Why Are Chihuahuas So Mean? (7 Clear Facts)

Although Chihuahuas are cute little dogs, they also tend to be somewhat mean. And this often gets people wondering why the Chihuahuas are so mean. This article provides a comprehensive answer to that question.

Why are Chihuahuas so mean? That is mainly because they have a genetic predisposition to some level of protectiveness and aggression. Poor breeding, as well as lack of socialization can also add towards making Chihuahuas even meaner.

People who are encountering Chihuahuas for the first time normally expect them to be nice, calm little dogs.

Typically though, it doesn’t take long for such people to realize that the Chihuahuas aren’t always nice or calm. Sooner than later, the angry, aggressive side of Chihuahuas tends to show up.

Why are chihuahuas so mean
Why Are Chihuahuas So Mean?

And that gets people wondering, what’s wrong with Chihuahuas? Why are Chihuahuas so angry? Or why are Chihuahuas so aggressive?

It is especially the Chihuahua aggression that tends to come as a surprise to many people. It doesn’t help that the aggression seems to be based on very deep-seated anger.

That is why the question on why are Chihuahuas always angry is a frequently asked one.

Other common questions revolving around these aspects of Chihuahua personality include, why do Chihuahuas bite, when do Chihuahuas stop biting and generally what is the basis for the perceived Chihuahua behavior problems?

It is worth noting that the degree of meanness in question here is often quite high. Sometimes, you even find a Chihuahua biting owner for one reason or another.

Ultimately though, most people are not willing to severe relationships with Chihuahuas due to the perceived meanness.

So focus shifts to things like how to tame an aggressive Chihuahua, how to train Chihuahua not to bite and so on.


Are Chihuahuas Really Mean?

Being arguably the smallest dogs, few people would associate Chihuahuas with meanness.

Thus when people hear Chihuahuas being associated with meanness, they tend to disbelieve. And that is what leads to questions like this one: are Chihuahuas mean, or is it just a stereotype?

The truth of the matter is that, compared to many other dog breeds, Chihuahuas can indeed be somewhat mean. Not all, but most.

Anyone who has encountered an aggressive Chiwawa or worse still a vicious Chihuahua knows that it can indeed be quite noticeably mean.

There are numerous why are Chihuahuas so mean Reddit threads. This only goes to show that many people do indeed perceive the Chihuahuas as mean.

In fact, the number of people posing questions like why are Chihuahuas clingy is relatively small.

It is relatively small in comparison to the number of people posing questions like why are Chihuahuas mean and why is my Chihuahua so mean. You also find many people wondering, why are Chihuahuas so aggressive and confrontational.

All this just goes to show that, indeed, Chihuahuas can be mean. It is not just a stereotype. It is an attribute they really possess.

Sometimes, the meanness comes across as anger. So you find people wondering, why are Chihuahuas so angry all the time?

All in all though, anyone who has encountered a mean Chihuahua will tell you that the meanness is real. It is not just some sort of stereotype.

The deeper question to ask ourselves then is on why are Chihuahuas so mean. But before doing so, we need to know just how mean they are.


Just How Mean Are Chihuahuas?

The level of meanness in Chihuahuas varies from one individual dog to another. On average though, it does seem to be higher than in most other dog breeds.

Quite often, the meanness is towards other dogs: with the Chihuahua growling and snapping at them for instance.

That may be observable even in a Chihuahua puppy: leading the owner to complain ‘my Chihuahua puppy is aggressive towards other much bigger dogs’!

In other cases, the meanness takes the form of Chihuahua aggression towards owner. So you find the Chihuahua being aggressive (in a real bad way) towards the owner.

The whole thing can also be a scenario in which we find a Chihuahua aggressive to strangers. Some may misperceive it as a case of a Chihuahua protective of owner. Yet it is in fact a form of meanness.

As mentioned earlier, the meanness of a Chihuahua can also look like anger. And this often gets people around it wondering, why is Chihuahua so angry? But it turns out to be just meanness.

