Many people consider small, toy-looking designer dogs to be nothing more than cuddle canines. They’re cute, lovable and friendly, but that’s as far as it goes. So, it’s not often that people consider tiny dogs capable of having desirable hunting qualities. But some breeds, like Chihuahuas, are surprising in this regard.
Are Chihuahuas hunting dogs? Yes, they are! If you train them right and keep a few other things in mind, they can very much make excellent hunting companions. You should also consider the type of game you intend to hunt though. For instance, Chihuahuas will be better with things like squirrels and rabbits or even ducks than they will wolves, coyotes or deer.
Can Chihuahuas Be Good Hunting Dogs?
Almost any dog can make a good hunting dog, so long as it has the right training and the owner is realistic about the size of game pursued. Chihuahuas are definitely no exception to this. As a matter of fact, they have an instinctual nature for hunting that’s possible to train.
Let’s face it, these little dogs can be fierce when they want to be. Couple this with their capacity to think themselves bigger than they are and you have an excellent hunting dog. But, the type and size of the game will be a great determiner.
What Kind of Game Should Chihuahuas Hunt?
So, although they can hunt quite well, Chihuahuas shouldn’t hunt big animals unless part of a pack of hounds that does so. As part of a group, they can do a great job of alerting, diverting and getting in places bigger dogs can’t.
You will be putting your Chihuahua in harm’s way if you engage it alone with things like wolves, coyotes, deer, bobcats, cougars and etc. These animals are more likely to see your precious pup as dinner than feel intimidated.
In solo situations, it’s best they go for things like rabbits, squirrels, quail, ducks, geese and other such small game. If you have problems with mice or rat infestations, a Chihuahua is perfect for extermination jobs.
How Do You Train a Chihuahua to Hunt?
There are many ways you can teach your Chihuahua how to hunt. However, it’s advisable that you hire the services of a professional dog trainer to ensure your dog learns properly. Before you begin, understand that although Chihuahuas have a natural inclination to hunt, some dogs take to hunting more easily than others.
For example, if your Chihuahua has a propensity to chase small animals in the yard or bark whenever an animal passes by, it may make an excellent hunting dog. But, if your pup is a perfect couch potato, preferring cuddles, then hunting might not be ideal.
Obedience ; Positive Reinforcement Is Key
Your Chihuahua must be good at obeying basic commands. If the dog doesn’t listen well, it’s wiser to start with professional training sessions. Even then, it’s not a guarantee for success.
But, if your dog listens well and shows natural hunting aptitude, you can begin some basic techniques on your own. Positive reinforcement is going to play a key role here and is an essential part of teaching your dog anything new. So, you’ll have to have plenty of delicious treats on hand.
Various Prey ; Scent
Since hunting is the goal here, you have to give your Chihuahua something to hunt. Start with fake prey until you accustom the dog to more complex hunting situations. Get a variety of fake prey that resembles the type of animals you want the Chihuahua to catch.
Start with two different types. Once the dog masters catching those, you can advance it to others. Also, expose the dog to other species when not in training. The Chihuahua must be able to distinguish between understanding good prey versus bad. This is why using scent in conjunction with the prey is crucial.
Landscapes ; Weather Conditions
Train your dog about the habitat that it will be able to find these animals so the Chihuahua develops a natural ability to seek them out. Your dog should also be able to handle various terrain, weather conditions, circumstances and other elements it might encounter during hunting expeditions.
Chihuahuas have a natural instinct for hunting and, if your dog shows such aptitude, you should harness it. Not only will this be good for the dog but it will also help out with any possible pest problems around your home. Plus, Chihuahuas can become part of regular hunting excursions for things like ducks, quails, rabbits and etc.
Chihuahuas will not only be able to hunt, but this small statured pup will impress you. It has prowess and acuity for hunting that puts this breed in a class of its own. They simply need the required training to do so.
Family Dog Expert Author
Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.