Chihuahuas are loved by everyone but taking care of them can sometimes be a challenge. Therefore, we decided to outline and discuss Chihuahua behavior problems, as well as some tips for taking care of these issues.
Chihuahua Behavior Problems
Chihuahuas are a popular and adorable small dog breed. But, as with all breeds, there are certain behavior issues that arise. Common Chihuahua behavior problems include begging, housetraining challenges, separation anxiety, excessive barking, destructive chewing, biting, and nipping.
As long as you know how to identify these issues, you’ll be one step ahead on optimal Chihuahua care. So, here are the most prominent Chihuahua behavior problems and what you can do to fix each of them.
1. Begging for Food
Begging for food is one of the most prominent Chihuahua behavior problems. These little pups beg a lot, especially for food, no matter how much they’ve already eaten.
The worst part about this is that Chihuahuas have tempting faces that are difficult to ignore. Begging is a terrible behavior to reinforce, but many dog owners encourage these Chihuahua behavior problems by feeding their pets while they eat.
Side effects of falling for your Chihuahua begging include weight gain, stomach issues, and even recurrent diarrhea.
The most fundamental method for avoiding this irritating behavior is to never endorse it in the first place. When that doesn’t work, there are some other tricks you can try to stop your Chihuahua from begging:
- Put your Chihuahua in another room while you eat
- Don’t look or talk to your Chihuahua when he’s begging
- If your Chihuahua tries to pounce on you, twist and turn away
- Feed your Chihuahua as you set the table to eat for yourself
- Place his bowl near the table so your Chihuahua thinks he’s dining with you
- Use positive reinforcement to teach your Chihuahua that begging is associated with bad behaviors
2. Destructive Chewing
The most prevalent causes of destructive chewing in Chihuahuas are boredom, melancholy, annoyance, anxiety, tension, and loneliness. All these Chihuahua behavior problems can be triggered by separation anxiety.
So, if your Chihuahua is devouring everything he sees, something is wrong. It’s possible that this is a symptom of separation anxiety.
Before you ask why are Chihuahuas so needy, consider teaching your pup that you’re there to stay. Spend time with him, keep him engaged, and calm him down.
For those of you who need to take care of this behavior more urgently, spray locations where you don’t want your Chihuahua to chew. Remember to conceal your valuables and electronic wires, because your Chi will target those the most.
Then, check out the following Chihuahua behavior problems helpful tips for removing this behavior altogether:
- Try to not let your Chihuahua get bored or lonely
- Get your Chihuahua a range of chewing and interactive toys
- Dog-proof your home and buy toys for them to chew on
- Ensure that your Chihuahua receives adequate exercise and mental stimulation
3. Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety in Chihuahuas happens when the dogs are separated from their owners for a lengthy period of time. Distress can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including biting, nipping, barking, self-isolation, injuries, and chewing.
Here are some common ways to show Chihuahuas how much you care about their needs and your stand to fulfill them:
- Crate-train your Chihuahua
- Purchase anti-anxiety products & toys
- Keep the pup engaged with toys, games, and physical training
- Allow ample time for rest and relaxation
- Consider adopting a second pet
- See a dog behaviorist or hire a dog sitter
4. Frequent Peeing
Frequent peeing is something that most small-breed dog owners deal with on a regular basis, which might be linked to the size of these pups’ bladders.
Chihuahuas urinate frequently, even with adequate housetraining. So, make sure your Chihuahua has easy access to the pee location, and be wary of the amount of water you serve for him each day.
If your Chihuahua can’t get to his designated pee place as often as he wants, you can buy dog pee pads. They’re especially favorable for Chihuahua puppies.
5. House Training Resistance
House training is the process of teaching a dog to defecate outside or in a specified inside area. This is to counteract a pup’s basic tendency of defecating at random places around the house.
Chihuahuas are notoriously difficult to housebreak. You should expect to train the Chi in a container for two to three months.
Even after you’ve completed your potty training, Chihuahuas might make blunders that you need to take care of. Here are some common tips for house training a Chihuahua:
- Start potty training the day your Chihuahua arrives at your home
- Avoid overfeeding your Chihuahua during housetraining
- Feed your Chihuahua at the same time throughout the housetraining procedure
- When you’re not around, don’t keep your Chihuahua on a leash
- If your Chihuahua pees mistakenly do not scream at him or scare him off
- Take your Chihuahua to the bathroom on a frequent basis before bedtime
- Provide your Chihuahua with a variety of places to discharge himself during the house-training process
6. Intense Digging
Chihuahuas dig for many reasons, including separation anxiety, play aggression, a lot of energy, loneliness, wanting to get away, and finding a nice place to relax.
