The Velcro Dog: Why Are Chihuahuas So Clingy?
Does your Chihuahua follow you around all day? Do they get anxious when you leave them alone? Are you wondering why are Chihuahuas so clingy and needy?
If you answered yes to these questions, then your Chihuahua is what we call a “velcro dog.”
Velcro dogs are clingy and needy, and they usually suffer from separation anxiety. They get attached to one person and don’t like being away from them.
In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know to answer the question why are Chihuahuas so clingy plus some tips to deal with this behavior.
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Why Are Chihuahuas So Clingy?
Chihuahuas were bred to be lapdogs and are meant to be companions. They are notorious for being velcro dogs and usually get attached to one person. Clingy behavior can also develop suddenly as a result of a life change, aging, a traumatic event, or a medical issue.
This behavior is further amplified if your Chihuahua has experienced any trauma or abuse in their life.
It’s important to understand the underlying reasons that are causing your Chihuahua to be so clingy so you can help your pup feel more comfortable.
Let’s get into all the reasons of why are Chihuahuas so clingy.
17 Reasons Why Chihuahuas Are So Clingy
There are many different reasons why Chihuahuas may be so clingy and needy. Some of the most common reasons are listed below.
1. Separation Anxiety
Chihuahuas are known for suffering from separation anxiety. This means that they feel anxious and stressed when they are separated from their owner.
Signs of separation anxiety are:
- destructive behavior like chewing or digging
- excessive crying, barking, or howling
- going potty inside the house
If your dog is clingy, it may be because they are struggling with separation anxiety.
It’s best to work with a positive reinforcement trainer to help your dog learn to cope with separation anxiety.
2. Lapdog Breed
Why are Chihuahuas so needy? Well, they are bred to be lapdogs and companions. They come from a long history of being by their owner’s side.
This is one of the main reasons why Chihuahuas are so clingy; it’s in their DNA to be close to their humans. This means that they often crave human interaction and attention.
Chihuahuas love nothing more than to curl up on your lap for a nap. One of their favorite things to do is spend time with their owners.
If your pup is clingy, it may be because they are simply trying to get closer to you – their favorite person!
3. Lack of Socialization
Chihuahuas that lack proper socialization (especially as a puppy) may become clingy and needy as a way of trying to get closer to their human companions.
Without enough exposure to other people, dogs, and places, Chihuahuas can become overly attached to their owners in an attempt to get the attention they crave.
4. Fear of abandonment
Chihuahuas that are fearful of being abandoned may become clingy and needy as a way of trying to prevent you from leaving them.
Typically, this happens with rescue dogs. These dogs may have experienced a traumatic event like abuse or abandonment in the past that caused them to develop this fear.
If your pup is clingy, it is important to provide them with plenty of love and reassurance to help them feel safe and secure. This will help your bond grow stronger and may reduce their clinginess over time.
Our rescue dog is afraid of being alone, so we take him with us wherever we go. Sometimes that means one of us goes out somewhere while the other stays home with him.
We accommodate his needs as much as possible to help him feel comfortable and secure.
5. Small Dog Syndrome
Another reason why your dog is clingy is that Chihuahuas are known for being the smallest dog breed. This makes them vulnerable to being hurt by other dogs or being stepped on.
That is why Chihuahuas like to be held. They feel safe in their owner’s arms and are higher up off the ground where they feel less vulnerable.
They look to their owner for reassurance, protection, and a better vantage point.
You might be thinking, why is my Chihuahua so clingy now that he’s older?
As dogs age, they can become more clingy and needy. This is because they may be starting to lose their sight or hearing and that can be scary for them.
Dogs with age-related issues like cognitive decline or cataracts can cause anxiety or fear.
If your dog is running into things or seems lost, they may be experiencing vision loss or Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (dog dementia).
Senior dogs require more care and attention since they will need to rely on you more. If your Chihuahua is getting up there in age, be patient with them.
