The concept that all representatives of the Chihuahua breed are extremely aggressive is a myth. However, they are indeed often overly emotional and prone to aggressive behavior.
Researchers compared Chihuahua bite statistics with more than 180 different dog breeds, and here are two interesting findings from the study:
- Chihuahua bites vets more than any other dog breed;
- Chihuahua ranks 4th among breeds that have bitten children.
There is no definitive answer to the question – why is Chihuahua still so vicious. Because there are 11 different factors that can make your dog bite and become aggressive. Let’s try to penetrate the Chihuahua psyche and answer this question.
Causes of Chihuahua Aggression
Most members of the Chihuahua breed bite when they feel threatened. We cannot stop this behavior because the dog strongly manifests the instinct of self-preservation. However, we must become responsible owners of pets and prevent them from harming anyone.
Below are the most common causes of Chihuahua aggression:
- Self-defense. Most dogs bite to protect themselves, their property, or when they feel threatened. A Chihuahua mother may show maternal aggression if she feels someone or something is threatening her puppies.
- Provocation. If you or another family member teases a Chihuahua while it is sleeping, harasses it while it is awake, or frightens it, even without bad intentions, the dog may become frightened and instinctively bite you. If possible, provide a safe place for Chihuahua to sleep (e.g. a separate room, etc.).
- Territorial defense. Most representatives of this breed throw or bark at strangers who enter the dog’s territory, and then try to escape. In this case, such behavior is motivated by territorial loyalty or the need to protect their loved ones. Escape can trigger a herding instinct when a dog treats an escapee as prey.
- Fear and Stress. One of the most common answers to the question, “Why are Chihuahuas so bad?” is that they are afraid or scared of something. If you leave your dog home alone for a few hours, he may be very nervous and act aggressively to stop you or show control.
- Unmet needs and lack of attention. A tired or hungry Chihuahua may bite you to draw attention to your needs.
- Pain or illness. Hypothermia and Lyme disease are common Chihuahua illnesses that can increase the level of aggression.
- Small dog syndrome. Your Chihuahua knows he is a small dog. As a result, he suffers from small dog syndrome and may roll his teeth, and start growling or biting to explain his superiority.
- Genes. Lousy breeding can also cause temperament problems in Chihuahuas. Many dogs become aggressive and may bite if the dog’s mother and father tend to do so. However, with proper training and socialization, you will be able to solve this problem.
- Owner behavior. Owners tend to infantilize and over-groom Chihuahuas because of their size compared to an infant. This prevents animals from socializing properly and responding appropriately to stressful situations.
- Hormones. An unneutered Chihuahua may bite due to sexual aggression or desperation. For example, females bite during estrus.
- Past injuries. Dogs from shelters have traumatic pasts that make them prone to aggression, such as violence from children, adults, or other animals. This can lead to aggression in the present.
Often to the aggressiveness of these dogs, the tendency of the Chihuahua to bark regularly is also wrong. Chihuahua, like all dogs, tends to behave loudly, but this is not proof that the dog is afraid. Barking can express a wide range of emotions.
Scientists are not sure which of the theories is correct because they have not yet studied the causes of small dog aggression in detail. All the theories could potentially play a role.
How do you control an aggressive small dog?
- Disrupt dominant behavior;
- Pay attention to socialization – both with other pets and with strangers;
- Use positive reinforcement training;
- Do not provoke the puppy into aggressive behavior. Don’t allow games that might cause them to bite you.
- Buy dog toys that are much more interesting for him to nibble and bite.
- Wean the puppy from playing with your personal items or clothing. If the flirting dog stuck some of the clothes with his teeth, do not hit him by any means, just free him slowly and go to another room. This way you will show him without the aggression that this is bad behavior;
- Chihuahuas understand everything very quickly. And if the pet did not even hurt you, then it is worth yelling at that moment. He will understand what he is doing is unpleasant to his beloved master, and he will no longer repeat it;
- If you are unable to cope with your dog’s aggressive manifestations, consult an experienced handler.