Why Do Chihuahuas Burrow Under Blankets?
[The Definitive Guide]

By kropek2021. • Updated July 1, 2021

Chihuahua owners often ask dog trainers, “Why Do Chihuahuas burrow under blankets?” They have probably seen their chihuahua dog burrowing under blankets at every chance they can get.

This burrowing behavior can occur in a bed under the covers or even under some coats on the couch in your home. Some owners get worried that they need to take their Chihuahua to the vet because of this behavior. However, Chihuahua’s burrowing instinct is usually not a cause for concern.

If you have wondered why your Chihuahua likes to burrow under blankets, you are not alone! Many people ask this question when they get their first Chihuahua dog. Let’s look at some Chihuahua facts and the reasons that chihuahuas burrow.

Why do Chihuahuas Like to Burrow?

There are many reasons that your Chi might burrow. All dog breeds display some of this type of behavior because dogs have an instinct to sleep in small spaces. Chihuahua dog’s ancestors would have burrowed to stay warm, to hide from predators, and to have puppies.

This behavior could also be related to health problems that a vet can assess. If you want to learn about why Chihuahuas like to burrow, let’s look at this instinct in detail.

Maintain Body Temperature

Small dogs and toy group dogs, per the American Kennel Club, all tend to get cold unless they live in very warm places. Even the air conditioning in your home can make them cold.

Compare the coat of your Chihuahua dog with one of another dog like a Border Collie. There is an obvious difference between them. This lack of a thick coat can lead to your Chihuahua burrowing under things in different locations in your home.

The answer to this problem is to buy your chihuahua dog a coat. Dog jackets can be adorable, and many dogs will wear them happily, especially if they are cold. Your household will be spared accidentally sitting on your chihuahua when it is hiding under pillows on the couch, and your Chi will be grateful for the extra warmth.

An added benefit to a dog coat is that you can take your Chi for a walk or the dog park, even when it’s cold out. Any Chihuahua owner will tell you that their dog enjoys the park far more with a coat on, even in the warmer parts of the year.

 

High Metabolism

This is a common facet of toy group dog ownership. They are going to tend to be cold and high-energy due to this high metabolism. Your chihuahua dog might also eat more than your big dogs!

A Chihuahua’s high metabolism is one of the reasons that they often get cold. Their bodies are working so hard to metabolize things that their extremities can get cold. Chihuahuas might climb under the pillows on your couch or under the covers in your beds during the day just to warm up their legs and ears.

No one but current Chihuahua owners are prepared for all of the small places they find their dogs when they hide.  This behavior and the physical reasons behind it can lead to finding your Chi in the strangest small places, trying to warm up!

If you have concerns about your dog’s health or metabolism, you can take them to the vet to make sure they are doing okay. However, finding your Chihuahua under the covers of your bed probably just means they are a normal small dog getting warmed up for more fun!

Small Legs and Tiny Ears

Burrowing behavior is often related to a biological impulse that the dog feels due to instinct. This is very true for Chihuahuas because they have such tiny little legs and thin ears. Scientists speculate that burrowing would have been how chihuahuas and other small dog breeds prevented frostbite and other injuries to their extremities.

Scientists will also tell you that dogs are denning animals. This fact means that they burrow like foxes and other creatures. Everything behind the burrowing instinct is related to survival, and it would be hard to survive if your toes had frostbite!

Crate training can actually help with this burrowing behavior, as your Chihuahua will likely be warmer tucked into a small space with a blanket. Training your Chi to take themselves off to their crate instead of burrowing in your bedroom can be really helpful for various reasons.

First, your Chihuahua dog will be warmer in the crate, and second, you won’t be looking for them everywhere! Any Chihuahua owner will tell you that this strategy helps to keep their Chihuahua in a safe spot and saves time when you need to take your dog out for a walk.

Illness

While it is a normal fact of Chihuahua ownership to be finding your dog nestled under covers or beneath pillows, this denning behavior can also be due to a health issue.

This can be a hard thing to determine due to the normalcy of Chihuahua’s burrowing behavior. Dogs tend to find small spaces to lay in when they are sick as well as cold.

If you are not sure if your Chihuahua was in a small space under a blanket for a serious reason, there are some ways to check on this.

