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Dealing With Food Aggression In Chihuahua Dogs

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food aggression in Chihuahuas

Chihuahuas might be small, but for what they lack in size and leg length, they make up for in spirit. This spirit can make them hard to train, but it’s because they have a lot of spirit and stubbornness bred in. Some Chihuahuas can get aggressive at times- especially in regards to food aggression, or the “fight or flight” instinct.

Most of the time, your Chihuahua will be your best friend. But when it comes to food aggression, Chihuahua dogs struggle. They want to make sure that they’re getting their fair share, and that they’re keeping everything to themselves. After you understand these factors, you can just treat them like a regular dog.

5 Ways to Stop Dog Food Aggression:

Set Boundaries for Your Chihuahua

Dogs are creatures of habit and that will work in your favor. Try feeding your chihuahua at specific times of the day to avoid having food around all the time. Food aggression can sometimes be nipped in the bud with a little structure.

Avoid Rewarding Negative Behaviorisms

If your dog does something wrong, ignore it. Chihuahuas are harder because they’re so small. If you’re having an issue, put them in their crate, or in a separate room. Avoid scolding or hitting your dog, because all it does is make your pet more sensitive and scared.

Give Your Chihuahua a Reward for Doing the Right Thing

Food Aggression dogs

The most powerful training device you have at your disposal comes in an industrially sealed and packaged bag- called treats. Don’t be overly generous; just a tiny tidbit of a treat will do. Try interrupting your Chihuahua dog’s food aggression with a command such as “Stop” or “Settle”. If they are friendly and submissive, give them a treat for doing the right thing, thus reinforcing it in your animal’s mind.

If your Chihuahua isn’t at the point where he will submit, this will help him get to that point faster:

  • While your dog is eating, take a treat you know she likes, bend down slightly and hold the treat a few inches from her face.
  • When she takes the treat, turn around and walk away.
  • Repeat this several times throughout her meal and do this at every meal for several days and see if this lessens the aggression.

Maintain Normal Obedience to Keep your Chihuahua in Line

Just because your Chi is small doesn’t mean he/she doesn’t need to behave. Giving your dog commands is a sure way to ensure that you can get him or her to behave when you’re feeding them. Issuing commands helps them remember what’s important- you (the Alpha)- so that you can do what you need to do without being overwhelmed by their excitement.

Try telling your Chihuahua to sit, stay, and lay down as soon as possible, giving them treats to reinforce doing the right thing. Avoid scolding your chihuahua or being overly critical. That can make it worse.

Try Introducing your Chihuahua to More Dogs

Sometimes the reason that your dog is so protective of its food is because it’s never around other dogs. Take your dog to places where it can smell other dogs and people, and give your pet rewards for being sociable. Remember that a calm and friendly Chihuahua always gets rewarded for its actions.

Don’t assume that you’ll always have to deal with food aggression with your chihuahua. It takes a little bit of focus and determination to put your puppy’s problem to rest. No matter how old your dog is, there’s no reason that you can’t teach it to behave better.

Do you deal with food aggression with your Chi? Have you found any good ways to deal with it? Please share your experiences with us in the comments!

Cathy signature Chi


Tuesday 13th of February 2024

My Chihuahua gets bad food aggression with her food and our food. She will go after our 2 other big dogs. Giving her her treats in another room has been very helpful. She's crazy, but we love her more than anything.

Cathy Bendzunas

Tuesday 13th of February 2024

Yeah some dogs are like that though they can be sweet every other way.


Friday 9th of February 2024

My puppy was fine until he went to my older dogs bowl where he growled to warn the puppy. My older dog has no food aggression. Since he is fed by myself or younger daughter no one else in the room just one person and pup. We have been making him sit and wait whilst we prepare food, place bowl and say wait we can stand as he comes he eats super fast and is done. His aggression didn't change, I can feed him by hand but he still a guzzler. Tried slow feeder to jo avail there is No issues with hand feeding just bowl but now he is growling at treats. And some toys he gets put in his pen for time out when hes too aggressive no shouting just picked up whilst he bites you and popped in any help welcome as we have 7.30/8am feed 2pm feed and 7.30/8pm feed he is toilet trained not to pee in bed and uses pad by the door doesn't wee anywhere else. we working to every wee outside he still occasionally poops inside again no acknowledgement just grab a bag and clean. I am speaking to the vet next week and probably get a specialist but any help is welcome

Cathy Bendzunas

Friday 9th of February 2024

Let me know what the vet tells you Mercedes. The next time he growls at you, try picking him up and holding him high in the air for about 10 seconds and then just set him down. Or turn him over onto his back and gently hold him down until he quiets down. I learned these tricks from a dog trainer and it worked with one of our big dogs when he was a puppy. It puts them in a position of submission and helps them realize you are the top dog.


Saturday 11th of March 2023

My rescue Chi behaves as if the food itself is going to attack her. I feed twice a day and she stands by the food, snarling and growling. If I stand next to her and touch the bowl or give encouragement, she takes bites. I’ve tried different locations and different bowls. Any advice?


Friday 9th of February 2024

@Debra, Pooch & Mutt – Calm & Relaxed, Complete Dry Dog Food to help with anxious dogs. My friend says it helps. Also hand feeding can help.


Friday 9th of February 2024

@Cathy Pooch & Mutt - Calm & Relaxed, Complete Dry Dog Food to help with anxious dogs. My friend says it helps. Also hand feeding can help.


Saturday 11th of March 2023

It sounds like one of those weird little quirks that some chis have. I don't know of anything you can do to change the behavior other than what you are already doing by touching the bowl and encouraging her.


Saturday 16th of July 2022

Can we do a specialty article about blindness in our chis and activities we can do to keep our babies stimulated?


Saturday 16th of July 2022

I have done a post about vision loss here: and it does include some activities, I think it's a great idea to come up with another post with more activities. Let me do some research and see if I can come up with enough for another post.

Jerri Bostick

Friday 16th of July 2021

Any suggestions on 8 week old pups, we have two, to keep them from biting eat other, drawing blood at times? They play way too rough. They are brothersπŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•β€οΈ