Chihuahuas are often regarded as small-sized bundles of personality! Globally adored, these tiny dogs have charmed their way into the hearts of many.

If you’ve noticed similar behaviors in chihuahuas, you may be wondering about the link between dog breeds and behavior. A study by NIH researchers, for example, found behavior patterns in relation to dog breeds, making sense of what you may have observed. Another study by, however, digs deeper into how breed influences personality, unraveling a complex yet intriguing lens into canine behavior.

In this article, we’ll be talking about chihuahuas in particular - how they may behave and how to address their behavior.

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  1. Are Chihuahuas Aggressive
  2. Why Are Chihuahuas So Aggressive
  3. How to Train a Chihuahua Not to Be Aggressive
  4. FAQs
  5. Conclusion

Are Chihuahuas Aggressive

For some background, let us first get to know the breed’s history. Chihuahuas, tracing back to Aztec royalty, thrived in popularity from ancient Mexico to modern times. Their appearance and petite size have captivated hearts worldwide.

There are theories on their origins as pocket guard dogs, but they lack conclusive proof. While their breed temperament and need for emotional support may play a factor, their behavior today hinges more on upbringing than their history.

A good way to closely monitor your dog is by investing in a good pet camera such as the Petcube Cam. Its features including a 1080p full HD video, 110° wide angle view, and 8x zoom capability allows you to get a closer look at your dog’s behavior and understand them better. This is especially useful when training your dog.

Why Are Chihuahuas So Aggressive

If you’ve been at the brunt of a barking and angry chihuahua, you might think to yourself - Why are Chihuahuas so mean? But misconceptions aside, a Chihuahua can be aggressive due to several reasons, many of which may apply to other breeds as well.

Individual Personality

Chihuahuas, like all dogs, exhibit diverse personalities. While genetics may influence aggressive behavior in some Chihuahuas, each pup has a unique temperament—some sweet and gentle, others feisty and bold, revealing their true nature over time.

Lack of Socialization

Socializing Chihuahuas early and consistently reduces aggression. While some people may think that it’s not necessary, thinking that they’re harmless since they’re small, this is a misconception. Chihuahuas benefit greatly from varied experiences, easing fear and anxiety, fostering confident behavior in public.

Absence or Lack of Training

Another misconception is that since Chihuahuas are small and easy to carry, some people think that they don’t need to be trained. This may lead to bad habits and aggressive behavior. The good thing about training dogs is that it prevents bad behavior and promotes calm responses in new environments.

Fearful Tendencies

Chihuahuas aren't big dogs in small bodies—they're aware of their size. Fear drives their occasional aggression, like at the vet. Despite their small stature, they fiercely defend themselves with snarls, growls, and barks.

Territorial Nature

Chihuahuas guard their territory fiercely, defending toys, beds, and loved ones with aggressive displays when their cherished possessions are threatened.

Medical Issues

Chihuahuas, while usually healthy, can suffer from painful issues like dental problems, patellar luxation, and eye conditions, potentially leading to aggression. Regular vet checkups are crucial for early detection and prevention.

A discussion on Reddit talks about aggression in Chihuahuas, with the responses echoing some of the reasons mentioned above. For instance, one commenter suggested that aggressive Chihuahuas are likely caused by lack of socialization. She shared that her sister’s Chihuahua was very kind and friendly to other dogs and humans, having been socialized at an early age.

In a study about dog aggressiveness, Joaquin Pérez-Guisado, the main author of the study and a researcher from the University of Cordoba, shared their findings that certain factors like breed, sex, size, or age are associated with greater aggression in some dogs. However, these have minimal influence compared to factors related to the owner's actions.

How to Train a Chihuahua Not to Be Aggressive

Train Chihuahuas to curb aggression by understanding triggers like fear and territorial behavior. Below are some tips:

  • Use positive reinforcement methods ~ Use treats and praise to reward calm behavior.
  • Socialize your dog ~ Early socialization with other dogs and people will help reduce anxiety.
  • Implement consistent training routines.
  • Seek professional guidance if needed.

Remember that patience and persistence are key in fostering a well-behaved and friendly Chihuahua.

A gadget that may help with training is the Petcube GPS Tracker. Not only does it help you track your pet, it also has features that help you in training your dog such as understanding which places are safe zones and how they shoudn’t go beyond certain areas. It also has fitness and wellness features to help keep your dog fit and healthy.


Why are small dogs so aggressive?

According to James Serpell, director of the Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, small dogs may lash out as a defense mechanism for the fear they are feeling. On the other hand, it may also be a result of how their owner behaves.

Are all chihuahuas mean?

It’s important to understand that not all Chihuahuas are mean. Many are loyal, affectionate, and friendly companions. There may be some who exhibit more aggressive behaviors than other breeds, but it is more dependent on how owners train or handle their dog’s behavior.

Are chihuahuas the most aggressive dogs?

While some Chihuahuas may have aggressive tendencies, there are many factors that determine dog aggression.


Chihuahuas, known for their tiny stature but big personalities, can show aggression stemming from various factors like inadequate training, fear, or guarding instincts. In some cases, this breed may exhibit more aggression, possibly due to owners overlooking behavioral issues due to the Chihuahua’s size. Effective training and socialization greatly help in managing and reducing these tendencies.

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