Tips & FactsTraining & Behavior

How To Show A Chihuahua Dominance – A Quick Guide

Chihuahuas have a very bold and bossy personality. If you don’t establish yourself as the alpha, this little doggo would reign in your household. Knowing how to show a Chihuahua dominance is crucial to ensure that the feisty canine will grow disciplined.

Despite their teensy size, Chihuahuas have an attitude that can make bigger dogs cower. This canine has a terrier-like personality – watchful, suspicious, and alert. While these are good characteristics for guard dogs, they can go out of hand if your Chihuahua is left untrained.

Taming a Chihuahua’s snappy character starts by having the pooch see you as the alpha. This can be done by showing dominance to the dog positively.

Take note that showing dominance doesn’t mean using violence. There are positive ways to train your Chihuahua and curb its imposing nature.

Below, I discussed some steps you can take to help show dominance to your dog without causing other behavioral problems. 

How to show a Chihuahua dominance

Dealing with an imposing Chihuahua isn’t easy, but there are ways to help turn this problem around. The following are some of the steps you can take at home to teach your dog that you’re the boss:

1.    Set the rules

how to show a Chihuahua dominance

First, you have to set the rules for your Chihuahua. You have to enforce these rules and stick with them to ensure that your Chi won’t push you over to get whatever it likes.

For example, you can start banning dogs inside the kitchen or by the dinner table. If your Chihuahua tries to challenge these rules, you should say a firm “no” and then gently remove the dog away.

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Overall, this may take time and patience to enforce. Just make sure that your entire family is onboard to so your efforts won’t go in vain.

By doing this, you’re teaching your Chihuahua that you are in control of the house.

2.    Start with basic obedience training

Obedience training is indispensable for any dog, especially an aggressive Chihuahua. This training will give you some level of control over your pet’s behavior.

Commands like sit, stay, come, leave it, and down will make a big difference. Aside from getting your desired reaction from your Chihuahua, it will also instill restraint and discipline in your pet.

When performing obedience training, it will help a lot to use positive reinforcement. This is done by rewarding a favorable response. It will teach your Chihuahua that following your orders is actually rewarded behavior.

3.    Be strict with proper behavior

It’s easy to be lax on your Chihuahua’s training and rules over time. However, letting things slide will just ruin your training progress.

Always enforce positive reinforcement and your rules anytime. This covers playtime, outdoor trips, and even random moments of the day. Overall, your Chihuahua shouldn’t have the chance to regain its old habits.

For example, you should never tolerate the play-biting of your Chihuahua. Even if it seems fun and harmless, allowing the behavior to go uncorrected will soon lead to more behavioral problems. Your Chihuahua may start to defy you since it learned that he can get away from time to time.

4.    Be the alpha of the household

how to show a Chihuahua dominance

One of the most effective ways to become the alpha is to control your Chihuahua’s resources. Make sure that you’re the one to feed, groom, and provide toys for your pooch. You should also be the one to remove it.

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This way, your Chi will realize that its survival relies on you. It’s a very effective way to establish your dominance over your pet without using any violence.

For example, you can ask your Chihuahua to sit and wait before handing out its food. Also, you should be the one to give or take toys away based on a playtime schedule. You should never give any resources to your Chihuahua just because it demands so.

5.    Reward good behavior

Next, always reward the good behavior of your Chihuahua. This positive reinforcement and reward system will teach your dog that you are the ‘master of treats’.

Also, by rewarding appropriate behavior, your Chi will be more eager to do it repeatedly. Aside from showing positive dominance, this practice will also help discipline a canine.

Take note that treats aren’t the only possible reward for good behavior. You can also give chew toys or affection, whichever works for your pet.

6.    Put your dog on time-out

Do you have a hyperactive and imposing Chihuahua? You can show dominance by putting the doggo on time-out. This long-time practice of parents to their toddlers also works in the canine world.

This works by associating a Chihuahua’s negative behavior with a negative experience. This is called negative reinforcement, which is quite effective for domesticated dogs.

Overall, your dog’s time-out shouldn’t last for more than 60 seconds. Your goal is simply to make your Chi realize what it’s been missing for behaving harshly.

7.    Interrupt negative behavior right away

When raising a Chihuahua, it’s important to interrupt negative behavior as it arises. This will prevent your dog from getting used to the said behavior.

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Also, addressing negative behavior on Chihuahuas should start at puppyhood. This way, your dog will see you as the alpha and you can show dominance to the dog at an early age.

Aside from that, this will save you from difficult training later on.  

8.    Consistency is the key

If you want to show dominance to your Chihuahua, you have to be consistent. Never let misbehavior slip just because you’re too lazy to correct it. Letting this happen will just undo all your efforts.

A good alpha is one that will be consistent in training, communicating, and enforcing the rules. While it takes a lot of effort, this will pay off once your Chihuahua sees you as the leader of the pack.

Always remember that inconsistency will make your dog challenge your rules all the time.

9.    Provide enough stimulation

While Chihuahuas aren’t high-energy dogs, you still have to provide them ample mental and physical stimulation. This way, your doggo won’t resort to bad behavior to vent its energy and attention.

Overall, Chihuahuas don’t need a lot of exercise. You should focus more on mental stimulation that will keep your pet busy.

10. If all else fails: hire a professional dog trainer

Some Chihuahuas can be tough and won’t respond to DIY training favorably. In this case, you should consider hiring a professional dog trainer instead. The professional trainer will assess the problem and let you know what you’re doing wrong.

Aside from that, your Chi will receive intensive training that will curb its negative behavior. It’s almost a foolproof solution for all dog breeds suffering from behavioral issues.

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However, it’s important to know that professional training costs a fee. But in the end, it’s just a small sacrifice compared to the positive changes you’ll notice in your dog.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do you discipline a Chihuahua?

A: Disciplining a Chihuahua must be done using positive reinforcement. You should train your Chi using basic obedience. Once your doggo mastered these basic commands, you can move forward to advanced training drills. Always be patient as Chihuahuas take time to respond to training compared to other breeds.

Q: Why is my Chihuahua snapping at me?

A: Chihuahuas may exhibit aggressive behavior towards their owners if they are not trained well. Also, it’s a sign that your dog doesn’t see you as the alpha. You should also take it as a cue to train your Chihuahua. If your efforts aren’t working, you should consider consulting a professional dog trainer instead.

Q: Why do Chihuahuas bite their owners?

A: Chihuahuas are prone to aggression, which may be the reason why they bite their owners. Many Chihuahuas tend to resource-guard with their food, water, toys, treats, and other belongings. In some cases, they may perceive their owners’ presence as a threat to these resources, thus biting and other signs of aggression.

Q: Do Chihuahuas hold grudges?

A: Chihuahuas, or any dog for that matter, don’t have the ability to process complex emotions like a grudge. If your Chi bit you, it might be due to other reasons. Your dog probably had a negative interaction with you in the past, causing it to resent you. 

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Q: Are Chihuahuas the most aggressive dogs?

A: According to an article from The Atlantic, it’s reported that Chihuahuas are one of the most aggressive breeds. In fact, Pit Bulls are far more chill and friendlier than Chihuahuas in general. So if you’re planning to get a small breed, you should know that Chis can be a handful at times.

Final words

Knowing how to show a Chihuahua dominance starts by setting the rules and sticking with them. You should also utilize training and positive reinforcement to ensure that your Chi will respond positively to your efforts.

When trained well, Chis will be well-rounded and disciplined pets. If your efforts aren’t coming to fruition, you should never hesitate to enlist the help of a professional. It costs a fee, but the results are guaranteed.