Chihuahuas are one of the smallest dogs you’ll ever meet, but certainly not when it comes to personality. They’re full of enough character and attitude for a giant dog!

If you’re considering bringing a Chihuahua into your home, you might be wondering whether a male or female is best. Surprisingly, there are quite a few differences. 

It’s important to understand the variations between the two so you can pick a pooch that will fit in with your lifestyle and preferences. 

We’ll go over Chihuahua temperament male vs female, plus everything else you need to know to make the right choice for you. Let’s get started!

Chihuahua Temperament - Male vs Female Comparison

Overview: Male Versus Female

Male Chihuahuas

  • Height: 5-9 inches
  • Weight: 2-6 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years on average 
  • Temperament: Loving, can be dominant, protective
  • Affection: Highly affectionate, clingy
  • Socializing: Can be wary of strangers and other pets
  • Trainability: Can be a bit more difficult to train
  • Energy Levels: Medium – very playful

Female Chihuahuas

  • Height: 4-7 inches
  • Weight: 2-6 pounds 
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years on average 
  • Temperament: Loving, more laid back, may bark more 
  • Affection: Affectionate but less clingy 
  • Socializing: More accepting of other pets/people 
  • Trainability: Reasonably easy to train
  • Energy Levels: Low/medium – more laid back 

Physical Traits

Chihuahua Temperament - Male vs Female Comparison

Generally, male Chihuahuas are bigger than females. Males tend to be between five and nine inches tall, while females are between four and seven inches. 

Often males weigh a bit more than females, but this can vary. All Chihuahuas should weigh between two and six pounds. 

Male Chis can often look a bit ‘stockier’ and more muscular than females. I usually notice this the most around the neck and chest area. However, this depends on the individual dog. 

It’s important to note that it can be difficult to tell the difference between male and female Chihuahuas when they’re puppies because they’re so little! The breeder or rescue center will be able to guide you, and you can always double-check with a vet if you’re unsure. 

Personality and Temperament

Chihuahua Temperament - Male vs Female Comparison

Now let’s get to the main reason we’re here – the difference in temperament between male and female Chis. 

Males tend to be more affectionate but can also be more dominant and prone to aggression. On the other hand, females are usually slightly less affectionate but are more laid back with other people and pets. 

Males tend to mature physically a lot quicker than female Chis, but they can take longer to mature emotionally. So, if you get a male you might have a ‘puppy’ on your hands for longer. 

Neutering or spaying your dog can have an impact on their behavior, which we’ll discuss more later. 

Keep in mind that this is general guidance. All dogs are different and their temperament depends on so many things. They’re individuals, just like us! 

Barking and Aggression

Chihuahua Temperament - Male vs Female Comparison

Males are typically more protective over their families and so can be more aggressive to strangers and other animals they don’t know. 

On the other hand, many Chi owners feel that females are more prone to barking than males. 

This varies a great deal and I would say that overall, Chihuahuas are a pretty vocal breed. They tend to bark a lot at people they don’t know and other dogs. 

They can be quite protective and even get quite worried in new situations. I think that a lot of their fear around new people is because so many people treat them as ‘toys’ rather than ‘real dogs’. 

Many people try to pick them up or don’t take them seriously because they’re so little – so they feel they need to stick up for themselves. Usually what is perceived as aggression from the outside is fear or uncertainty in my experience. 

It’s unusual for Chihuahuas to be aggressive with their owners unless they’re mistreated (or have been mistreated by previous owners). 

You can train them and socialize them which reduces barking and fear. You can set boundaries in place with strangers and children, telling them not to pick up your Chi or pet them (unless they want to be petted). It’s up to us as owners to teach them that they’re safe and that we’ll protect them. 

My little girl is a rescue and was used for breeding, so she has always been scared of other dogs. Over the years and with consistent training, she’s becoming far more comfortable and less likely to bark around dogs when we’re out (as long as I have treats with me, of course). 


When it comes to affection, male Chihuahuas are well known to be more affectionate than females. They want to be with their owners all the time and require a lot of attention. 

Males can even be quite clingy at times. They might follow you around the house and can be quite demanding. However, this doesn’t mean females are cold by any means. 

