Why are Chihuahuas so Protective of their Owners

Chihuahua’s are becoming an extremely popular breed to adopt. They are adorable, fun-loving, and sassy little pooches. If you’re thinking of getting yourself one, it would be wise to know as much as you can about them before you make a decision. Chihuahuas sometimes get a bad rap for being “ankle biters.” They’re sometimes called “Mexican pit bulls” because they can act fiercely when encountering unfamiliar people and other animals. One question you may be wondering….Why are Chihuahuas so protective of their owners? Let’s take a look through this breed’s temperament, how you can train your Chihuahua to be calmer and behave. It will help you decide if a Chihuahua is a right fit for you and your household.

Chihuahua Personality

Chihuahuas are friendly and very devoted dogs. They can melt your heart with their adorable, expressive eyes, silly antics, and attentiveness.

Chis’ love to spend time with their owners and they tend to fixate on a particular person. This can appear as a very clingy behavior. They can become emotionally attached to one person in the home and then ignore the rest of the family. They may even try to “protect” their favorite person from their other family members!

Chihuahuas love their family so immensely that there are multiple stories about how they have saved their owners’ lives! Many Chis have even sacrificed their own lives as a result. Some have fought venomous snakes, others have woken their sleeping family to protect them from a fire, and even detected chemical changes in their owner’s body and saved them from seizures! These little pooches have huge lion hearts and even more bravery than their big dog relatives.

Chihuahua Personality

Chihuahuas may be tiny but they have such bold personalities and they often have no problem dominating bigger dogs within their household. These dogs prefer the company of their fellow Chihuahuas over other breeds. In households where there are multiple Chihuahuas, these mini pooches tend to travel and play as a pack.

Most Chihuahuas are highly intelligent, curious, and very observant. These qualities make them super fun to train. Don’t be fooled though, they also have a very independent streak, which can sometimes make training them a challenge.

Signs Your Chihuahua Is Protective of You

● Your Chihuahua yaps and growls at strangers

● Your Chi snarls and shows his teeth to strangers

●     Your Chi acts aggressively around strangers or family members

Yapping, Growling, and Snarling

In a bid to protect their loved ones, Chihuahuas can become happy. If they sense a potential danger to their owners, they will bark until they feel they have scared away the threat. These dogs are fearless when they’re in protection mode. They will run towards people and animals they think are intruders and growl or bark. As loving as this action is on the part of your Chi, it can disturb your neighbour’s sleep and be very disruptive to all those within earshot! Fortunately, you as the alpha in your Chihuahua’s pack can train him to stop barking or yapping on command. More on that below.

Dominant Behaviour

Chihuahuas, like most dogs, are pack animals and they are used to establishing who is boss in the pack. If you, as the owner, do not make it clear from an early stage in your Chihuahua’s life that you are the Alpha in his pack, it will cause a lot of confusion in his little doggy brain. Your Chi may become prone to acting like he is the master and protector of the household. It is best to nip this behaviour while your pooch is a wee pup, to avoid this scenario from happening. Once your Chihuahua has developed a domineering behaviour, it can become a challenge to train this trait out of him.

How to train your Chihuahua to be Calmer

Chihuahuas are protectors by nature. Sometimes, this amazing love can become a problem for owners if it creates a nervous and aggressive pooch. It is your responsibility to help make your Chi calmer and easier to deal with. Here are some tips to help.

How to train your Chihuahua to be Calmer

Teach your Chihuahua to love the gang!

Socialization plays a huge role in preventing aggressive behavior in all dogs. Teach your Chi at the early stages of her little puppy life to be comfortable with crowds. Expose her to humans from within your household as well as outside (like your friends and relatives that will likely visit your home) Introduce other dogs to your Chi whenever you have a chance and you know that it would be safe to do so. You don’t want a larger dog to be the aggressor and scare or harm your puppy. This will help create a comfort level for your Chihuahua with other people and dogs and help to avoid nervousness in the future.

Who’s the Real Boss?

This may be one of the most important factors in creating a calmer pooch. If your dog doesn’t recognize you as its master, it will be difficult to get him to obey your commands. From the day you bring him home, teach your Chihuahua that you are the pack leader or the Alpha dog. Once he understands this rule, your little pup will have a set of boundaries that make sense in his doggy brain. He will likely always look to you for guidance instead of acting like the master all the time.

Rules your Chihuahua Should Live By

Teaching your Chihuahua basic commands is imperative for them to have a thriving relationship with everyone in your household. Your pup should learn to bark and hush on command. Teach him to sit, come, and stay to prevent unnecessary aggression towards anyone. By training him early you will further reinforce the idea that you are the alpha dog in the pack. Each of these tips helps your Chi to calm down significantly as they are able to categorize how they should behave in different situations.

High Praise for Good Behavior

Chihuahuas are highly intelligent and they respond best to positive rewards-based training. Do not scold or punish your Chi because they are very sensitive to your demeanor. They always aim to please and being berated by you will only create a fearful, nervous and aggressive Chihuahua that will become very difficult to train.

Don’t Carry this Cutie all the Time

Chihuahuas are considered “toy” or “purse” dogs and their small, adorable stature makes it hard to not want to hold them all the time. But constantly lifting and holding your dog off the ground deprives your Chihuahua of the chance to interact with other animals and people. This will lead to your pup becoming anti-social, fearful of strangers, and possibly make them aggressive. Resist the urge to pick up your pooch and let them learn to play and connect with others regularly.

Rules your Chihuahua Should Live By

Don’t think it is all Cute!

When your cute little Chihuahua is a youngun’ and you all think it is adorable that he is yapping at little Timmy and not letting him get close to Mom or Dad. You are the problem! In your Chihuahua’s eyes, you are reinforcing this negative behavior with praise and adoration. So next time someone comes by for a visit, your Chi will behave exactly the same way and expect you all to praise him with cuteness overload. Instead, you may scold him, and guess what? Now you have a very confused little Chi pup that is getting mixed messages about how he should be behaving. Consistency with behavioral training is key to molding your dog into the kind of pooch you can be proud of.

Your Chihuahua is always on Guard for Thee!

Your little feisty pooch may have been a friend you adopted in your mind, but in his little doggy brain, he has a job to do! To protect you from all the “dangers” in life!

Chihuahuas don’t know how small they are and compensate with a big attitude. They have no fear and are great at ‘voicing’ their concerns. This breed is always on guard. Any and all possible dangers won’t get past this little soldier’s huge eyes, unnoticed.

Your job as a Chihuahua owner is to help your pup understand that he is in a safe and loving environment and he doesn’t have to “work” nearly as often as he may think.


One of the things that you may not have thought about with your spritely, animated Chihuahua is that their inherited nature makes them the perfect miniature guard dog for your home! Your Chi is extremely loyal, to a fault and that part of her personality may be exactly what your family needs! She will protect not only you, but your whole home and she will do it in her perfect little Chihuahua way. If an intruder even thinks about heading in your direction these little sassy pants are going to make sure that everyone and their sister knows about it! When you take the time to lovingly offer your Chihuahua other options and ways to live his life peacefully you will find that he can be the perfect addition to your life and the life of your family.