What’s Wrong With Chihuahuas? Debunking Common Misconceptions

If you’re considering getting a Chihuahua, you might be wondering what’s wrong with this breed. While Chihuahuas are known for their small size and adorable looks, they also have some unique personality traits and health problems to be aware of.

One of the most notable things about Chihuahuas is their strong personality. They can be territorial and bark at anything that enters their space. They also tend to bond closely with one person and may be unfriendly or even aggressive towards others. However, with proper socialization and training, these issues can be addressed.

When it comes to health, Chihuahuas are prone to certain problems. Their small size means they have fragile bones, and they can also suffer from dental issues and hypoglycemia. It’s important to stay on top of their health care needs and take them to the vet regularly. By understanding what’s unique about Chihuahuas, you can make an informed decision about whether this breed is right for you. 

Common Health Problems in Chihuahuas

Chihuahuas are prone to several health problems that owners should be aware of. Here are some of the most common health issues in Chihuahuas:


Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that can cause seizures in Chihuahuas. Seizures can range from mild to severe and can last from a few seconds to several minutes. If your Chihuahua has a seizure, it’s important to take them to the vet immediately.


Hydrocephalus is a condition where there is an excess of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain. This can cause seizures, bad coordination, and a swollen head. Unfortunately, hydrocephalus cannot be cured, but many Chihuahuas lead long, happy lives with this condition.

Luxating Patella

Luxating patella is a condition where the kneecap moves out of its normal position. This can cause pain and limping. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem.


Hypoglycemia is a condition where the blood sugar levels drop too low. This can cause weakness, lethargy, and seizures. It’s important to feed your Chihuahua small, frequent meals throughout the day to prevent hypoglycemia.

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Tracheal Collapse

Tracheal collapse is a condition where the trachea (windpipe) collapses, making it difficult for your Chihuahua to breathe. This can cause coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem.


Chihuahuas are prone to obesity, which can lead to several health problems such as diabetes, joint problems, and heart disease. It’s important to monitor your Chihuahua’s diet and exercise to prevent obesity.


Chihuahuas can develop allergies to various things such as food, pollen, and dust. This can cause sneezing, coughing, and itchy skin. If you suspect your Chihuahua has allergies, take them to the vet for treatment.


Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that can be deadly to Chihuahuas. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. It’s important to vaccinate your Chihuahua against parvovirus to prevent infection.

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a respiratory infection that can cause coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose. It’s highly contagious and can be spread through contact with other dogs. If your Chihuahua has kennel cough, take them to the vet for treatment.


Chihuahua Temperament and Personality Traits

If you’re considering getting a Chihuahua, it’s important to understand their temperament and personality traits. Chihuahuas are known for their big personalities, but they can also be challenging pets.

Chiweenie and Chihuahua playing in Furhaven dog bed 2

Aggressive Behaviors

Chihuahuas have a reputation for being aggressive, and this can be a problem if they are not trained properly. They can be territorial and protective of their owners, which can lead to aggressive behaviors towards strangers. It’s important to socialize your Chihuahua from a young age to prevent these behaviors.

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Chihuahuas are also known for their biting tendencies. They have small jaws, but they can still do damage if they bite. This can be a problem if they are not properly trained or if they are spoiled. It’s important to teach your Chihuahua not to bite and to redirect their behavior towards appropriate toys and activities.


Chihuahuas are also known for their excessive barking. They have a loud bark for their size, and they can be triggered by a variety of things, including strangers, other dogs, and even noises. It’s important to train your Chihuahua not to bark excessively and to redirect their behavior towards appropriate activities.

chihuahua and chiweenie in white fur haven dog bed


Chihuahuas are often spoiled by their owners, which can lead to a variety of behavioral problems. Spoiling your Chihuahua can lead to aggressive behaviors, biting, and excessive barking. It’s important to set boundaries and to train your Chihuahua to respect your authority.

In summary, Chihuahuas can be challenging pets, but they can also be loving and loyal companions if they are trained properly. It’s important to understand their temperament and personality traits before bringing one into your home. Remember to socialize your Chihuahua, teach them not to bite, train them not to bark excessively, and set boundaries to prevent spoiling.


Socialization and Training for Chihuahuas

Socialization is essential for Chihuahuas to become comfortable with different situations, people, and other animals. Introduce your Chihuahua to a vast array of experiences as early as possible to help them adapt easily.

Training your Chihuahua is also important. Chihuahuas are smart and want to please their owners, but they can also be stubborn. Use positive reinforcement and be patient when training your Chihuahua.

Chihuahua next to automatic food feeder dispenser

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Proper socialization and training can help avoid common behavior problems in Chihuahuas, such as territorial barking, dominance behavior, and selective affection.

When socializing your Chihuahua, expose them to a wide range of situations and individuals. Socialization doesn’t just mean play dates with other pups. It also means introducing them to different sounds, smells, and environments.

Positive reinforcement is the key to training your Chihuahua. Use treats, praise, and affection to reward good behavior. Avoid punishing your Chihuahua, as it can lead to fear and aggression.

Remember, Chihuahuas can be bossy and forget their size. Proper socialization and training can help prevent dominant behavior and teach them good manners.


