Why are Chihuahuas So Mean?

why are chihuahuas so mean
why are chihuahuas so mean

If you have ever owned a Chihuahua, then you know that they are little bundles of joy and can wonder why people ask “Why are chihuahuas so mean?”. They love to cuddle and spend time with their owners. 

However, sometimes it seems like this breed is more likely to bite than other breeds.

In this article you will learn:

  • Chichuahuas are not mean by nature
  • Little dog syndrome can manifest itself in an untrained Chi
  • Chihuahuas can suffer from post traumatic stress
  • Training helps tame Chi aggression
  • How to train your Chihuahua
  • Chihuahuas are very loyal
  • Chi’s are very sensitive creatures and can suffer from separation anxiety
  • 5 medical conditions that can increase your Chi’s aggression
  • 4 ways to tame an aggressive Chi

Why are chihuahuas so mean?

When a chihuahua is seen as mean it is because they have learned aggressive behaviors to assert dominance over any perceived threat. Being highly protective of their owner and their territory, they are known to growl, snarl, show their teeth, and bite when they feel scared, threatened, or startled.

A female Chi may be aggressive when she is on heat and will nip for no reason.

Separation anxiety shows itself by Chi’s excessively barking, grooming, and licking, this may lead them to act out aggressively.

Medical issues can include teething, retained puppy teeth, dental disease, arthritis, or a heart murmur.

Male Chi’s are known to be more aggressive if they have been neutered or spayed.

Are Chihuahuas Mean By Nature 

Chihuahuas are not mean by nature, they are a charming, animated and wonderful companion as they are extremely loving and loyal to their owner. They are at risk of developing territorial and aggressive behaviors if they are allowed to get away with snarling, growling, and nipping at people.

Little dogs can be spoiled by their owner, and act out based on what they think is acceptable behavior.

Unfortunately, little dogs like chihuahuas end up with a bad reputation because of little dog syndrome.

Dogs like chihuahuas are tiny, which means they live in a big world. Chihuahua owners must be careful about how small dog syndrome manifests itself. It is important to deal with it before your little chihuahua starts to believe that bad behavior is acceptable.

Chihuahuas don’t have an innate desire to be mean or to be a feisty chihuahua. They can become mean little dogs if their aggressive tendencies are allowed to run wild. 

Small dog breeds are not always at risk for this syndrome, but Chihuahua’s may act out if not corrected with positive reinforcement. This could result in bad behavior problems like nipping, barking, and a generally aggressive dog.

Why do people think that chihuahuas are so mean?

Chihuahuas are often thought to be ill-tempered and generally aggressive dogs. However, this is not true as chihuahuas can actually vary in their behavior just like any other breed of dog, for example, the Jack Russell Terrier.

A dog bite tends to happen when a chihuahua feels threatened or has been startled, maybe by a big dog like a German Shepherd.

One reason that people may assume chihuahuas are mean is excessive barking.

A common stereotype about the breed involves them yapping, barking, whining, and growling throughout the day due to anxiety.

This excessive noise can cause problems with neighbors who find themselves annoyed by all of the constant whining and barking.

Luckily, training your pup will help deter yapping, barking and growling over time.

small dog syndrome

Female Chihuahua Aggression

Some of the reasons female chihuahuas show aggressive behavior are due to the effects of their heat cycle.

There is a reason that chihuahuas are often referred to as aggressive biters. They can be aggressive during this time and will nip at other dogs for no apparent reason.

This period typically lasts about two weeks, but it’s important to keep your pup away from all male dogs until she has had her first heat (around one year old).

Chihuahuas with PTSD

Excessive barking, excessive grooming, chewing on items like clothes or shoes, excessive licking, digging up flowers in the back yard, or furniture scratching are all signs of separation anxiety. 

This could mean that while you’re not home your little dog feels anxious which may lead them to act out aggressively without any provocation.

Another common reason chihuahuas are thought to have aggressive tendencies is because they’re often taken out in public without proper training.

If your pup does not know how to walk on a leash or behave appropriately around strangers then it’s likely that he will act aggressively towards other people throughout the day.

PTSD is also common in chihuahuas that have been through an excessive amount of trauma.

A Chihuahua with PTSD may act out aggressively towards people they’ve never met before, but are familiar with their owner which could make for some confusing interactions.

They don’t know if they are safe.

These behaviors can be treated by professional trainers who know how to work specifically with the breed and your individual pup’s needs. 

Why is training important for Chihuahuas?

Chihuahuas are known for their tiny frame and big personality.

They love to socialize with people, other pet owners, and every dog out there. 

That being said, they require a lot of attention from their owner which makes training important not only for the Chihuahua’s well-being but also for the Chihuahua owner.

