There is no doubt that every dog has an individual personality and also a built-in ancestry personality.
A dog’s temperament changes significantly, such as if the dog is trained and how the dog has been raised all play a big part in a dog’s temperament.
Your Chihuahua has an instinct to protect you and use aggression as their main deterrent towards other people or dogs. It would help if you took this responsibility away from your dog by showing good leadership qualities through training. This way, your Chihuahua won’t feel the need to protect you and, in turn, be less aggressive.
Let’s delve into this a bit deeper, and after my article, you will have clear guidance on what you should do to resolve the aggression.
Despite their size, chihuahuas are considered one of the best guard dogs.
These small dogs have feisty and big personalities.
They are not afraid of intruders. If necessary, Chihuahuas do not think twice before biting a stranger who is threatening their owner.
In many ways, it is nice that your Chihuahua is protective of you, which means they love you. But it can be risky! Plus, if it weren’t a problem for you, you wouldn’t be reading this.
Your dog will assess every potential person and dog as you meet them. If your leadership is non-existent, then every dog and person you meet on walks or when you have guests over your Chihuahua will react. Your Chihuahua will bark, growl and even bite.
Your dog is doing this unwanted behaviour to protect you and their space, and they do not trust that you can fulfil this role, so they are taking it into their own hands, or should I say paws!
Backed By Ancestry Personalities
Below are some of the leading inbuilt personalities of a Chihuahua passed down to them through generations. These personalities prove that they are prone to bark, growl, and bite.
You can understand from the below that Chihuahuas are highly sceptical to barking, growling and biting because of these built-in traits.
The easier you come to terms with these, the better it will be for you to realise what you need to do, your leadership role duties, and its importance to a Chihuahua.
Chihuahuas have been considered one of the best guard dogs, thanks to their possessive and protective nature. These dogs are protective towards their owner and space instinctively. That is why whenever they meet a stranger, they instantly become defensive and get ready to attack the person, if necessary.
Suspicious and Possessive (High)
Chihuahuas tend to love one more person than another in their life. They are highly suspicious of strangers and other dogs who try to come near them. Being highly possessive, these dogs do not like new faces and will react when their owners’ presence that they adore.
These small dogs are incredibly courageous and are not afraid to show their dominance to others. Considering their size, they are fearless dogs and will use their power of barking, growling and biting to control a situation.
They’re just doing what they think is right.
With the combination of these three personalities, zero leadership and zero training, then no doubt your Chihuahua will give off an aggressive character to other dogs and strangers.
Your Chihuahua is doing their duties, or so they think.
It’s more than likely that your Chihuahua is aggressive. For example, when you’re on your own together, do they lick and cuddle you? If so, then an aggressive dog wouldn’t do this. They look aggressive when they react.
Many owners get aggression confused with normal dog reactions to protect, dominate and if anxious.
- Your dog will protect you if they believe you are incapable. Thus resulting in barking, growling, and biting strangers and other dogs.
- Your dog will dominate you if you don’t show leadership qualities. Thus resulting in barking, growling, and biting strangers and other dogs.
- Your dog will have anxiety because they believe you can’t protect them and yourself. This is especially seen in submissive dogs. Thus resulting in barking, growling, and biting strangers and other dogs.
What You Need To Do (Solution)
To resolve the three signs of aggression, barking, growling and biting at other dogs and strangers. You must complete the basic training with your dog. It’s your form of communication with your Chihuahua, and it’s a time to prove to your dog that you are the leader, not them. It’s also a time to reassure your dog and give them confidence! Along with socialisation to desensitise them to other dogs. You will resolve the unwanted behaviour of aggression!
It’s a long process, but if you love your dog and want to be a responsible dog parent, I’m afraid it’s time to pull up those socks and get started.
The Importance Of Training
Training your dog to listen to you and look for you for direction is essential for a Chihuahua.
Going through each basic training command will resolve any aggression in Chihuahuas because of protecting, dominating, and being anxious.
It will give your dog confidence in themselves and confidence in you.
Just because your Chihuahua is a small dog doesn’t mean they don’t need training.
The basic Commands that even small dogs should know!
The Basic Training Commands
There is no reason why you shouldn’t master these basic commands with your Chihuahua.
- Stay or Place
- Come or Here
- Leave it
If you struggle to train your dog, you will need to be taught how to train your dog correctly. In most cases, a dog is as good as its owner. In this case, seek help from a local dog trainer.
The Importance Of Socialisation!
You Chihuahua may never become best friends with another dog, nor should you push them to be best friends. However, Your Chihuahua should be able to tolerant them at the very least and not react as much through barking, growling and biting.
Just like us humans, some dogs won’t get along with others; this is normal!
The more you socialise your dog, the better at desensitising it will be to them. They can save the real barks up for the dogs that they dont like.
I recommend taking your dog to local social dog groups and asking friends and family to join you on walks if they have a dog.
I’m guessing that you more than likely have an adult Chihuahua.
However, if you have a puppy, then you are in for an easier ride. As soon as your puppy has had their vaccinations, then this is the time you need to get them introduced to other dogs.
Other potentials that can cause aggression to be mindful of
Chihuahua dogs can also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. If your adopted dog comes from an abusive family, he may showcase excessive aggressive behaviour.
Suppose you are already aware of your dog having been mistreated in the past, and you have been unable to resolve it yourself through training. In that case, you will need to seek help from a person specialising in dog behaviour modification.
If you are unsure, try to find out about your dogs past. If in doubt, seek help from a person specialising in dog behaviour modification. They can find the triggers of aggression and help you and your dog overcome the behaviour issue.
A Chihuahua can react aggressively to strangers, dogs and even its owners because they are in pain. So if your Chihuahua is coming across as aggressive towards you, especially when you pick them up or touch a part of them and they react, this is a good indication that they are in pain. A trip to the vets will be your next step for a check over.
Want to learn about the Chihuahuas dog breed history? I have written a date timeline line of gathered information from the early years until modern-day Chihuahua history.
Finial Words Of Encoruagement
Understand that your dog is most likely not aggressive. Your dog is reacting to what they believe they should be doing. You must take ownership and lead your dog through training and socialisation.
By training and socialisation with other dogs, you take the responsibility away from your dog to react aggressively.
I hope this has encouraged you to take some time with your Chihuahua, start some training, and build many happy memories together.
This is my boy, and he is very submissive towards other dogs, so he didn’t have a problem with dogs. His concern was towards strangers he hadn’t met entering the house. Errol was anxious, however, through building his confidence in me through training. He now only occasionally barks as expected but certainly not aggressively or excessively. Errol understands his role when the door knocks.
Remember, dogs do have a voice. It is when it’s unwanted; it’s a problem. Good Luck!
About the Author
Teresa has studied canine behaviour and canine nutrition. She loves sharing her knowledge and educating through her articles. Teresa has some pets that she adores two dogs, two cats, and one hamster.