This is a subject that I am very passionate about! Chihuahua aggression! How many YouTube videos have you seen that are categorized as “cute” or “funny” that show a human teasing a Chihuahua by trying to take away a toy or a treat until they growl and snarl and even snap? Think Chihuahua aggression is funny? Cute?
Think about it, would you do the same with a Pit Bull or a German Shepherd, or a Doberman? Would you think it was funny if you saw someone else doing it to one of these breeds on YouTube?
Even some well-intentioned (I suppose) Chihuahua websites and Chihuahua Facebook pages do it. Look at how many likes and shares they get.
Although I know that most of these people just don’t understand that this is more than just upsetting to a dog — yes, a Chihuahua is a dog, sorry to disappoint you. They can be your baby, but they are still a dog!
What Growling and Snarling, Chihuahua Aggression Really Mean
If your dog could talk and you asked him why he was growling, what do you think he would say? “I’m mad!”, maybe “I’m irritated with you!”?
Let’s talk about what Chihuahua aggression and growling means in dog speak. Growling is a dog’s way of communicating his wants, needs, and feelings. Long before your dog growls, he shows several more subtle signs that he is not comfortable. He resorts to growling when the other more subtle ways don’t work. These subtle signs to look for are:
- Evasion of eye contact
- Lowered body posture
- pulling his ears back
- Rolling on his back
If none of these more subtle behaviors work he will escalate to growling and/or snarling — Chihuahua aggression.
What your dog is really trying to tell you and if he could talk he might say; “I don’t want to share my toy!” or “I’m feeling uncomfortable, please go away!”, or even, “That hurts, please stop!”.
Why Do Dogs Get Aggressive?
Have you ever thought about this; dogs, even tiny vulnerable ones, are expected to just deal with any situation they are put in, even if it is annoying, terrifying, or intimidating without ever expressing annoyance, fear, apprehension, or discomfort using the only means they know how; body language.
We love our dogs! We give them delicious food, delightful toys, and chews, comfortable furniture — and tell them they are not to covet these things or protect them if someone tries to take them away.
If they do try to communicate any of these feelings with normal canine instincts and body language he is labeled “aggressive” and often punished.
Of course, we can’t know for sure exactly what our dogs are trying to tell us, but we can try to understand their body language better. If we do, then we can respond appropriately and your dog won’t feel he has to escalate from the more subtle ways of expressing his feelings to the more aggressive behaviors.
So, next time you see an “aggressive” Chihuahua, imagine if you asked him why he just might say, “my owner made me do it!”
Just Say No!
Next time you see a video of a poor little Chihuahua being teased by taking a treat or a toy away and just say “no”! and don’t watch it!
If you see someone in person doing it, try to tactfully, and kindly explain why they shouldn’t. But, above all, always be kind!
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