It’s difficult to picture two dogs more different than a Pitbull and a Chihuahua, leading you to question whether they’re likely to get along. Though they are very different sizes, both of these breeds have famously big personalities that may make them the best of friends…or cause problems between them.
So, do Pitbulls and Chihuahuas get along? Pitbulls and Chihuahuas may get along, but the physical and behavioral differences and similarities between these two breeds make relationships between Pitbulls and Chihuahuas difficult and potentially dangerous. However, through proper socialization in the correct environment under regular supervision, your Pitbull and Chihuahua could become lifelong buddies.
Check out this video for a super cute example of Pitbull and Chihuahua friendship with a happy ending:
Do Pitbulls like Chihuahuas?
Before we consider your Chihuahua’s feelings about things, the first question you’re likely wondering is if Pitbulls even like Chihuahuas!
In general, Pitbulls would rather spend their time running around your backyard chasing a ball, wrestling with another dog of a similar size, or even just relaxing in the kiddy pool. There’s simply not a lot of good reasons for your Pitbull to seek out playtime with your Chihuahua, and if they do, you should be very careful that this is actually “fun” playtime for your Chihuahua.
The downside of this athletic, outdoor-loving breed is that they have developed a strong prey drive that can be difficult to overcome when interacting with smaller animals, like cats and Chihuahuas.
The American Pitbull terrier has been bred for hundreds of years to embody traits you probably recognize in your own Pitbull: courage, strength, a “go-getter” attitude, and loving gentleness with its family, particularly children.
These characteristics have historically made them an excellent all-around farming and hunting dog, and nowadays, a great family pet, but it doesn’t make Pitbulls natural best friends of the Chihuahua.
Do Chihuahuas like Pitbulls?
The funny thing is that Chihuahuas often do get along with and even seek out Pitbulls as playmates and companions!
Chihuahuas are one of the oldest dog breeds, having coexisted around humans for hundreds if not thousands of years. This long history of coexisting around humans has made them a smart, confident, and playful breed of dog.
Because of this confidence, Chihuahuas have no natural reason not to get along with Pitbulls and, because Pitbulls are often the “life of the party,” it’s not uncommon to see a Chihuahua running along after its big bounding Pitbull buddy.
The almost notorious confidence of the Chihuahua can get them into trouble though. Despite their big dog attitude, Chihuahuas are often under 5 pounds, roughly 10 times smaller than a Pitbull. One small misstep from the Pitbull could spell disaster for your Chihuahua, even if they typically get along great.
Why Don’t My Pitbull and Chihuahua Get Along?
Just by looking at these two breeds, you can probably tell that under the best of circumstances, they will still be a bit of an odd couple. But under the worst of circumstances, coupling Pitbulls and Chihuahuas can be a major risk.
Let’s look at a few possible reasons why this unusual, but very possible pair, may not get along.
Both the Chihuahua and the Pitbull have big personalities that, if not properly managed from an early age, can make both of them prone to biting and aggression.
Chihuahuas are bred to stay close to their families (smart advice for such a little breed!) and if your Chihuahua hasn’t been exposed to many strangers, it’s likely that they will respond with fear or aggression when meeting new people or dogs. This can be a big turn-off for your Pitbull who was just looking to have some fun.
Pitbulls are not really all that different in this regard. It takes a lot of socialization from an early age to ensure that your Pitbull focuses its energy and all around zest into positive outlets and not being hyperactive. This type of behavior can easily scare a small, well-meaning Chihuahua.
If your Chihuahua and Pitbull are not getting along, it may be time for a change of scenery.
Chihuahuas and Pitbulls can both become possessive of their people, spaces, and toys, so if you’re introducing a new dog into your house, regardless of whether your current resident is a Pitbull or a Chihuahua, it’s important to take special steps to ensure that they get off on the right foot (or paw).
Another consideration is making sure you have enough space for the two to coexist and get to know one another without feeling overwhelmed. Keeping the dogs in a small room together or forcing them to be around one another may cause them both extra stress.
They Just Aren’t a Good Fit
Despite everyone’s best intentions, it may be that your Pitbull and Chihuahua are just not right for each other. All dogs are different, so it may be that their personalities or experiences have made this unlikely friendship an impossibility.
Past abuse, excessive energy, fear, and aggressiveness towards strangers are unfortunately very common in both Chihuahuas and Pitbulls. If your particular pair have incompatible personalities, the most responsible thing to do is to separate the dogs, possible permanently.
A Badly-Matched Pitbull and Chihuahua Are a Danger to Everyone
If the thought of giving up one of your pups or never being able to get the big Pitbull or tiny Chihuahua of your dreams is too heartbreaking, you may be considering trying to keep an incompatible Pitbull and Chihuahua together.
Many people don’t think about what they will do if their Pitbull goes after their Chihuahua. Dog bites commonly occur when the person is attempting to split up a fight between two dogs.
If your Pitbull goes after a Chihuahua, your natural instinct may be to reach your hand out to separate the two. But the adrenaline of a fight coupled with the powerful jaws of a Pitbull makes this an incredibly dangerous situation, not just for the poor Chihuahua but for you too.
Finally, if your Pitbull attacks a Chihuahua or a person, it will likely end up on an aggressive dog list. This could impact your Pitbull’s future and could potentially result in you losing your dog, or worse if the incident happens again.
It is extremely important when considering having both a Chihuahua and a Pitbull if it’s worth the risk to your pets and home. If it is, there are a lot of tips you can apply to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
How Can I Get My Chihuahua and Pitbull to Get Along?
Know Your Dogs
While breed characteristics are great tools to discuss dog breeds in general, all dogs are individuals and each one may behave differently.
If you have a meek, laid-back Pitbull you probably will not need to worry so much about the safety of your Chihuahua. If you have a super scared Chihuahua who barks at it’s own shadow, you probably already know that this isn’t a match made in heaven.
Know your animals and make sure you’re making good decisions for each of them individually and not forcing them into situations that are not right for their personalities.
Watch Them Closely
If you know your dogs well you should be able to tell how they are feeling. It is extremely important to pay very close attention to your Pitbull and Chihuahua as they interact with each other.
Are their ears up? Are their tails up? Is one chasing the other? Does one want to get away? Watch for signs of stress in either dog and intervene before things escalate. This is also where a pet monitor device can come in handy. While you won’t be able to remotely intervene, you will be able to see how the two dogs are interacting when you’re not around. If you’re not sure what to get, I recommend this budget-friendly monitor on Amazon.
You won’t be able to correct any behaviors if you don’t see them happening, so it’s extremely important that you never leave them alone together, at least until you are 100% confident that they get along.
Take It Slow
Like all relationships, it’s best not to rush into things. This is especially true when introducing your Pitbull and your Chihuahua.
Try introducing them outside, in neutral territory. If you can, have them go on a walk together, then separate. Do this a few times until they are desensitized to one another, then gradually work your way into your yard, your house, the “dog room,” wherever.
Keep Things Fun
I have to think you’re interested in keeping a Chihuahua and a Pitbull together in order to have fun with your favorite dogs, so don’t force anything. Keep in mind that this should be a positive experience for everyone, you, your Pitbull, and your Chihuahua.
Some stress can be positive if it’s applied correctly and is in pursuit of something better for your dogs, and few things can brighten a dog’s day more than a romp around the house with their best buddy.
Keep in mind that Chihuahuas and Pitbulls are not naturally predisposed to companionship with each other, so if you find that your introductions are stressful for everyone, it may be time to find a more size-appropriate friend for your Chihuahua or Pitbull.