Teaching Chihuahua Good Manners: Solving Chihuahua Behavior Problems

Are you struggling to control your Chihuahua behavior problems? Chihuahuas are known for their saucy attitudes and feisty nature, but sometimes that sassiness goes a little too far. Whether it’s incessant barking, aggressive behavior, or playing favorites with one person in particular, Chihuahua behavior problems can be a real headache for dog owners.

But don’t worry; there are ways to address and correct these issues with the right techniques and patience. So, for Chihuahua owners struggling with Chihuahua behavior problems, this guide is for you.

Understanding Basic Chihuahua Behaviors 

Before correcting any behavioral problem, it’s important to understand the basics of Chihuahua behavior. Let’s look at the temperament and personality traits common to Chihuahuas.

1: Affectionate and Loyal

Chihuahuas are known for their intense loyalty and affection toward their owners. They love being around their humans and will follow them everywhere. They often form a strong bond with their primary caregiver and become very protective of them. Chihuahuas thrive on human interaction and love to snuggle and cuddle with their owners.

2: Fearful and Anxious

Chihuahuas tend to be nervous and anxious dogs. They can fear new people, unfamiliar situations, and loud noises. Proper socialization is essential early on and exposes them to new experiences to help prevent anxiety and fear from developing. Positive reinforcement training is also an effective way to help them overcome their fears.

3: Stubborn and Independent

Chihuahuas are notorious for their stubborn and independent personalities. They have a strong sense of self and can be difficult to train without patience and consistency. They require firm leadership and tend to try to take control if they feel like they are in charge. It is important to establish yourself as the pack leader early on.

4: Vocal and Territorial

Chihuahuas are vocal dogs and bark at anything they perceive as threatening. They are also territorial and will defend their home and family fiercely. It is important to teach them early on an acceptable level of barking and provide them with structured training to help them understand what is and isn’t a threat.

5: Playful and Curious

Chihuahuas are playful and curious dogs. They love exploring new places and trying out new chewing toys. They have a ton of energy and require daily exercise to keep them happy and healthy. Playtime is an important bonding activity for Chihuahuas and their owners.

6: High Energy Levels

Chihuahuas are known for their high energy levels and can become easily excitable. They tend to have short bursts of energy and then rest for a while. It is essential to provide them with plenty of physical exercises, such as regular walks and playtime, to keep them healthy and prevent boredom.

7: Protective Instincts

Chihuahuas have a strong protective instinct and can become aggressive around strangers, loud noises, or other animals. It is important to properly socialize your Chihuahua from a young age to prevent them from becoming too territorial. Positive reinforcement training methods can help your Chihuahua understand when to be protective and when to relax.

Understanding these common Chihuahua traits will make it easier to recognize and correct any behavioral problems that may arise. Now let’s look at some of the chihuahua owners’ most common issues with their beloved Chis.

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Identifying and Solving Common Chihuahua Behavior Problems 

chihuahua behavior problems

While chihuahuas bring endless joy to their owners, it’s inevitable to face some behavior problems that may cause inconvenience to both the owner and other people around them. But don’t worry; chihuahua behavior problems are not impossible to solve! Below are the most common chihuahua behavior problems chihuahua owners face and how to address them.


Aggression is a common problem seen in pets, especially dogs. It can be a result of anxiety, fear, or simply a lack of socialization. Aggressive chihuahua behavior in pets can manifest in various ways, like growling, biting, or snapping.


When dealing with chihuahua aggression, the first step is understanding the root cause. If the problem is due to a lack of socialization, spend more time and effort training them. It’s also important to give your chihuahua enough space to avoid escalation. But when your pet does get aggressive, never yell or hit them, as this will only intensify the behavior. Instead, distract them with a toy or by giving them a command, and gradually move them away from the situation.

🐾Separation Anxiety

If your chihuahua dog is always following you and persistently seeking attention, it might suffer from separation anxiety. The problem mainly occurs in dogs and can lead to destructive behavior like excessive barking, chewing on objects, or urinating in the house.


In order to prevent excessive barking slowly get them used to your absence by practicing leaving the house for a short period and increasing the duration over time. You can also leave some treats, toys, or puzzles to preoccupy their mind while you’re away. Lastly, don’t make a big entrance or exit, as this only reinforces the idea of you both needing to separate.

🐾Begging for Human Foods or Table Scraps

Another behavior problem owners encounter with their pets is when they beg for food, especially when they’re on the table. It’s natural for pets to beg for food since they’re curious, but you shouldn’t tolerate it as it can affect their health and lead to obesity.