Training can help your pet develop good behavior habits while increasing his happiness so he is able to get along more easily in our human world.

It’s great for the chihuahua owner too because it creates an opportunity to spend quality time together through positive reinforcement rather than negative scolding or punishment. 

How does one train a Chihuahua?

With patience, lots of treats and toys, and using positive reinforcement as much as possible (instead of negative reinforcement, like scolding, which can create trauma in a Chihuahua).

Training a tiny dog can be very rewarding and is important for all Chihuahua owners. Training will help your little dog become happier in their environment while you get to spend time together. 

It is essential to train your small breed chihuahua as the pet owner in a positive and calm way to ensure you are encouraging good behavior rather than punishing bad.

Chihuahuas with the right training can be friendly, socialize easily, and behave appropriately in public settings! 

Most chihuahua owners will tell you that their pup craves attention from them and loves to spend time with them. 

They can be difficult to train, but chihuahuas are very intelligent and love their owners which makes training easier. 

Chihuahuas, with the right amount of patience and attention, make wonderful pets for any home! 

Are Chihuahuas Loyal to Their Owners?

chihuahua owner

Chihuahuas are loyal, but only if they have good owners. A chihuahua will not be loyal to someone who mistreats it or makes them feel insecure.

They also do not like to share their owners with other dogs, cats, or people. If they are too spoiled, they can become aggressive.

Chihuahuas need to have a lot of human contact and attention every day. They need to be treated and played with like they are your children or best friends. Without that, chihuahuas can become very unhappy and unruly.

Chihuahuas need a lot of attention and do not like to be left alone for long periods. They can become very stressed out and can even begin to behave aggressively if left alone for long periods.

Separation Anxiety

They are very sensitive creatures and do not like changes in their environment or routine, which can cause them to have high levels of stress.

Separation anxiety is common in Chihuahuas because they are so loyal to their owners. They often follow them around constantly and become anxious when separated from the owner.

Chihuahuas are also known to have a very loving temperament towards their owners, so this may contribute to separation anxiety as well.

What medical issues could contribute to my feisty chihuahua?


If your chihuahua is a puppy then they could be teething and if that is the case you may want to get them some toys to chew on. 

Retained Puppy Teeth

A fully grown chihuahua could have retained puppy teeth could be the cause of their aggressive behavior. Retained puppy teeth can cause an overgrowth of teeth, pain, and infection.

If you notice your chihuahua is chewing excessively or shaking its head frequently then take them to your veterinarian for a check up.

Dental Disease

You can tell if your chihuahua has dental disease because they will have bad breath and their teeth might look discolored or rotten.

This is something you should get checked out by the veterinarian so it doesn’t lead to more serious problems in the future.


If your chihuahua is elderly and has recently changed its behavior it may be due to something like arthritis which can cause pain in the joints, legs, or hips of dogs.

This also needs immediate attention from a vet as soon as you notice any changes.

Heart Murmur

A heart murmur is one common issue that could contribute to your chihuahua’s feisty behavior. Symptoms of a heart murmur are rapid breathing, coughing and lethargy. If you see any of these symptoms then take your dog straight to the veterinarian.

Aggressive behavior in chihuahuas can also come from underlying medical issues that are not yet apparent so it is important to bring your chihuahua in for a check up by a veterinarian every few months.

If your male chihuahua is not spayed or neutered they are much more likely to show aggressive behavior.

longhaired chihuahua

How to Tame an Already Aggressive Chihuahua

There are several methods that can be used in the taming process for a Chihuahua. These include: 


This method includes a reward system. The Chihuahua should be rewarded for good behavior with treats or other rewards and should be ignored when it displays bad behavior. 

Progressive Desensitization

This method uses a system of exposing the Chihuahua to the stimulus at a low intensity and rewarding it for good behavior, then gradually increasing exposure until it can tolerate the full-intensity stimuli. 


This method involves ignoring bad behavior and reinforcing good behavior. If your Chihuahua displays a certain behavior, it should be ignored. When your Chihuahua exhibits the desired behavior, it should be rewarded. 

Trained Professional 

It is also possible to hire a professional and ask for their help. A trained professional will be able to give advice on what has worked for other Chihuahuas. By following these methods, it is possible to tame an already aggressive Chihuahua.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to make sense of why people think chihuahuas are mean. The truth is that they are not naturally aggressive, but their temperament can be influenced by many factors including genetics and medical conditions.

Chihuahuas, with the right amount of patience and attention, make wonderful pets and will be very loyal and affectionate. 

I hope this article helps you tame an already cranky chihuahua so you both can live happily together in a peaceful existence.

Do people think your chihuahua is mean? Have you been able to find help and solve the problem? Let me know in the comments.