The Velcro Dog: Why Are Chihuahuas So Clingy?

Does your Chihuahua follow you around all day?

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.

A women with painted orange nails holding a black clingy chihuahua

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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.

Let’s get into all the reasons of why are Chihuahuas so clingy.

16 Reasons Why Chihuahuas Are So Clingy

There are many different reasons why Chihuahuas may be so clingy and needy.

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:

  • pacing
  • drooling
  • 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.

2. Lapdog Breed

a chihuahua sleeping in a man's lap. why are chihuahua so clingy

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.

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.

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

a lonely clingy white chihuahua sitting on a blanket looking down

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.

Leo, our rescue dog, is afraid of being alone, so we take him with us wherever we can.

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.

6. Aging

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).

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:

  • moving
  • 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.

Utilizing a crate as their safe space can help your Chihuahua feel more secure.

You can also help them feel more secure by including them in your new routine as much as possible.

9. Personality

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.

He even snoozes in the bathroom while we get ready.

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.

10. Attached to One Person

a woman wearing a white sweater holding a clingy needy chihuahua

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.

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.

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.

They might act strange, hide in the bathroom or under furniture, or lay down to eat.

Other symptoms of a medical issue in dogs are:

  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss or gain
  • lethargy
  • 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 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.

3 chihuahuas sitting on a sofa with a white fluffy blanket

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. Pregnant

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.

She might even develop floppy ears while pregnant, which are super cute.

This will go away after giving birth.

16. Puppyhood

a chihuahua puppy in a bowl of food licking their lips and looking at their mother

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.

10 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.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to help your Chihuahua feel more confident and less clingy.

a white clingy needy chihuahua sleeping in a person's lap

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 chose to use a bedside bassinet 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.

2. Exercise

a brown chihuahua wearing a blue sweater on a leash in the grass

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.

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.

3. Independent Play

a tan chihuahua on his back in his bed with a toy in his mouth

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 chews.

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

4. Training

Training your Chihuahua not to be clingy can be a challenge, but it is possible.

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.

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.

6. Socialization

a woman walking 6 dogs on leashes

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.

7. Exploration

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.

a chihuahua with his paw in the air in the grass

8. 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.

9. Teach “Place” Command

a black and white chihuahua sitting in their blue bed with white hearts

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.

10. 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.

Do Chihuahuas Require A Lot of Attention?

a clingy needy chihuahua sitting on the floor with a hand petting him

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 are 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.

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 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.

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.

Once you know what’s causing your dog’s clingy behavior, you can start working on solutions and taking steps to help your pup feel more confident.

With patience and training, your Chihuahua will learn that they don’t need to be so clingy and will start to enjoy their independence.

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