Are Chihuahua terriers aggressive?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Are Chihuahua terriers aggressive? We will teach you how to manage an aggressive Chihuahua terrier, and how to prevent unwanted aggressive behavior. 

Are Chihuahua terriers aggressive?

Chihuahua terriers are considered aggressive dogs by many, and there is an explanation for that. Small breeds, such as Chihuahuas, are sometimes affected by a phenomenon called “the small dog syndrome,” which is expressed by barking, growling, and even aggressiveness leading to bites.

Chihuahuas having a bold and stubborn personality, they are particularly representative of this disorder. Despite their size, they will not voluntarily back down from a fight.

However, this is not inevitable: not all chihuahuas are like this and above all, you can take action to correct their behavior.

Aggressive behavior may not be so much in your chihuahua’s nature as it is in the way you respond to him. Owners treat large dogs very differently, with different rules and expectations, from small dogs. Help your chihuahua fight his aggression by treating him like a larger breed.

How to manage an aggressive Chihuahua terrier

One of the causes of aggression in dogs is the dominant behavior. If your chihuahua is behaving aggressively, he may think he is the dominant one. Establish rules so that your chihuahua understands your position as pack leader. (Remember, you don’t have to be mean or tough to be the alpha.)

Think of rules that suit your needs like:

  • Don’t let your chihuahua sleep on your bed.
  • Insist that he stays out of the kitchen while you cook.
  • Make sure certain areas in your house are off-limits. (A barrier can easily demarcate the territory).
  • Have your chihuahua sit and wait while you prepare their food or open the back door.
  • Don’t play with him as soon as he asks.
  • Don’t sidetrack on the couch to get it exactly the place it wants at your expense.
  • Don’t reinforce aggressive behavior.

Reinforcing aggressive behavior doesn’t always mean having an irresponsible handler who tries to make your dog growl. You can do it inadvertently.

If your chihuahua is growling and chattering at strangers entering your house, don’t pick it up or pet it. Don’t let him sit on your lap while he growls at your visitors. He should only have special privileges if he is calm and friendly.

When your chihuahua is aggressive, take him out of the room. Put it in its crate until your visitors leave or it calms down. Get him off your knees and put him on the floor if he insists on growling. Ignore the behavior otherwise.

Do not scold or punish your chihuahua for his aggressive behavior, or you will teach him that this is an appropriate response to the situation.

Reward appropriate behavior: Whenever you have visitors or your Chihuahua is exposed to other situations that trigger her aggression, reward her for remaining calm and friendly. Try to interrupt his aggression with the words “no” or “stop”. If he stops growling long enough to turn to you, reward him with a treat. This positive form of education is by far the most effective.

Insist that he remains calm for longer and longer periods of time before receiving a reward. Allow him to be in the room or on your lap as long as he is calm. When you reward your chihuahua for his friendliness and lack of aggression, you reinforce the behavior you want him to adopt.

Remember basic obedience: Due to a Chihuahua’s small stature, you might think that obedience is unnecessary. Nothing is further from the truth. Teaching the Chihuahua’s basic obedience commands will help you maintain your position as a pack leader, and give you a way to control your Chihuahua’s behavior.

Imagine this: your chihuahua growls and attacks a visitor. If your chihuahua is trained, you have the option of asking him to sit or lie down. These tasks can interrupt his aggressiveness and help calm him down.

You should teach your chihuahua to sit, come, and stop his behavior on demand. Use positive reinforcement to train your chihuahua, rewarding them for obeying each command correctly.

Chihuahuas are intelligent and learn quickly. Do not physically punish your chihuahua with your hands or a tool such as the training collar, or you may make their aggression worse. For a dog, your oral commands and the tone given are enough to get the point across.

Socialize your chihuahua: Because Chihuahuas can become aggressive if they are nervous or feel threatened, you should take the time to socialize your dog.

Take him to as many different places as possible so that he can meet people, animals, and dogs. It should encounter as many sights, sounds, and smells as possible.

Always reward your chihuahua for his courage, calm and friendliness.

Are Chihuahuas more aggressive than Pit bulls?

While the Pitbull is considered one of the most aggressive dog breeds around, the study, based on responses from 4,000 dog owners, reveals that in fact, it is not. The Pitbull is in fact ranked among the least aggressive dogs, like the Cavalier King Charles, the Pug, or the Collie. Indeed, the reactions of dogs of this breed to all the situations cited by the study could not be more peaceful.

