My parents have a little Chihuahua named Tia, she is the sweetest most affectionate dog I know. Before I had my own Chihuahua I had thought that they were very yippy standoffish dogs. I soon realized that they love to be with people, near people, around people all the time! So I wondered if this is a trait that most Chihuahua owners notice about their Chihuahuas. I wanted to dig deeper and ask real owners about their experience to find out if most Chihuahuas like to cuddle as much as ours do. Here’s what I found out!
Chihuahuas are one of the most cuddly and affectionate small breed dogs. They love to cuddle and always want to be around their owners. Out of 185 people surveyed 91% of owners said that their Chihuahuas loved to cuddle with them. Less than 4% liked little to no cuddles.
Why do Chihuahuas love cuddling so much, who do they love to cuddle with and what about that small that percentage that don’t like to cuddle? Is it something their owners have done, or is it their personalities? Is there anything you can do to encourage your dog to cuddle with you?
Keep reading to learn all the secrets!
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Are Chihuahuas Affectionate?
Chihuahuas have a very interesting history that can give us some clues as to why they may be so affectionate. Part of their history involves being bred to chase and hunt down small rodents, but the biggest reason why they are so cuddly is because that is exactly what they have been bred for. Chihuahuas’ sole purpose in modern-day breeding is to be companion dogs, and often breeders will choose which dogs to mate based on their affectionate characteristics.
Interestingly there are some people in Mexico and other countries that still train their Chihuahuas to hunt down rodents. This is pretty smart since Chi’s are so small they can chase after those little critters into some pretty tight places.
Despite being somewhat vocal and high energy Chihuahuas are very loving and affectionate dogs and may just be the most affectionate of the small breeds. I asked a group of Chihuahuas owners how much their dogs liked to cuddle with them on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the most cuddly to 1 being not at all and got some not so surprising results.
111 people said that their Chihuahuas were a 10 on the cuddle scale and another 48 didn’t think 10 was high enough. They gave answers such as 100%, 1000+++, and descriptions such as my Chihuahuas is always near me or in my lap!
Over 93% rated their Chihuahuas 5-10 on the cuddle scale.
With that being said, those who said their Chihuahuas didn’t care to cuddle where very few! Only 7 people said their Chihuahuas never or rarely liked to cuddle. Less than 6% of owners rated their Chihuahuas a 3 or lower on the cuddle scale.
Why Chihuahuas Like to Cuddle
Because of the Bond and Trust you Have
When a Chihuahuas has established a bond and trusts its owner then it is likely to show that trust and affection by wanting to be with and around its owner at all times.
Owners who care for their Chihuahuas by feeding them, grooming them playing with them, and just spending time with them will gain their trust and can build a bond with them fairly easily. This helps your Chihuahua understand who takes care of them and in a way presents you as their pack leader creating an instinctual trust with you.
This is one of the reasons that the Chihuahuas breed is so cuddly and affectionate. This is also the reason that you may notice that your Chihuahua favors one person in your household more than others. If there is one person who is consistently spending more time caring for and playing with the Chihuahua it’s likely that will be their preferred person to be with.
To Show Love and Affection
Chihuahuas like to cuddle with their owners to show them love and affection and receive that love in return.
Science has proven (link to US National Library of Medicine Study) that when owners and their dogs are engaged in activities like cuddling and showing each other affection both of them receive a surge of Oxytocin, the hormone dubbed as the LOVE hormone. It makes both our little pooch and us feel happier, calmer and loved.
This increase in Oxytocin has a lot of positive effects for both you and your Chihuahua. It’s proven to reduce stress levels, help owners who may suffer from anxiety or depression, lower blood pressure, and helps us stay present in the moment. Your dog will also benefit from this surge in the love hormone.
Chihuahuas cuddle for warmth
Since Chihuahuas are on average only around 7lbs, and can oftentimes be even smaller, they can easily get too cold fairly quickly. It’s instinct for any dog to find its pack and huddle up together for warmth when feeling too chilly, but especially so for the tiny toy Chihuahuas.
You may notice that your Chihuahua burrows under the blankets and hides for the same reason. If your Chihuahua can be close to you sharing your body heat, in his mind, that is a great place to be!
Chihuahuas Cuddle for Protection.
Chihuahuas are normally very playful, high energy, and curious but can be standoffish and wary of new people. Even though they sometimes forget how small they really are and may act a lot bigger than their britches their instinct always reminds them that they are tiny and need protection.
When wanting to relax and get some shut-eye they feel a lot more comfortable about drifting off if they feel safe and secure while doing so. This is why they turn to you to cuddle while sleeping because they know you will protect them. Again instinct kicks in and they have the desire to turn to their pack or their Alpha for safety and protection.
Chihuahuas cuddle because it’s instinct
Newborn puppies need to cuddle closely with their mothers as a way to survive. They need the life-giving milk that they provide as well as the protection and warmth. They instinctively know they are helpless until they get older open their eyes and become more curious.
This survival instinct goes back to the beginning of time even before dogs were domesticated. as well as protection for themselves, they can also be somewhat territorial and protective of others in their family. You may notice this if your Chihuahua has attached to one person in your family. He may cuddle with that person more and show an instinct to protect this family member from others. This can lead your Chihuahuas to bark or snarl when feeling threatened by any outside source.
It’s important that your Chihuahuas is well trained and well socialized when they are young in order to avoid this trait in this breed.
Why Chihuahuas Don’t Like to Cuddle
There are many things to figure when trying to figure out why your Chihuahuas may not like to cuddle with you.
It could be too hot. Unlike us our dogs can not sweat through their skin. The only way they can cool themselves off is through their nose and the pads of their feet, as well as panting. Because of this they are much more sensitive to temperature changes. If it’s very warm your dog my be avoiding your snuggles because it doesn’t want that extra body heat.
They have been abused or had bad experiences in the past. For Chihuahuas that really don’t enjoy cuddling at all this is usually the most likely scenario! If you have a rescue or your dog has had negative experiences with cuddling others in the past then this normally loyal trusting breed could be struggling with trust issues.
It’s possible to regain its trust and have a strong bond with your dog, but it will take a lot of time and patience and they may not ever warm up to the idea of super close snuggle time.
Their personality will have a lot to do with whether or not they want to cuddle up to you. Some dogs are naturally more energetic and inquisitive and don’t want to slow down enough to relax and snuggle. Some dogs just prefer to have their space.
Your lifestyle and home dynamics can play a big part in whether or not your dog is super cuddly and affectionate. If as a puppy you spend a lot of time snuggling on the couch and holding your dog in your lap then it will naturally lead them to be more snuggly. If you are a very active family and are on the go exploring and moving around a lot your dog will tend to follow your lead.
Can I Teach My Chihuahua to Cuddle
You can train a dog to do many things including learning how to lay down and sit still, whether that be in your lap on next to you it’s possible to help your dog learn to be closer to you and share some of the same space. However, you should never force your dog to cuddle with you or be more affectionate than it’s comfortable with.
It’s important to learn your dog’s cues and body language so that you can come to a mutually respected and beneficial agreement on what you would both like as far as cuddles go.
Most dogs do not like hugs in the traditional sense. Being held too tightly can make them feel agitated and stressed. Kisses and getting into your dog’s face can also be upsetting to them and possibly dangerous for you.