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Are you a Chihuahua pet parent?
You’ve probably held your Chi more times than you can count.
They’re so tiny you can basically carry them everywhere.
But do you ever wonder why these pursed-size pups like being held?
Read on to find out:
- How to know if they don’t like it.
- 5 signs to know if they want to be held.
- 7 weird reasons Chihuahuas like being held.
- And a lot more…
7 reasons why Chihuahuas like to be held
#1: Chihuahuas are insecure about their size
Chihuahuas are known to be the smallest breeds in the world.
Sometimes, they can feel insecure about their size.
To your Chi, everything is larger than them. And the world may feel like a big scary place.
This is why they may feel the need to be held in your arms.
Small breeds are often seen as being yappy and annoying. But what most people don’t know is that they may have a condition called…
Small dog syndrome
Small dog syndrome is a learned behavior by small breeds. They often develop this when they are allowed to get whatever they want because they are small.
For example, you and your Chi are at the dog park. While on a walk, a big dog comes along and your pup starts to bark.
With the intention to keep your Chi safe, you quickly carry them. But what does your dog learn from this?
That if they bark at another dog, they will be picked up and put to safety.
Most Chi owners also ignore this behavior because they find it cute and funny.
I know it can be adorable to watch your pooch ask you to carry them. But allowing them to get what they want will unintentionally reinforce bad behavior.
And the next time you ignore their request, they’re likely to respond in a negative way.
It’s easy to assess if your Chi has small dog syndrome. Check if they display any of these behaviors:
- Begging for food.
- Growling at dogs.
- Barking at people.
- Jumping up on people.
- Refusing to follow commands.
The good news is that this can be corrected. The following are tips to correct negative behavior:
- Don’t spoil your Chi.
- Treat them like any other dog.
- Use a leash when walking your Chi.
- Socialize them with dogs of different sizes.
- Get help from a professional trainer who uses positive reinforcement techniques.
#2: Chihuahuas are clingy
If your pooch comes jumping right on you when you’re standing or sitting down…
And they look at you with their puppy eyes… Begging to be held…
Then you may have a clingy Chi.
Chihuahuas are clingy by nature. Their need to be close to you all the time is part of their best traits.
And the reason why they like being held is that they need your attention and affection.
On the other hand, it’s best to teach your Chi how to be independent. Allowing dogs to be too clingy could lead to future problems such as separation anxiety.
It is also important to check if your little pooch is clinging to you more than usual. The following are reasons why they could be extra clingy:
- Health issues.
- New environment.
- Unexpected noises.
- Changes in your behavior.
- Lack of mental stimulation.
Further reading: 9 Cute Reasons Why Chihuahuas Like To Cuddle + 5 Signs
#3: They’re lazy
“Carry me mommy, I’m too lazy to walk.”
Yes, one weird reason why Chihuahuas like to be held is that they’re plain lazy.
If you go to the park and carry them around instead of letting them walk…
Chances are they learned how to be lazy. They now see you as some kind of transportation.
This is why they’d prefer to be held rather than to walk. When they feel lazy, they rely on you to be carried.
Although this may be convenient to your pup, the more you do it, the more likely they’ll get even lazier.
Other reasons why your pooch may become lazy includes:
It’s okay to hold your Chi every now and then. But it’s important not to encourage the behavior, especially when going on walks.
“So how can I encourage my Chi to become more active?”
If you’re looking for ways to make your pooch a little less lazy, try doing the following:
- Regular exercise.
- Mental stimulation.
- Change their diet.
- Try different activities.
- Encourage them to walk.
#4: They’re looking for protection
Some Chihuahuas are easy to get scared and nervous. Any sudden noise or a change in the environment can make them anxious.
When they get scared, they will look for their paw parent for protection.
And nothing makes them feel safer and secure than being held by their human.
Aside from holding your Chi, there are other ways you can calm your scared pooch:
- Music therapy.
- Calming blankets or clothes.
In cases when your Chi is terrified of everything, it’s best to help them overcome this rather than letting them become overly fearful.
A Chihuahua that is less afraid will become confident and more relaxed.
Interesting fact: A research found that the most common cause of fear in almost all dogs is loud sudden noises.
Don’t forget to check out: Why do Chihuahuas burrow?
#5: They feel cold
“Hold me hooman, I’m cold.”
Out of all the dog breeds, Chihuahuas are likely the ones who have the most trouble regulating their body temperature.
With their thin fur and tiny build, they can’t tolerate the cold well.
Did you know that this is also the reason why they shiver so much?
They like to be held because it’s one of their ways to keep themselves warm. And they find comfort in the warmth of your body heat.
“How would I know if my Chi is feeling too cold?”
Here are signs that can show your little pooch is too cold:
- Cold ears.
- Seeking shelter.
- Slow movements.
- Hunched posture.
- Change in behavior.
#6: They’re used to it
Have you been carrying your Chi ever since they were a puppy?
Have you always held them while strolling around the neighborhood? Do you carry them everywhere?
If you’ve answered yes to all these questions then they may like being held because they’re used to it.
However, did you know that there are risks in letting small dogs be held all the time?
