7 Reasons Why Chihuahuas Are So Aggressive + 19 Tips To Stop It

You must have come across an aggressive chihuahua or at least seen a video of one online. Did something set them off, or are Chihuahuas just naturally aggressive? In this article, we’ll zero in on everything about the Chihuahua’s aggressive nature. 


You’ll get to learn the following:


  • Five indicators of a naturally aggressive Chihuahua
  • How movement affects the mood of a Chihuahua
  • Does anxiety make Chihuahuas aggressive, and how to deal with it?
  • Is a Pit Bull less aggressive than a Chihuahua?
  • How to tell whether your Chihuahua’s aggression is caused by fear. And how to help your dog get over it


Let’s start with why your Chihuahua is aggressive. 

Why Is Your Chihuahua Overly Aggressive?

Chihuahua is a territorial breed, hence can be highly aggressive. They will attack anyone who intrudes into their space. Additionally, a chihuahua older than one year takes a while to acquaint and befriend people—you’ve to gradually earn the pet’s trust. 

Are Pit Bulls Less Aggressive Than Chihuahuas?

Chihuahua breeds are thought to be more aggressive than Pit Bull breeds. This was confirmed by research on canine aggressiveness patterns. Chihuahuas were more aggressive to their owners, other dogs, and strangers than most dog breeds. The aggression usually results in either attempts to bite or actual bites. 

Reasons Why Your Chihuahua Is Aggressive

1: Territorial Behavior 

Chihuahuas tend to be more protective than friendly. This implies that they’re likely to react aggressively if interrupted while having their meals or relaxing in their best spot. 


Fortunately, they’ll typically give you warning signals before attacking. The following are the common signs that your Chihuahua is irritated and can attack you at any time.


Your Chihuahua will produce a sharp ‘Grrr’ sound when annoyed. Usually, this is their first step before physically attacking. Also, they can produce the same sound when they are scared and are trying to look and sound threatening. 

Stiff Posture  

Stiff posture can signify that your Chihuahua is not only furious but also confident that they can overpower you. If you make eye contact, look aside and slowly move back.

Displaying Teeth 

Angry Chihuahuas can react by exposing their teeth to warn people to get out of their space. And they’ll bite you if you’re not cooperative. 

Snout Punching  

Chihuahuas can “punch” in the same manner as humans, except they use their noses. They may bite you if they boop severely since they’re so near.

Their Tail Stays Still

Dogs typically wag their tail when they are satisfied and happy. But when the attitude shifts, the tail will stop and systematically move sideways. 


A protective Chihuahua will stand near the property they are guarding. For example, if they fear you want to take their food, they will stand near their bowl. 


Likewise, they’ll protect their owners by staying close to them if they feel that the owner is in danger. 

#2: If They’ve Been Mistreated Before

Like humans, dogs can also experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). They can recollect challenging and dangerous events in their lives. 


When you want to adopt a Chihuahua, you need to ask the previous owner about the dog’s past. You should know all their potential aggression triggers. You may also look at their veterinarians’ records.


While you can’t get the most accurate and every detail of the dog’s history, the little information you get can help you understand and handle the dog better. 

#3: New Faces

Naturally, strange faces can scare and set off your Chihuahua. Consequently, they’ll attempt to scare the new people away by being aggressive. 


But you should never quit on them. Chihuahuas take a while before getting used to people—they’ll come around eventually.  


To help them with this, you can frequently introduce your Chihuahua to new faces and places. Allow them to interact with other canines and new people weekly. This will help them overcome their fear of strangers, making them less aggressive. 

#4: Frequent Moving Makes Chihuahua Agitated

Above all, Chihuahuas need to feel safe. Unfortunately, shifting from residence to residence makes them feel anxious. 


They’ll need to adapt to new faces, smells, voices, spots, and other animals. The sooner you add new features, the easier they can get overwhelmed. 


As a result, you must have a unique spot where your Chihuahua may feel completely safe. Crate training can come in handy here.

#5: Have A Commanding Attitude

Chihuahuas are brave little dogs and also very keen observers. They will enjoy threatening and inflicting pain on individuals or animals who seem weak. They’ll try to intimidate anybody who will readily submit to their authority. Fortunately, this personality is malleable. 