  • Feel Their Coat: If your Chi is sick or has a serious metabolic condition, their coat might feel dry or brittle. Sometimes a dog’s coat can even feel gritty like sand due to health conditions. If you are worried about this, take your Chihuahua to the vet.
  • Touch Their Nose and the Pads of Their Feet: Dogs show signs of fever in these areas, which is one of the reasons that a vet will tell you to check these body parts first when trying to find out if your dog is healthy. A dry nose or hot feet can mean that your Chihuahua has a fever.

A fever could be related to many different illnesses and might be the reason that your Chihuahua has been sleeping under pillows or the covers. A trip to see the vet will rule this out or diagnose the real issue behind your Chihuahua sleeping under the covers.

  • Feel Their Belly and Legs: Chihuahuas are prone to back injuries, and they have tiny legs and feet, so they can hurt themselves jumping up and down off of furniture sometimes. It is a fact that sometimes a member of your house will step on your Chihuahua, and this might hurt their toes.

Dogs in pain tend to hide under covers or pillows, and your Chihuahua might be nesting in these places in your home to try and get well. If they growl or yip when you are feeling their body parts, you will need to take them to the vet to be looked at.

Fear or Anxiety

Chihuahuas can be very sensitive dogs, and they might sometimes burrow due to fear or worry. This can also be related to the reason that Chihuahuas were bred in the first place.

The breed was originally created to be a lapdog and for warmth and companionship. This means that they are designed to be held, carried, and snuggled. This is a fact that not many people know before becoming Chihuahua owners.

If your Chihuahua dog is always nested under the covers or some clothing on the bed, try carrying them around more and putting them on your lap. These are animals that were made to be held close to your body, and they will feel more secure once they are with you.

Some Chihuahua owners even buy slings to carry their Chi with them around the house or bring them along when they run errands. They might be so happy in their wrap that they won’t emerge unless they smell something really delicious!

The best part about solving this reason for your chihuahua dog’s anxiety is that you will benefit from it as well! Dogs are great companion animals, and carrying around your snuggly Chihuahua can make you healthier and happier too!

New Home

Chihuahuas can be a little nervous about being moved to a new place or joining a new family. Chihuahuas tend to worry about their new surroundings for a little while, and they might burrow during this time.

However, once they get confident, they will show you their terrier qualities again by becoming fierce and bossy with your other dogs or your cats! They will rule the roost in no time once they are comfortable in their new place.

If your Chihuahua is hiding for more than a day, you can coax them out with care and carry them around the home for a while. They will appreciate this introduction to their new house, and they will appreciate you helping them stay warm since they have low body fat.

To Hide

Chihuahuas burrow to get away from things that scare them as well. They display terrier qualities in many ways, but they can be timid if they think that someone in your home does not like them.

These are sensitive dogs, and they do not like conflict. This is why they will sometimes burrow out of discomfort with a person or other animals in the home. Some chihuahua owners solve this issue with the slow reintroduction of the other animals in the house.

If Chihuahuas are scared of a person in their lives, this must be worked on carefully. These little dogs can be fierce about protecting their own safety and the safety of their family. Even though they are small, they can be intense!

Make sure to use patience when teaching your Chihuahua to change their mind about a person they don’t like. The terrier qualities mentioned earlier can mean that they will get very defensive if they think they are being forced.

Teaching or training a Chihuahua is more about working with them than telling them what to do. They want to be a part of everything you do, which means that they sometimes have opinions about the people you do these things with.

To Sleep

Not all Chihuahuas are high energy. Many of them like to sleep all day and laze about. Your dog might just like to sleep, which is why they may be hiding under covers, blankets, or clothes all the time.

You should always rule out health problems as the cause of all of this sleeping, but Chihuahua owners will tell you that some Chihuahuas just like a good nap. Remember that you can train them to go to a specific place to sleep, but they will have their own opinions.

They like to find their own place to nap, and you might have to get used to them showing up in the strangest spots taking a nap. This is a trait that Chihuahua owners often find charming and not annoying. A surprise dog snuggled into your coat or under a blanket on the couch is never a bad thing!

Chihuahuas Like to Burrow, but It’s Okay

By now, you have probably realized that this is normal behavior for this dog breed. If you have just become a Chihuahua owner, you might have been worried about your Chi hiding all day in your bed or under your clothes.

Rest assured that this is totally normal for this dog breed and that your Chihuahua will probably like to burrow under blankets for its whole life. Always be sure to take your dog to the vet if you think they are sick, and remember that you can carry your Chihuahua around with you all day if you want!

Chihuahua dogs are wonderful companion dogs, and they love to be with their owners all day, every day!