Chihuahuas are physically tiny but very giant when it comes to their personalities. They are very loyal and friendly, and their small size makes them ideal apartment dogs. But there is another – somewhat surprising – facet of the Chihuahua breed as well: sometimes, they are aggressive, even more than Pitbulls! Though their bite force is not exactly known, Chihuahuas are believed to have a ferocious bite.

Why are Chihuahuas so mean? What on earth can make these cute little doggos angry? If you are worried about the meanness of your Chihuahua, continue reading. Below we have discussed eight possible reasons that might make your Chihuahua mean.

Why Are Chihuahuas So Mean?

1. Chihuahuas Are Territorial Dogs

The first and foremost reason for the Chihuahua aggression lies in their territorial and protective nature. The breed, in fact, has a firm belief in the pecking order and does not refrain from bullying anyone they feel is trying to challenge their authority – be it an animal or a human being.

Chihuahuas, luckily, show some signs before transitioning from friendly to defensive mode, which the people around them must be abreast of to save themselves from any unpleasant experience. These indications are:

2. Chihuahuas Do Not Get Along With Strangers

Though Chihuahuas quickly fall in love with the people, they live around but are reserved around strangers. They are aggressive towards strangers – humans as well as animals.

Chihuahuas actually get scared whenever an unfamiliar face pops up. So they try to repel strangers by showing aggression.

Nevertheless, it does not mean that socialization is impossible for these pooches. Through proper socialization at a young age, Chihuahua’s aggression towards strangers can be contained.

3. Chihuahuas Have Dominant Attitude

Being dominant is a part of the Chihuahua personality. These furry beings are highly courageous and love to be in the commanding position.

This specific personality feature stems from the territorial nature of Chihuahuas. In addition, they are brave enough to show that they will not bow down to anyone else and get their superiority recognized by showing aggression.

Did you know?

Chihuahuas are crossbred with many other dog breeds to create interesting mix breeds. Most popular Chihuahua mixes include Chion, Bo-Chi, ShiChi, ChiPit, etc.

4. Chihuahuas Can Experience Anxiety

Like most dogs, Chihuahuas are social and sensitive. Hence, it is easy for anxiety to hit them negatively as it hits other beings, inducing aggressive tendencies in them.

Chihuahuas can face anxiety in two scenarios:

5. Aggression is Rooted in Past Abuse

Like humans, dogs, including Chihuahuas, can experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PSTD). Chi with PTSD gets scared easily, and therefore, even the slightest of threat can trigger them to turn on their defensive mode and even be aggressive to ward off any potential threat.

Did You Know?

The idea of canine PSTD is very new. The subject rose after veterans started observing unusual behavior in dogs that were exposed to different kinds of violence during combat missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Moreover, about 10% of military dogs suffer from PSTD.

6. There Might Be an Underlying Health Issue

Dogs are, unfortunately, quite good at hiding their health disorders. Our Chihuahuas are also pretty good at hiding their pain. Though it might be a skill for your pet, it would definitely be a nightmare for you.

If your dog has some specific area in his body that hurts due to any disease, you might end up making him aggressive by touching there unknowingly. Some common health problems in Chihuahuas include dysplasia, eye problems, heart diseases, dental problems, and Legg-Perthes disease. It is advised that dog owners know the basic things about dog sickness so that they can tell if their Chi is sick. 

7. Chihuahuas Do Not Like Unfamiliar Places

Chihuahuas are not only reserved around strangers but are also thrown off balance in unfamiliar locations. They are security-centric and feel secure and content in their current place. Due to relocation, they have to adapt to new people, smells, voices, and other animals, which might be overwhelming for your small Chi, who might end up developing behavioral issues and show aggression towards strangers.

8. Menstruating Female Chihuahuas Are Aggressive

Aggression in female dogs when they are on their periods is a common occurrence, and Chihuahuas are no different. A drastic change in hormones can negatively impact the mood of female dogs because it leads to irritability and nervousness besides physical pain.

How to Deal With Mean Chihuahuas?


All dog breeds benefit from training, and, therefore, it is better to start as early as possible to ward off any bad behavior from turning into a habit. Once matured, dog training and socialization become a bit difficult as bad behaviors are hardened into bad habits.

Considering the Chihuahua personality and temperament, it is very essential to establish yourself as a dominant entity in your dog’s mind. If your dog tries to go against you, do not giggle or approve of the bad behavior, rather you should try to ignore bad behavior. Never shout at your dog or punish them; it is counterproductive.

In addition to disciplining your puppy, you should also provide your Chi crate training to counter the problem of aggression due to separation anxiety and relocation.

For socialization, the ideal time to start is between the age of seven and 16 weeks. It is easier for dogs to learn to behave around strangers or in unfamiliar places during puppyhood.

If you have a tough time training your pooch, consider accredited dog training classes. The advanced knowledge and expertise professional dog trainers possess are simply unmatchable.


Exercise and regular workouts can keep the aggression at bay by keeping the dog healthy and fit and keeping boredom at bay. Chihuahuas are small, but they are highly energetic dogs and thus require a lot of daily exercise to stay fit. In case of little to no workout, the pent-up energy would lead to behavioral issues and aggression in Chihuahuas.

Physical activities also keep dogs healthy and thus do not let them fall prey to diseases, which are another source of aggression in Chihuahuas.

In general, Chihuahuas need about half an hour of exercise on a daily basis. Some experts also recommend up to 45 minutes, but it depends on other factors such as diet and age as well.

Spaying or Neutering

Though it is not a complete solution, spaying or neutering can help a lot in limiting aggression in dogs. Most of the annoying or mood-swinging hormones are no longer produced, which keeps a dog calm and easy.

Good Experiences

Give your Chihuahua a lot of love and care whenever possible, especially if he suffers from PTSD. Just detox his mind from bad experiences of the past and fill it with joy and pleasure and make him feel comfortable and relaxed under all circumstances.

One great way of doing so is by providing him with quality dog games that highly intelligent Chihuahuas love to play. It will prevent boredom from kicking in besides providing a joyful experience.

Dogit Interactive Smart Dog Game

A 3-in-one gaming system, it includes hide and seek, sliding puzzles, and spin-a-wheel.  

Did You Know?

Chihuahuas are very smart dogs. Relative to their petite bodies, they have the largest brain in the canine world!

Regular Vet Visits

As discussed earlier, Chihuahuas are great at hiding their diseases and physical pains. Therefore, it is advisable to take your furry friend to a vet regularly to ensure that he is not suffering from any issue that is secretly contributing to his aggressive behavior. In addition, doing so may also prolong the lifespan of your beloved dog.

Final Words: Why Are Chihuahuas So Mean?

Chihuahuas are aggressive primarily because of their nature: they are territorial, protective, and wary of strangers, in addition to having a dominating attitude. Similarly, anxiety, past traumas, or even physical health problems can also cause aggression in Chihuahuas.

However, with obedience training, early socialization, daily exercise, and regular vet visit, you can effectively contain the characteristic Chihuahua aggression.

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