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Why are Chihuahuas so Scared?

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The Surprising Reasons Behind Their Fearful Nature

Do you have a Chihuahua that seems kind of jumpy or nervous all the time? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Chihuahuas, bless them, are just naturally a bit on edge, and there are a lot of reasons why they might act scared.

Why are they so antsy, you ask? Well, there could be a bunch of reasons. First up, they’re tiny. And when you’re that small, the world can seem like a pretty intimidating place. So, their size has a huge role in making them a bit jumpy.

scared chocolate chihuahua

Also, these dogs have a long history of being companion pets. So, they’re wired to pick up on our emotions. If you’re having a rough day, your Chihuahua’s probably going to feel it too, and get a bit more anxious.

It’s pretty important to socialize and train these little guys, especially when they’re young, so they don’t turn into fearful adults. If they aren’t exposed to all sorts of people, animals, and places when they’re pups, they might find unfamiliar situations quite stressful later in life.

Health can play a part too. Dental issues or other chronic health problems can ramp up their nervousness. But the good news is, you can manage these by sorting out health problems quickly and giving them good training and socialization.

Now, about their size… Chihuahuas might be small, but they’re full of attitude. They’ve got the guts to try and boss others around, which means socialization and training are even more important to stop them from getting too aggressive.

sad crying fawn chihuahua

Chihuahuas’ Breed History

Chihuahuas actually come from an old dog breed from the Toltec Empire, known as the Techichi dog. Back in the day, these ancestors of the Chihuahua were bred for a bunch of different reasons – from being pets to being part of religious rituals, and yeah, even as food sometimes.

Nowadays, though, we just breed Chihuahuas to be our best friends. We have a post about their history here.

Origins and Evolution

As stated in the previous paragraph. the Chihuahua is thought to have come from the Techichi, a quiet little dog that the Toltec people in Mexico had around as far back as the 9th century CE.

Then, the Aztecs took a liking to the Techichi and bred them with other small dogs, which eventually gave us the Chihuahua we know and love today.

Breeding for Size, Not Temperament

The story of how Chihuahuas came to be is pretty cool, but there’s a catch with how they’re being bred today. It’s mostly about getting them as small as possible, not so much about their temperament.

Breeders have been breeding Chihuahuas to be super tiny and adorable, but it’s kind of backfiring on their overall health. Breeders sometimes breed Chihuahuas way too small, which can lead to health problems like low blood sugar, breathing difficulties, and tooth problems.

If you’re thinking about getting a Chihuahua, do some homework and find a legit breeder who really cares about their dogs’ health and happiness.

Great Dane and a little chihuahua dog

Chihuahuas’ Perception of Threats

Certain things like loud noises, unfamiliar faces, and other animals can easily spook a Chihuahua. But you can help them overcome these fears with good socialization from when they’re young and by giving them a safe space during overwhelming situations.

Plus, letting them experience new things regularly can make them more comfortable and confident.

Health Issues That May Cause Fear in Chihuahuas

You should also keep an eye on their health, as issues like hypoglycemia and dental problems can make your Chihuahua more fearful. Make sure to feed them small meals regularly to keep their blood sugar levels in check, and take care of their dental health with regular check-ups and good dental hygiene practices.

timid long hair chihuahua

Training and Socialization of Chihuahuas

Training and socializing your Chihuahua can go a long way in reducing their fear and anxiety. Start socializing them early and use positive reinforcement to teach them good behaviors. Be consistent with your commands and rewards, and if your Chihuahua is really fearful, don’t hesitate to get help from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist.

Chihuahuas’ Living Environment

The place where your Chihuahua lives also has a big impact on their behavior. A calm and quiet home, good training, early socialization, and proper medical care can make your Chihuahua feel safe and comfortable.

scared fawn chihuahua in dog bed

Final Thoughts

In the end, it’s crucial to remember that every Chihuahua is different. They can be fearful for many reasons, from lack of socialization and traumatic past experiences to genetic factors and defensive aggression. When it comes to dealing with a scared Chihuahua, remember: patience and understanding are your best friends.

