While most Chihuahua owners want their dogs to snuggle at times and have a close bond, it can be disruptive if a dog is too needy or clingy. A dog may be constantly following his owner or always trying to wrap himself around an owner’s leg.
On many occasions, this type of overly clingy behavior can make it virtually impossible to leave the house without being concerned about how your Chi will handle himself.
Why are Chihuahuas so needy? Your Chihuahua’s clingy or needy behavior can be the outcome of multiple factors, including illness or injury, trauma, a shift in their environment, or a behavior change in you. as it could be a symptom of separation anxiety. This is primarily what could cause your Chihuahua to ask for constant attention and start acting needy.
At some point in their life your Chihuahua will exhibit some form of clinginess or needy behavior, and it’s your duty to recognize it as soon as possible and address it before things get out of control.
Fortunately, it is possible to take some steps which we will be discussing together in this article to help a clingy dog; these require some patience, as this type of behavior cannot be corrected overnight.
Why Are Chihuahuas So Needy?
One of the principal reasons people choose to have Chihuahuas as their preferred pet, is for their companionship and their strong passionate bond that they are known to create.
It’s good to have a loving and understanding pet but not to the point where they will get fully dependent on you or used to you being there for them 24/7.
How do you tell if your Chihuahua is needy?
If you have a needy Chihuahua, your pooch is likely depending on you for comfort and reassurance. The good news: You can help your dog overcome some of these behaviors.
But first, let’s take a look at some of the reasons or signs behind your dog clinginess behavior.
Tough love: Most Chihuahuas are naturally very affectionate and love nothing more than being near the person that they love the most.
This can be a blessing and a curse because while some people might find this kind of behavior adorable, others might find it annoying or even downright smothering.
This can get to the point where your Chi will claim you for themselves and be very protective of you against other people and other animals. this manifests as an over-attachment or clingy behavior.
Trauma: If your Chihuahua is clingy because he’s fearful, scared or anxious, it’s important to be patient, calm and gentle with him. The dog walker did not report that the dog barely escaped an attack by another dog.
A friend didn’t admit to stepping on your dog’s tail, or a visit to the park may have involved something that traumatized your Chi. things like this can cause your Chihuahua to be clingy for some time.
Injury or illness: The first thing to do when your chihuahua becomes clingy is to make sure that there is nothing physically wrong with him or her.
This behavior could be caused by injury or illness. or even pain that may have gone unnoticed.
Take your chihuahua to the vet to rule out any physical ailments. Many dogs become clingy when they are sick or in distress; however, dogs can also act in the exact opposite manner.
Your Dog feels alone: Another reason to keep in mind is that your dog might be feeling alone due to you reducing the time you usually spend with him. the world is recovering from a major pandemic and you may no longer be able to work from home.
So this sudden change that leads to the dog spending far less time with his human can lead to an extremely clingy behavior. your dog be needy for more time to spend with you, Thus, the clingy behavior.
Spoiled dog: If your Chihuahua is clingy because he’s spoiled, you will need to work on training him to do some things on his own and not depend on you so much. we are not asking you to abandon your duties to your pet, but it’s good that they learn to feel independent on some matters.
Separation Anxiety: While it’s fairly easy to point out when a dog is obviously displaying separation anxiety, it is not always clear that a dog is suffering because they are too attached to you. This excessive attachment can be just as serious and problematic as separation anxiety.
What does Chihuahua separation anxiety look like? Chihuahuas who suffer from separation anxiety act out when they’re left alone. They may whine and cry, pace and bark, or be destructive in your home. Some dogs will even injure themselves trying to get to their owner.
Clingy Behavior and the Age Factor in Chihuahuas
Newly acquired puppies:
Even after being in your home for several weeks, if not months, Chihuahua puppies are still in the process of learning how to be a real dog. hence, why are chihuahuas so needy.
They will continuously explore their environment and learn what is allowed and what is not. Keep in mind that you cannot expect your puppy to know right from wrong. It is up to you to teach him.
At this stage, it is normal for a Chihuahua puppy to exhibit needy behavior, as they have just begun developing and learning how to do things on their own.
How to deal with needy Chihuahua puppies? First of all, don’t punish the puppies for behaving this way. They are scared and in need of your help.
To better help needy Chihuahua puppies feel safe, you’ll definitely want to keep them from barking while making them feel loved and cared for.
Aged or senior Chihuahuas:
Chihuahuas seem to go through a stage in their early life when they are independent and want to do their own thing. That kind of changes as they get a little older. Older Chihuahuas often become more like dogs and less like cats, which is how many people describe young Chihuahuas.
Older dogs often become quieter and more mellow as they get older. They don’t feel the need to play or explore as much as they used to. However, the need for social interaction often increases with age. They know they can count on you for companionship and attention, so they may become very dependent on it.
When a dog cannot rely as much on its canine instincts, it may tend to become more reliant on his humans. Thus, the clingy attitude which is at this point is totally understood. As it is your duty to care for your old pets and to help him get the most out of his golden years.
How to make your Chihuahua less needy
Now that you have an understanding of why are Chihuahuas so needy. Let’s see how you can help your Chi become less clingy.
The ultimate goal is having a dog that both enjoys the time you spend together, but also has sufficient independence and self-confidence to handle or be alone at different times.
Most dogs, especially toy breeds that were bred to be companion dogs, are not born this way; they must be taught. The main points are:
- Provide an atmosphere that creates a sense of security and safety,
- Be patient.
- Showing that separate play is not such a terrible habit
- Work to help your dog build more self-reliance and confidence in himself.
- Provide your dog with sufficient exercise.