You must determine why your pup is doing this behavior and take immediate action to stop your Chihuahua from digging.
Always keep your chihuahua occupied and never leave him outside for long periods of time. This is the surest form of fixing these behavior problems with Chihuahuas.
Remember that dogs have an intrinsic need to dig, none of which entails cruelty. If your puppy falls in love with the flower or plant beds in your yard and begins digging into them while you’re out strolling, don’t get furious at him or yell at him.
Simply remove your dog from such locations until he knows that his behavior is unacceptable. As long as you do that and keep in mind the following techniques, you’ll successfully fix this behavior.
- Distract the Chihuahua from digging
- Always try to connect digging to negative behavior
- Get rid of rodents if they roam around
- Provide chewing toys and interactive play to prevent boredom
- Research desensitization and counter-conditioning
7. Play Aggression
Play aggression is one of the most notorious Chihuahua behavior problems. Growling, snarling, flashing teeth, lunging, and biting are some of the ways Chis show their play aggressiveness.
Chihuahua’s play aggressiveness develops over time and, if left unaddressed, may lead to serious problems, especially if you have small children.
Here are some tips on how to control play aggression in Chihuahuas:
- Socialize your Chihuahua as soon as you adopt him
- Learn and teach how to control your Chi’s excitement
- Play softly with your Chi, and remove his toys when he starts being aggressive
- Neuter or spay your Chihuahua when the time is right
- Praise your pup when he engages in friendly play
8. Unwanted Growling
In little dogs like Chihuahuas, growling or howling is a sign of fear or hostility, especially when they’re around children.
Both of these characteristics are likely to be present in your pup, causing them to snarl at anybody in their presence. So, you must reduce the amount of growling they perform to make them more accessible, agreeable, and less likely to hurt people.
It may look amusing or entertaining at first, particularly with little dogs such as Chihuahuas. But, growling can upset neighbors and cause difficulties in bonding with your pup. Here are some common ways to control or prevent growling in Chihuahuas:
- Begin socialization with kids as soon as you get your Chihuahua
- Focus on obedience training and play as much as you can
- Teach your kids how to handle and pick up Chihuahuas
- Never leave your kids alone with unsocialized adult Chis
- Avoid fear triggers and stick to a regular routine
- Allow your Chihuahua to have alone time
9. Picky Eating
Some Chihuahua puppies know what they prefer to eat, but because they can’t communicate, they won’t tell you.
Chihuahuas have revolving taste buds, which makes them swallow only a few bites or refuse to eat at all. The majority of Chihuahua owners are concerned about this, but it is a behavioral issue that can be addressed by making the right food choices.
Because they are aware that eating may cause them discomfort, Chihuahuas are infamous for being fussy eaters. Here are some common ways to know how much food a Chihuahua needs and tips to help picky-eating Chihuahuas:
- Stop switching food frequently
- Make the food more appealing
- Maintain a healthy feeding schedule
- Use the tiniest possible serving sizes
- Consider switching to a grain-free option
10. Excessive Barking
Chihuahuas are a naturally non-aggressive small dog breed. Accounts of them attacking other dogs or children are very low, so when it happens, it’s an isolated behavior.
Aggression in Chihuahuas can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor socialization, fear, anxiety, possessive behavior, and a lack of training or behavioral guidance from the owner’s end.
When they act on this behavior, Chihuahuas tend to bark excessively. One of the best strategies to prevent excessive barking is to socialize your Chihuahua early on. If that doesn’t work well, consider some strategies to show dominance over your Chi:
- Teach the fundamentals of obedience
- Insist on proper conduct, and be consistent & fair
- Use positive energy & reinforcement to communicate
- Reward submissive & positive behavior often
In the world of Chihuahuas, understanding their behavior problems is key to fostering a harmonious relationship. From separation anxiety to clinginess, these tiny companions can exhibit complex emotions that often mirror our own.
By delving into the reasons behind their actions, we can not only alleviate their stress and discomfort but also create an environment that nurtures their well-being. Remember, every dog is unique, and patience, positive reinforcement, and guidance can go a long way in addressing Chihuahua behavior problems.
So, as you embark on your journey with your spirited Chihuahua, armed with knowledge and empathy, you’ll be better equipped to build a strong companionship, ensuring both you and your furry friend can lead fulfilling lives together.