It is not uncommon for a Chihuahua to test you when it comes time for dinner. They can be a bit stubborn or want to just see how much they can get away with. A dog may hide or run away with food because:
If the dog was the runt of the litter (the smallest puppy) this could have reinforced this type of behavior. The smallest dogs are almost always pushed aside. Without someone keeping a very close eye, the runts of the litter can die from starvation or dehydration. A puppy that had to fight for food may have an urge to hide and run with their food to ‘protect’ it.
Rescue dogs are also known for this behavior
, as many have gotten used to always being hungry and when given food, they feel that they need to protect it.
Dogs that do not feel secure that their food is safe will move it to another room, one where they feel that their food is protected. This can happen if the kitchen is a very noisy room, if there are other dogs in the home and the Chihuahua feels as if they need to compete for food or if people sit or walk too close to where the dog food dish is.
Be sure to offer a nice quiet area for your Chihuahua to eat. This should be an area with no one walking by, without loud noises and without people talking to your Chihuahua or trying to pat or play with your dog while he eats. This will help make your Chihuahua feel that his eating area is indeed a place where his food is safe.
When your Chihuahua takes any food out of the dish, immediately take the food and put it back into the dish. Get ready for your dog to test you; he may try to move it 10 times before giving in to your request. It will be worth it.
While this can seem like a game, it is not. Keeping a very close eye on your dog and not allowing your Chihuahua to eat outside of the designated area will show your dog that if he wants his tummy full, he must eat where you ask him to.
Never give in and always stay consistent. Also, think about snacks. Do you give your dog treats in other areas of the home? In order for this training to work, a dog must learn where he is allowed to eat. If your Chihuahua has this behavior of taking food to a new area, then even small dog treats should only be given in the designated eating area.