The best solution for this is to train your pet not to beg. Place them in their designated area and give them a toy or a treat to keep them occupied while you eat. Eating together with your pet can also help reduce the problem since they won’t feel that they’re being excluded. However, sticking to consistent and set feeding schedules is crucial to help balance their diet and avoid overeating.

🐾Destructive Chewing

You are not alone if you have ever come home to find your new couch torn to shreds or your favorite pair of shoes destroyed. Destructive chewing is a common behavior problem in pets, especially puppies and younger dogs still exploring the world around them.


You should give your pet plenty of chew toys designed for their size and breed. When you catch them chewing on inappropriate items, redirect their focus to the toy. Also, keep valuables out of reach or confined to a safe space to prevent your pet from accessing them. It is also essential to exercise your pet and provide mental stimulation to relieve boredom, which can lead to destructive chewing.

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🐾Dominance Behavior

Dominance behavior is when your pet tries to assert dominance over you, including growling, snapping, or biting. This behavior is more commonly seen in dogs and is usually a sign that they are anxious, scared, or feel threatened.


In order to address this issue, you need to establish yourself as the leader of the pack by being consistent, assertive, and calm. Training and socialization are also critical in addressing this type of behavior. It is important to gradually expose your dog to different situations, people, and other pets to help them get comfortable and desensitize them to triggers that cause aggressive behavior.

🐾Jumps on People

Jumping up to greet people is another behavior problem that pet owners often face, especially when it comes to dogs. While it may seem cute at first, it can quickly become an annoying and potentially dangerous habit.


You need to teach your pet how to greet people appropriately. Start by ignoring them when they jump up and only give them attention when they keep all four feet on the ground. Use positive reinforcement, such as treats or praise, to reward good behavior. You can also train your pet to sit or stay on command, which will help them control their impulses.

🐾Difficulties with House Training Process

If your chihuahua keeps peeing or defecating indoors despite training efforts, it may be experiencing difficulties. The root cause of this issue could be medical, emotional, or behavioral. Are they consuming excessive water or displaying signs of anxiety or stress?


It’s best to start with a visit to your veterinarian to rule out any potential medical issues. If your pet is healthy, consider revisiting their training plan, such as increasing the frequency of potty breaks or rewarding them for good behavior.

🐾Clingy Behavior 

Is your pet displaying clingy behavior? This could mean they are overly dependent on you or are experiencing separation anxiety. The root cause of this behavior could vary from personality traits to changes in the home environment.


Creating a safe space for your pet is one of the most effective solutions to address clingy behavior. Provide them with a designated bed or crate and gradually increase the amount of time you spend away from them, rewarding them for good behavior. It’s essential to provide your pet with security and stability.

🐾Destructive Behavior 

Pets may display destructive behavior, such as chewing or scratching items in the home. It could be due to boredom or anxiety.


Providing ample opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation is the solution to address destructive behavior. Consider providing interactive toys or engaging in activities such as fetch or walking. 

🐾Intense Digging

One common problem Chihuahuas have is digging. Digging comes naturally to dogs but can be destructive to your garden or yard. It’s important to understand why your dog is digging so you can find a solution. Dogs may be digging to search for prey or create a cool spot in the summer heat.

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In order to help solve this problem, you can provide a shaded area for your dog, give them a designated digging area, or even provide an interactive toy that simulates digging.


Chihuahuas can also show possessiveness over certain items, such as food, toys, or even their owners. This behavior can be dangerous as it may cause them to attack. It’s important to teach your dog that this behavior is unacceptable.


You can train them with simple commands such as “leave it” or “drop it.” Additionally, it’s important to establish clear boundaries around feeding times and personal space. By doing so, your dog will understand that they don’t own everything and won’t need to show possessiveness.


Chihuahuas, like other dogs, may bite due to fear or anxiety. You should address this behavior immediately, which can lead to serious injury.


In order to prevent biting, you should teach them to recognize the difference between playtime and aggression. It’s also important to socialize with your dog from a young age and provide them with proper training to interact with people and other pets. Providing enough physical activity throughout the day would decrease the likelihood of aggressive behavior.

🐾Unnecessarily Barking

Chihuahuas may bark for long periods, and sometimes it seems for no reason at all. It can be frustrating, especially if you live in a shared space where noise pollution is prohibited.


The first thing to do is to figure out the reason for the barking. Once identified, the solution will be much easier. Suppose your dog is barking because of frustration or anxiety about being indoors. In that case, provide them with enough toys or a designated area to move around. Teaching them a distinguishing bark signal to stop will help too.