Remember, always be gentle and kind with your Chihuahua when they’re feeling scared.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are Chihuahuas so nervous?

Chihuahuas can be nervous due to a variety of reasons. They are a small breed and may feel vulnerable around larger dogs or unfamiliar people. They may also have had a bad experience in the past that has made them fearful. Additionally, Chihuahuas are known to be highly sensitive to their owner’s emotions, so if you are feeling anxious or stressed, your Chihuahua may pick up on that and become nervous as well.

How do I get my Chihuahua to stop being scared?

The best way to help your Chihuahua overcome their fear is through positive reinforcement and patience. Start by creating a calm and safe environment for your dog. Use treats and praise to reward them for calm behavior and gradually expose them to new experiences and people. It’s important to go at your Chihuahua’s pace and not force them into situations that make them uncomfortable.

Why does my Chihuahua act scared?

There could be several reasons why your Chihuahua is acting scared. As mentioned earlier, they may have had a bad experience in the past or be picking up on your emotions. They may also be experiencing health issues such as pain or hearing loss, which can cause them to act fearful.

Why is my Chihuahua scared of me?

If your Chihuahua is scared of you, it’s important to assess your behavior around them. Are you yelling or using aggressive body language? Chihuahuas are highly sensitive to their owner’s emotions and can become scared if they feel threatened. It’s important to create a calm and positive environment for your dog and use positive reinforcement to build trust.

Why do Chihuahuas shake?

Chihuahuas may shake for a variety of reasons, including fear, anxiety, low blood sugar, excitement, or even just being cold. If your Chihuahua is shaking excessively or for no apparent reason, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

Why are Chihuahuas so aggressive?

Chihuahuas can be aggressive due to a variety of reasons, including fear, anxiety, and territorial behavior. It’s important to address any aggressive behavior early on and work with a professional trainer or behaviorist to help your Chihuahua overcome their aggression. Avoid using punishment or aggressive training methods, as this can exacerbate the problem.

Cathy signature with cartoon chihuahua
blond woman holding white chihuahua

Cathy Bendzunas

Pet Blogger

I have had dogs all my life. I have been a pet groomer, worked in a pet hotel, and a kennel, and have bred and showed dogs.

Jeanne Rasmussen

Friday 25th of August 2023

My short haired fawn colored Chihuahua turns 3 tomorrow. She has been litter box trained since I got her from the breeder when she was three months. We use wood pellets for litter. For the first two years she used her box without fail. I have used the recommended size box but one day she put her front feet in the box with her back feet on the edge and pees on the floor. I tried two different boxes, one smaller and one larger but not as deep….a sweater box. I have finally had to put puppy pads under the back end of the box so she pees on the pad and not the floor. I took her to the vet for her annual checkup several weeks ago because I thought maybe a bladder infection. He gave me a cup full of black charcoal looking pellets and said to put them in her box and use a little dropper to get the urine in the cup. There is no way I can manage that…she is impossible to catch in the act. She also started peeing on the carpet in our bedroom. I just don’t know what to do. HELP. PLEASE. Is it behavior, bladder infection, ?

Cathy Bendzunas

Friday 25th of August 2023

It very well may be a bladder infection. I have no idea how vets think we can catch the pee. They have told me to do that too at check-ups and I have just told them there is no way I can catch them in the act. So I don't know how to help you with that. Maybe don't have anything at all in the litter box so the pee is in the bottom of the box?

John Trudeau

Saturday 29th of July 2023

We have two chihuahuas one is a four year old black male very quite shy the other is a white one year old male very out going and would attack larger dogs if we let him he also barks a lot. We have been trying to get him to stop being aggressive around other dogs. I think at times the white dog tries to protect my shy black dog.

Cathy Bendzunas

Saturday 29th of July 2023

Your little white chi might benefit being in a training class with all sized dogs so he can get used to them. It doesn't always work. I had a Yorkie who flunked out of class because she kept trying to attack a Doberman and the Doberman was terrified of her. It disrupted the class because everyone would laugh. But I have heard of it working for some dogs.