Chihuahuas are indeed a stubborn, strong-willed, and independent breed. According to Pet Assure, a leading pet insurance company working with veterinarians nationally, Chihuahua temperament can be aggressive and dominant if proper training and socializing are not implemented and maintained in their lifestyle.
The rest of this article will aid in identifying that stubborn attitude and key behaviors so you can be prepared for handling this headstrong breed.
Table of Contents
- What Makes a Chihuahua Stubborn?
- Are Chihuahuas the Most Stubborn Breed?
- What Stubborn Behaviors Might a Chihuahua Exhibit?
- What Does Aggression Look Like in Chihuahuas?
- What Does an Aggressive Chihuahua Mean?
- How Can I Combat a Stubborn Chihuahua?
- When Should I Train a Chihuahua?
- Are Chihuahuas Hard to Train?
- What Are Tips for Training My Chihuahua?
- Why Is It Hard to House Train My Chihuahua?
- Should My Chihuahua be Around Other Dogs?
- How Will My Chihuahua Act Around Other People?
- How Does Spaying/Neutering Help With Chihuahua’s Stubborn Demeanor?
- When is the Best Time to Spay or Neuter a Chihuahua?
What Makes a Chihuahua Stubborn?
Chihuahuas are a very intelligent breed; even in their small stature, they will assume a dominant role unless trained otherwise. They are naturally an independent breed, and as such, they don’t like being told what to do. They are quick to ignore a command or do the complete opposite in testing boundaries; they want to be the head honcho.
Are Chihuahuas the Most Stubborn Breed?
According to Emotional Pet Support, a group that works with medically licensed mental health professionals to aid clientele in their emotional service animal needs, there is often misunderstanding in the human-dog connection and perception of obstinate defiance when it comes to Chihuahuas compared to other breeds. Chihuahuas are loyal to a fault – that fault being that they may appear stubborn when in fact they are intelligent, curious, and jealous.
What Stubborn Behaviors Might a Chihuahua Exhibit?
You may notice that Chihuahuas don’t thrive when interacting with other dogs or people outside of their owner; do not let this deter you from socializing them. Chihuahuas may appear as if they are not listening, they may become easily agitated, and they might even exhibit aggressive tendencies – each of these responses are often perceived as stubbornness.
What Does Aggression Look Like in Chihuahuas?
Chihuahuas may act out by barking, snapping, nipping, biting, whining, crying, or other threatening behavior. This aggressive behavior could be toward other dogs or people; when it comes to small children, they are often the ones who get this aggressive behavior because they continue to pick at a dog beyond the point of agitation.
What Does an Aggressive Chihuahua Mean?
Aggression can be a result of overstimulation – too many noises, too much touching, too much change, etc. Chihuahuas can act out because of this sensory overload, especially when they feel that their territory has been infringed upon or their dominance is in question; this does not mean they are inherently a bad dog or poor companion, but their nervous reactions to stimuli can be misinterpreted.
How Can I Combat a Stubborn Chihuahua?
Stubborn Chihuahuas can be handled with training, spaying/neutering, and changing their environment. Stubborn Chihuahuas exhibiting aggression should never be met with aggression, as this could encourage that misbehavior or even cause physical harm to their small, frail bodies.
When Should I Train a Chihuahua?
According to the American Kennel Club, Chihuahuas need to be consistently reinforced in the behavior that you expect from an early age – the earlier, the better. If you give a Chihuahua any slack in their leash, so to speak, because of their headstrong nature, they will take that freedom as a sign that they are in charge.
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Are Chihuahuas Hard to Train?
Because of their temperament, Chihuahuas can be a challenge to train. It will take dedicated time, daily patience, and unwavering consistency to ensure that your Chihuahua is exhibiting the behavior you expect – and if they are not, it is then your responsibility to make sure you’re enforcing appropriate disciplinary measures.
What Are Tips for Training My Chihuahua?
According to the Chihuahua Club of America (CCA), a national breeding club established in 1923, Chihuahuas should be raised to have self-confidence. Negative behavior should be met with a firm “no,” calm and confident demeanor, and ignoring their responses of irrational fear. Praise should be given consistently when your Chihuahua is behaving as you desire.
Why Is It Hard to House Train My Chihuahua?
Unfortunately, the Chihuahua’s determination to be independent can really impact how long it may take to potty train; if they have previously been pad trained, then you will have to unlearn that independent habit and teach them to adopt the dependent habit of letting you know they need let out. Because they are small canines with small bladders, many accidents go unnoticed or not reprimanded, which results in reinforcing poor potty behavior.
Should My Chihuahua be Around Other Dogs?
Socialization with other dogs is imperative to Chihuahua’s behavioral development. Their temperament falls on a spectrum from timid to outgoing so it is important to allow them to be around other breeds of all sizes in a supervised setting; failure to supervise these interactions could result in your Chihuahua becoming overstimulated and acting out.
How Will My Chihuahua Act Around Other People?
Chihuahuas may seem afraid of other people; you may notice them acting shy, shaking, or exhibiting the aforementioned aggressive behaviors – this could be due to their attachment to you. They could also act uninterested and be completely unphased because of their dependent, stubborn nature; Chihuahua temperament can be so flexible from one dog to the next and this makes their strong-will even more challenging.
How Does Spaying/Neutering Help With Chihuahua’s Stubborn Demeanor?
The ASPCA’s Los Angeles Community Engagement team recalls an encounter with two Chihuahuas who were identified as being mischievous – barking at passerby and running away from home when given the chance. They encourage spaying/neutering to limit libido (a reason many male dogs run away) and decrease territorial marking; removing those reproductive organs changes the hormones that are expressed that could be causing that stubborn behavior.
When is the Best Time to Spay or Neuter a Chihuahua?
According to the Buzzards Bay Veterinary Associates, a highly esteemed hometown veterinary office, small breeds like the Chihuahua should be spayed (females) no sooner than 6 months and neutered (males) between 6 and 12 months. Once they have reached sexual maturity at these ages, these undesirable behaviors (marking, aggression, humping) may become apparent and removal of reproductive organs can dispel these behaviors before they have a chance to persist.