🐾Whining and Crying

Chihuahuas are known for being expressive and vocal, and they might whine and cry for various reasons, such as boredom, anxiety, or attention-seeking.


In order to solve this problem, you should start by monitoring your Chihuahua’s behavior and identify the reasons behind their whining and crying. If your Chihuahua whines and cries out of boredom, try offering them interactive toys and puzzles to keep them entertained. If they whine and cry out of anxiety or fear, try creating a safe and comfortable environment and consulting with a veterinarian.

🐾Play Aggression

Play aggression is another common behavioral issue in Chihuahuas. They might snap or growl during playtime, which can be concerning and dangerous for children and other animals.


You should start by teaching your Chihuahua appropriate play behavior, such as biting and chewing on toys instead of people or animals. You should also offer them plenty of exercises and mental stimulation to release pent-up energy and reduce the likelihood of play aggression.

🐾Unwanted Growling

Chihuahuas are known for their feisty and territorial nature, often leading to unwanted growling. They might growl at strangers, other animals, or even their owners, which can be challenging to manage.


Start by socializing your Chihuahua from a young age and exposing them to different people, animals, and environments. You should also work on teaching your Chihuahua positive behavior and appropriate growling behavior, such as growling to alert instead of growling out of fear or aggression.

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🐾Being Picky Eaters

Chihuahuas can be notoriously picky eaters and might refuse to eat their food or eat only a few bites. This behavior can be due to dental issues, stomach problems, or being spoiled with treats and table scraps.


In order to solve this problem, you should start by consulting with a veterinarian and running some tests to determine if there are any underlying health issues. You should also create a feeding schedule and stick to it, offer a variety of healthy and nutritious foods, and avoid giving too many treats and scraps.

By identifying the reasons behind chihuahua behavior problems and implementing the solutions we’ve discussed, you can ensure that your Chihuahua will be well-behaved.

Training Tips to Promote Good Behavior 

Fortunately, you can help your Chihuahua become a happy family member with the right training tips and techniques. Here are training tips to promote good behavior in your Chihuahua and avoid behavior problems. Some tips may be mentioned above, but we will dive deeper into these.

1: Start Training Early

It’s never too early to start training your Chihuahua. Puppies naturally learn, so consider beginning training sessions when your Chihuahua is between 8 and 10 weeks old. Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, to encourage good behavior from your puppy.

2: Be Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to training your Chihuahua. Use the same commands and tone of voice each time you give a command, and always reward good behavior. This will help your Chihuahua understand what is expected of them and encourage them to repeat good behavior in the future.

3: Socialize Your Chihuahua

Socialization is important for all dogs, but especially for Chihuahuas, who may be prone to fear and aggression toward strangers. Introduce your Chihuahua to different people, animals, and environments to help them become comfortable and confident in various situations.

4: Set Boundaries

Chihuahuas tend to become possessive of their owners and territory. Set boundaries early on to avoid this behavior and ensure your Chihuahua understands what is and is not acceptable behavior. For example, if you don’t want your Chihuahua on the furniture, consistently enforce that rule.

5: Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in training your Chihuahua. Reward good behavior with treats and praise, and avoid punishing bad behavior. Punishment can cause fear and anxiety in Chihuahuas, leading to more bad behavior in the future.

6: Teach Basic Commands

Basic commands, such as sit, stay, and come are essential for any well-behaved dog. Teach these commands early on and use them consistently in your daily routine to reinforce good behavior.

7: Provide Structure

Chihuahuas thrive on routine and structure. Establish set mealtimes and playtimes, and stick to them as much as possible. This will give your Chihuahua a sense of stability and reduce the likelihood of bad behavior.

8: Exercise Your Chihuahua

As mentioned, Chihuahuas may be small, but they still need daily exercise to help burn off excess energy and prevent bad behavior. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, such as walks, playtime, or training sessions.

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9: Use a Crate

Crate training can be a useful tool in promoting good behavior in your Chihuahua. A crate can provide a safe, comfortable space for your Chihuahua to relax and sleep and can also be used to discourage bad behavior, such as chewing or excessive barking.

10: Seek Professional Help

If your Chihuahua is exhibiting severe behavior problems, seek the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide personalized training and advice to help address your Chihuahua’s specific behavior issues.

These are some training tips to help promote good behavior in your Chihuahua. With patience and dedication, you can ensure that your Chihuahua will be a joy.

