In this article, we will give you the most common reasons (and their solutions) for why a Chihuahua doesn’t like other dogs. We will discuss the best interventions for an aggressive and/or scared Chihuahua.
Why my Chihuahua doesn’t like other dogs?
If your Chihuahua doesn’t like other dogs and is aggressive towards them, this behavior can be due to different causes: inheritance, learning, lack of socialization, lack of leadership on our part.
Before attacking, it is easy for the dog to threaten his opponent. Generally, it is a pseudo-attack, in which the dog threatens his opponent without touching him. This type of action responds to the mechanisms of aggressiveness, inhibition, and appeasement, with well-defined expressions in each case.
One dog threatens another by showing its teeth and growling. This is a warning sign that usually ends without serious consequences.
Some attacks, however, can take place without warning and generally arise because of a dispute in the hierarchical order. The attack without threats in any other circumstance responds to an abnormal or pathological pattern of behavior. In the case of wanting to expel the opponent from the pack, the attack will be of this type (without prior threat) and the submission of the other dog will not be accepted.
The threat, therefore, is a sign of aggressiveness that your dog uses before his opponent before attacking him. To appease a threat, dogs use appeasement behavior. When the adversary displays appeasement or submission behavior or retreats, it is very rare that the executor of the threat continues the attack.
Appeasement behavior is intended to decrease the opponent’s aggressiveness. Dogs have different signals for this: giving the front leg, pushing with the muzzle and twisting movements are signals of calm.
Another form of appeasement is to hide aggressive expressions by closing the Chihuahuas mouth and looking away from the opponent. Sexual behavior can also respond to this intention: the dog that exposes its rear part to eliminate all signs of aggressiveness.
The most common causes why your Chihuahua doesn’t like other dogs
A Chihuahua can and will attack when under stress. Stress is a physiological reaction that prepares the individual to face extreme situations. When a dog feels in danger, stress prepares him to act, whether it’s fighting or running. This is a healthy reaction to accept, as long as it doesn’t trigger behavior problems.
A dog also attacks others because of a lack of stimulation. That is, the dog that has few opportunities to develop and use its innate abilities (those characteristics of its breed) may become problematic. Lack of stimulation will cause the dog to react by barking excessively or even aggressively.
To avoid this, do exercises and games with him, trying to get him to practice his skills. For example, following a trail, looking for an object …
Hyperactivity (high level of activity, above the average of what is usual in your breed) can also generate aggressive behaviors since when a dog does not use its skills or satisfy its needs in an adequate way, it can overreact in certain situations.
Your Chihuahua may be afraid of other dogs. Fear can trigger aggressive behavior. It is important to recognize the expressions your dog uses in his interactions with others, as they are often very accurate in conflict situations. Through these signals, dogs inform about their intentions and wishes. If you are able to interpret them, you will avoid many conflicting moments.
The lack of socialization often leads to aggressiveness towards their peers. A dog that is not used to dealing with other dogs may feel fearful and unprotected. At the end of the day, it is an unknown individual who approaches his herd … Establish progressive socialization guidelines to eliminate this problem. If necessary, seek professional help.
Sometimes he just gets on badly with a particular dog. This is natural, the same thing happens to people. Separate him from the dog he doesn’t like. Aggression towards other dogs is worrisome when it comes to generalized behavior, but if it is something specific, do not give it too much importance.
Some diseases cause discomfort in your dog. The pain causes irritability and can lead to aggressive encounters with other dogs and with people. Consult with your veterinarian to establish a diagnosis and act on it.
What can I do if my Chihuahua attacks other dogs?
On a walk, take your dog on a short leash (it should be at your height). If you think it might bite, use a muzzle. Try to go out in places free of other pets, for example in the early hours or late at night. A relaxed atmosphere will make you both enjoy yourself.
Play with your dog and pay attention to her during the walk. Exercise with it. This positive stimulation will relax you. Allow him to sniff the ground and follow trails. This helps you get to know the surroundings and relax.
If your Chihuahua threatens other dogs or looks at them anxiously, just go your way. Make sure to keep it secure. Don’t reward or congratulate them for negative behavior. Remember that gently soothing her can reinforce the behavior, by being interpreted as approval of it.
Even if he is not considered a dangerous breed, it is important to take out civil liability insurance for him, which will cover you in the event of compensation. Seek professional help to correct aggressive behavior. Any problem can be solved, a good trainer will help you understand their behavior and the causes that cause it, as well as the way to work to solve it and not reinforce it.
Your dog may attack for a lack of leadership. When you do not impose yourself properly on your dog, you can cause behavior problems that will overcome you. You must establish your hierarchy and educate it properly. Don’t discount professional help.
Dogs with this type of aggression often appear obedient, but in reality, they are the ones who take the initiative. This causes insecurity in the dog and an exaggerated development of active defense reflexes.
Identify the type of aggression and act accordingly. It is not the same to show a defensive or offensive attitude, since the causes are different (fear versus fighting for a resource, for example). Redirect the behavior: offer him some alternative that he can carry out.
Tips to help your Chihuahua not be afraid of other dogs
A problem that has taken a long time to develop cannot be solved overnight.
That your dog enjoys the company and complicity of other dogs is a goal that requires technique, patience, and a gradual period of adaptation. Slowly, but surely, it is possible to reach it.
Let’s see some ideas that will help you in the attempt:
Desensitization: It is a technique that, applied to fearful dogs, gives very good results, although it requires a great deal of patience and affection.
Desensitizing means continuing with walks and outings to the park or the mountains, where our dog will meet the object of his fears. When this happens, we will maintain the comfort distance and we will gradually shorten it.
Every time we get a little closer and our dog feels calm, we will congratulate him, and so on until all his fears are dispelled.
Another option is to choose places frequented by quiet dogs to raise the bar for difficulty with other more impetuous dogs.
Counter-conditioning: Counter-conditioning or reverse conditioning, is a technique designed to modify unwanted behaviors in dogs. It consists of associating what the dog is afraid of with something pleasant for him.
With this technique what is intended is that your dog gradually associates disturbing situations with rewarding experiences; An example would be to play with your dog or give him a treat when the other dogs approach; the formula: dogs close + games or treats = positive experience, it is very effective.
Whatever the method, the essential thing is to carry it out, progressively, and adapt it to the dog’s responses, lovingly and without punishment, since these would only aggravate the problem.
What to do in the event of a tense encounter between my Chihuahua and other dogs?
In the event of a fight between dogs or aggressive behaviors such as growling and barking, it is first of all important not to panic. In fact, yelling or pulling on the leash may make your dog think that there is a danger and that he, therefore, has a good reason to behave like this.
In addition, growls are a means of communication between dogs and it is advisable not to interrupt the exchange so as not to influence your dog’s behavior.
At a pinch, we can try to divert his attention by continuing on his way and talking to him in a calm voice: “it’s good, let’s go.”
So even if you feel nervous in the air, don’t immediately intervene and let your stress show through. Finally, if you are afraid of confrontation, it is sometimes better to play indifference and change the sidewalk to avoid the meeting but keep in mind that using this strategy systematically will not change the problem.
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.
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FAQ on My Chihuahua doesn’t like other dogs
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.
Are Chihuahuas more aggressive than pit bulls?
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.
Why do Chihuahuas bite their owners?
Chihuahuas bite their owners either as a defense mechanism or because they have not been properly educated and believe that to receive something, they have to attack.