Tips & FactsTraining & Behavior

How Chihuahuas Show Affection

Do you ever wonder how Chihuahuas show affection? Do they bark, cuddle, or lick their owners? Or do they sit quietly nearby and watch with love in their eyes? What about when a new person enters the room – does your chihuahua get excited or shy away from them?

Chihuahuas are small dogs with big personalities. They have an intense bond with their owners, often preferring to stick close to one person rather than be around everyone. This can make it difficult for them to adjust to new people and environments. 

But even though they may seem aloof at first, chihuahuas are very loving animals who will show affection in many different ways once they feel comfortable enough.

They are known for their big hearts and unwavering devotion to their owners. While most dog breeds have specific ways of showing love, Chihuahuas can be particularly expressive. Here are a few different ways that Chihuahuas show their affection:


Chihuahuas love to snuggle up close to their owners and often prefer sleeping in their beds or on the couch with them. Cuddling is one of the best ways that Chihuahuas show their love. They will often curl up against you or rest their head on your lap when they need extra affection or simply want to be near you.


Chihuahuas are famously vocal dogs and like to bark to get attention from their owners. They may bark insistently until they get what they want, ranging from food treats to playing a game or getting extra cuddle time. 

Although this behavior can sometimes be annoying, it’s important to remember that your teacup chihuahua is just trying to tell you how much they care about you and asking for some loving attention in return.

Tail Wagging

Chihuahuas have long, fluffy tails that they use to express happiness when around their owners or other people they recognize as friends. Tail wagging often accompanies barking, but it can also occur independently whenever the dog is feeling content or excited about something—whether it’s seeing a familiar face, playing a favorite game, or even just getting petted by its owner.

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One of the most obvious signs of a Chihuahua’s affection is its loyalty. It will typically follow its owner wherever they go within the home and stick close by, even when going outside for walks or errands. This loyal nature, coupled with its tiny size, makes it one of the most devoted companions out there; despite its diminutive stature, it isn’t afraid to stand up for what (or who) it loves!

Nosing and Licking

Nosing and Licking are among the most common ways Chihuahuas show their affection. The gesture, which is sometimes referred to as “nose-kissing” or “nose-nudging,” involves the dog lightly pressing its nose to its owner’s skin or face. It’s thought to be an act of affection passed down through generations of chihuahuas as a way of expressing love and loyalty.

In addition to nose-kissing, chihuahuas may also lick their owners when greeting or showing affection. This could be interpreted as the dog trying to convey its emotions through taste rather than sight; excessive licking releases pleasurable endorphins in the brain, which can help create a sense of calmness and contentment for humans and pups.


Another interesting behavior related to nosing and licking is pawing at someone’s hand or face. This could be interpreted as a sign of submission as if the chihuahua were permitting its owner without fear. It could also be seen as an invitation for more physical contact—like nuzzling or snuggling—which can further deepen their bond.

Chihuahuas may also lean against their owners. This behavior could represent a desire for closeness and emotional connection, similar to how humans will give each other hugs when they need some extra comfort or reassurance.

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Eye contact

Eye contact between Chihuahuas and their owners is one of the most powerful signs of love. Many dogs will avoid making direct eye contact with people they don’t know. Still, Chihuahuas are different. They will often stare right into the eyes of their person as if communicating directly with them in a way that words can’t express. This long-lasting gaze can be incredibly meaningful for both the dog and its owner, conveying deep love, loyalty, and trust.

This strong bond between humans and chihuahuas is strengthened through many interactions, but there’s something special about mutual eye contact. It allows two living entities to communicate on a level you can’t really put into words. 

Chihuahuas often show their affection through tail wagging, barking, cuddling, and licking—but when they look into their person’s eyes, they are conveying something much deeper than these behaviors alone can capture.

Chihuahua Kiss

Chihuahuas are also known for giving what’s called “Chihuahua kisses,” which is when they repeatedly lick their owner’s face as a sign of affection. This behavior can be seen as an extension of the nose-kissing gesture mentioned earlier. Plus, it’s thought to stem from the dog’s instinctive desire to groom and nurture those they care about.

Your Chihuahua Wants To Play

Chihuahuas are often very cheerful dogs. So, if yours suddenly stops wanting to play, it may indicate that something is upsetting it. 

A chihuahua puppy constantly looking for new ways to play is a happy Chihuahua. Most notably if they’re trying to encourage you to join in. Chihuahuas often want to engage their owners in games of fetch, tug of war, or even just belly tickles. Whatever it is, it demonstrates that they want to spend time with you and engage with you. 

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A happy Chihuahua can be very energetic, and they choose to use you to help them burn it off. If your chihuahua wants to play, it can be a sign that they trust you and feel safe with you.

Lifting Their Eyebrows

Are you wondering if a chihuahua can lift its eyebrows? The answer is yes; chihuahuas can raise their eyebrows, which is often a sign of them being content or excited.

Perhaps you catch large movements like jumping and tail wagging more easily. Since Chihuahuas are such small dogs, it’s possible that you might overlook minor details. Apparently, the lifting of eyebrows is an indication of your dog’s affection. 