If your dog is being clingy because of age, it would be a good idea to have them evaluated by a vet.
7. New Routine
Dogs are creatures of habit. Changing up your routine can be confusing for them.
If you’ve recently started a new job with different hours or you started going to the gym in the morning, your dog may be feeling anxious because they’re not used to that change yet.
If you started dating someone and now you’re out of the house more, your Chihuahua might be clingy because they miss you and they were used to spending more time with you.
Dogs can sense when something is different, so if there’s been a change in your daily routine, that could be why your Chihuahua is being more clingy than usual.
8. Life Change
A big life change can also be a reason why your Chihuahua is acting clingy.
Examples of life changes are:
- having a baby
- a new pet in the household
- a new person moved in
- loss of a loved one
Dogs are very intuitive and they know when something big is happening. If there’s been a recent life change, that could be why your dog is feeling insecure and clingy.
If you recently moved, it can take a while for your dog to adjust and feel comfortable in their new surroundings. They might be afraid they will be left in this new place.
Utilizing a crate as their safe space can help your Chihuahua feel more secure.
The same goes for having a baby. Dogs may be feeling a little jealous or neglected when there’s a new baby in the house. They won’t be getting as much attention so this could cause them to become needier.
If you think a life change is why your dog is being clingy, try to be patient and give them time to adjust. You can also help them feel more secure by including them in your new routine as much as possible.
It’s important to give your dog attention and reassurance during these times so they know they are still loved and valued.
All dogs have an individual personality, so some Chihuahuas are more independent than others. This means the level of clinginess can vary from dog to dog.
For example, our Chihuahua is pretty clingy. He follows us around all day and we take him wherever we go.
On the other hand, we’ve met other Chihuahuas that are more independent and aloof. They are fine being home alone and don’t need to be with their humans all the time.
It seems like the majority of Chihuahuas are clingy and needy dogs. This is simply their personality, but there are ways to train them to be more independent which we’ll share later on.
10. Attached to One Person
Chihuahuas typically get attached to one person. This is usually the person that feeds them and spends the most time at home with them.
A lot of the time, male Chihuahuas attach to women and female Chihuahuas attach to men so keep that in mind when getting a Chihuahua.
If you are the sole caretaker of your Chihuahua, they will be attached to you which can be a lot of responsibility. This is because you are the only person that they rely on for food, attention, and love.
However, there are many benefits to being your Chihuahua’s person. They will be incredibly loyal and loving towards you and will want to spend all their time with you.
You will have a lifetime companion and guard dog!
While this is a wonderful trait, it can also be challenging if you are not the person that your Chihuahua has attached to.
But do not fret since you can try to win them over by feeding them treats, playing with them, and giving them lots of attention.
11. Medical Issue
If you’re wondering: why is my dog so clingy all of a sudden, it could be due to a medical issue.
When your dog isn’t feeling well, they may seek out more attention and comfort from you.
Other symptoms of a medical issue in dogs are:
- loss of appetite
- weight loss or gain
- vomiting or diarrhea
If you think your dog’s clinginess might be due to a medical issue, take them to the vet right away.
12. Traumatic Event
Another possible reason your dog is acting scared and clingy all of a sudden could be due to a traumatic event.
This could be anything from being attacked by another animal, being abused, being chased by a broom, after a bad grooming experience, getting surgery, or being in a car accident.
If your dog has experienced a traumatic event, they may be scared and clingy for some time.
It is important to be patient with your dog and provide them with the love and attention they need.
You may also want to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to help your dog overcome their fears.
13. Pack Animal
Another reason why Chihuahuas are so needy is because they are pack animals.
Chihuahuas see their owners as their pack. In the wild, wolves travel in packs for safety and companionship. Since dogs are descendants of wolves, they still have that instinct to be part of a pack.
When your Chihuahua becomes attached to you, they see you as their pack leader. Chihuahuas are instinctively drawn to being part of a pack – even if that pack is just one person.
