Although it is possible for the breed to have a wide range of temperaments, Chihuahua behavior usually falls into a fairly specific set of dispositions. The dogs are generally playful, active, loyal and headstrong. As with any dog, those thinking of bringing a Chihuahua into their home should be aware of their tendencies before making a final decision.
Loyal but Jealous
One of the things people love most about Chihuahua behavior is their loyalty. The dogs simply adore their masters. They are usually not found outside of a dozen feet from them at all times. Chihuahuas almost always prefer the company of their owners to that of any other. This can sometimes turn bad though, as the breed has a tendency to become intensely jealous of other people or animals spending time with their master. On occasion, this can manifest itself in aggressive actions towards other. The dogs are also frequently wary of anyone outside the members of their immediate household. Some will hide when strangers visit but most will bark and behave aggressively, sometimes going so far as to snap.
This fierce loyalty also applies to other animals. Chihuahuas are known for the extreme fondness of other members of their breed. Sometimes this can be to the exclusion of all others. Many Chihuahuas have been known to behave aggressively towards other dog breeds, so it is advisable to consider carefully before bringing a Chihuahua into a house with other dogs.
Much of this Chihuahua behavior can be minimized if the dogs have been properly socialized at an early age. Chihuahuas that have been raised from an early age in a multi dog household are often as at home with other breeds as they are with their own.
Independent and Stubborn
Chihuahuas are among the most difficult dogs to train. They almost always assume that they, rather than the humans, are the masters of the household. This is a major issue and can cause numerous problems if left unchecked. It is very important that Chihuahua behavior be controlled by strict obedience training in order to curb these tendencies. In the worst cases, these characteristics can lead to an out of control dog that is aggressive and disobedient. It is important that the problem be addressed early. Once a Chihuahua has established their position as leader of the house, it will be difficult to dissuade them of their status.
Setting boundaries between master and owner is a critical step in addressing the issue. Dogs that are allowed to lie on the couch and sleep in human beds are much more likely to become dogs that do not respect their master’s command.
Playful and Curious
As with loyalty, these Chihuahua behaviors are double edged swords. Although many people love their Chihuahua’s energy and curiosity in the world, it can also lead to behavioral issues. Many of the breed become bored easily and will turn to chewing or other negative behaviors to entertain themselves. It is important to give Chihuahua’s ample attention and plenty to do.
Many find the breed trying while others can’t get enough of their antics, but regardless of whether you love or hate them, it cannot be denied that Chihuahua behavior shows a lot of personality.