So high can the degree of meanness in Chihuahuas be that sometimes you find people asking, are Chihuahuas the most aggressive dogs? Or why are some Chihuahuas so mean?

The meanness can even get to an extent at which people think that the dogs are crazy. Indeed, in Chihuahua lover/owner forums, it is not uncommon to hear people asking why do Chihuahuas go crazy and become very mean?

Thus the degree of meanness in Chihuahuas can be very high. This is especially the case in Chihuahuas that are poorly bred and not well socialized.

The combination of natural tendency to aggression with poor breeding and lack of socialization can be very toxic. Thus some Chihuahuas can be extremely mean.


How Does Chihuahuas Mean Nature Show?

There are four key ways in which Chihuahuas’ mean nature shows.

The first and most concerning way in which Chihuahuas’ mean nature shows is that of biting.

Some Chihuahuas develop a very nasty tendency to bite. It can get to a point at which you start wondering, why does Chihuahua bite everyone and everything it encounters?

The second way in which Chihuahuas’ mean nature manifests is through barking: a rather furious, angry and agitated form of barking.

The third way in which Chihuahuas’ mean nature shows is through baring teeth. This can be very scary, especially for kids.

The fourth way in which Chihuahuas mean nature shows is that of growling. This too can be quite scary…

It is on account of these behaviors that you often find people asking, why are Chihuahuas so mean dogs? Or indeed, why are Chihuahuas so damn mean?

Other people may mistake the whole thing for weirdness. And that then leaves them wondering, why are Chihuahuas so weird?

Sometimes, these behaviors may start showing up in a Chihuahua that previously didn’t have them (at least not greatly). That then leaves you wondering, why is my Chihuahua getting mean?

If you are the recipient of the mean behaviors, you may find yourself at a loss, trying to establish, why has my Chihuahua suddenly turned on me?

Ultimately though, it is through such Chihuahua aggressive behavior that meanness is detected. If you hear a person saying that ‘my Chihuahua is mean‘, it is likely to be on account of behaviors like these.

So you find that mean Chihuahua dogs bite, bark too much, bare teeth or growly in an intimidating manner. And that is what leaves the owner wondering, why is my Chihuahua being aggressive and mean?


Why Are Chihuahuas Mean?

So far, we have established that Chihuahuas can be exceptionally mean: their small size notwithstanding. This leads to a question on why Chihuahuas are mean.

Indeed, why are Chihuahuas so mean?

As it turns out, one reason as to why Chihuahuas are mean is because they have some genetic predisposition towards protectiveness and aggression.

Another reason as to why Chihuahuas are mean is lack of socialization. When you find exceptionally mean Chihuahuas, investigation tends to reveal that they lacked proper socialization.

So such lack of proper socialization can be another cause for exceptional Chihuahua dog aggression.

If you read any tutorial or watch any video on Chihuahua behavior explained, you will see how lack of proper socialization can be a big issue.

Yet another reason as to why Chihuahuas are mean is poor breeding. So you find that poor breeding has, over time, given rise to Chihuahuas that have these undesirable mean behaviors.

Thus it is genetic predisposition, lack of socialization and poor breeding that are the main reasons for Chihuahuas being mean. Let’s look at each of them now at some greater depth.

Why are chihuahuas so mean
Why Are Chihuahuas So Mean Towards Owners?


Genetic Predisposition As A Reason For Chihuahuas Being Mean

Some dog breeds are naturally (genetically) inclined to be aggressive and mean.

So we need to start by asking ourselves, is Chihuahua aggressive – in terms of its genetic heritage? And the answer turns out to be ‘yes’.

Chihuahua is one of those breeds that are exceptionally aggressive.

Perhaps this is an evolutionary adaptation, given the Chihuahua’s small body size and fragility. Some people may go as far as comparing the whole thing to what we refer to as the Napoleonic complex, but that would probably be a stretch…

What is not in doubt is the fact that, by nature (genetically) Chihuahuas are inclined to be aggressive.