My Chi is female and she is incredibly loving. She adores spending time with me and would rather be on my lap or by my side than anywhere else. However, she’s also happy to chill out in her pen with her sisters (my other dogs) when I’m busy. 

This is quite typical of female Chihuahuas – they love attention but are equally as happy to do their own thing when you’re otherwise occupied.

Chihuahua Temperament - Male vs Female Comparison

Overall, males are more likely to be affectionate with the whole family, while females tend to attach themselves very deeply to one person. 

We certainly find this – while my female Chihuahua loves my husband and other people in the family, without doubt, I’m her favorite person. 


Male Chihuahuas tend to try and be more dominant with their owners than females. They will try to test your boundaries and may try to assert dominance by barking, growling, and protecting their toys or food. 

Dominance depends greatly on the individual dog as well as training and socialization. 

Chihuahuas in general do like to see how far they can push you and will try to be in charge if you let them. You might hear the term ‘little dog syndrome’ to refer to this attitude. 

It’s important to be fair but firm and train them well. Positive reinforcement works best. Stick to the rules you set and be consistent. 

Interacting With Other People and Animals

Chihuahua Temperament - Male vs Female Comparison

Both male and female Chihuahuas can be wary of strangers and often prefer to be around people they know. The same can be said of dogs they don’t know. 

Some people find that male Chihuahuas don’t get on well with other dogs and animals in the home. They tend to like their owner’s full attention and can become a bit jealous of any attention given to other people or pets. 

Females tend to be more accepting of other people and pets at home. Although, females are often more likely to try and be dominant over other pets than males. 

My Chihuahua lives with our two other dogs and she adores them. She’ll follow them around, snuggle up with them, and happily play with them. Of course, a lot of this is down to careful introductions and lots of training. 

Most well-socialized Chihuahuas can get on with other dogs and pets as long as you introduce them slowly. Be careful around larger dogs, as Chihuahuas are very delicate and can get hurt easily, even if it’s by accident. 

When it comes to kids, Chihuahuas tend to get on better with older, calmer children. They often find younger children a bit intimidating. Young children often want to ‘cuddle’ them or pick them up, which is scary for a Chi. They may lash out to try to protect themselves.

It’s important to teach any child how to behave properly around your Chihuahua, so you can all enjoy being with one another. 


Despite common misconceptions, Chihuahuas can be trained just like any other dog. Their size doesn’t stop them from learning. 

In fact, both male and female Chihuahuas are fast learners and can quite enjoy training. Although, some people find males harder to train than females because they would rather just be getting petted and cuddled! 

As we mentioned earlier, males tend to be more dominant than females and tend to take more time to mature emotionally. Both of these factors can pose a challenge during training. 

Chis are very food motivated and love their owner’s attention. I’ve always found that giving lots of praise in an excited voice combined with yummy treats works best during training. 

It’s important to use very small treats that are healthy and low calorie when training because Chis easily put on weight. These Merrick Power Bites are a great option – they’re made with natural ingredients, are only five calories per treat, and can be cut up into even smaller pieces.

Chihuahua Temperament - Male vs Female Comparison

Training a Chihuahua is really important because they can be quite sassy and bossy. Without training and rules, they’ll try to run your house! While that’s cute at first, it quickly gets old. Even small dogs can cause havoc! 

Plus, many dogs get nervous and act out when there aren’t rules to follow. They need us to give them a routine and stability, and training is part of that. 

So, it’s best to start training as soon as you bring them home. Start with simple commands and work up from there. 

Energy Levels

Although they’re a toy breed, these little dogs tend to have quite a bit of energy! Both males and females love to explore, go for walks, and play. Some even enjoy canine sports! Yes, that’s right, some Chihuahuas enjoy agility, obedience training, and more! 

Overall, male Chihuahuas tend to be more playful and energetic. They need more mental stimulation and entertainment. Males might get bored sitting still for long periods.

Females have bursts of energy, but many are just as happy to relax on your lap.

Chihuahua Temperament - Male vs Female Comparison

My Chi is quite fearless and loves to get involved in agility, although she does lose interest quite quickly if there aren’t treats involved. She loves to go hiking with us and really enjoys exploring new places. Don’t underestimate their ability to exercise!

Of course, they do have little legs and can’t go as far as bigger dogs. Keep an eye on your Chi for signs that they’re getting tired, and be prepared to carry them or give them plenty of breaks if needed. 

