How To Raise a Less Aggressive Chihuahua
Unfortunately, Chihuahuas get a bad rap for being known as overly aggressive dogs that will lash out and attack other people and pets. The truth is that many owners don't understand the needs of this breed or how to raise them properly. Chihuahuas can't talk, so it's up to the owner to find out what their not doing right and why their Chihuahua is being snappy. Read below for advice on how to raise a less aggressive Chihuahua.
Why Aggressive Chihuahuas Are Dangerous
Watching a Chihuahua be snappy towards other house pets might not seem like a serious concern to some. After all, how much damage can a tiny Chihuahua do? Well, Chihuahuas can still cause some pretty serious bites, especially in children and other household pets, and if they're trying to bite another animal, it's possible they will provoke an attack. Other than the possibility of your Chihuahua causing physical harm, allowing your them to remain aggressive also puts them at greater risk for developing one of many mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
One of the most important things an owner can do is to teach their Chihuahua that other people and pets are friendly. To do this, start socializing your Chihuahua while they are still a puppy by introducing them to other people and new environments. Everyone loves Chihuahua puppies anyway, so you shouldn't have a problem finding some new friends for your Chihuahua to play with. Ask some of your friends or family members if they want to come over and play with your new puppy. Having someone different there to pet and play with your Chihuahua will show them that people are friendly and aggression isn't needed.
Going on car rides can help loosen up your Chihuahua and get them more accustomed to seeing other people. The next time you need to run an errand like picking up your clothes at the dry cleaners or going through a fast food drive-through, take your Chihuahua with you. Even if your Chihuahua doesn't come into direct contact with anyone, they will likely see many other motorists and pedestrians as they look out the window.
Walking Your Chihuahua Outside
Once your Chihuahua is vaccinated with all of the necessary booster shots, you should start taking them for regular walks outside of their usual environment. Taking your Chihuahua for walks in the park or just around the neighborhood is a great way to expose them to new sights and sounds, which will help prevent them from developing territorial aggression.
When a Chihuahua is cooped up in their house or cage all day, they will have a build up of energy, which can turn into aggression if not exercised. Going on walks is a great way for your Chihuahua to burn off that energy and get some exercise.
Teaching your Chihuahua basic obedience is something that should be started early and continued throughout their life. By doing so, your Chihuahua will be more attentive to your commands, eager to please you, and less likely to show signs of aggression. An obedient Chihuahua is a happy Chihuahua!
Obedience starts with teaching your Chihuahua simple commands, such as no, stay, and come. When your Chihuahua begins to learn these commands, you'll probably be surprised at how much easier life is for the both of you. Before you start, though, you're going to need lots of treats, so stock up the next time you're at the pet store.
Teaching your Chihuahua "No" is likely the most important command that can be taught. When you see your Chihuahua doing something they shouldn't, such as getting into things, chewing on something they shouldn't be, barking at others, or going to the bathroom indoors, immediately say to them "No" in a firm tone. This tells them that what they're doing is wrong and that when you say no, they need to stop.
In order to teach your Chihuahua other commands such as sit, stay, or come, you'll need to spend a little bit of time each day training them. When your ready to start, take them to a distraction free environment with no television, music, or other animals and speak the command to them. Give your Chihuahua a moment to see if they understand it, and if they obey your command, give them a treat with lots of petting and praise. Positive reinforcement will go a long ways when it comes to Chihuahua training. If your Chihuahua doesn't follow the command, keep speaking the command and try using your hands to gesture what you want them to do. With enough practice, they will eventually learn to associate the command with the action.
Obedience Training Tips
- It's important to be consistent in the way you speak commands, as Chihuahuas will often associate the tone of your voice with a command, rather than the actual word.
- Your Chihuahua will learn more easily and quickly using one word commands.
- Always reward your Chihuahua with a treat anytime they obey a command.
- Never spank, scold, or yell at your Chihuahua. If your Chihuahua does something bad, speak firmly "No". Being aggressive to your Chihuahua will make them think that it's okay for them to be aggressive. However being loving and gentle to your Chihuahua will make them think they should be the same.
Giving Your Chihuahua Attention and Affection
By nature, Chihuahuas are animals that crave attention and affection from their family. Without it, they are likely to develop signs of anxiety, depression, and aggression. Take some time out of every day to pet and love your Chihuahua.
Recent studies have shown that dogs, Chihuahuas included, are able to pick up on the mood and attitude of their owners. Meaning that if you're in an angry mood, you're Chihuahua can read this and will in turn be angry too. While it may be hard to mask your emotions on some of your bad days, try your best to stay in a positive and be in a happy mood around them.