam off-leash and keep gates near doors to prohibit an accidental escape.

Let’s discuss these two skills further:

Training Door Manners

The door manners that prevent your chihuahua from running out open doors are sitting and waiting when the door is opened. To train your chihuahua in these manners:

  • Start by training yourself and your family members! Most chihuahua parents open the door for their chihuahuas and have them exit first. This is a false manner. As it teaches chihuahuas that when a door is opened they are the first to rush out of it. Everyone in the family needs to know what is expected of your dog too. It will be harder for your chihuahua to learn if everyone who handles him or her is behaving differently.
  • Whenever you bring your chihuahua to a door in order to let him outside. And whether he is on the leash or off-leash. Order your chihuahua to sit.
  • Then, open the door and command your chihuahua to wait. When your chihuahua stands up from sitting and or tries to go first. Close the door again and order the dog to return to sit.
  • Your final purpose here is for your chihuahua to look at you, asking your permission to go outside. When your chihuahua continues to seat and looks at you, say your release word of choice like “Good!” then say your command to go outside such as, “Go ”, and open the door.
  • Make sure to work on this skill every time you bring your chihuahua to a door to go out. Long Training sessions are not successful, but do practice it every time you take your chihuahua outside. Keep practicing even after your chihuahua masters the skill to reinforce it effectively.

Recall Training

Recall training is teaching your chihuahua to come back to you when calling her. The goal here is to have your chihuahua stay at the door and return to you when you call her outside, or when your tiny chihuahua runs out the door, returning to you when you call them back inside.

This section of training is usually hard. This is why many chihuahua parents hire a professional dog trainer to help them. Even if you decide to ask the help of a professional trainer, you can always try starting at home.

  • First, you should use an extra-long leach for safety. Once your chihuahua is on a leash, your assistant should sit quietly near the door and hand your assistant the leash in a low-key manner. Your assistant’s only role is to be in the background, holding onto the leash. So that if your chihuahua does not stay when commanded or return to you when called, he or she cannot run away.
  • Then, bring your chihuahua to the door. Command your dog to exit and give him a training treat when he does. Choose the door that you are most concerned about.
  • Command your chihuahua to stay, then walk out the door. At first, you have to start by only walking a short distance. Then As your chihuahua shows improvement, gradually increase the distance. Most chihuahua parents work towards the goal of their dog obeying this command from the furthest point. . Make sure to reward your chihuahua by giving him a tiny training treat after successfully following every command.


  • Try to have your chihuahua stay in place for a very short time initially, then gradually increase the time as the chihuahua’s obedience improves. You can start with “30 seconds”.
  • If your chihuahua stays in place, call them to you and have him stay quiet in place again. Then walk back into the house and call your chihuahua to return inside.
  • You should practice this skill once or twice on a weekly basis for about fifteen minutes until your chihuahua listens consistently. Then, To reinforce the skill you can do it once a week or every two weeks.
  • You have to follow positive reinforcement while training your chihuahua. For instance, give the dog a treat every time he succeeds. Then decrease treats as the dog becomes autonomous.  

Patience and consistency are required when training your chihuahua. Good results will not happen overnight. Make sure to celebrate your chihuahua’s obedience wins like he cured cancer to encourage your dog to listen in the future. Even if it might be hard at times, it is an excellent bonding experience that will be excellent for both you and your chihuahua.

What Steps Should You Take To Keep Your chihuahua Safe?

woman holding her white chihuahua

source: pexels

It takes time and effort to train your chihuahua. Even well-trained dogs may not listen every single time if something tempting captures their attention such as prey. However, you must exercise the commands your chihuahua has learned and continue taking preventive measures to keep your dog safe. Here are simple precaution tips to take to ensure your chihuahua’s safety during training :

  • The collar on your chihuahua must have a name tag listing your contact information to ensure that if he runs out the door and you can’t find him, whoever finds him knows exactly where his home is.
  • Get your chihuahua microchipped to help reunite you when he runs outside and is lost without wearing a collar.
  • Time and effort are needed to make the training successful. Once your chihuahua has learned this skill. Never allow him to dash out the door around you.
  • All members of your family should be aware of the training’s goal and the importance of consistency, especially for those who handle your chihuahua regularly.
  • Install gates that will block your chihuahua from running out. So that if you are unable to address your dog, or when that someone who is unfamiliar with your chihuahua’s training opens the door or the door is left open, he is blocked from freely accessing it.
  • Only allow your chihuahua to be off-leash in securely fenced areas. Never allow him to roam freely off-leash. This is unsafe for a multitude of reasons, including being mistaken for prey because of the small size of the chihuahua.

Last word

Teaching your dog some commands such as to come when called, or to sit is not optional. They are life-saving orders. For this reason, you have to be patient and work on them over and over until your dog obeys you. Because most dogs have a short attention span, this is why they are easily distracted during training sessions. Finally, put in mind that your companion’s role is to make you happy.


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