Grooming and Feeding for Chihuahuas

Fur and Eyes

As a Chihuahua owner, you must take special care of your dog’s fur and eyes. Chihuahuas have long hair and a double coat that needs regular grooming. Brush your dog’s fur weekly to prevent matting and keep it shiny. Use a soft-bristled brush and a detangling spray to make the process easier. Long-haired Chihuahuas may require professional grooming to remove hair around their eyes, which can cause irritation. To keep your Chihuahua’s eyes clean, wipe them once or twice each week to remove any excess tearing or discharge.


Chihuahuas are known for shivering, especially when they are cold or scared. Make sure your Chihuahua has a warm and comfortable place to rest, especially during the colder months. You can also dress your Chihuahua in a sweater or jacket to keep them warm. If your Chihuahua is shivering excessively, it may be a sign of a health issue. Consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.


Chihuahuas have a sensitive digestive system, and the wrong food can cause them to throw up. Avoid feeding your Chihuahua table scraps or human food. Stick to high-quality dog food that is specifically formulated for small breeds. According to Dr. Greg Martinez, DVM, since a lot of commercial dog foods are high in grain products, those foods actually set your dog up for low blood sugar. By switching to low-glycemic dog food, you can help your Chi maintain a more constant sugar level. Feed your Chihuahua small meals throughout the day instead of one large meal to prevent low blood sugar levels.


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Veterinary Care for Chihuahuas

As a Chihuahua owner, it’s important to provide your pet with proper veterinary care to keep them healthy and happy. Regular checkups with a veterinarian can help detect and prevent health issues before they become serious problems.

Signs of Illness

It’s essential to know the signs of illness in your Chihuahua. Some common symptoms of illness in Chihuahuas include coughing, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.


Vaccinations are an essential part of Chihuahua veterinary care. Vaccines can protect your dog from several diseases, including rabies, distemper, and parvovirus. Your vet can recommend a vaccination schedule that’s right for your Chihuahua based on their age, health, and lifestyle.

Regular checkups with a veterinarian can help detect and prevent health issues before they become serious problems. Vaccinations are an essential part of Chihuahua veterinary care. If you notice any signs of illness in your Chihuahua, take them to the vet as soon as possible.


Why you should not get a Chihuahua?

Chihuahuas are adorable and make wonderful companions, but you should be prepared for the possibility of a lot of vet visits. These little dogs are prone to a number of health issues, such as patella luxation, epilepsy, and more.

This is especially true with the smaller ‘Teacup’ Chihuahuas, as the smaller size of the dog definitely has an impact on their overall health.

Why do Chihuahuas become aggressive?

Chihuahuas are naturally quite aggressive for a number of reasons. They are very territorial, for one thing, and for another these dogs will puff themselves up and bark loudly just to compensate for their tiny sizes!

They can also be rather jealous of their owners. The best thing that you can do is to socialize your Chihuahua early on so that they are used to other animals and to people besides yourself. This will tone down their aggression appreciably with a little patience and time.

Are Chihuahuas more aggressive than pitbulls?

Believe it or not, yes, Chihuahuas actually ARE more aggressive than Pitbulls. A study performed by ‘The Atlantic’ which polled owners of various breeds reported that Chihuahua overall behavior ranked much higher than Pit Bulls when it came to aggression, except possibly when it comes to meeting new dogs.

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They’re tiny, but try telling them that – Chihuahuas are definitely big on bravery and personality.

Are Chihuahuas the dumbest dogs?

No. In a study ranking intelligence among 138 breeds, Chihuahuas actually came in around 125th when it comes to working and obedience intelligence. This study ranked these dogs as being ‘fair to below average’ as far as intelligence goes, but it really depends on the dog.

Some of these little guys and gals are actually quite clever while others aren’t – much the same as with any dog breed.

Why do Chihuahuas hate strangers?

Chihuahuas tend to pick one person that they trust and love, but unfortunately after that they tend to snub or even be openly hostile to everyone else. These little dogs don’t seem to have much use for anyone else than their owner, though you can change this with a little socialization training.

Your dog just needs to spend a little more time around other people and other animals and this can make a huge difference on their attitude when it comes to strangers.

Why do Chihuahuas bite their owners?

When your Chihuahua bites you, it is most likely out of fear or territoriality. When surprised, biting is not an uncommon reaction from a Chihuahua, and some of them are particular about when you touch their food or their toys.

If the biting is a new thing, your dog may also be ill or injured, so a quick trip to the vet is a good idea to rule this out. Otherwise, be patient, and always have treats on hand. It takes awhile to earn a Chihuahua’s trust but once you have it, then it will last a lifetime.

Are Chihuahuas aggressive?

Chihuahuas are quite aggressive, defending their owner and their home from any perceived threat, no matter the fact that almost all of these perceived threats are much larger than them!

If your dog is a bit overboard with this behavior, try teaching them the ‘sit’ command and whenever they start barking too much or being otherwise aggressive, firmly and clearly say ‘sit’ and give your dog a treat when they calm down. Repeat this as-needed for the next 2 to 3 weeks and you’ll see a huge difference!

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Can a Chihuahua bite your finger off?

Nope. Your Chihuahua simply doesn’t have enough force behind their bite to actually sever a finger, but if they get in a good bite it certainly doesn’t feel good, either.

While a larger dog could easily do this, a Chihuahua bites with a PSI that’s a little bit over 100, which is enough to get your attention but your finger will be fine.