If you’ve ever gone out in public to areas where pet owners frequent, chances are, you’ve heard them.
You know, those tiny dogs that seem to have no sense of manners while wandering around. The ones who yap constantly at anything that moves, growl, snap, steal food, and otherwise misbehave.
If you’re a dog owner, you might find yourself shocked and appalled at the lack of manners that can be seen in many chihuahuas and other toy breed dogs that big dogs couldn’t get away with. But, did you know there are real, behavioral reasons for why they act up?
Are Chihuahuas as Annoying as People Say?
Chihuahuas are the 11th most popular dog breed today, so they have to have something going for them. The well-trained chihuahua can be a welcome addition to many families that enjoy toy breed dogs, but just like any breed, there are lovers and haters.
You might just not be a tiny dog person, and that’s okay! But, there are some traits that many chihuahuas have that make them annoying and even intolerable. If you’ve ever met one of those difficult chihuahuas, you know how it goes – they bark and take things. They snap at your legs. But, why? What causes these behavioral issues?
If you have a problem with a chihuahua’s behavior, you usually have a problem more with the owner than the dog. If the mere sight of those buggy eyes, big ears, and dopey face make you roll your eyes, you might just not like them, and that’s just personal preference. But, well-trained, well-behaved chihuahuas do exist.
Despite their status as a popular dog breed, chihuahuas tend to be somewhat controversial– some love them while others can’t stand them. If you find yourself annoyed any time you see a chihuahua, consider these points and you might start to direct more of that annoyance toward the owner than the dog itself.
Why Do Chihuahuas Bark so Much?
Chihuahuas have a reputation for being yappy. While the breed itself does tend to be vocal, this is something that can be trained into submission.
A yappy dog is usually a dog that has been allowed to get away with such rude behavior. If you see a yappy chihuahua, chances are, the owners have allowed it to bark without consequence or correction.
Sometimes, people think that the sight of a tiny dog acting tough is cute and actually encourage the behavior. However, no matter the dog size, this should not be tolerated or allowed freely, as it may encourage aggressive behaviors and is a nuisance to others.
Why Are Chihuahuas so Hyperactive?
Chihuahuas are practically synonymous with hyperactivity. Their jumping, zipping about, spinning in place, climbing on people, and other similar behaviors may be incredibly annoying when unmanaged.
This hyperactivity is actually preventable with daily exercise that all dogs require. A tired dog is a well-behaved dog, after all. However, many people don’t walk their chihuahuas enough or play enough to burn through that energy.
Energetic dogs can be destructive and annoying– even when they’re tiny. They may chew inappropriately, playfully (or not) snap at people, or otherwise misbehave because they don’t have an appropriate channel for their energy.
Why Don’t Chihuahuahs Listen?
Any time a dog doesn’t listen, it is a problem with the trainer rather than the dog. When a chihuahua doesn’t listen, it’s often because the owner doesn’t think that such a small dog needs to be trained.
After all, why teach a dog to leave it when you can just pick up the whole dog? But, this sort of logic causes havoc everywhere that dog goes, especially if the chihuahua tends to aggress toward strangers.
Why Do Chihuahuas Have “Little Dog Syndrome?”
Many chihuahua owners have laughed at their little dog’s tough act. But, what these people miss is that this isn’t bravery– it’s a manifestation of their stress, lack of confidence, and anxiety they feel in the situation. The chihuahua feels threatened and therefore lashes out at everyone and anyone.
After all, if you were just three pounds of skin and bone, living in a world with 150-pound people walking about that may not see you while they walk around, or who disrespect your boundaries, you’d be loud and snappy, too!
Poor socialization and a lack of respect for the dog’s body language are the two biggest contributors to these annoying habits, and once again, that usually comes down to poor ownership. Or, it could also be a result of poor breeding if the breeder did not care to account for temperament while breeding.
Why Do Chihuahuas Get So Possessive and Jealous?
Another annoying chihuahua habit is the jealousy they’re known for. Whether it’s desperately guarding a toy, a bone, or food, or it’s showing signs of aggression toward anyone who comes near its owner, these actions are not cute and funny, though the owner may think so.
These are actually signs of a very serious behavioral issue known as resource guarding. That’s right– the owner is a resource, and actually is the most valuable one to a chihuahua. They may snap at others, desperately protecting that valuable resource from others to keep it to themselves.
A dog that guards resources is a dangerous dog, and this is something that must be trained out. Of course, many chihuahua owners think it can’t hurt because a small dog’s bite can’t do any significant damage. But, just because its bite alone isn’t usually lethal doesn’t make it acceptable.
The Bottom Line
All of these behavioral issues culminate into a breed that is commonly deemed annoying and worth avoiding. However, save for the occasional temperamental issue caused by poor breeding, these obnoxious actions can be trained out if the owner took the time to learn and do so.
If you hate chihuahuas because of how they act, try taking a long, hard look at the owner. They’re most likely either unwilling or unable to train their dog properly, to the detriment of the chihuahua itself.