Spaying and Neutering

Chihuahua Temperament - Male vs Female Comparison

Just like humans, dogs have hormones that can affect their behavior and temperament. Spaying your female Chihuahua or neutering your male Chi is better for their health and helps to reduce behavior problems.

When female Chihuahuas are not ‘fixed’, they can be more territorial, aggressive, protective, and moody. Her behavior will vary throughout her heat cycle. 

Unspayed females are more prone to nesting, trying to mate with males, and even trying to escape to find a mate. You’ll also have to deal with bleeding, discharge, and even extra shedding at some points during her cycle!

When male Chihuahuas are intact, they’re more inclined to display dominant or aggressive behavior. They may mark (meaning pee) around your home to claim their territory. They’re more likely to hump and are very motivated to find a partner, so are an escape risk. 

Another result of your Chihuahua being intact is the risk of unwanted pregnancies. Both intact male and female Chis are at higher risk of some health issues, which we’ll discuss in the next section. 

Spaying or neutering is best unless you’re going to breed your Chihuahua, which I don’t recommend unless you’re a professional and very experienced. Since these dogs are so tiny breeding, pregnancy, and birth can be incredibly challenging and pose several health issues. 

It’s best to get your dog neutered when they’re between six and seven months old. However, it is possible to get them fixed at an older age. It’s best to chat with your vet about your options. 

General Care

Chihuahua Temperament - Male vs Female Comparison

Both male and female Chihuahuas require similar levels of care. They both need to have daily exercise and a healthy diet to keep them fit and feeling their best. 

Chihuahuas can be prone to obesity. Since they’re so little, they put on weight easily. They love food and are very cute, so many owners fall into the trap of giving them human food or feeding them extra treats. 

Unfortunately, this is bad for their health so it’s important to keep treats to a sensible amount. If you do feed human food (I think we all do now and then), make sure it is safe for your furbaby and only give them a little taste. 

Chihuahuas are fairly low maintenance when it comes to grooming, particularly if they’re short-haired like mine. A brush once or twice a week is usually plenty. Long-haired Chihuahuas will require more brushing. 

Keep your Chihuahua’s eyes and ears clean, brush their teeth regularly, and trim their nails every few weeks. You can give them a bath every month or so. I tend to bathe my girl only when she really needs it, for example, if we’ve been for a muddy walk. 

Since Chis are so sassy, it’s really important to get them used to grooming from an early age where possible. It definitely makes your life easier. 

Top tip – try dog-safe peanut butter on a lick mat to distract them while you’re grooming them. I find it helps to keep my furbaby still and calmer, especially when I’m trimming her nails!

If you aren’t able to groom your dog yourself at home, there’s no shame in visiting a professional groomer. 

Potential Health Issues and Lifespan

Chihuahua Temperament - Male vs Female Comparison

For the most part, male and female Chihuahuas are prone to the same health issues. However, some sex-related issues can occur particularly in unspayed or unneutered Chis. 

Males can develop cryptorchidism, which means their testicles don’t descend properly. In turn, this can increase their risk for cancer and testicular torsion. Unneutered males are also at risk for prostate cancer.

Unspayed females are at risk for mammary cancer as well as tumors or cysts on their ovaries. They’re also at risk for a serious infection in their uterus, known as pyometra. 

Aside from spaying and neutering, males are at a slightly higher risk of physical trauma since they’re more boisterous and more inclined to get into fights with other dogs. 

Research shows that male Chihuahuas also have a higher risk of heart murmur, ear infection, conjunctivitis, and upper respiratory tract infections. 

Typically, a Chihuahua’s lifespan is between 12 and 14 years. Although, they can live up to 20 years! 

Studies show that female Chihuahuas tend to live longer than males on average. 

You can read more about common Chihuahua health issues and how to help them live longer in our guide to Chihuahua Lifespan. 

Male Versus Female: Which is Best?

At the end of the day, neither sex is better than the other. It’s all about which sex fits in better with your lifestyle and your preferences. It’s also important to consider other dogs, pets, and people in your home. 

By doing plenty of research, you can figure out whether a male or female Chihuahua is going to be your new best friend. Either way, you’re going to have an adorable little dog who will be devoted to you!