In practical terms, the Chihuahuas are inclined to be protective and territorial. That is what, in terms of human perception, comes across as being ‘mean’.

If you research on why are Chihuahuas protective, you will find that it is due to their genetic heritage.

Similarly if you seek information on why do Chihuahua puppies bite a lot, you will see that it is probably because they have a genetic inclination to do so.

Clearly then, why Chihuahua are aggressive is partly because aggression is hard-coded into their genes.

There is no other explanation as to why Chihuahuas are so aggressive across the board. If you reflect on why are Chihuahua so aggressive across the board, you see that there has to be a genetic angle to it.


Lack Of Socialization As A Reason For Chihuahuas Being Mean

Due to its rather small size, people often lose sight of the fact that the Chihuahua is a dog. So they don’t socialize it the way they would have socialized a bigger dog.

The end result is that in which we find the Chihuahua being unable to cope with strangers or other dogs.

If you research on why are Chihuahuas so nice to one person but mean to another person, you tend to find that it has something to do with socialization.

Generally, if my Chihuahua is aggressive towards strangers, I would suspect poor socialization as the key likely reason.

If you read any book on Chihuahua behavior explained, you will see just how critical proper socialization is. Indeed, much of Chihuahua aggression training revolves around re-socializing the dog.

Granted, we saw that the Chihuahua has a genetic predisposition towards being ‘mean’. But with proper socialization, the incidences in which that predisposition actually plays out may be minimized.

Conversely, without proper socialization, a Chihuahua may view other animals, strangers and even its owner as potential threats. That then would naturally make it a ‘mean’ dog.

This may be a dog that doesn’t want to share its space, playthings or even time with anyone or anything else. So it is a mean dog.


Poor Breeding As A Reason For Chihuahuas Being Mean

Chihuahuas are very popular dogs. That is due to factors such as their small size – which gives people the impression that they are easy to care for.

Unfortunately, because of their popularity, unscrupulous breeders have over the years ventured into Chihuahuas ‘production’.

These are breeders who just want to get as many puppies as possible, without caring about things like behavioral attributes.

In this endeavor, dogs with very nasty temperaments (but the ‘right’ appearance)  have been intensely bred. The end result is a situation in which we find so many Chihuahuas with bad temperaments.

So this goes back to the ‘genetic predisposition’ aspect we made reference to earlier: but with a special angle.  

It is the careless breeding angle: which results in dogs that have temperament problems (but the ‘right’ appearance) being intensely bred.

People forget just how easily a single dog’s attributes can easily pass onto thousands of dogs in just a few generations. This has potential to affect an entire breed’s reputation.

It doesn’t help that these unscrupulous breeders tend to offer the Chihuahua puppies they mass produce very poor care. Yet proper care in the earliest days of a puppy’s life can have a huge impact on how it turns out, behavior-wise.


Are All Chihuahuas Mean?

So far, we have been saying that the Chihuahua is a somewhat mean dog.

But does this apply to all of them? Are all Chihuahuas mean? Or, in other words, are Chihuahuas always mean? The answer is that the level of meanness varies from one Chihuahua to another.

Some appear to be meaner than others.

As we have said, though Chihuahuas may have a genetic predisposition to be ‘mean’, there are other factors. Things like socialization and breeding can also affect how ‘mean’ a given dog turns out to be.

There are people who keep well-bred and properly-socialized Chihuahuas. Such dogs often turn out to have very low (almost unnoticeable) levels of meanness in them.

So not all Chihuahuas are uniformly mean. And Chihuahuas are not always mean. At times, you may find a Chihuahua in a good mood. Then its meanness may not be showing at all.

But at other times, the very same dog may be very mean. This leads to a question: why are Chihuahuas so mean at times, and not at others? And that may be due to ‘triggers’.

So you find that, for instance, there are certain events or environmental factors that serve as triggers. They trigger a Chihuahua to be mean at certain times and not others.


Are Chihuahuas Dangerous?

