chihuahua health and nutrition

When Your Chihuahua is Overly Protective of His Food

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barking dogAll dogs are known to be possessive of what they see to be theirs. But Some of them become sometimes very aggressive when it comes to food.

If you notice that your chihuahua acts this way, don’t be so angry and try instead to understand why this behavior is taking place. Then you will start a process to train your dog to find a solution to this issue.

In this article we will discuss :

  • The reason why your chihuahua may act very possessive of his food, water bowl, or even an empty bowl.
  • the difference between normal behavior and excessive behavior.
  • what is the solution?
  • Do keep in mind that the number of calories that your chihuahua eats can affect their behavior.

Over-Protective signs

Normal signs include a chihuahua :

  • Hiding food
  • Going with food to a new place and eating it there.
  • barking if a person touches his bowl even empty
  • Barking when anyone comes even close to his food.

If you are a parent of a newly rescued chihuahua you will notice this behavior because before coming to your house the dog had to fight to hold onto his food. with training your rescued chihuahua will learn to trust you, and that there is no reason to be overprotective.

Protection of food bowl

The chihuahua food bowl is seen by the dog as the magic place where the food will appear, so your chihuahua, if he is not well trained, will try to protect his food bowl, In some cases, he may behave this way even if the bowl is empty, he will also protect the area around the bowl.

We should keep in mind that the area around the bowl is important as the dog food itself.

A lot of you may ask how can empty space be so important? chihuahuas come from the wild they used to live in dens. There wasn’t enough space inside dens, this was the dog’s safe haven, where they used to hide there from any other animals who may try and take it.

Even well-trained chihuahuas may have the instinct to consider the area around food their “den”

Other causes for protecting Dog food

If your chihuahua shows over-protection signs this may be a sign that your dog is not receiving enough food.

Some owners focus on avoiding overweight and its dangers to chihuahuas, this way they tend to feed their dog less than normal in an effort to keep the dog healthy and fit.

Are you sure that your chihuahua is receiving enough calories?

The amount of burned calories has related to some factors, It’s common that active dogs will burn more calories. Other dogs who sleep and rest a lot will burn less. But, there are also other factors that change this like :

  • the age
  • the heat cycle or pregnancy
  • the daily exercise

The number of calories that your chihuahua needs can vary greatly depending on the above factors. The best tip to know if your dog is receiving enough calories is to look at his or her ribs.

If you notice that bones sticking out, Your chihuahua is underweight and should be fed more. If you don’t feel any ribs at all and there is a thick layer of fat on the dog’s rib cage, your dog is getting enough calories.

You may ask how many calories a chihuahua needs? we will give all weight even if the number can vary by 20%, to give you an idea of what an enormous dog needs.
3 pounds (1.36 kg) = 125 calories 5 pounds (2.26 kg) = 175 calories 10 pounds (4.53 kg) = 370 calories 20 pounds (9.07 kg)= 700 calories 30 pounds (13.60 kg)= 938 calories 50 pounds (22.68 kg)= 1329 calories 80 pounds (36.28 kg)= 1780 calories 100 pounds (45.35 kg) = 2100 calories.

Normal VS abnormal possessive behavior with dog food

If your chihuahua barks, growls, bares teeth, nips when a person is touching his food, or he is near to the area around the bowl food, this is abnormal possessive behavior and it is unacceptable behavior and some actions should be taken to stop this behavior.

When your chihuahua makes a gesture to gently push away someone who comes too close or lets out a little bark if someone is touching the food, don’t worry this is normal possessive behavior, and it’s common with all dogs.

Giving Your chihuahua enough Personal Space.

Some tips to follow if your dog is showing too much aggression in protecting his food, water, or area around the food bowl

1. Be sure that you provided a setup for the dog food that will make him feel safe before starting any dog training.

2. when your  chihuahua is not looking, clean his food dish and water bowl

3. Fill the bowl when your chihuahua is out of the room.

4. Give an entire corner of a Quiet room to your chihuahua for his food and water. Try also to show your family and visitors that this place is the dog’s special area.

5. everyone must respect the dog’s area.

6. If you have multiple dogs or perhaps a cat…you should give all animals their own area to eat to avoid competition for food


The training will work best if your chihuahua is still a puppy. For example, you should train your puppy that food doesn’t need to be overly protected.

Start by training your chihuahua to give you objects. Once your dog learns that you try to ask him to give you food, then you return that food right back, this way your dog will learn a great lesson and will avoid aggressive behavior.




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