Chihuahuas are famous for being attached to their people. As this is a universal trait across various dogs of the breed, it is part of the petite package that is the tiny but mighty Chihuahua.
Why are these little dogs this way? Let’s discuss:
The Temperament Of The Chihuahua
Dogs are all individuals as humans are, however, due to their predisposition to bond strongly to a favorite human, the average Chihuahua loves the company of their people. Individual personal preferences or life experiences, such as abuse, may cause a Chihuahua to prefer their personal space.
Sometimes known as “purse dogs” or “velcro dogs”, they always want to be with their people. As a breed they are very affectionate and are all about snuggling. They tend to bond most strongly to one person rather than their whole family or social circle, though they often want attention from whoever offers it.
The temperament of the Chihuahua results from their breeding. Every dog breed was bred for a specific purpose. Chihuahuas were bred to be companions, and the pioneers of the breed selected the most affectionate dogs to keep the role of companion effectively filled by the breed.
Ancient peoples may have used Chihuahuas as hot compresses for injuries as a result of their clingy disposition. This breed was incredibly effective at this task because they are happy to snuggle for hours in the lap of their favorite people, who will tell you they can be little furnaces!
What Makes Chihuahuas Extra Velcro Dogs?
Although the breed is predisposed to be a velcro dog based upon their role as a companion breed, some life changes may cause your Chihuahua to become a whole new level of clingy:
- A change in schedule.
- A new member joining the family, human or animal.
- Less time together.
- A stressful event such as a veterinary examination or nail trim.
- Your Chi sustained an injury or os feeling sick and is seeking comfort.
If you have any big life changes coming up, prepare your Chihuahua for the transition by maintaining their schedule as much as possible, creating opportunities to spend quality time together, and working on training to offer mental stimulation and bonding to ease their stress.
Be sure to schedule regular preventive care veterinary appointments to ensure your Chi stays in good health, and make sure that any injury sustained is examined promptly to give your Chi the best quality of life that you can.
When Your Chihuahua Loves You Too Much: Resource Guarding
If your Chihuahua is sitting in your lap or playing with a favorite toy or enjoying a treasured treat, what does he or she do when other people or animals approach you?
If his or her response is to growl or snap, your Chi deems their item of choice a resource worthy of guarding. While that seems like a compliment when that item is you, it actually has the potential to become a liability.
Resource guarding is when a dog deems something so valuable that they choose to guard it from being taken from them. Dogs may resource guard a variety items such as; favorite toys, treasured treats, or a preferred person. Dogs usually guard their valued toy, treat or person from both people and other animals.
Depending upon how far your Chi will go to protect their resource of choice, resource guarding poses a safety and liability issue. When a dog will bite to guard their resource, someone may become injured.
When your dog bites someone, no matter their size, not only may they be emotionally injured which can take years to recover from, but their physical injury may give them grounds to file a lawsuit. Further, some counties have dog bite laws that may result in your dog being held in the animal shelter if they bite another person or animal.
What To Do If Your Chihuahua Resource Guards You
If your Chi is resource-guarding you, address the behavior immediately to prevent it from getting worse. Search for a dog trainer who provides personal in-home sessions to address the behavior in the environment that it is occurring in.
While a personal dog trainer may sound expensive, most of them have chosen this job because of their love for dogs. Extreme resource guarding can cause a dog to be re-homed especially when there are children in the home, so most trainers want to work with you to help you be able to keep your dog.
If you can only afford one private session a month, the trainer can give you homework exercises to do in-between sessions to keep making progress without frequent sessions.
Chihuahuas are attached to their people by nature, although some Chihuahuas may prefer their space based on their individual personal preferences or life experiences such as abuse, or a medical condition that makes being handled painful.
If your Chi does not allow people or animals to approach you by growling, snapping, or biting at them, this is called resource guarding and it should be handled immediately with training to ensure the safety and well-being of yourself, your friends, and your family.