So far, we have been saying that Chihuahuas are ‘mean’. But what some people may be more eager to know is whether the Chihuahuas are dangerous.

So, indeed, is a Chihuahua a dangerous dog?

To answer that question, we need to step back, and ask ourselves, are Chihuahuas aggressive? And the answer, as we saw earlier, is ‘yes’. Chihuahuas are rated among the most aggressive dogs, according to studies.

Why are Chihuahuas aggressive? That is because of their genetic predisposition to be protective and territorial. But it can be aggravated by poor socialization and poor breeding.

However, the fact that the Chihuahua is somewhat aggressive doesn’t necessarily make it very dangerous. This, after all, is a toy dog. Yes, it can bite and even scratch. But its jaws may not exert a particularly bad bite.

The key thing to understand is that a Chihuahua is a dog. Its small size may deceive you into thinking it is some other sort of creature. No. It is a dog. Handle it how you would handle any dog.

If you see signs that it is about to get violent, step back and take the appropriate precautionary steps.

Remember, although a Chihuahua’s bite may not be as bad as a Pitbull’s it can nonetheless hurt. And it can lead to infections.

If you have young kids, you need to get them to understand that the Chihuahua is a dog. And that they should handle it like a dog.


Can Chihuahuas Be Trained Not To Be Mean?

Now that we have seen that Chihuahuas are often mean, another pertinent question comes up. This is on whether the Chihuahuas can be trained not to be mean.

After all, if one has a particularly aggressive Chihuahua, they will likely have an interest in knowing how to train a Chihuahua not to be aggressive. So is it doable?

The answer is ‘yes’. To some degree, Chihuahuas can be taught not to be mean.

You can at least get to a level at which the dog doesn’t show hostility to every other dog or stranger it encounters.

It should also be possible to get the dog to stop snapping and growling at you.


How Can You Train A Chihuahua Not To Be Mean?

When a Chihuahua is said to be ‘mean’, the main problem tends to be its high level of aggression.

Thus if I had one such dog, my focus would be on how to make my Chihuahua less aggressive. So, how do you fix a Chihuahua with aggression?

One approach you may use is that of identifying the triggers that make the dog aggressive. Then ensure that you minimize the dog’s exposure to them. Or you eventually desensitize the dog to those triggers.

Another approach you can use is that of providing the Chihuahua with more and better mental stimulation. Also ensure that you often take the dog out and interact with it regularly.

Reward it when it behaves in the desired ‘less aggressive’ manner. With time, it should come to learn that this is the expected behavior for it, and adopt it.

Thus using reward-based training is another way in which you can get your Chihuahua to adopt less aggressive behaviors.


Final Verdict – Why Are Chihuahuas So Mean

Chihuahuas have a genetic predisposition to being protective and aggressive. This often makes them come across as being mean.

Poor socialization can make Chihuahuas even meaner, as can poor breeding.

Chihuahua’s meanness normally manifests through behaviors such as biting, undue barking, making growling sounds and teeth baring.

Why are chihuahuas so mean
Why Are Chihuahuas So Mean Everyday?

Thankfully, in spite of being aggressive, Chihuahuas are often not able to inflict as much harm as the bigger dogs. Nonetheless, Chihuahua bites (if it gets to that) can be painful, with potential for infection.

Not all Chihuahuas have very mean personalities. Some actually have quite sweet personalities.

Only breeding Chihuahuas that have less mean personalities, and ensuring that the offspring are properly socialized, may help in making Chihuahuas less mean with time.

Even an adult Chihuahua that has a mean personality may nonetheless be trained to be less mean. Reward-based training for the Chihuahuas tends to be quite effective in this regard.

So you reward the Chihuahua dog whenever it behaves in the (desired) ‘less mean’ manner. Eventually, it gets conditioned: so that even when the reward is taken away, the Chihuahua dog continues behaving that (less aggressive) way.

As a pet lover, make sure to learn about pet more and give your pet dog a good and comfortable life!

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