This need for companionship is another reason why Chihuahuas are so clingy and needy.
14. Not Enough Exercise or Mental Stimulation
Chihuahuas are intelligent dogs and need to be kept mentally and physically stimulated or else they’ll get bored.
If they are not given enough exercise or mental stimulation, they can become bored, extra clingy, or destructive.
Make sure you are taking your Chihuahua on daily walks and providing them with plenty of toys to keep their minds active. We have more details in the tips section.
Read more: Find Out How Much Exercise Chihuahuas Need
15. Female in Heat
When female dogs are in heat, they can become clingy and needy.
Give your pup some extra comfort during this time with lots of cuddles and patience. This clinginess should only last for a few weeks until she is out of heat.
Pregnant Chihuahuas can also become more clingy and needy as they prepare to give birth.
This is perfectly normal behavior and nothing to be concerned about.
Your Chihuahua is just trying to stay close to the person they love and trust the most during this vulnerable time.
Provide your pregnant Chihuahua with lots of love and attention during this special time.
She might even develop floppy ears while pregnant, which are super cute. This will go away after giving birth.
Why are Chihuahuas so needy when they’re puppies?
Puppies can be extra clingy and needy because they’ve recently been separated from their mother and littermates.
They are trying to figure out their place in the world and you are their only source of comfort.
Be patient with your puppy as they adjust to their new home. This clinginess should calm down as they settle into their new life and grow older.
11 Tips To Help With Your Clingy Chihuahua
Many people think it’s cute when their Chihuahua is always by their side but for some, it can be overwhelming. If your Chihuahua is always underfoot and seems a bit anxious, you may be wondering what you can do to help.
It’s good for dogs to have some independence and confidence to do things on their own and not rely on you as much.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to help your Chihuahua feel more confident and less clingy.
1. Establish Rules and Boundaries
It’s important to establish rules and boundaries with your Chihuahua early on.
This will help them understand what is expected of them and give them a sense of security. It will also help your dog feel secure and prevent them from becoming too attached to you.
For example, you might want to set a rule that your dog can’t sleep in your bed. Instead, give them their own bed, like this cozy donut bed, or a crate that they can sleep in next to yours. We choose to use a bedside bassinet filled with blankets so Leo can sleep right next to our bed.
You should also make sure to spend a little time each day apart from your dog, so they don’t start to see you as their only source of companionship.
Be consistent with the rules you set, so your dog knows what to expect.
When it comes to dealing with a clingy Chihuahua, exercise can be a helpful solution. Often, clingy behavior is the result of boredom or pent-up energy.
Make sure your pup gets plenty of exercise and playtime. Chihuahuas need 30 minutes of exercise a day. You can break it up into two 15-minute sessions or one longer 30-minute session.
A dog that has plenty of opportunities to run, play, and explore their surroundings is less likely to be so needy.
They might also be too tired to follow you around as much. Instead, they might sleep more or be more relaxed in general.
With a little patience and persistence, you should see a reduction in clingy behavior.
3. Independent Play
One way to make sure your Chihuahua gets the attention they need is to provide opportunities for independent play.
By giving your Chihuahua time to explore and play on their own, you’re helping them to develop confidence and independence.
This can be as simple as setting out a few toys or investing in some puzzles and bones. This will keep your dog occupied, teach them to play independently, and provide mental stimulation.
Here are some great ideas for independent toys:
- an automatic fetch toy so your dog can play fetch by themself
- a snuffle mat will make your dog forage for food and can be used with kibble or treats
- an Idig satisfies your dog’s desire to dig and hunt
- a treat-dispensing toy will keep your dog busy while providing tasty rewards along the way
By providing opportunities for independent play, you can help your Chihuahua develop into a well-rounded dog who is confident and secure.
Training your Chihuahua not to be clingy can be a challenge, but it is possible. First, it’s important to understand why your dog may be clingy.
Dogs are social creatures and need companionship to feel comfortable. This can lead to clinginess as they seek out comfort from their owner.