Working with a Professional Trainer to Address Chihuahua Behavioral Problems

chihuahua behavior problems

Suppose you are still having trouble addressing behavioral issues in your Chihuahua after trying all of the tips above. In that case, it might be time to consult a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

Here are some benefits of working with a professional trainer for Chihuahua behavioral problems.

✔️Customized Training Plan 

Working with a professional trainer enables you to develop a customized training plan for your Chihuahua. You’ll discuss specific behaviors that need addressing, and the trainer will tailor the training plan to your Chihuahua’s specific needs. Unlike a one-size-fits-all approach, customized training considers your Chihuahua’s temperament and personality. Many professional dog trainers offer in-house training that works wonders. 

✔️Expert Guidance 

Professional dog trainers have expertise in handling and training different dog breeds. Their experience and knowledge can benefit your Chihuahua as they know how to train dogs with different behavioral issues. Trainers can quickly identify the root cause of your Chihuahua’s behavior, making it somewhat easier to provide the right training. They can assist you with behavioral guidance, helping you understand why your Chihuahua behavior is happening, and provide practical solutions. 

✔️Socialization and Behavior Modification 

Chihuahuas require socialization and behavior modification, which helps them become better-behaved members of your family. Communicating with other dogs is vital for their growth, and interaction with other dogs can help you pinpoint your Chihuahua socialization problems. A professional trainer can help you socialize your Chihuahua and work with you to modify behavior patterns that may not be socially acceptable around other dogs. 

✔️Correct Use of Training Tools 

Sometimes training tools may be necessary when addressing your Chihuahua’s behavior. However, pet owners may often purchase training tools without fully understanding how to use them. A professional trainer can guide you correctly using training tools, such as head halters, harnesses, and dog whistles, to ensure your Chihuahua’s safety while training. 

✔️Constant Support and Guidance

Working with a professional trainer requires patience and consistency. However, the rewards are worth it in the long run. Addressing your Chihuahua’s behavior will reinforce positive habits and create a more positive environment for both of you. A professional trainer provides constant support and guidance throughout the training program, helping you overcome setbacks.

So, if you’re struggling with your Chihuahua’s behavior, seek the help of a professional trainer.

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Frequently Asked Questions 

How do you calm a Chihuahua?

Chihuahuas can be excitable and prone to anxiety, which can be challenging to calm down. You can try a few things to soothe your Chihuahua. First, create a quiet, comfortable environment. This can be a crate or bed with blankets, pillows, or toys. Next, spend some time with your dog, petting and reassuring them in a calm voice. You can also try relaxing music or aromatherapy, such as lavender oil.

How do you get a Chihuahua to respect you?

Chihuahuas can be bossy and demand attention, making it challenging to establish respect. To gain your Chihuahua’s respect, you should be firm but affectionate. Train your dog with positive reinforcement, reward good behavior with treats and praise, and discourage bad behavior with a stern voice or a timeout. Consistent rules and boundaries are also essential to gain respect.

How do you tell if a Chihuahua is scared of you?

Chihuahuas may exhibit signs of fear or anxiety if they are scared. These can include trembling, hiding, growling, snapping, or biting. A scared Chihuahua may also avoid eye contact or cower in a corner. To avoid scaring your dog, approach them calmly and gently, using a soft tone of voice. Don’t force your dog to do something they’re uncomfortable with; give them space if they need it.

What do Chihuahuas fear?

Chihuahuas can be timid and fearful of certain stimuli. Loud noises, such as fireworks or thunder, can be frightening for them and unfamiliar people or animals. Some Chihuahuas may be scared of long hair, hats, or sunglasses. Exposing your dog to different experiences and stimuli gradually is essential, starting with low-level exposure and gradually increasing the intensity.

How do you gain a chihuahua’s trust?

These small dogs are known for their fierce loyalty and can make wonderful companions. However, gaining their trust can be a little tricky at first. In order to start, it’s essential to approach them with patience, kindness, and gentle care. Let them come to you on their terms, and never force any interactions. Chihuahuas are incredibly sensitive creatures, so be aware of your tone of voice and body language. Treat them with respect and love, and in no time, you’ll have a chihuahua friend for life!

Final Words

So if you’re a proud Chihuahua owner, it’s important to remember that these feisty pups may come with their own set of behaviors that require a little extra attention. From yapping and nipping to separation anxiety and potty training woes, your training efforts must be patient and consistent. Thankfully, with a little bit of love and dedication, you can tackle these chihuahua behavior problems head-on and help your Chihuahua become the well-behaved furry friend you’ve always dreamed of. So, don’t let the challenges discourage you – embrace the journey and enjoy the sweet moments with your pint-sized puppy.