They may be tiny, but Chihuahuas have outsized personalities and so much sass. They’re also incredibly loyal, forming intense bonds with their humans and often getting jealous of other people and dogs. These energetic pups are sometimes thought to be clingy and demanding, but that’s how Chihuahuas show affection.
Confused about your Chihuahua’s behavior? Read on for more about the Chihuahua’s temperament, how it shows affection, and what you can do to form a closer bond with your puppy.
Are Chihuahuas affectionate?
Like Maltese, Bichon Frise, Havanese, and other small dogs, Chihuahuas are active, fun-loving, alert, and confident. Even if they’re tiny, they have big-dog attitudes and sometimes act in an aggressive manner towards people or animals they think are threats to their owners.
They’re also very sweet and charming. They crave attention and are not happy if you don’t reciprocate their affection. If you treat your Chihuahua with love and kindness, it will be very loving towards you and will be happy following you around all day like a shadow.
According to the American Kennel Club, a Chihuahua is perfectly happy staying close to its owner all day. It will gladly curl up on your lap as you watch TV. It will happily sit in a tote bag as you carry it around town.
How do Chihuahuas show affection?
It is in the Chihuahuas’ nature to give and crave for affection. But a Chihuahua that has been raised with patience, care, and gentleness will grow up to be even more loving and adoring.
Chihuahuas love showing how much they love you. They’ll poke their nose into your leg or lick your hand to try to get your attention. They’ll bark, wag their tails, and roll around to get you to play with them.
Here are other ways Chihuahuas show their affection:
When they see you, these pint-sized pups will greet you as though you haven’t seen each other in ages! Some pet owners see this as an annoying habit. But for a Chihuahua, it’s just an expression of his enthusiasm and excitement at seeing you.
Some experts say that when a dog gets super bouncy around you, it may just be trying to get closer to your face. It wants to make eye contact or lick your face affectionately.
- Sitting beside you
When you’re sitting in bed or on the couch and your pet Chihuahua leans against you, he’s showing you that he’s fond of you, trusts you, and feels comfortable with you.
- Getting excited when you come home
If your dog greets you excitedly, licks your face, and jumps up and down when you get home from work, the two of you are truly bonded.
- Seeking physical affection
Chihuahuas love being stroked, carried, cuddled, and hugged. Sometimes, your Chihuahua will rest his body against yours, nuzzle your leg, or lick your hand to say that it wants to be petted. This doesn’t mean that you should give your pet a tight squeeze; Chihuahuas can be delicate, so be gentle.
- Making eye contact
A dog that feels threatened or uncomfortable around you will not make prolonged eye contact with you. If your Chihuahua can stare deeply into your eyes, he probably feels safe with you and/or wants you to do something for him—give him food, play with him, or just give him a loving pat on the head.
Making eye contact isn’t just useful when you’re training your Chihuahua. It’s also a way to strengthen your bond.
Tips for a happier Chihuahua
As a responsible and loving pet owner, you’ll want to care for your Chihuahua properly so that it stays happy and your relationship stays strong.
Here are some ways you can maintain a healthy bond with your Chihuahua:
- Speak in a friendly manner
When you’re interacting with your pup, make sure you speak calmly and warmly. Even when your pet misbehaves, don’t yell or speak to it in a harsh tone or it will grow to fear you.
- Feed him yourself
One of the fastest ways to create a bond with your Chihuahua is to feed it regularly and well. Make sure you’re the one feeding your pup to ensure that he associates food (a positive experience) with you. Giving him treats also helps strengthen your bond.
- Groom him yourself
In the same vein, try to do most of your pet’s grooming yourself instead of hiring someone else. When your pup associates grooming with positive feelings, his affection towards you will increase.
- Understand that Chihuahuas can be territorial
Chihuahuas can be aggressive towards people and animals that are unfamiliar to them. If you’ve just brought a Chihuahua pup home, limit his interactions with your family members, friends, and pets. Ease him into interactions by introducing one person or one pet at a time.
Now that you know how Chihuahuas show affection, you’ll be better able to return the attention instead of assuming that your puppy is misbehaving or being hyperactive.