This is really fascinating information. Because it’s backed by research in Japan that proved dogs’ facial laterality. One definition of laterality is a marked bias toward using only one side of the body. To illustrate, consider the concepts of right- and left-handedness. 

The purpose of this research was to determine if canines exhibit any signs of face laterality upon seeing their owners again. They discovered that chihuahuas, in particular, responded more to their owners when they used the right side of their faces. 

And as a result of this study, it was concluded that upon seeing their owner(s) again, chihuahuas might lift their eyebrows to express their excitement and pleasure.

Sighing And Yawning

Chihuahuas are known for their wide repertoire of affectionate behaviors. One of the cutest is when they sigh or yawn in contentment. Studies show that dogs often imitate those around them. Therefore, when a chihuahua sees its owner yawn or sigh, it may copy this behavior as an expression of comfort and relaxation. 

This mimicry can be an adorable display of affection from a chihuahua, as it proves that your pup feels safe and loved in your presence. Additionally, many pet owners report that their chihuahuas will also cuddle up close to them before or after yawning or sighing. Even more endearing sign that your small dog is showing you its love!

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Rolling onto their backs and exposing their bellies is the ultimate demonstration of trust and contentment for a Chihuahua. Not only are they offering up their most vulnerable area, but they are also telling you that they feel safe, secure, and happy in your presence. This trusting behavior can be an adorable sign of affection from a Chihuahua. It indicates that they not only acknowledge you as their leader but also believe you will protect them from harm. 

To further emphasize this bond of trust between you and your pup, many Chihuahuas will offer up not just their belly but also the sides of their neck for additional snuggles and cuddles. It’s almost as if they’re saying, “I know I can count on you”!

Big Welcomes

When they see you come home, Chihuahuas can be the most excited and welcoming of all dogs! They may start bouncing around, lifting their eyebrows in anticipation, and even trying to get your attention with lots of tail wags. But one of the sweetest gestures these tiny pups offer is when they roll onto their backs, exposing their bellies and revealing that they feel safe and protected by your presence. 

It’s almost as if they are hugging you – a big, furry greeting reserved only for those closest to them! While this behavior is usually seen as an act of submission, it’s actually a sign of trust and affection. A way for them to express how much they care about you. Not only that, but it’s also a symbol of contentment and comfort, something that shows just how happy they are when you’re around!

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There Isn’t Any Aggression

Do you ever wonder what’s going on in your pup’s head when he looks up at you with big eyes and a wagging tail? Chihuahuas often display signs of affection without the threat of aggressive behavior. This means that they rarely growl, bite, or act out aggressively. 

When chihuahuas show their love, it’s usually with a calm demeanor and gentle touches. So if your pup is looking up at you with his tail wagging and his eyebrows slightly raised, chances are he’s trying to tell you how much he loves being around you. 

It may not always be easy to understand what our furry friends are trying to communicate, but one thing for sure is that chihuahuas show love and affection in their own unique way!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does a pit bull, golden retriever, and labrador retriever show the same way of affection as a chihuahua?

A: While all dogs show their love in different ways, pit bulls, golden retrievers, and labradors tend to be more prone to physical displays of affection, like licking and pawing. Chihuahuas, on the other hand, usually express their love through subtler behaviors such as raising their eyebrows, sighing and yawning, or rolling onto their backs and offering big welcomes when they come home.

Q: How does the American Kennel Club recognize chihuahuas?

A: The American Kennel Club recognizes the chihuahua as a member of the toy dog breed and categorizes them into two main varieties – smooth coat and long coat. Smooth-coated Chihuahuas have short, glossy fur. However, long-coated Chihuahuas have longer fur with feathers on their ears, legs, tail, and chest. Both varieties show similar signs of affection.

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Q: What other body language signs do chihuahuas show when they’re feeling affectionate?

A: Chihuahuas often express their love through body language that includes leaning into their owners, sitting on the lap since a chihuahua is known as a lap dog, licking, and following their owners around.

Q: Do I need a dog trainer to help my chihuahua show affection?

A: While training can help teach your pup how to behave, they don’t need to show affection. Chihuahuas are naturally affectionate dogs. Therefore, you should be able to gauge how they’re feeling just by observing their body language. If you’d like to teach them additional behaviors, a trainer can be a great resource.

Q: Are rescue dogs and domestic dogs show affection differently?

A: A rescue dog and a domestic dog may display affection differently depending on their personality, past experiences, and upbringing. Rescue dogs, in particular, may need extra time and patience to learn how to overcome their fears and trust new people.

Final Words

Although chihuahuas are known for being feisty, fearless little dogs, beneath their tough exterior lies a heart full of love. Through their wide array of affectionate behaviors, like lifting their eyebrows, sighing and yawning, rolling onto their backs, and offering big welcomes when they come home, these tiny pups have mastered the art of expressing themselves without ever having to say a word. So if your pup is showing you some love today, remember to take time to appreciate it! After all, who could resist such an adorable display of affection?