I own a Chihuahua. Should I get a second dog? These are the facts to consider.
We all love our sassy little friends. However, we know how difficult it is to train our furry bundles of joy to accept kids, even other dogs since they can be territorial.
Chihuahuas are famous for their stubborn mentality. Even though once they get comfy with their owner, they are courteous and tender dogs. This dog breed is not the most friendly when getting along with other dogs. This inherent nature can be modeled with proper socialization from the puppy phase and systematic training.
If you are a Chihuahua owner and considering getting another canine companion, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we will cover a comparative study of your dog's chemistry with some popular dog breeds. We will also cover tested training methods to help your Chi get better with other dog breeds.
Do Chihuahuas Like Other Dogs?
There has been a lot of pomp and circumstance about Chihuahuas hating other dogs. However, it is a myth, technically. Several factors can explain their behavior, such as the little dog syndrome. LDS is a grave calamity when it comes to Chi's because it can cause your puppy to be initially aggressive towards other dogs upon meeting them. Another reason can be a lack of socialization when young or a trauma caused by something when they are still puppies, which leads to an aggressive response.
Little dog syndrome is a behavioral reaction portrayed by small breeds of dogs during social interaction. They often bark, growl, and lunge at approaching dogs, so they do not appear weak due to their size and seem more ferocious. However, this is not the actual case. It is not that they desire to harm the other dogs, but that they feel attacked and inferior if they don't show this behavior. Over time they can calm down once they ''meet'' the individual approaching them.
As time progresses, your Chi will calm down and no longer ''attack'' and bark at the people approaching them. Instead, they will just observe in a defensive stance or even approach people to pet them. Your Chi will start to behave positively over time. Each interaction with a dog must be a positive experience to help grow the association needed to stop their defensive reaction.
Proper socialization is crucial to guarantee that any dog breed is friendly and does not fear approaching another dog. You need to gently introduce them to other dog breeds, both small and large, when they are young. This will allow them to get a positive view of socializing with any kind of dog and help to minimize their anxiety.
Another thing you can do is enroll your puppy in some training classes. This will help them develop positive memories with other dogs because they will interact in a safe environment. The encouragement and positive interactions will help influence your Chis' natural social responses for the entirety of their life.
Are Chihuahuas Aggressive Towards Other Dogs?
Chis' may be aggressive towards other dogs, regardless of their size. This will happen if they are afraid or not being appropriately socialized.
If you are worried about this, you can take them to socialization classes or simply have patience and introduce your dog to others very calmly and slowly in a safe space. Make sure that you use positive reinforcement when your dog meets new dogs and greets them.
Unlike other breeds who tend to run and be more vocal, Chihuahuas are likelier to snap when feeling threatened. The reason behind this is that they possess the natural bravery to attack, which can often result in a conflict between your Chi and another dog. However, many do not agree and think this is due to their history being ratting dogs. For this reason, you must keep in mind that your Chi can snap at other dogs while being socialized, which is why we always recommend seeking the help of a professional.
Why You Should or Shouldn't Get Another Companion for Your Chihuahua.
This might come as a surprise, but there are certain factors you would need to consider when owning a Chi and wanting another dog. As mentioned before, Chi's must be trained and socialized to accept other dogs, whether small or large. However, there are some other factors that we want you to take into consideration.
- Should you get another dog with your Chi, and why?
If you weren't aware until now, our sassy little friends would thrive on attention and socialization. Chis' love being a part of a pack and playing all day long, which is why getting another dog might be a fantastic idea for a lot of reasons. Having a playmate can help your Chihuahua not get bored and take some of the pressure off you to constantly entertain.
Separation anxiety can be very stressful for your puppy. If this is what ails your Chi and they get very lonely when you are not around, getting another dog to keep them company can be beneficial and provide company and comfort when needed.
However, if you consider getting another Chi, there are factors you must consider. While they do not eat a lot, compared to other breeds, you need to take into account that there will be additional costs for grooming and training.
- Why you shouldn't get another dog with your Chi
We would advise against getting another dog if your Chi is restless, and getting into trouble. If your Chi is not well behaved, you shouldn't get another dog or a companion.
You may think that your Chi is bored, and his stunts of getting into the trash can or continuously barking at the neighbors mean he needs a playmate, but that's not necessarily accurate.
Making sure your Chi is trained well will make adding another dog down the line more manageable. This will help you tremendously, not only because it will help your Chi better handle the new transition, but also because your puppy will actually help you train the new dog on the proper ways to do things.
Another dog can be a rather costly addition to your pack, from vaccinations, vet visits, grooming, and flea treatments, not to mention the toys and treats. If you are not prepared financially, we advise you against getting another puppy. It should be an enjoyment and not a chore you have to take care of.
Chihuahuas and Smaller Dog Breeds.
Being a miniature breed, Chihuahuas generally don't face many problems mingling with other toy breeds. However, that doesn't mean they get perfectly well with all the dog breeds, even with another Chi. Two puppies that have the same energy level might bond well if introduced to each other at a young age. However, bringing a puppy into a house with a grumpy old Chi can be stressful for the senior dog. The older dog may not want to deal with the excited antics of a young puppy wishing to play all the time.
The new dog's gender might be more critical in your decision than you may think. Vets note that dogs of the opposite sex tend to get along the best, followed by two males together. Surprisingly, female dogs, including Chihuahuas, argue the most with other females.
In most cases, Chis' get along ideally with other Chihuahuas, and both can really benefit from each other's company. Because of their pack mentality, Chi's do not mind and actually can be really happy to live with each other. However, if you are thinking of getting multiple Chihuahuas, make sure that your attention is equally split between them. They can be really possessive and jealous, changing how they treat each other if one is left out of the attention circle.
Chihuahuas and Larger Dog Breeds.
Even though they are a tiny breed, Chihuahuas have a giant superiority complex and can be bossy. Being around a big dog is not a relaxing experience for them in general. There are particular exceptions, though. For instance, if the larger dog is gentle in nature and submissive, allowing your Chi to be the Alpha dog, things can be much more manageable and pleasant.
Before buying or adopting a large-sized canine breed, we suggest conducting a necessary background check. You should check their history of behavior with other dogs and animals. Suppose there are many cases of violence towards other animals. In that case, we do not recommend you take such a breed into consideration.
Once the background check is acceptable, the following approach would be to perform a supervised introduction in a neutral area. Chi's can get anxious at home due to their bossiness and the other dog being on their territory. Watch for any signs of distress or anger/fear in either party.
While we understand that there are many factors to consider, we strongly suggest that you include your personal observations into this equation and be more inclined towards one breed than the other. Your feelings will play a huge factor in this decision and how you treat the puppy throughout their life. It might seem like an unimportant, minuscule thing, but believe us, it isn't. The best course of action would be to go over what we mentioned in this article, see the pros and cons of the different dog sizes and your Chi's behavior, and then decide whether it would be wise to have another dog and on the breed you would like to have.