Some breeds are less aggressive than your Chihuahua that you can opt for.


Using your commands and body language, you must know when to decline your dog. Don’t guffaw at them if they act up, but maintain your resolution.

#6: Anxiety Problems

The aggressiveness in Chihuahuas can be triggered by anxiety. Whenever anything frightens them, they’ll bark for a long time to attract attention.


Some of the anxiety problems include:


  • Traumas: Accidents in the past can frighten and enrage your furry friend.
  • Anxiety caused by noise: Your dog can be terrified by loud noises, such as thunder or a lot of rain.
  • Separation anxiety: The dog will be worried whenever its owner is absent for long


These problems can result in violent behaviours, including breaking glasses, destroying papers, munching on furniture, scraping the door, and many more.


#7: Health Complications

Dogs have adapted to hiding their vulnerability. As a result, they have been able to withstand ages of attack.


If your Chihuahua turns violent when touched, they may be hurting. This is, unfortunately, a misery for most dog owners as illnesses are difficult to detect unless the pet is in excruciating pain. 


That said, you must act swiftly when it comes to health matters. You should take them to the veterinarian right away and get them tested for:


Obese Chihuahuas may cause havoc in your household while looking for snacks. Whenever you schedule a vet meeting, make sure you carry them a special snack.


Because of their bad dental hygiene, your dog can develop toothache caused by swelling. Besides, bloating can also cause their bellies to enlarge, necessitating quick medical attention.

Bone-related Problem

The most prevalent disorders in Chihuahuas are arthritis, kneecap dislocations and hip dysplasia.

19 Ways To stop Aggression in Chihuahuas

#1: Train them

Although Chihuahuas can be very aggressive, you may make them stay calm through training. The following are some commands you can employ while training them.

“Come,” Command 

Whenever your dog becomes agitated, you might use the command “come” to divert their attention. Please provide them with the anticipated reward when they get to you. While carrying a treat, lift your hand if they’re a long way away so they may notice the reward.


Note: Even when enraged, a trained Chihuahua will obey their owners’ command. Have this method as one of your initial ways of command.

“Speak/Quiet” Command 

To teach your canine this instruction, have it “speak” and then reward it for that. Then issue the “quiet” instruction and praise it for their silence.


This is a good option if you want your dog to remain silent around outsiders.

Commands to Sit and Stay

The sit and stay training technique can help keep your dogs inside their rooms when you have guests. 


Make your dogs sit and reward them when they begin to drop their back legs. After that, instruct them to stay “seated” and reward them when they do not shift their position for two seconds. Switch up the two instructions until the dog can distinguish each of them.


Provide specialised snacks with a meaty taste for compliance training. You may also utilise meat left from breakfast. Make sure the meat doesn’t have any spices. To keep the flavour and texture of the goodies, put them in a sealed bag.

#2: Play Outside More Frequently

Like other dog breeds, Chihuahuas have a one-year socialisation phase after birth. It’s therefore advisable to take them outside at this period to expose them to outdoor stimulation.


Visit the park with your pet. With different sounds and individuals conversing, they will become more initiated.


Let your dogs interact by playing around. But be careful to observe dog-playing ethics. While playing, the dog’s behaviour might shift quickly, and they may hurt themselves. Additionally, you can also organise with other dog owners to come along with their pets when heading to a park.


Consider these signs:


  • Violence
  • Stiffness
  • Strange barking
  • Roughhousing


If you notice these signals, you must separate the dogs promptly.

#3: Daycare Option

Daycare gives your pet an excellent opportunity to socialise. Besides, they’ve infrastructures, other dogs, and qualified trainers that can boost your dog’s social interaction. 


The more your Chihuahua socialises and trains, the less agitated they will be. 


The following are some activities that your dog can participate in while at daycare:

Agility Training  

Chihuahuas are quick to learn and can excel in sports. Obstacles help them strengthen their legs.


Furthermore, regular exercise will aid in the prevention of obesity.


Playing With Others

Daycares frequently teach dogs how to interact and tolerate other dogs.


This is especially beneficial if you are considering getting another dog. Their experience in daycare will help them easily tolerate your new pets.

