Why is my Chihuahua so Obsessed With Me? Guide to Dealing With a Clingy Chihuahua.
The notorious argument between cat and dog lovers usually goes down to the same matter: cats are independent, and dogs are devoted. Those are the hailed qualities of the two most popular pets, and there is nothing to do with it.
Indeed, dogs are human-oriented animals. Most probably, it is the main reason why you decided to get one. A dog will always keep you company and follow you wherever you go.
However, certain breeds were technically created as companions. Therefore this devotion is often pretty exaggerated in their behavior. Chihuahuas are among such breeds. Being companion lap dogs, they don’t only see their humans as reliable leaders, protectors, and sources of food and comfort, but a purpose of life, if you will.
However, there is a difference between natural devotion and annoying clinginess.
Let’s try to understand what can make your Chihuahua so obsessed with you or another family member and how to deal with your dog’s clinginess if it turns into a severe issue.
Are Chihuahuas Clingy Dogs?
There is no particular answer for this dog. It depends on two factors:
- Your dog’s personality traits and character
- Your expectations from owning a Chihuahua.
It is essential to understand that all dog breeds have been created for a particular purpose. And even if your dog does not “practice its profession,” you will constantly notice some specific traits in your pet’s behavior. For example, a Sheppard will always try to observe family members and keep them together as it would do with a herd. A Doberman will constantly monitor the territory preventing intruders. A spaniel will try to walk in front of you, looking for the prey. And a Chihuahua will always want to be next to you as a lapdog.
Being natural companions, Chihuahuas are highly attached to their owners and are most prone to syndromes like separation anxiety. If you are not ready for this level of connection and cannot provide your dog so much attention, Chihuahua may not be your breed of choice.
However, this natural attachment can quickly grow into obsessive clinginess, leading to numerous other behavior issues. In most cases, those are the owners who encourage this kind of behavior. Therefore, even if you aim for a companion dog who will be by your side all the time and taking a Chihuahua is an informed decision, it is up to you to control the situation and prevent the natural feature from growing into an unhealthy condition.
Why is Clinginess a Problem For a Chihuahua?
Although Chihuahuas can also be pretty independent, most of them will want to stay close to you 24/7. In many ways, it is up to you whether to consider it an issue or an ordinary course of events.
However, there are specific symptoms that indicate that your Chihuahua’s clinginess is growing into a severe behavior issue:
- You cannot leave the house even for several minutes due to the dog’s severe separation anxiety symptoms
- You have to lock your Chi out as he or she attacks all visitors as soon as they enter the house
- You cannot hug or cuddle with other family members as the dog may attack them
- You Chi starts barking and scratching the door as soon as you go to another room or the toilet
- Your dog demonstrates signs of separation anxiety even if he or she is not alone and there is someone else in the house all the time.
All those are pretty disturbing symptoms that can severely alter your lifestyle. You won’t be able to invite people into your house, may have to spend extra money on dog daycare, or even won’t feel safe on your couch next to your partner knowing that the dog may get jealous and attack.
Just like any behavior issue, clinginess may grow into a destructive obsession. Therefore it is crucial to address and eliminate it as soon as the first disturbing signs appear.
Dealing With a Clingy Chihuahua.
Whether we are talking about clinginess, excessive barking, or biting, dealing with a problem starts with understanding its source. Your Chi may be a naturally demanding personality is seem to develop an unhealthy obsession suddenly.
Let’s go over the most common reasons why your Chi may require too much attention from you.
A Change as a Trigger to Obsessive Behavior.
Unlike people, animals don’t like surprises and changes in their lives. A happy dog is the one that lives in the same house with the same owners going for regular walks and eating the same food throughout his life. Any kind of change can become a tremendously traumatizing experience for your Chihuahua.
If you suddenly noticed that your Chi has become highly clingy, try to remember when this behavior occurred and which event might have triggered it.
It can be:
- A change of house. Being territorial animals, dogs often feel pretty insecure moving to a new place. Your Chi might be looking for your mentoring and protection
- A new family member. Dogs value hierarchy. When a new member appears in the pack, your Chi may feel insecure and stressed, not knowing which place he will take. Once again, becoming extra-clingy, your Chi is looking for guidance and ensures his or her position in the pack
- Change of your lifestyle. You may get a new job or lose one, start a diet, fall in love or get depressed. Dogs are more observant than we think. They notice even the slightest change in the vibe and initially do their best to ensure that they are here for us and never leave our side.
If your Chi became extra clingy due to some significant change, the problem would go away by itself after the new matter becomes a part of everyday routine. However, you mustn’t encourage obsessive behavior by giving a dog more physical contact. In this case, the clinginess can grow from a temporary stage into a permanent obsession. The best policy is to behave precisely like you did before the change occurred.
Boredom Leads to Clinginess.
Imagine that suddenly you don’t have a job, friends, books, or social media. You can talk to one person only throughout your whole life. Naturally, you will develop a certain level of unhealthy devotion to this person.
This is precisely what happens to a bored Chihuahua. If your dog does not get enough exercise, playtime, chew toys, or mental stimulation through training and learning tricks, it will inevitably get bored. As a result, your dog can develop clinginess as the only way for your furry friend to have at least some kind of communication.
Remember, a Chihuahua is not a toy or accessory. A dog is a living being that needs to communicate, play and release energy.
It is another common reason why your dog may suddenly become clingy. Fireworks, aggression, physical trauma – all those are the most common reasons for a dog to get traumatized and look for the owner’s protection and nourishment.
You may choose between two behavior pattern in this case:
- Try to avoid the traumatic experience in the future;
- Address the issue and work it out together with the dog.
The first solution may seem easier, but it technically makes you the hostage as if the event occurs again, you might be dealing with a severe behavior issue. In the second case, you will need to put a lot of time and effort into training your dog and helping it overcome the fear and anxiety. It is always best to address a professional in this case.
Age and Health Issues.
Dogs see their owners as their protectors. No wonder your Chihuahua may become pretty clingy once she or he is unwell. If you notice some level of obsession and separation anxiety, while no changes or traumatic experiences have recently occurred, take your Chi to a vet.
If your Chihuahua is young, clinginess might be the dog’s way to tell you that something hurts. In an adult dog, loss of mobility, hearing, or eyesight is the most common reason why Chihuahuas become incredibly needy and clingy.
Clinginess Is A Habit.
When you took a puppy, you might have thought that it is super adorable that he follows you around the house, sleeps on your pillow, and wines every time you leave the room. There is a strong chance you encouraged this behavior with extra hugs and cuddles.
However, just like any other habit, clinginess can grow into obsession while the dog matures. It cancan happen due to hormone changes during puberty, any kind of triggers mentioned above, or simply because of your dog’s nature.
Any way you look at it, establishing relationships with a young puppy, make sure that you understand that it will be pretty hard to explain to him any kind of changes in your lifestyle. Therefore it is crucial to set borders and work out relationships that will be mutually comfortable and adjustable for all pack members.
Taking a dog into your house, you take a huge responsibility. When we talk about such companion breeds as a Chihuahua, this responsibility may be even more significant. Before you decide, make sure that you can pay enough attention to your dog and are ready to address all possible behavior issues that may occur in the future.
After all, what is one person’s obsession is another person’s devotion. Consider it when you think about your expectations from getting a Chihuahua.