What is the Behavior and Personality of a Chihuahua Like?
The general temperament and personality of the Chihuahua breed is playful, companionable, happy and alert. When not adequately socialized, Chihuahuas can develop an aggressive nature towards strangers, children and other dogs. However, they are easily trained and will socialize very well with a little work. Let’s take a look at what you can typically expect from a Chihuahua.
The number one problem with a Chihuahua’s behavior is incessant barking. Even the most laid-back Chi, who enjoys being around new people, will bark as an announcement of someone’s arrival. Some are apt to literally bark each time someone in the home makes any type of movement, which can alienate friends, family members, and guests. It is imperative that you socialize your new Chihuahua as soon as you can, as this will make your pet more welcoming of sounds and people.
The smallest of all dog breeds, the Chihuahua is sassy and small, often weighing less than five pounds. Their personalities can vary greatly from one animal to the next, from timid and shy to outgoing and energetic. One thing is true of all Chihuahuas, and it’s that they love attention and are immensely loyal to those that are close to them. They often posture up and challenge much larger dogs with ferocious barking, yet they always seem to be friendly and welcoming towards other Chihuahuas.
Not only do they not mind being dressed up, but they love the warmth that a comfy sweater offers. They have an unfair reputation of being aggressive towards strangers. However, this merely stems from the fact that they are overly protective of their owners. You also have to remember that, because of their size, their only real defense mechanisms are their teeth and their bark. They are the ideal choice for people choosing their first dog, and also for those on a budget, since they eat very little.
There is one thing that every Chihuahua owner on the planet will agree on and that is the fact that they are a never ending source of fun and laughter. Those big bug-eyes, the large ears and the inherent ability to create mischief out of thin air all combine to offer years of entertainment and joy for your whole family. The Chihuahua also loves to be toasty warm, and will follow the sunshine around the house, moving to whichever area it is shining on the brightest. When the sun finally sets for the day, he will find a blanket, chair, couch or cozy lap to curl up in for the night.
A Chihuahua isn’t a vigorously active dog and is ideal for someone in a condo or apartment setting. Despite their small size, they need to be walked regularly. Nearly three-quarters of all Chihuahuas end up obese, and it’s primarily the fault of the owner.
Training your Chihuahua will depend on the individual dog and his bloodlines. Some take to it, and some do not. Some may be trained out of timidity, rowdy behavior, aggression or fearfulness, but their initial temperament relies on genetics. Parents who are high-strung and anxious will create a similar puppy, and conversely, laid-back parents will spawn a laid-back puppy; it’s just natural. However, regardless of his personality, training has to be consistent and feature lots of treats and positive reinforcement. Trying to train any dog with a harsh hand and tone will only create additional problems, and it’s no different with a Chi.
As far as house training, Chihuahuas are a handful, with many owners resorting to indoor grass areas or litter boxes. They hate the rain and cold, and will utterly refuse to relieve themselves under adverse conditions.
For more chihuahua tips on selection care and training be sure to visit Chihuahua Behaviour the home of the FREE Chihuahua Training Newsletter