- There is no shame in seeking outside help.
If you feel you have a needy Chihuahua on your hands and want to help him overcome his clingy behavior, there are several things you can do. Chihuahuas are very smart dogs so with some training this behavior can be dramatically minimized.
Begin with patience
it is critical not to punish or scold your dog for this behavior. Chihuahuas are simply programmed to be more reliant on humans than other breeds. Your backlash can only make things worse.
When your Chihuahua is engaging in something undesirable, such as jumping on you or barking relentlessly to get your attention, it’s easy to respond by yelling or pushing him away from you. This only reinforces the behavior.
Instead, be patient, calm and kind. your confidence will radiate from you, and if you remain calm with your Chihuahua, he will see that there is no need for him to panic.
Rather than responding with anger, try saying “no” in a stern voice and then ignore the Chihuahua for a short period of time. When his behavior has cooled down, praise him by petting him a little and then go back to minding your own business.
Check your dog’s basic needs. Ensure that he has access to food and water at all times, and that his food and water bowls are clean. He may be needy because he is hungry or thirsty.
Encourage your dog to play independently
Invest in Some Toys: An interactive toy can keep your Chihuahua entertained for hours if he gets bored alone. You can also hide treats inside for an extra challenge. Just make sure the toy is sturdy enough for a tiny dog — such as the StarMark Bob-A-Lot Interactive Dog Toy.
Get a variety of toys, including squeaky ones that make noise when your Chihuahua chews on them, stuffed animals and rubber balls to roll around the house. Change up the toys every day so he doesn’t get bored with the same old thing all the time.
this is especially great for when you’re in the house but can’t fully engage with your dog, or for when you need to get out of the house. The further a dog plays with these and realizes that he can have fun on his own, the closer he will be to learning to be more independent.
Turn to your dog sitter for help.
If you’re worried that your Chihuahua is spending too much time alone, a trustworthy dog sitter can help ease separation anxiety by giving your dog one-on-one attention throughout the day.
Or if your schedule doesn’t permit regular walks or trips to the dog park, consider hiring a dog walker or taking him to doggie daycare once a week.
Just be sure to take him with you to a meet and greet so you can see how your Chi reacts before you leave him with a stranger.
Provide plenty of exercise
Make sure your Chihuahua gets enough exercise. A good run in the morning and again in the evening will help him burn off some energy and focus his attention on something besides you.
Increasing the amount of daily exercise you give your clingy Chihuahua can help reduce his clinginess An active dog is less likely to exhibit clingy behavior because he will be tired from his physical activities during the day.
You may want to refer to our article on where we explain in detail How Much Exercise Does a Chihuahua Need.
Stop encouraging your Chihuahua to be needy.
It may not be just the Chihuahuas who are guilty of being needy, we humans could be the ones who are encouraging it! You might be doing it without even knowing it
Here are some things we do with our Chihuahuas that encourage neediness: Feeding them from our plate when we eat. Showing them attention every time they bark. Hugging and kissing them constantly.
Don’t place too much importance on leaving or coming home. If you are aware that your dog gets anxious when you leave him alone,
Don’t give him more attention before you leave and don’t greet him enthusiastically when you get home. Both of these things will reinforce his anxiety by rewarding him for showing it.
Simply ignoring your dog may curb this behavior.
For example, ignore your Chihuahua if he continues to be needy or shows unwanted behavior, such as jumping on people or barking nonstop.
If your dog pesters you for affection or attempts to follow you everywhere, don’t cave in to his neediness. Do not make eye contact with your dog or otherwise talk to him until he is under control and not behaving in a needy manner.
This may cause the dog to calm down once he realizes that his attention-seeking behavior is not getting through. When your dog is calm and quiet, then reward the behavior with a treat and some affectionate petting.
Be consistent with your Chihuahua
In order to stop your Chihuahua’s clingy behavior, you must be consistent and firm on a daily basis. When he behaves well, reward him with a treat or some affection.
When he misbehaves by scratching at the door or begging for food while eating dinner, ignore him. If he continues to misbehave, say “no” in a firm voice and put him in his crate until he stops barking.
Make a routine and stick to it. A schedule gives a dog structure and helps him be less clingy because he knows what to expect when certain things happen.
Your routine should include meal times, bathroom breaks, walks and play time. If possible, try to keep the same schedule every day so your dog doesn’t get confused about when he eats or goes outside to relieve himself.
Establish that you’re the leader of the pack
Let him know who the boss is. Dogs, especially small breeds like Chihuahuas, need a strong leader in their lives. If he thinks he is the boss, he will be extremely needy.
Make sure he knows that you are in control. When you get home from work or school, don’t greet him right away with hugs and kisses.
Wait for five minutes and then pet him calmly while telling him that you missed him. This shows him that he can’t rule over you.
Consider Getting Another Dog
If you have time and space for another pet, bringing home a friend can help alleviate loneliness and boredom. Just make sure that both dogs get along first — they may not get along as well as you.
If your Chihuahua is shy, getting him a dog friend can help him to come out of his shell. Try to get a dog that is the same size as your chihuahua, has a friendly personality, and is not high energy. A dog play-date may be a good option if you are not willing or able to commit to another dog.
Sometimes our canine friends need reassurance from us that everything is okay and that they are loved and cared for. This is especially true for Chihuahuas!
Chihuahuas (as many other dog breeds) have been bred for certain physical and behavioral characteristics. They are intelligent and loyal little guys, often being great watch or guard dogs.
As they are usually so in tune with their owners, they make a great companion dog. understanding why are Chihuahuas so needy gives you great insights on how to fix and establish a healthy relationship with your dog.