No one will believe that a creature as small as a Chihuahua is one of the most aggressive dog breeds in the world. Despite this sounding far-fetched and unbelievable, it is true, and most Chihuahua owners attest to this. The level of aggression Chihuahuas show to strangers, their owners, and other dogs is higher than average.
Chihuahuas display aggression for various reasons, including anxiety, health issues, dominant characteristics, post-traumatic abuse, presence of strangers, unfamiliar or new places, threats to protect their owners. To prevent your Chihuahua from being aggressive, you should train and socialize it.
Indeed, Chihuahuas could be very aggressive; they are still one of the most adorable dog breeds you can own. You can make your Chihuahua a cool dog with proper training and socialization.
Why Are Chihuahuas So Aggressive?
Chihuahua’s aggression should not be too surprising since they are dogs. It is normal for them to become aggressive regardless of their small size, just like other dog breeds. However, what is essential to know is that dogs often become aggressive for certain reasons.
Chihuahua aggression could be an indication of different things. It could mean an underlying health issue, a stranger around, or even a sign of anxiety. Understanding why Chihuahuas are aggressive could help you know how to stop it quickly. We will be explaining the reasons why Chihuahuas are so aggressive below.
Chihuahuas are Territorial
As much as Chihuahuas are very small, you should know they are highly territorial and protective of their space. Meeting new faces of either humans or other pets in their space could cause them to become defensive, thereby displaying aggression. You should understand that territorial dogs only recognize their owners and family.
So, if you are planning to visit a family with a Chihuahua breed, do not be surprised if you notice it is very aggressive. When Chihuahuas are territorial, their aggression usually begins with a growling warning sound. That is a sign informing the intruder (human or pet) to stay back.
They do this to intimidate you because they are afraid and do not want you around. When the intruder does not leave on time, they begin to show their teeth with a stiff body posture. Once a dog does this, it is best to ensure you do not maintain eye contact with it, then gently walk away.
Anxiety affects dogs in different ways, and there are different signs, such as panting, drooling, excessive barking, and aggression. If you own a Chihuahua and it suffers from anxiety, it could become aggressive and bark more to gain your attention.
The anxiety could be due to a thunderstorm, fireworks, loud noises, meeting new people, and even separation anxiety. If anxiety is the cause of your Chihuahua being aggressive, you would need to address its anxiety triggers. For instance, if a Chihuahua is suffering from separation anxiety, it tends to display aggression when its owner is not around.
Once you notice this, you need to get the dog busy with toys, then go out slowly so that the dog does not notice. Also, you can get a dog sitter to come to keep the dog busy whenever you are away. If you do not address separation anxiety issues in dogs timely, it could lead to the dog becoming very destructive.
Past Traumas or Abuses
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) affects dogs too, just like it affects humans. Abuses of different types, especially when a Chihuahua was a puppy, could keep reflecting on a dog’s memory for a long time. This could cause the dog to display severe aggression, and it will take serious and continuous care to aid the dog.
Chihuahuas that were adopted are more likely to have PTSD. Most times, you cannot tell the things the dogs have been through. Also, poor breeders could sometimes abuse a dog. So, if you are to get a Chihuahua, ensure you get one from a reputable breeder. If possible, visit the place to inspect and see how dogs are cared for.
If you have a Chihuahua suffering from PTSD, the dog would need desensitization therapy. You might need to speak to your vet and a behaviorist for more professional advice on how to help the dog.
If you cannot determine the cause of your Chihuahua aggressiveness, the dog might have some health issues. This is more likely, especially if the dog suddenly starts becoming aggressive. There are chances that the dog could be in pain without showing it. This is normal for dogs; they hide pains, so they do not appear to be weak.
However, if you touch the dog in an area where it feels the pain, it is likely to display aggression. You could also notice some other symptoms, such as the dog not eating well or not getting up to pay like it used to. Once you notice this, you need to get the dog a professional vet for a checkup and treatment.
Also, if you own a Chihuahua or plan to get one, ensure you get insurance for it. They are prone to many health issues due to their very small size. Some of the health issues a Chihuahua can experience that will cause aggression are swellings, obesity, canine distemper, hypoglycemia, and mange.
Why Are Chihuahuas So Mean?
It may sound surprising, but Chihuahuas are mean because they know their small size and how huge everyone else is. So, by being mean, they intimidate everyone else; if you wonder why you have a mean Chihuahua, it is a mechanism to scare and terrify everyone.
Also, a Chihuahua can be mean because of genetic traits; if two bad-tempered Chihuahuas mate, they give birth to bad-tempered offspring. Poor training can also cause a Chihuahua to be mean; if you have a Chihuahua puppy and do not train it and socialize it, it will become a mean, bad-tempered dog.
Every dog is 65% training and socializing, and 35% genes. It is best to train your Chihuahua to socialize while it is between 7 to 16 weeks of age; it is almost impossible to train a dog that is older than this. Another reason your Chihuahua is mean is its experiences, especially if the dog has had bad encounters with strangers.
Negative experiences and rough handling can make Chihuahuas defensive and paranoid towards strangers. It is easy to overlook the bad behavior of Chihuahuas because they are small; negative behaviors can be seen as cute. Moreover, unknown to the owner, this is fueling and aiding bad behavior.
Keep reading: How Much Are Chihuahuas? Adult and Puppy Cost Breakdown
Are Chihuahuas Aggressive?
Since dogs are descendants of wolves, it is normal to assume most are aggressive; Chihuahuas are also descended from wolves despite the difference in appearance, so they are also aggressive. However, they only tend to be aggressive for certain reasons already explained above.
You should know that when a Chihuahua is adequately trained and socializes well, they are adorable dogs to be with and keep as a pet. So, if you are a stranger meeting a Chihuahua for the first time, you might need to give it some time before it gets familiar and cool with you.
Chihuahuas are dominant; they love to play a commanding role. This makes them want to take advantage and prey on fearful and submissive people and animals. So, if a Chihuahua notices that a person is scared of it, it tends to be very aggressive to subdue the person.
Chihuahuas are naturally dog breeds; however, lack of socialization and training makes the dog more aggressive than it should be. If you own a Chihuahua, you need to ensure it gets more time outside; the dog should play outdoors more. Always have a muzzle for your Chihuahua if a stranger is coming over.
Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.