Obedience Training 

Daycares are excellent at managing pet aggression. During their stay there, you can use personalised sitters to instruct your dog. If at all possible, ask their trainers for recommendations.


Warning: While daycares are good, they can also be stressful for your Chihuahuas in the long run. Allow them to stay there for no more than two to three days per week.


#4: Visit Vet Regularly

Whenever dogs have injuries, they are prone to get aggressive.


As a result, you should visit a veterinary officer at least once a year and request a comprehensive physical examination from your vet, including X-rays.


Chihuahuas are little and unobtrusive—they can travel throughout the home and become trapped in the tiniest crevices.


In other words, they always incur various injuries, which may include;


  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Osteochondritis (swollen joints)
  • Kneecap dislocation


Even though dogs tend to disguise many injuries, you should be able to notice any sign of injury as soon as possible. 


It’s essential to keep in mind that such injuries may necessitate more visits for treatments. Nevertheless, you should not perform self-medication and always seek advice from a professional.

5: Look For Indications Of Anxiety

Dogs do not become angered without a genuine reason. Sometimes they’re scared and want to be with their owner.


If they are injured while being fed, they can become more protective. Additionally, they may become enraged if you make loud noises. It would help if you took your dog to a trainer for an assessment, and they will advise you on desensitisation treatments for your dog.


Furthermore, exposing your dog to the stimuli/sounds that frighten them makes them understand that those sounds don’t pose any danger.


Take note: Reward them for each step they take —going nearer or not reacting as severely. This will demonstrate to them that confronting their concerns will result in benefits.


6: Give Them More Personal Space

Chihuahuas are curious canines who enjoy going on adventures. If their area is too tiny, they will squeeze into awkward positions and misbehave.


Purchase crates that are double their size to provide adequate space for them. Put food dispensers or chew toys in the extra space.


Additionally, increase the space available for them to explore the house. This will make them begin to designate additional areas as their territory, making them feel increasingly safer, thus keeping their aggressive behaviours at bay.

7: Consider Having Your Chihuahua Spayed Or Neutered

Dogs are naturally impulsive, and they can become agitated due to hormonal changes that cause them to lose their temper.


Spaying and removing the ovaries of female Chihuahuas will help keep them calm.


On the other hand, neutering and removing the testicles of male Chihuahuas will prevent them from roughhousing other canines. It also reduces their dominating tendencies.


It’s also a good idea if you have several pets. If you try to prevent them from reproducing, they may become irritated with you.

8: Don’t Get Too Many Pets

It’s a nice thing when dogs get along with other dogs. They can, however, acquire a pack mentality.


Whenever this happens, they may attack strangers or other pets.


Please don’t get too many pets of the same breed, as they frequently fight with other dominant pets.


Balance it with breeds that are more neutral but powerful, such as Basset Hounds or Bulldogs. This will aid in the management of your Chihuahua’s temper.


Keep their circle narrow and no more than three dogs at a time.

9: Regularly Clean The House

When odours are mixed up, dogs become enraged. It gives them the impression that someone is invading their house when there is no such thing.


Clean your residence daily or as frequently as possible to avoid needless defecation and urine. To remove fur from the flooring, vacuum them.


Wipe up any pee and dung that does not belong in their dumping area as you cover up the odour with alcohol.


Please keep your dog in their space for as least 8 hours after cleaning. This will aid in the sterilisation of your environment.

10: Encourage Them To Spend Longer With Your Pals

Chihuahuas require time to adjust to new surroundings. Bring visitors around once or twice a week if your Chihuahua is still under a year old.


Dogs can recall people’s scents for a long time, and when you bring them more frequently, your Chihuahua will be able to recognise them.


This does not imply that your Chihuahua will not be aggressive in the future, but it will make calming them down more straightforward.


Play with your dog or even go on a walk with it and when your dog likes it, reward them.


Otherwise, merely having them around and exposing them to other people’s fragrances and voices would be enough.

11: Provide Them With A Crate

Giving them a location to feel protected is one strategy to reduce hostility.


When a dog feels unsafe, it will bark at anything. Make crate training your Chihuahua your top priority.


