Chihuahuas are known for acting like the biggest dog in the dog park. Many of them bark, growl and advance on anything that comes their way. But that tough exterior may actually be a façade for a terrified little dog that just wants everyone to stay away. Knowing if your dog is stressed can help you be a better owner because you can then work on helping him feel more at ease through training and/or changing the environment. But first, you have to be able to tell when your Chihuahua is feeling this way. The following are some of the big signs your little Chihuahua is feeling stressed or anxious.
#1 – Barking
As mentioned above, Chihuahuas tend to go on the offensive when they are feeling stressed or anxious. For many this means barking. Some may whine and even growl. Just be aware that if your Chihuahua is acting tough, he might actually be scared.
#2 – Cowering
Chihuahuas who are stressed will often try and find a place to hide. They may cower at your feet, with their body hunched over, ears down and tail tucked, or they may try and hide under furniture. I’ve seen some duck under their owner’s arm if they are being held.
#3 – Lip Licking
Lip licking is a common sign of stress. Your Chihuahua may lip lick and yawn when he is stressed. It’s usually a slower lip lick than when they are tasting something good. It can also look like a “flick” where the tongue comes out and goes back in without actually licking their lips.
#4 – Taking Treats Hard
If you train using positive reinforcement (or just happen to be feeding him) and your Chihuahua is taking the food harder than he normally does, this is a sign of stress. You may even get bit by accident as your dog take his nervous tension out on the food. This is a definite sign you need to change the environment.
#5 – Whale Eye
This is something a lot of dogs will do and on Chihuahuas it is very visible. “Whale eye” is when the white around the iris of your dog’s eye is visible. With many Chihuahuas, their eyes will actually bulge out. This is a definite sign that your Chihuahua is stressed or anxious.