These results show that prejudices about dogs considered “dangerous” die hard, but they are completely unfounded! And for good reason, even if dogs like the Pitbulls have a history of combatants, they are not born aggressive. 

Of course, their aggressive instincts can be aroused more quickly than in other dogs. But it all depends above all on the education they receive and the environment in which they operate.

Small dogs, like Chihuahuas, tend to be more aggressive than large dogs, that’s a fact. Blame it on an inferiority complex linked to their small size? It remains a mystery. 

The problem with the behavior of a Chihuahua

Often described as a miniature terrier, the Chihuahua makes up for its small size with an unusual personality. Spirited and confident, these loyal dogs often have a strong character. 

They bark a lot, probably due to their size: they often hide under blankets or in a place they deem comfortable and they are so small that their owners do not notice them and regularly fail to sit on them! Their bark lets everyone know where they are. They are cuddly dogs who love to be carried. 

The main problem with the Chihuahua is that they tend to attach very strongly to one person, usually the one who takes care of them the most. He then becomes very protective of his master and can start biting people who try to approach him. 

Chihuahuas are not the easiest dogs to train but this step is essential so that these dogs do not get stuck with their owner. Chihuahuas need a workout, but they’ll love to just run around the garden, around the house, or take a short walk. Since they are tiny, they will be perfect for small homes. 

Their self-confidence is almost unwavering. Rarely do they feel intimidated, even by dogs much larger than themselves, so you will need to be careful when taking them for a walk. As previously stated, training and socializing Chihuahuas are vital. They are generally kind to children who respect dogs and other animals. Due to their curious nature, they often bark at the door. 

Are Chihuahuas aggressive with children?

As said before, Chihuahuas have a strong character of their own. They don’t enjoy being teased and pissed off, which isn’t really compatible with children who can be a bit awkward or overly excited with dogs. 

This is why, as an owner, you will need to be rigorous and get your Chihuahua used to the presence of children from an early age. It will also be necessary to respect certain safety rules and teach children the behaviors to adopt in the presence of a doggie (not to carry it or not to wake it up, not to harm it, …). 

Finally, always keep an eye on your pooch and the children during the play sessions because you never know, a bad gesture can quickly happen.

Are Chihuahuas aggressive with other animals?

As shown by his character, the Chihuahua is protective and therefore wary as soon as something he does not know approaches him and his owners. This also goes for his fellows and he can even be a brawl with other dogs at times. 

Moreover, as he is very courageous, he does not fear opponents who are taller than himself, far from it. Therefore, if you want to make your doggie sociable, it will have to be integrated into his education from an early age. 

You will need to get him used to the presence of other doggies and make him understand that they are not a threat. Also be careful, given its small size, it could be more easily injured in the presence of animals of larger sizes.

The bottom line

A dog becomes aggressive as soon as it threatens, pinches, bites, or even attacks an individual. A growling dog warns, but some attacks become systematic (ritualized), the dog bites, or attacks suddenly without warning.

If your chihuahua is behaving aggressively, he may think he is the dominant one. Establish rules so that your chihuahua understands your position as pack leader

In the event of a hierarchical positioning problem, it is up to you to restore order. Your animal must obey you and respect you. Our advice: when walking, keep your dog on a leash. Prefer the harness to limit strangulation, or even the muzzle if your dog shows too much aggression.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on Are Chihuahua terriers aggressive?

Are Chihuahuas terrier mix good dogs?

The mix between a Chihuahua and a terrier results in good dogs that are active and very smart pets. Chihuahua terrier mix has an average life of 16 years and, with a lot of patience, can be trained to be excellent pets!

Why is my Chihuahua so aggressive?

The most common reason why your Chihuahua is so aggressive is fear. Chihuahuas become aggressive when they face an unknown situation or an unknown person. They are small but need to show that they can defend themselves. 

Why did my Chihuahua bite me?

Your Chihuahua bit you in defense, or because it learned that it has to community its needs through aggression. 

Do Chihuahuas mix bark a lot?

Chihuahua mixes do bark a lot, as they are small and active dogs that need to release their energy somehow. This may be a sign that you need to take out your dog for walks more often. 


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