Training can help your dog to feel more confident and independent, reducing their need to be attached to you constantly.
If your dog is being too clingy, don’t reward them. It’s best to ignore the behavior and try to redirect their attention to something else like a toy or puzzle.
It’s also important to provide plenty of positive reinforcement when your dog is behaving the way you want. This could include treats, petting, or verbal praise.
Desensitize your Chihuahua to your movements and behaviors. If your dog gets worked up every time you put on your shoes to leave or grab the keys, start doing these things more often, even when you’re not leaving.
This will help your Chihuahua realize that just because you’re performing these actions, it doesn’t mean you’re leaving.
With a little patience and training, you can help your Chihuahua overcome their clinginess.
5. Create a Safe Space
Ensure that your Chihuahua has a safe, comfortable place to sleep and relax.
One way to do this is to use a covered crate with a dog bed and cozy blankets like this waterproof sherpa fleece blanket. Another option would be a wire playpen with a door or this foldable portable playpen.
Reward your Chihuahua when they go into their crate or playpen on their own. This will help them to associate it with positive things and make it a more appealing place for them to be.
They will learn that this spot is theirs and that they can relax, recharge, and feel safe there without you.
It’s best to put their crate or playpen in a quiet spot but not too far away from where you normally are.
Your Chihuahua must get enough socialization with other people and dogs. This can help to reduce clinginess and needy behavior.
You can take them to dog parks, doggy daycare, go on pack walks, or have dog playdates.
This will allow your dog to interact with other dogs and people in a positive way and help them learn to feel more confident.
The world is an intimidating place for small Chihuahuas. Help them to build confidence by letting them explore their surroundings. This will help to reduce clinginess and needy behavior.
Some great exploration activities:
- check out a new neighborhood or park
- visit dog-friendly stores like Lowe’s
- go on a “sniffari” where you let your dog lead you and they get to sniff everything
- let them wander inside your local pet store
- eat at a dog-friendly restaurant
- hide toys or treats around the yard or house
Make sure to take lots of treats to make it a positive experience. With lots of practice, your Chihuahua will become more and more confident.
8. Teach a New Command or Trick
One great way to build confidence and prevent clinginess is to teach your Chihuahua some new tricks or commands.
This will give them a chance to focus on something specific and they’ll feel proud when they accomplish something new. They’ll also learn to follow directions and listen to you.
Your Chihuahua’s confidence will grow as they learn more commands and tricks. Plus, it’s a great way to bond with your furry friend.
So, next time your Chihuahua is feeling clingy, try teaching them a new trick. It just might help them feel more confident and independent.
9. Keep a Calm Atmosphere & Stick to a Routine
Sticking to a routine can help to reduce stress and anxiety in your Chihuahua, reducing their neediness.
They will know what to expect and when things are going to happen. If your Chihuahua knows when they can expect to see you, they’ll be less likely to stress out when you’re not around.
Try to keep a calm atmosphere in the house. If your Chihuahua feels like they’re always in the middle of a whirlwind or there are too many loud noises, it will only increase their anxiety.
Lastly, don’t make a big deal about leaving the house or coming home. This will help your Chihuahua to stay calm and relaxed.
10. Teach “Place” Command
Teach your Chihuahua to go to their “place” or “spot.” Have a designated spot for your dog to go to like their crate, a dog bed, or a mat.
Start by teaching them to go there for short periods of time and gradually increase the amount of time.
Positive reinforcement is key when training your Chihuahua. Be patient and consistent with your pup. Reward them when they go to their “place.”
Soon they will learn that they don’t have to be by your side every second of the day.
When we give our dog a chew toy or his Kong, we have him go to his place first, which is a soft mat. That way he knows he’ll get something tasty there.
11. Mental Stimulation
Another way to help your Chihuahua become less clingy and more confident is to give them mental stimulation.
