Do Chihuahuas love their owners? I wondered about this, as I read Gregory Berns’ account of How Dogs Love Us.
A little background here: Gregory Berns is a neuroscientist who scientifically studied ways in which dogs show emotions and also the mysteries of the human-canine bonds.
Of course, our Chihuahuas love us – Berns has proven that or us! And dogs have unique ways of showing their love to us – sometimes, we humans just aren’t smart enough to understand them!
In this guide, I will discuss do Chihuahuas love their owners and the different ways in which they show us this love.
Do Chihuahuas Love Their Owners?
Yes, Chihuahuas and all dogs love their owners. Neuroscientists and anthropologists have also proven this for a fact using scientific experiments and brain-scans.
In Gregory Berns’ experiment, he found through MRIs that dogs can easily recall their ‘loved’ ones and even have memories of the people they love. They even think of their humans when they are not in the room.
Also, the scent of their human elicits a loving and happiness response in dogs. In fact, most dogs find the scents of their humans more exciting than anything else.
Most Chihuahuas are one-person dogs; this means that they might mostly get deeply attached to one person. However, they will show their love to all members of their family – who are literally like their ‘pack members’. In the next section, I will elaborate further on this.
Why Do Chihuahuas Love their Owners?
Here are the reasons why Chihuahuas love their owners:
1. For the food
Chihuahuas love their food and when you feed your pet its favorite foods and treats, it is bound to love you even more. Food is a great way of bonding with any dog. When your Chi’s belly is full, it will feel happy and content and that is why it will associate whoever feeds it with those emotions.
Of course, your Chihuahua loves you, no matter what, and it isn’t just for the food.
2. Due to the ‘small dog syndrome’
Chihuahuas are the world’s smallest dog breed. This often gives them the ‘small dog syndrome’ which leads to insecurities and fear. Indeed, your small Chihuahua has a fearful temperament and when it has your protection, it will love you and look up to you almost as a parent.
3. They have a pack mentality
All dogs have the pack mentality – they love doing things in packs. This is right from their days as wolves and wild dogs where these animals watched out for each other, took care of each other, and hunted as a pack.
Chihuahuas love all their humans. Even though your Chi might get attached to one person in your household, it will still consider all household members as part of its pack. Naturally, your Chi will feel protective about every member as well.
4. Breeding and genes
Chihuahua is bred to be a lap dog or canine companion dog. That is also the reason why they are inherently loyal and loving pets. It is their genetic makeup to have a heart full of love and they won’t hesitate to show it!
It is also believed that a gene mutation in wolves might have led to the loving dogs of today. Certainly, there were wolves that growled at and attacked humans but there were kind and loving wolves too who were more accepting of humans. These were the wolves that mankind kept as pets and it is from them the modern dogs of today might have evolved.
5. Oxytocin hormone
The oxytocin hormone or the love hormone is not only present in humans, it is also present in these smaller dogs. When you hug and cuddle with your Chihuahua dog breed, the hormone is secreted in both you and your pet. This hormone further helps in the bonding process and makes the relationship mutually full of love.
What Are the Signs That a Chihuahua Loves its Owners?
Chihuahuas definitely love their humans or owners. Your pet will show you its love using the following signs:
1. It makes eye contact
Have you seen your Chihuahuas staring at you for hours? Mine sure does and it is not so just at dinnertime!
Chihuahuas sleep a lot, but in between naps, your tiny dog will look at you and will even make prolonged eye contact with you! This is the Chihuahua pup way of showing you it loves you.
2. Wags its tail
Every time you approach your Chi, it will wag its tail. This is definitely a sign of love, joy, and happiness. Your Chi might also reach up to lick and kiss you or beg to be picked up and held.
3. Asks for snuggles and cuddles
Chihuahuas are extremely cute dogs that love to snuggle with their humans. One sign of showing love and affection is that they will demand to cuddle all the time. Your family dog will gladly sleep between your legs if you allow it!
4. Gets jealous of those you give your attention to!
Isn’t jealousy a form of love too? The moment you give your attention to some other dog/pet/human, your Chihuahua might show signs of jealousy. Of course, you must train your pet to curb this jealousy or it could soon turn to aggression.
5. Asks to sleep in your bed
Your loving and affectionate Chihuahua might also jump in your bed at every opportunity it gets. That is because it wants to be close to you all the time.
6. Follows you around
When you are at home, your Chihuahua might follow you around. This could also stem from its separation anxiety and insecurity but it mainly arises out of the fact that it wants to always keep you within sight.
7. Brings you its toys
Many Chihuahuas show their love for their owners by bringing them ‘offerings’. Bringing a favorite toy is a dog’s way of showing its love to the owner.
8. Leans into you
My Chihuahua often sits on feet or leans into me under my desk where I work. That is her way of showing her love and affection although she might also be seeking warmth! I like to believe that making contact helps her show her love to me.
