Skip to Content

When your Chihuahua Runs your Relationship

Share this post!

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  Learn More

Chihuahuas have a reputation for being a little bossy. Most Chi parents will tell you their little furry friend believes he or she is the shot caller of their house, and if they are really honest, they actually do call the shots! This results in many Chi parents finding themselves in the position of their Chihuahua running their relationship! If you are in this position, this article will offer you tips to make things work.

young couple with chihuahua

When Do Chihuahuas Run Relationships?

While the dynamic of the Chihuahua being the shot caller usually causes no problems for single people with dog centered lives, this can make waves in a relationship.

Chihuahuas tend to bond strongly to one person and may not readily accept a new person who is in close proximity to their person, especially if they are used to having their person to themselves. Even when a Chi has grown up with a couple or family, they tend to choose one person to “claim” and may not like the other members of the family nearby their chosen person.

As a result, Chihuahuas may show aggression towards their parent’s significant other. This can result in the behavior of their parent, and or their parent’s significant other, revolving around keeping the Chihuahua happy, or it may exclude the Chihuahua from dates or fun activities that they could have participated in.

Where Should You Begin If Your Chihuahua Is Running Your Relationship?

By trying to help your significant other and your Chihuahua get along, you can enjoy stress-free time when you are with both of them. To begin getting them to this point, you must first identify what your Chihuahua is reacting to:

  • Does your Chihuahua show agitation towards your significant other all the time, or only when he or she gets near you? If your Chi reacts to your significant other being near you, the technical term for this is “resource guarding“.
  • Is your significant other doing something that your Chihuahua does not like, such as roughhousing?
  • Has your significant other has been abusive towards you or your Chihuahua?
  • Is your significant other not a dog person? They may not know how to interact with your Chihuahua, or your chi might be picking up on the fact that they are not a dog person.
  • Is your significant other a very different person than the people who are usually around your Chihuahua? For example, if your significant other is a large, burly man, and your Chihuahua is used to being around petite women, he or she may feel intimidated.

How To Help Your Chihuahua Accept Your Significant Other

Once you have narrowed down what your Chihuahua is reacting to, you can work on training to help him or her and your significant other get along.

Here is how to help your Chihuahua accept your significant other in 4 steps:

1. Gather Supplies

  • Time. You will need about 15 to 20 minutes of uninterrupted time to dedicate per training session.
  • Patience. You need to be in a good, patient mindset for training sessions to be successful.
  • High value treats. To make training as effective as possible, you need high-value treats cut into tiny pieces, such as baked chicken, cooked hot dogs, Vienna sausages, odiferous training treats, etc.
  • A spray bottle is beneficial to have ready at all times, not just training sessions, if your Chihuahua is behaving aggressively.

2. Train Strategically

When what your Chihuahua is reacting to presents itself, you will start the training session. For example, if your significant other trying to sit beside you on your couch to watch a movie gets a reaction, you will need to be prepared to work with them then.

3. Train Generally

A good way to help your Chihuahua learn to get along with your significant other is to have them associate that person with their favorite things and providing care for them. You can accomplish this by:

  • Having your significant other prepare and serve your Chihuahua’s meals.
  • Having your significant other give your Chihuahua his or her favorite toy.
  • Having your significant other take your Chihuahua outside to potty.
  • Having your significant other take your Chihuahua on a car ride to get a special treat.
  • Playing games with your Chihuahua and significant other such as the shell game or these indoor games to play with your dog.

4. Maintain Boundaries, Address Aggression

If your Chihuahua is showing aggression, setting and maintaining boundaries is crucial to altering that behavior. If your Chihuahua is sitting on your lap and then growls and snaps when your significant other sits beside you, the dog should not be allowed in your lap for at least 15 minutes thereafter before being given a chance to sit in your lap nicely.

A spray bottle filled with plain, fresh water, is an effective way to discipline aggression and prevent bites. If your Chihuahua growls, snaps or bites, they get squirted once with the bottle. Most Chihuahuas will jump from your lap when squirted, reducing the likelihood of a bite since you would not have to move him or her with your hands.

It usually only takes a few times for your Chihuahua to learn that they will get squirted when they are mean; you will only have to hold up the bottle, not actually squirt them, over time.

Do You Need A Dog Trainer?

cute black and white chihuahua in pink shirt touching paw to a person's hand

There is no wrong answer; this is a personal decision based upon your unique circumstances. You may choose to involve a trainer from the start if you are unsure of where to begin. Or, you might need the help of a professional trainer if you have made good efforts to work on training and you are seeing no progress at all. If you are uncertain if you need the help of a trainer, you probably could benefit from their involvement.

When Is It Time To Make A Hard Decision

If your significant other is abusing your Chihuahua, the decision is simple; the relationship must end. If you are fearful for your safety and your Chihuahua’s safety, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for assistance.

If your Chihuahua and your significant other are just not getting along, even with the help of a professional dog trainer, there may come a point when he or she makes the ultimatum, “It’s me or the dog!” which puts you in a very difficult position.

All relationships take work. Someone who truly cares for you will make every effort to make things work with your Chihuahua and will not ask you to choose between them and your precious pup. They will accept that your Chi is part of the package and they will do their best to make things work.

If your significant other demands that you give up your Chihuahua for the relationship, especially for a relationship that is not serious, this is a major red flag. They should understand how important your Chi is to you and that you do not give up on family, you love them unconditionally.

Further, if your significant other did not make a good effort to get along with your Chihuahua, it is completely unfair for them to expect you to give up your Chihuahua. Your dog is a valued member of your family and they will likely be with you after the relationship ends.

Weigh all the factors involved carefully before making your decision.

Some people ultimately choose to re-home their Chihuahua when good faith efforts have been made and their Chi continues to be aggressive toward their significant other, who they have chosen to marry or make a permanent commitment to.

If your Chihuahua is not happy and you can find him or her a better situation, you should not feel guilty for making the best choices you can for your Chi and yourself.

If you decide that you will be rehoming your Chihuahua, be sure that you carefully choose his or her next home so that can betheir forever home and they are not put in such a position again. Never locate a home via Craigslist or a comparable website as “free to good home” or via a shelter.


With training and patience, you can help your Chihuahua and significant other get to a point of enjoying each other’s company. If your efforts are not working, you should consider hiring a professional dog trainer.

Did your Chi ruin your relationship? Share your experience in the comments below.



Thursday 3rd of March 2022

Very informative I learned a lot. But this article didn’t really hit my problem. My furry little friend is 11 years old and just bit me for the first time. She bites if you pet her under the covers and when she is a sleep or just woke up if you touch her she will bite. Totally new behavior . My boyfriend now husband picks on her and she picks on him(that’s funny)but he used to tweak her on the butt when she would go under the covers every time now I would be like, stop that is getting old. Which probably is the whole reason she is, like she is. But now how to correct this behavior? B


Friday 4th of March 2022

At 11, she may be getting a touch of dementia or losing her hearing and that could make her scared when she suddenly wakes up. I'd let your vet know because if it is dementia, there are medications that can help.