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Sharon Crowell-Davis, DVM, DACVB, professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia, says your dog is likely telling you something about himself. You can read our previous post about the benefits of having your Chihuahua spayed or neutered, but the bottom line is that all Chihuahuas -- unless otherwise stated by your veterinarian -- should be fixed to reduce the chance of them running away.
Whether it's going for a walk, playing fetch or just laying out under the sun (Chihuahuas LOVE sunning), take your Chihuahua outside on a regular basis to reduce the chance of the them running away. When a Chihuahua doesn't view you as the 'leader of the pack,' they'll be more willing to run away while they are outside.
A fourth reason why Chihuahuas run away is because they are being mistreated by their owner at home. When they aren't getting it at home, Chihuahuas may run away to seek companionship from other dogs or people.
Never punish or scold your Chihuahua for running away, as this type of negativity will only encourage this unwanted behavior. I have had dogs all my life and always used positive reinforcement, they have all been pleasant, obedient and loving. Caution: in some dog breeds it is an instinct to run off and chase things, and it is not recommended to ever let them off a lead in an unsafe area. One of the biggest no-no's is to reprimand a dog that has run off and finally come back, or when you have finally caught him.
The number one thing you can do to help with the running away issue is to start being your dog's true pack leader. Some dogs within the same household can have very different reactions to an opportunity to run free. The first step in fixing this problem is to identify why exactly your Chihuahua feels the need to run away.

Unfixed females in heat release powerful pheromones that males can smell from over a mile away!
Males, on the other hand, will run away anytime there's a female in heat around; therefore, owners of male Chihuahuas need to use extra caution when taking them outside.
Owners must realize that Chihuahuas -- like all dogs -- are complex animals that crave mental and physical stimulation. In a perfect world, each and every Chihuahua would receive the unconditional love and attention they deserve, but this world is far from perfect. Neglecting your Chihuahua and their need for attention is another form of abuse which may contribute to their running away problem.
It only take a few No No shots from the bottle and they recognize they are up to mischief and it’s time to stop.
If your dog runs away from you, there is a very good chance he does not see you as his leader. Getting your dog to come when called rather than running off is part of puppy socialization training, and even older dogs can learn to come when called, but it takes practice.
If this sounds familiar, check out the 5 most common reasons why Chihuahuas run away -- and how to stop it -- listed below. And even if your Chihuahua is obedient and well trained, mother nature's 'mating magnet' will instinctively cause them to run away.
Lack of obedience is an all-too-common problem, making it difficult for walks and playtime outside. Now when you are walking and playing with your Chihuahua outside, teach them a recall command such as "come here boy," or "back Amos." Give them plenty of slack on their leash and speak the recall command when you are ready to go inside. Some owners hit, slap and otherwise physically abuse their Chihuahuas, which naturally encourages them to run away when given the chance.

If you are not 100% confident that your dog will come to you when called, and not run off, do not let him off his lead.
Dogs are all about the moment, and whatever they are doing at the moment you punish them is what they relate as being the crime.
In the same way some people are homebodies, some dogs prefer the familiarity and comfort of home. You can also reward with a play session after you have pet him and told him what a good dog he is. Verbal commands and the proper tug on a leash serve well until the dog direspects the owner by showing teeth, growling or barking at them. As angry as you may feel towards your dog when you finally catch him, you cannot punish him. They do not have the mindset to reason with the logic of not running away to prevent the punishment.
BTW, I lived with a Chihuahua for 10 years and they can be the nicest and most loyal dog on the planet if you didcipline them. Once you show them, not tell them or be the so called alpha dog, they will do what you say.
You will have a better chance of your dog taking you seriously and submitting to your wishes.

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