There is a stereotype that Chihuahuas are more snappy than other breeds, especially towards other dogs. But do Chihuahuas like other dogs, do they only like one or two, or are they anti-social? Perhaps it is just our misunderstandings leading to this perception, or maybe they are a breed that is dog aggressive. This is something we are going to explore today.
We need to know if Chihuahuas are dog aggressive in order to know how to train them properly and fit them into the perfect household. It also helps us to make sure they are comfortable as well as any dogs they come into contact with. As we can prevent altercations or rising tension with this knowledge. However, if this is just a myth, then this opens a lot more households available to own this feisty breed. Which could help with rehoming rates. So let’s take a look and find out more.
About The Chihuahua
Nearly every dog lover knows The Chihuahua. They are the smallest dog breed with a loud personality. Most have large pointed ears, a lot of which that are bigger than their heads. Furthermore, you can easily hold them with one arm and even put into handbags due to their small size. Hence the nickname handbag dogs.
As for their personality, this dog is fearless, loyal, and intelligent. They bond very strongly to one person or their family and this can often mean it takes time for them to bond with others. They are not necessarily aggressive, but may be nervous or take time to be affectionate with others. Furthermore, they are very smart dogs and usually excel in dog IQ tests. This can make training easy, although many Chihuahuas are quite stubborn which can increase the difficulty. If you are interested in choosing a name for your chihuahua, take a look here.
Even though this breed is small, they have a long life span of 10-13 years. Although there are many records of Chihuahuas to live for much longer than 13. Also, bear in mind that you can get short or long-coated Chihuahuas so this breed may need regular grooming. This can range from bathing to weekly appointments so check with a professional for what they need.
Do Chihuahuas Like Other Dogs?
The myth of Chihuahuas hating other dogs is exactly that, a myth. Their behavior can be explained by a number of factors. Firstly, little dog syndrome can cause a Chihuahua to present initially aggressive when meeting other dogs. Another cause can be a lack of socialization when they are young or trauma leading to an aggressive response.
Little Dog Syndrome
Little dog syndrome is a behavioral response displayed by small breeds of dogs during social interaction. They often will bark, growl, and lunge at approaching dogs so they do not appear as weak due to their size. It is not that they wish to harm the other dogs, but that they feel they could be attacked if they don’t show this behavior. Over time they can often calm down once they know an individual once they are approaching them more gently and with less noise.
Over time your dog will go from lunging and barking to growling, then to just a defensive stance. Slowly but surely they will start to behave neutrally and then positively. Each incident where they interact with a dog must be a positive experience to help develop the association needed to eliminate their defensive response.
Their Puppy Years
Proper socialization is crucial to ensure that any breed of dog is friendly and does not feel fear approaching another dog. When they are young you need to introduce them gently to other breeds of dog, both small and large. This enables them to get a positive view of socializing with any kind of dog and helps to minimize their fear.
You can take your dog to puppy training classes. These are safe environments where puppies are encouraged to play with each other to develop those positive memories of dog-based interactions. These help to influence a dog’s natural social responses for the rest of their life.
Chihuahuas & Other Dogs: FAQ
More questions about the socialization skills of this adorable little breed? Take a look below for more answers.
Every dog breed needs socialization, and the Chihuahua is no different. As for having a second dog in the home, they do not necessarily need it, but there can be certain benefits. Firstly, a second dog may minimize loneliness and give your dog a friend to play with. However, it can also lead to jealousy and you having to buy double the supplies for the care of your second dog. It is a large commitment so be sure you want a second dog as it will not cure any outstanding behavioral issues. For that you should visit a behaviorist.
Chihuahuas often feel less threatened by other smaller dog breeds, this is because they feel less vulnerable. These may include:
– Jack Russell Terrier
– West Highland Terrier
– Shih Tzu
– Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Any other small breed of dog will also be preferred by a Chihuahua usually. There are other breeds you can consider though, those which are more gentle in nature to present as less of a threat to your Chihuahua. They will offer a more gentle greeting to help calm your dog each time. You can look up other breeds’ temperaments and sizes to help you decide.
Chihuahuas may be aggressive if they are afraid or have not been properly socialized. If you have concerns of this, take socialization classes or introduce your dog to others very slowly and calmly. Be sure to use positive reinforcement to make your dog have good associations with greeting dogs and meeting them.
However, Chihuahuas are more likely to snap when they feel threatened as opposed to their breeds who are more likely to run or be more vocal. This is because they possess a natural bravery to attack, some argue that it is due to their history as ratting dogs. Regardless, this behavior means you need to be aware that other dogs are at risk of being snapped at whilst your Chihuahua is getting used to socializing and feeling confident. Therefore, you need to be careful or ask for the help of a professional.
Those that have been bred to be dog aggressive or guard dogs are more likely to be aggressive to other dogs. These may include:
– German Shepherd
– Pit Bulls
– Great Dane
However, good training, socialization, and proper care of your dog can mean they have a positive view of interacting with other dogs. Therefore, they can be well behaved and friendly. Nature can certainly have an influence over a dog’s personality, but nurture is said to have a higher influence. Therefore, properly caring for your dog, especially during their early sensitive periods, can make a lifetime of change.
They need to be socialized when they are young to encourage good behavior when greeting and playing with new dogs. Have patience, use positive reinforcement, and make sure to have a calm environment. Contact a behaviorist if you feel you need help as they can identify if your dog needs anything extra to help them learn.
Chihuahuas often feel vulnerable because of their size, leading to possible aggressive behavior. Socializing them young can help them get used to the action as well as prevent them from feeling like other dogs are a threat. Use positive reinforcement and slow interactions to help them progress to a friendly dog. Extra help can be provided by a dog behaviorist who can assess your dog as an individual.