By working their brain, they will be less likely to focus on their anxieties and will build confidence. Not to mention, mental stimulation is just good for their overall health!
This can be in the form of puzzles, a lickmat, a Kong filled with treats, or scent work with a snuffle mat. Our Chihuahua loves doing this brick puzzle.
So make sure to give your furry friend plenty of opportunities to use their noggin!
Do Chihuahuas Require a lot of Attention?
Although Chihuahuas are lapdogs, they do require a good amount of attention. They are energetic little dogs that need 20 to 30 minutes of exercise daily and playtime. Chihuahuas that lack attention may become needy and whine a lot.
They are also prone to separation anxiety so it’s best not to leave them alone for too long. If you go to work all day or lead a very busy lifestyle, a Chihuahua may not be the right breed of dog for you.
Chihuahuas are great companion dogs for those who are home a lot or who can bring their dog along everywhere. If you have the time to give your Chihuahua the attention they need, then they make great pets!
What It Means to Have a Clingy Chihuahua
You might have to make some changes in your life to accommodate a clingy Chihuahua.
This means being willing to let your pup tag along with you everywhere you go, including the bathroom. Being understanding and patient when they cry or whine is also key.
Things you’ll have to get used to:
- as soon as you sit down your lap will become their bed
- they will follow you to the bathroom
- can’t cuddle/hug your partner without your Chihuahua right there in the middle
- you might never eat a meal in peace if your Chihuahua begs or if they need to sit near you at the table or lay at your feet
- you can’t leave the house for too long unless you bring your dog with you
- you will have a little shadow following you around the house
- if you don’t work from home, you might have to hire a dog walker or someone to check on them during the day or take them to doggy daycare
- if you’re not paying them enough attention, they will bark or cry
Benefits of a clingy Chihuahua:
- they will get you out of the house more since they can’t be left alone long
- they will be your watchdog, barking at any noise they hear
- you will have a cuddle buddy and best friend for life
- if you live alone, you’ll have a constant companion
- they will make you laugh with their silly antics
- they will always be happy to see you
- you’ll never feel alone because your Chihuahua will always be by your side
Chihuahuas might be a lot of work but they are smart dogs and quick learners.
Read more: How Smart Are Chihuahuas?
While being clingy may seem like a negative trait, it can actually be quite endearing. After all, what could be more rewarding than knowing that your dog loves you so much that he or she wants to be with you all the time?
Why Does My Chihuahua Want Me to Hold Her All the Time?
Chihuahuas are often called velcro dogs. This breed is known for being very bonded to their owner, and they may view being held as a way to physically express that love. Chihuahuas are simply trying to get closer to their favorite person. They may also feel safe in their owner’s arms by being high up off the ground.
Is It Normal for Chihuahuas to Be Clingy?
Chihuahua owners often wonder if their dog’s clingy behavior is normal. The answer is that it depends on the individual dog and how well they’ve been socialized. Some Chihuahuas are outgoing and bold, while others are shy and afraid. However, all Chihuahuas have the potential to be clingy.
Why is My Dog Suddenly Following Me Everywhere?
If your dog suddenly starts following you everywhere, it could be a sign that they’re feeling insecure, anxious, bored, or needs attention. If there’s been a recent life change, a traumatic experience, or a medical issue, that could also explain why your dog is suddenly acting clingy.
We hope you got your answer to: why are Chihuahuas so clingy?
If you have a clingy Chihuahua, you’re not alone. There are many things you can do to help them become less clingy.
First, try to understand the reasons causing them to be clingy. Some common reasons are separation anxiety, aging, a life change, or a traumatic experience.
Once you know what’s causing your dog’s behavior, you can start working on solutions and taking steps to help your pup feel more confident.
Some tips to help you reduce your Chihuahua’s clingy behavior include providing plenty of mental stimulation and exercise, encouraging independent play, and creating a safe space for them.
With patience and training, your Chihuahua will learn that they don’t need to be so clingy and will start to enjoy their independence.