Watching your beloved Chihuahua get hit by a car would be your worst nightmare. Unfortunately thousands of pets are hit by cars every year and if your little dog runs out into the road, there is a good chance that a driver might not even see him before hitting him. The good news is that you can seriously reduce the risk of your Chihuahua getting hurt by combining smart training with good ownership habits.
Be a responsible owner and do not allow your dog out of the house without a snug harness and leash. A properly fitted harness will keep your dog from slipping loose even if he struggles to run toward the road. A leash attached to the harness will keep him at your side. According to the American Kennel Club breed standard your Chihuahua should not weigh more than 6 pounds. The odds of a 6 pound dog having the strength to pull the leash out of your hands is minimal.
Teach your dog to stay away from the road. If your Chihuahua wants to run into the road or chase cars, you need to teach him not to. Walk him on his leash and verbally reprimand him with a firm "no" and a slight application of pressure on the leash if he attempts to cross into the road or chase after a car. Continue to do so until he can walk by your side without attempting to go into the road. Always keep a leash on your Chihuahua.
Fence in your yard. A sturdy fence with openings that are too small for your dog to fit under or through is an absolute necessity if your dog is going to be outside in your yard and you want to take off his leash. Adding a fence that works by sending an electric shock through your dog's collar whenever he attempts to cross the barrier also will keep him contained. If you do use a shocking fence to keep your dog in your yard, make sure it is calibrated correctly for your Chihuahua's weight. Too strong a shock can cause serious physical harm.
- Even if you plan to carry your dog everywhere you go, put a harness and leash on him so that you can hang onto him if you accidentally drop him or have to set him down for a moment.
- Make sure your dog knows his name and comes on command. In an emergency, some dogs respond well when their owners call out their names. If you can get your dog to stop running toward the road and turn back to come to you, then you stand a better chance of avoiding an accident.
Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.