9. Yawns with you
When you yawn, does your Chi yawn too? Then is a sign that your Chi loves you!
10. Demands to be held
A Chihuahua who loves you deeply will want to be with you all the time. That is why it might demand to be held all the time too! It will show this by jumping on you and whining.
Do Chihuahuas Get Attached to One Person?
Yes, it is a well-known fact that most Chihuahuas get attached to one person.
So, if your Chi has bonded or attached to you, it might reject the others. That does not mean it does not love the others in your household. It is just that your Chi finds that its energy-levels and personality matches with yours.
Also, Chihuahuas do not need more than one caretaker. They form a fiercely loyal bond with whoever trains, feeds, and takes care of them.
Even if you and your partner/child take turns in looking after your Chi, it might still form a loving bond with just one of you.
Worry not: your Chi loves all of you but it might reserve those special licks, cuddles, and kisses only for one person!
How To Know if Your Chihuahua is Happy with You?
Here are the signs of a happy Chihuahua:
1. Smiling Chihuahua
Yes, Chis can smile. If you catch your Chihuahua smiling, it is definitely happy!
2. Wags tail
A happy Chihuahua will wag its tail and wiggle its butt!
3. Shows no aggression
Chihuahuas that are aggressive are often stressed or have unmet needs. A happy Chi will rarely show any aggression as its needs will be met.
4. Is relaxed
Your Chihuahua will be relaxed if it is happy and content. A well-fed Chi will sleep happily and even snore! It won’t pace or find things to destroy or bark incessantly.
5. Will not exhibit destructive behavior
A happy Chihuahua won’t destroy stuff, chew furniture, indulge in incessant barking, pee inside the house, or do all those things it isn’t supposed to do.
6. Has a good appetite
A healthy and happy Chihuahua will love to eat and will look forward to its meals. It will also love to receive treats from you.
7. Looks at you with love
Love needs no language. Your Chi can show its love for you simply by looking at you filled with love!
8. Plays with you
A happy Chi will play with its toys and show an upbeat mood through antics.
9. Gives you kisses
Another sign that your Chi is very happy with you is that it will want to jump on you and show love and affection through kisses and licks.
6 Tips to Keep Your Chihuahua’s Love
There are some easy ways to keep your Chihuahua’s love forever:
1. Food and treats
Who doesn’t love someone who gives them food and treats? A way to a dog’s heart is through its belly. Just like humans, Chihuahuas (and all dogs) enjoy treats and food.
Give your Chihuahua healthy treats like this one. You can also feed your Chi home cooked food – your pet will understand your love and positive intention behind your action.
2. Talk to it
Talking to your Chihuahua in a soothing tone and positive intonation of voice is the easiest way to keep its love. Tell your pet how much you love them as you treat and also that s/he is a good girl/boy!
Also, be consistent with training and avoid giving it mixed signals. Training can reduce frustrations that come from unmet expectations or miscommunications – it will also help your Chihuahua dog understand what you want it to do.
3. Be mindful of its likes/dislikes
Chihuahuas have distinct personalities and your pet will show you what it does and doesn’t like. So pay attention to its body language, and see if your petting in a particular way is appealing to your Chi. If not, your chi might pull away – so stop and change your petting style.
4. Play with it
Spending time with your male Chihuahua or female Chihuahua is the best way to get them to like you. Jump around, be goofy, take them to the Dog Park and play a game of fetch, etc.
Having fun with your Chi is the easiest way to earn its trust and keep its love.
5. Remain calm
Never lose your temper, yell at, or hit your Chihuahua. Sure there will be situations where you get upset and lose your cool but avoid taking it out on your small dog. Your pet is relying on you to stay calm.
6. Know the power of physical touch
Petting aside you may also want to groom your Chihuahua. The act of touching it, removing mats and tangles (in case of longhaired Chihuahua), or simply brushing and grooming daily can also help strengthen your bond.
Research has shown that physical contact between dogs and humans can strengthen and enhance their bond.
FAQs – Do Chihuahuas Love Their Owners
1. Why does my Chihuahua stare at me?
The simple act of staring between a dog and dog owner is known to release the love hormone or oxytocin. That is why Chis stare at their humans – to enhance their bond and show them their love.
2. Why does my Chi put its paw on me?
A Chihuahua might paw its pet parent when it wants to pet them back! Since dogs cannot stroke or scratch us, placing a paw on our hands is a way of saying ‘I love you’!
Do Chihuahuas love their owners? Yes, all dogs, Chihuahuas included, love their owners very much. Tests and MRI scans have also proved that dogs are capable of various human emotions and love is one of them.
Your Chi will show its love to you by licking you, snuggling close to you, and staring at you. In return, you can play with it, feed it, and spend more time with it to strengthen your loving bond.