How Do I Know If My Chihuahua Is Happy?
Chihuahuas are companion dogs that love to be with their owners, receive affection, and toted around by their owners. Chihuahuas are very affectionate pups that respond well to positive reinforcement such as praise and rewards like treats.
There are a lot of different ways to tell if your Chihuahua is happy. While every pup has a different personality, some of these tell-tale signs are surefire ways to recognize if your Chihuahua is happy or not.
Body Wiggling, Tail Wagging, Happy Face
A wagging tail, wiggling little body, and a “smiling” face is the norm for any dog when they see their human companion. Chihuahuas love to be close to their human owner and tend to follow them around in the house and even ride in bags when it’s time to head out. However, keep in mind that over time, Chihuahuas can become demanding if they are given too much attention.
They Lovingly Look At You
While all dogs are known to give you those “puppy eyes,” when your Chihuahua gives you those puppy dog eyes, you can rest assured that they are happy with you. The science behind the “puppy eyes” is something that dogs have perfected over the years of evolution, which triggers a positive response in people. If you see your Chihuahua relax their eyes and give you a soft look, they are happy and content with you.
They Act Happy
This might be obvious, but it’s worth mentioning: another sign of a happy chihuahua is that they do not show any signs of aggression. Unhappy Chihuahuas tend to bare their teeth and snarl. They will let you know if they do not feel comfortable around you. Your Chihuahua is not happy if they are:
- Baring teeth
- Ears bent back
- Defensive and will not let you near them
If your Chihuahua starts to not let you near them, tuck their tail, or bare their teeth, then you can know that your dog is not happy with you.
They Are Relaxed
Happy Chihuahuas will show that they are visibly relaxed. You can tell by their body language that they are content with you and are not stressed. Since they are so small, their whole body shakes with excitement when they wag their tail. If their body is rigid and they have a tail tucked, they are stressed.
They Love Playtime
When your Chihuahua wants to play and shows playful acts, they are happy. If your Chihuahua is not wanting to play with you, there may be something wrong. They are either unhappy or sick. A trip to the vet will rule out any health issues. If they are constantly wanting to play with you and trying to initiate some games like fetch, they are content with you. Make sure you keep some toys around that they love so you can have plenty to choose from.
They Are Not Destructive
Chihuahuas are destructive when they are not happy with their environment. If they are stressed or sad, they start to bite, chew, and destroy anything they can get their teeth on. While all puppies go through a teething stage and it is natural that they want to chew on things, you can bypass this as sadness or stress in your adult Chihuahua if they do this while you’re gone. A common reason for destructive behavior in a Chihuahua is if they have separation anxiety. Chihuahuas are incredibly loyal and do not do well without their owners close by. To help minimize this if you have to leave the house for long periods of time, make sure your pup is exercised and you play with them to fill in the gaps.
They Have A Healthy Appetite
If your Chihuahua has not been eating well and seems to be losing weight, they may be sick or stressed. A vet visit can eliminate if they are sick so you can focus on any stressors in their environment. A Chihuahua needs to have three small meals a day and an adult Chihuahua should have two meals a day.
Their Tongue Makes Appearances
Chihuahuas are known to have a condition where their tongue hangs out that results from a neurological and structural origin. However, a little tongue poking out from their mouth can signal their happiness. If you notice while they are sleeping that their tongue is out, you can know that they are relaxed, content, and happy with their life.
They Have A Healthy Coat
A healthy coat usually signifies a healthy pup. When your Chihuahua is content, you will notice that its coat is shiny and soft. If a chihuahua is stressed or in bad shape, you will notice flaky skin, hair loss, and that they are scratching excessively. Changes in their coat will be pretty obvious to spot.
They Follow You Like A Shadow
Your Chihuahua will follow you from room to room, shift with you on the bed, and share every moment with you throughout the day if you let them. Be careful that they are just showing affection and not being too clingy. A clingy dog can leave a wave of destruction in its path when you have to go out and leave them at home.
They Give You Kisses
Nothing is more clear if your Chihuahua loves you than giving you sloppy kisses. Chihuahuas show their affection and love by administering loving kisses. Just be wary of this as you do not want your Chihuahua to get used to showing you affection on your mouth. It’s not healthy for either of you.
They Bring You Their Toys
When Chihuahuas are happy and want to show you affection, they bring you their toys. This is also a good way for them to tell you that they want to play with you and show you that you are the leader of the pack. Them offering your their prized possessions (toys) shows that they trust you, they are happy, and they love you.
They Want To Jump On You
While we dog owners like to make sure that our pups are not jumping on people, including us, this is a good sign that they love you and are a happy Chihuahua. It is a good way to know if your pup is happy to see you and you should revel in that fact. Do not forget to reward them with treats for not jumping on you and do not use negative reinforcement as they do not do well with this.
They Roll Over Around You
When a dog rolls on their back and starts to expose their belly, it means that they really trust you. This is a classic submissive behavior in dogs and lets you know that your Chihuahua is happy and feels secure with you. A good way to react to this submissive behavior is if you respond with a belly rub. Who doesn’t love belly rubs?
They Sigh Around You
Little noises made by your Chihuahua can let you know that they love you and are in a good mood. A noise to look out for is a sigh. It has been compared to a low moan and you can listen for it when they are settling down to relax.
Signs Of A Sad Chihuahua
Going back over the list, you can pretty much tell if your Chihuahua is happy or not. They are responsive to treatment and anything that is the opposite on the list lets you know that they are not happy. Some signs of Chihuahua depression can be:
- Eyes narrowing around you
- Loss or lack of appetite
- Whining or howling in excess
- They potty in the house
- Destructive behavior like chewing
- Not playing with you or their toys
- Sleeping too much
- Overall disobedience
- Cowering and hiding from you or others
- Excessive panting
- Growling or being aggressive
- Not sleeping well or sleeping irregularly
- They excessively lick themselves
- They do not respond to love, treats, or affection anymore
Talk to your vet and a dog trainer to address these signs.
Adding any type of dog to your family is a big commitment and a lot of people tend to just go out and get one without thinking of what their life will be like with it.
If you are preparing your home for the arrival of your new Chihuahua, here are our top tips.
The main things you want to focus on to ensure that your Chihuahua is happy is that they are happy to see you, they are eating well, they have a clean coat, or wag their tail when they see you. Make sure to set aside some time every day to play with them and make sure that they are getting enough exercise. Things can travel downhill fast if you lack effort on your part. If you train your pup well and treat it with lots of love, you can rest assured that your Chihuahua will be happy and healthy.