Follow the steps below to make your dog learn fast:


  1. Make a spacious and pleasant crate.
  2. Place objects that provide comfort, like chew toys, foam, and food bowls.
  3. Instruct your dog to “go crate.”
  4. Reward them for coming in.
  5. Use the remaining command to have them “stay” in the crate.
  6. Please give them a prize for staying within the container.
  7. Always keep the container open. Repeat until they’re accustomed to it.

12: Stay Calm

Being violent is detrimental to your pet’s health. Studies have demonstrated punishment to harm your dog’s general growth and well-being. Yelling merely encourages them to bark even more loudly.


Calm down before approaching your dog, and even when issuing directions, take a deep breath and take a seat.


Try an alternative command if your dog continues to misbehave. Remove any distractions carefully and continue to attempt.


Allow a sitter to take over if stress is dragging you down. When you’re at your worst, it’s best to avoid your dog and make amends afterwards.


13: Get Yourself A Muzzle

Muzzles provide an immediate solution to Chihuahua aggression. That is, assuming you have already trained your Chihuahua to wear a muzzle.


They are frequently used as mouth guards to avoid biting.


Muzzles are also handy in emergency scenarios, such as bringing visitors over on short notice. If you’re in a tense scenario, use a muzzle.


Tread cautiously: It should only be used in an emergency. The majority of muzzles keep dogs from panting. As a result, they cannot metabolise heat, resulting in heatstroke. Muzzles might potentially injure your dog if they resist.

14: Purchase Anti-Anxiety Medicines

Dogs can also be treated for their aggressiveness using a range of drugs.


Benadryl can treat your dog right away. This is because it has the potential to make your dog tired and less aggressive.


Your veterinarian may also advise you to take harsher medications, like antidepressants. However, you should be aware of potential negative effects such as gastroenteritis and tremors.


Warning: Always consult your veterinarian before starting any new medicine. Overdose is not worth the danger.

15: Block Their View

You can manage aggression by interfering with your dog’s vision. This is handy if your dog’s designated area is windowed or close to your front entrance.


Cover the ornamental holes in your house’s gate and get your windows darkened to reduce light and promote sleep.


When playing jointly, get right in the centre of the action if required. Body-block your dog to keep them at a safe distance.


If they’re still puppies, offer them a room with doors and windows. This gives you control over what kids see and hear.

16: Make A Timetable For Yourself

Dogs are highly structured animals as they do things at specific times of the day. That is why they like participating in ordinary activities.


If your schedule differs from theirs, they may become anxious. Giving them food on the spur of the moment might result in hostile behaviour.


Fortunately, you are the owner, and you have complete control over your dog’s daily schedule.


It would be best if you effectively manage your time. Make a schedule that includes your dog and everything else you need to do during the day. 

17: Use Toys To Keep Them Occupied

Toys are lifesavers, and they can distract dogs while keeping them from harming innocent humans.


If you’re bringing guests over, bring a squeaky toy and squeeze the toy while saying “come” when your dog makes an aggressive stance if you’re bringing guests over.


Place your Chihuahua and the toy in your lap. You may also use the same toy to entice them back into their zone.


Warning: If you place them on your lap, don’t allow outsiders to touch them. If you allow them to sit on your lap too frequently, they may get dissatisfied.

18: Don’t Overindulge Your Dog

Obesity may be a source of rage. Chihuahuas weighing more than 1.3-2.7 kilos (3-6 pounds) may steal or guard their food bowls.


They may also munch on whatever your buddy delivers to your house. As a result, you should avoid overindulging your dog.


Keep up with obedience training to make them behave for your goodies. Increase your outings and exercise time with your dog. The more fit they are, the less aggressive they will be.

19: Take control

Your Chihuahua’s key characteristic is dominance. One of the reasons owners can’t stop them is that they give in.


Ignore your Chihuahua when it barks at you, and don’t be intimidated by their angry stares.


Tell your neighbours you’re only training them, and they’ll understand. Maintain whatever routine you’ve set for your dog.


Please keep them in their unique area. After a while, they will back down.


When issuing a directive, be firm. While doing so, use a deep, commanding tone. Don’t be overly loud; instead, give your voice greater power.


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