Why are Chihuahuas so Aggressive? – And How to Train Them Not To Be!

We all know how adorable Chihuahuas are. Their tiny size and big ears make them seem as if they are one of the most docile dogs on earth.

However, their personality says otherwise. It’s no secret that Chihuahuas are not the friendliest breed of dog. Commonly, they’re seen as irritable and unpredictable. But why are these little dogs so aggressive?

Due to their small stature, Chihuahuas may be prone to acting aggressively for the same reasons any dog would act out. Aggression in dogs is common and can come about due to anxiety or territorial behavior. They might also show dominance over something they feel threatened by.

In this article, we will explore some common reasons why Chihuahuas can be aggressive and provide tips on training your dog so that he or she doesn’t become a danger to those around him or her.

Chihuahua’s Personality and Temperament

Chihuahua's Personality and Temperament

Chihuahuas have an outgoing personality and are loyal to their owners as they were bred to be companions. However, this does not mean that they get along with everyone.

They can lack confidence due to their small stature, making them more susceptible to being overprotective of their owners than other breeds of dog.

They also tend to be wary of strangers, especially those who are not members of the family. They can be very protective and territorial when it comes to guarding their owners.

Due to their small size, they can be yappy and are known to nip at peoples’ heels or ankles if not well trained.

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If your Chihuahua is acting aggressively there could be a few factors involved. It’s important for all dog owners to understand the cause of their dog’s behavior so that they can prevent it from escalating.

Why are Chihuahuas Aggressive?

There are several factors that can contribute to a Chihuahua being aggressive.

Here are just some of the reasons Chihuahuas act out:


If a Chihuahua feels threatened or is anxious, they may act aggressively. They are more likely to be reactive towards things they are not familiar with and will use their teeth to protect themselves. This behavior can become problematic if the Chihuahua is exposed to stressful situations frequently.

Additionally, Chihuahuas are more likely to be anxious when they feel threatened by a family member or if owners act aggressively towards them.


Since Chihuahuas are very loyal to their owners, they may become territorial when it comes to guarding people they are familiar with. This could result in aggression towards people who come inside of the house.

Once a Chihuahua determines that someone is an intruder, they may nip at their heels and ankles to try and get them to leave. It’s important for owners to be able to recognize the signs of territorial behavior in order to prevent it.

Dominance Aggression

Dominance aggression is when a dog tries to show dominance over another even though they may not necessarily be in charge of the situation. In most cases, this type of aggression is seen in dogs that have not been properly trained.

Dominance aggression can be dangerous especially when the dog becomes possessive over an object or person and prevents them from leaving a room, entry to their home, or even breathing space.

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If your Chihuahua is showing dominant aggression, they might be jealous of another pet in the household or even a human member of the family who gets more attention than them.

This jealousy can lead to possessiveness and protectiveness over these individuals.

Chihuahuas that have not been properly socialized and trained may also be aggressive toward strangers or even other dogs.

How To Train Chihuahuas Not To Be Aggressive

Chihuahuas can be trained not to act aggressively through proper socialization and positive reinforcement training methods.

It’s important for Chihuahuas to meet new people and experience different things so they don’t develop a fear of strangers. This is one of the reasons it’s best to bring your Chihuahua out on walks often, where they can meet new people and dogs.

It’s also important to train Chihuahuas not to be territorial of their home or owners so it’s recommended that they are allowed in all rooms of the house, even places where other family members may typically hang out.

They should also be allowed on furniture, such as their owner’s bed or even the couch, so they don’t feel like they have to protect these specific areas of the house.

Chihuahuas can also become aggressive if they are hungry or dehydrated so it is important that owners feed their Chihuahua a healthy diet with proper portions and stay on top of them getting enough water each day.

When to Ask for Help from Experts

If you think you may be able to identify the cause of your Chihuahua’s aggression, it’s best to take them to a veterinary behaviorist or certified trainer for proper evaluation.

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Behaviorists understand Chihuahuas’ physiology and can help recommend appropriate training techniques that might work in your specific situation. It is important not to punish your Chihuahua or hold them for exhibiting aggressive behavior as this may worsen the issue.

There are many ways to prevent, manage, and train Chihuahuas not to act aggressively. It is important for owners to recognize the signs of aggression and to work with a trainer that can help provide techniques suited for their specific situation.


Many Chihuahuas are naturally protective of their owners and familiar places and people. They are very loyal companions to their owners and they can become aggressive if they have not been properly trained or socialized.

It is possible for Chihuahuas to develop different types of aggression, but proper training techniques can allow them to live without acting aggressively.

If you think your Chihuahua may be acting out through aggression, it is best to work with a trainer that can recommend techniques and training methods suited to your situation.

It’s important for Chihuahuas to be able to experience different people and things so they don’t become fearful or territorial. It is also important for owners to recognize the signs of aggression in their Chihuahua in order to avoid any unpleasantness.

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