Your Chi may be tiny and you love holding them in your arms but don’t forget that they’re still dogs. And like other dogs, they need to explore the world on their own.
Aside from developing bad habits, the following are other negative effects of always carrying your pooch:
- Less exercise.
- Physical discomfort.
- Lowered confidence.
- Restrained fight or flight response.
“Should I still carry my Chi?”
Of course, there are times when you still need to carry them. Chihuahuas being small can present potential risks.
But how would you know when it’s okay to carry them?
Here are a few reasons that you might need to hold your tiny pup:
- For safety.
- Hot surfaces.
- Over obstacles.
- Unreachable heights.
#7: They don’t want to be left alone
Sometimes, Chihuahuas like to be held simply because they hate being alone.
And they need to feel the presence of their fur parents.
Maybe you left your Chi at home and the moment you enter the door…
They automatically stand up against you, making eye contact…
Ready to be held, not leaving your arms… Forever…
That may sound funny but it happens.
But if this happens too often, your pooch may have separation anxiety.
One sign is when your beloved pup constantly whines and jumps at you to be picked up.
Other signs of separation anxiety in Chihuahuas include:
- Being too excited.
- Clawing at the carpet.
- Following you everywhere.
- Tearing of cloth around the house.
- Defecating and urinating inside the house.
“How can I help my Chi?”
You can help overcome separation anxiety by:
- Making sure they get enough exercise.
- Giving them toys to occupy their time.
- Ignoring your Chi when entering and leaving the house.
- Leaving a piece of clothing with your scent.
- Playing classical music for them to have company.
You might also be interested in: 15 Reasons Why Dogs Want To Be Alone (The True Meaning)
3 reasons why some Chihuahuas dislike being held
#1: They had a bad experience while being held
Chihuahuas are often seen as tiny pursed dogs, you’d think they all love being held.
Unfortunately, some do not like it at all. One reason for this is that they may have associated being held with a bad experience.
Perhaps every time they’re being held, something they don’t like is about to happen. For example, taking a bath or going to the vet.
Or maybe while carrying them, you accidentally held them a little too tight. Or they feel uncomfortable by the way you carry them.
You’d be surprised to know how common it is for pet parents to be unaware of how to properly carry a small dog.
According to Dr. Peter Dobias, carrying dogs the wrong way could cause them to have back problems in the future.
To avoid this from happening, keep this in mind:
- As you pick them up, keep their spine straight.
- Make sure to support both their front and back at the same time.
- Hold them as close to your body as possible.
- Don’t carry them upright for too long.
- Allow them to walk on their own.
#2: They’re suffering from health problems
If your Chi just recently resisted being held but allowed you to do it before, then it may be due to health problems.
They may be acting this way because they could be in pain. This could be due to injury, sickness, or underlying medical issues.
Sometimes, dogs who feel sick would hate being held because they’d rather rest and be left alone.
One obvious sign your pooch is in pain is when they growl or snarl at being touched in certain parts of their body.
According to AKC, other obvious signs of pain in dogs are:
- Increased breathing rate.
The best you can do is to immediately check with your vet for help. And ensure that your Chi is treated properly.
#3: It’s part of their personality
Each Chihuahua is an individual with their own personality. And some simply do not like being held because of their personal preferences.
Some don’t like the sudden rise in height, and others may not be used to be held yet.
Some Chi may even feel restrained and would not understand it as a sign of affection.
Make sure not to force your beloved pup to be held as this may cause them to be more reluctant to your touch.
Trivia: One expert says that hugging your dog could raise their anxiety and stress levels.
It’s important to pay attention to your Chi and know the signs when they like or dislike being held. Some signs they don’t like it include:
- Pulling their ears back.
- Turning their head away.
- Doing the whale eye (shows the whites of their eyes).
5 signs that your Chihuahua likes to be held
#1: Relaxed body
One clear sign your Chi likes being held is if their body automatically relaxes when you scoop them up.
You’ll be able to notice a calm and relaxed expression on their cute faces.
And it will exactly show that they like being in the comfort of your arms.
#2: Stands up against you
Chihuahuas standing up against you is a common indication that they want to be held.
This is their way to get your attention and tell you…
“It’s time to hold me, mommy.”
Sometimes, they even do it with their big puppy eyes staring at you. And how can you even resist that?
Don’t lie, I know you can’t 😉
#3: Wags tail happily
Have you been a pet parent for a long time?
If yes, then you’d know that when dogs wag their tails, it’s a sign that they’re happy. And of course, Chihuahuas are no exception.
If you see your Chi happily wagging their tail as you’re about to pick them up. Then they obviously like it and look forward to being held.
#4: Barks or whimpers excitedly
Another sign is when your Chi excitedly barks to get your attention as they wait to be held.
They could also whimper in excitement when they’re up in your arms.
“How would I know if my Chi is barking excitedly?”
When Chihuahuas bark out of excitement, it usually sounds high-pitched and upbeat.
Their bark could also include certain body languages such as:
- Wagging tail.
- Jumping up and down.
#5: Rubs their body against you
Some Chihuahuas would ask to be held by rubbing their body against you. This is their heartwarming way to tell you that they like being close to you.
They achieve this closeness by being picked up and snuggling close to your arms.