Why Are Chihuahuas So Clingy? The Attention They Need Might Shock You!

While all dogs are faithful, Chihuahua are especially known for constantly walking in their owner’s shadow. They are a true people-dog who adore attention from their owners. They have been bred as companion and lap dogs, so their clingy nature it something all Chihuahua owners can identify with.

But how much attention will a Chihuahua need, and why exactly are Chihuahuas so clingy? Let’s take a closer look…

Why is my Chihuahua so clingy? Chihuahuas are renowned as having a clingy nature due to how they have been bred; as dogs designed for human companionship in more modern times. Because of this, Chihuahua will follow their owners everywhere and are prone to suffering with separation anxiety.

If you don’t think you can handle this neediness, a Chihuahua really isn’t the dog for you. They will constantly need you to be in close attention, so won’t suit someone with a busy lifestyle you cannot give the Chihuahua the attention it needs.

If this is going to annoy you, look at different smaller dog breeds that are known to be more independent such as Beagles, Cairn Terriers, Jack Russells, Miniature Pinschers, and Scottish Terriers.

Do Chihuahuas require a lot of attention?

Because of their clingy nature, Chihuahuas are rather manic dogs and are also rather susceptible to separation anxiety, meaning that they dislike being left at home for even short periods of time. Here’s a list of things you might not be able to do due to how much attention Chihuahuas need:

  • You might not be able to leave the house.
  • You might not be able to shut them in a room when the doorbell goes.
  • You might not be able to cuddle your partner or kids.
  • You might not be able to go to the toilet without them barking and scratching at the door.
  • You might not be able to go to work from 9 to 5 without doggy daycare help.
  • You might not be able to leave them in the car for a few minutes when you run in a store.

However, because of their small size they are also easy to take with you. Leaving your Chihuahua at home on its own for a long period of time can lead to destructive behaviour, either from anxiety or boredom.

If you have things like work commitments, or a life so busy that you can’t give the Chihuahua the attention it needs then don’t get one. The other alternative is to possibly think about getting more than one Chihuahua… many owners say Chihuahuas are better in pairs.

why is my chihuahua so clingy
If you have a clingy Chihuahua you might want to consider getting him a companions – maybe not a cat though!(Image via https://pixabay.com/photos/chihuahua-dog-small-cute-sweet-4354731/)

The bottom line is this; Chihuahuas require a lot of attention and if you can’t give them that it could not only impact on their mental health, but also cause you untold problems around your home.

Do Chihuahuas get attached to one person?

In many cases, Chihuahuas do become attached to just the one person. Their chief care giver will become the focus on their world and can result in clingy behavior, and sometimes even aggression towards others.

However, this isn’t a blanket rule by any stretch, but compared to other dog breeds, Chihuahuas do tend to be very clingy towards just one person.

My Chihuahua has just started getting more clingy than usual

Whilst the majority of Chihuahuas have a large degree of clinginess, sometimes the clingy behaviour can accelerate and become more intense than usual.

There are some common reasons for this including:

  1. A change in your behavior: for example, if you have started a new job or have changed the times you come in and out of the house.
  2. A new person in the house: Chihuahuas have known to become clingier when a new arrival comes into the house. That could be a baby, a visitor, or a new partner who takes the attention away from them.
  3. A change to their environment: if you move to a new house, or even move their bed into a new room, this could trigger your Chihuahua’s anxiety, making them even more needy than before.
  4. A change in their health: other aspects that make your Chihuahua more clingy than usual can be their own health. For example, if their eyesight or hearing has started to reduce, and they get scared.
  5. A sudden noise or act of aggression: classic Chihuahua neediness can be triggered by the stress of fireworks or an aggressive interaction they have had with another dog.
  6. A lack of mental stimulation: all dogs like to play, and if your Chihuahua doesn’t have enough toys, he could become more needy and clingy around you.
  7. A case of separation anxiety: Chihuahuas cannot be left alone for longer than an hour or two. Any more than that and they could develop separation anxiety, but more about that in a moment.

What does Chihuahua separation anxiety look like?

These factors above all come into play with separation anxiety. Chihuahuas should not be left alone for hours, as they simply won’t be able to cope with the stress.

The signs below are classic signals to look out for if your Chihuahua is suffering separation anxiety:

  • Urinating and defecating in a new place (here’s how to retrain them).
  • Pacing, heavy panting, and drooling.
  • Barking and howling more than usual.
  • Digging your garden, chewing your stuff, and being destructive.
  • Trying to escape the yard or house – like under or over fences.

You can reduce your Chihuahua’s separation anxiety when you leave your home by adopting the following routines:

  • Always stay calm and put them at ease.
  • Don’t make a big thing of it when you leave the house.
  • Calm them when they try and wait outside a bathroom door for you.
  • Build them a safe and comfortable place to sleep in.
  • Only leave the house for short absences at first.
  • Use positive reinforcement.
  • Keep your Chihuahua happy and entertained with toys.
  • Keep your Chihuahua well exercised to burn off excess energy.
  • Employ a dog walker or doggy day care if you are away for a few hours.
  • Speak with your vet for professional advice and possible medication.

Check if your Chihuahua is happy (and smiling)

If you still not sure whether your Chihuahua is happy or not, then you might want to check out other signs to look out for.


If you want a dog that doesn’t require constant attention, a Chihuahua really isn’t for you. They are renowned as being clingy and needy and cannot be left alone at home.

However, if it’s a side by side companion you want who will be your life partner until the end, a Chihuahua is a great choice.

But before you do jump in and buy one, please do your research first. Chihuahuas are renowned for suffering with a range of health issues, some of which I’ve detailed in the blog posts below.

Image in header via https://unsplash.com/photos/xTJ4ZtPD__8

Marc Aaron

I write about the things we've learned about owning dogs, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips we've picked up along the way.

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