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Do Chihuahuas and Children Mix?

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Child with ChihuahuaAs a facilitator of a very large Chihuahua community, I have seen many instances where children in the family (even babies and very young kids) get along great with the family Chihuahua.

But there are just as many, if not more instances where people ask for help because their Chi is snapping at their toddler.

If you plan on having kids or already have young children, it’s best to wait until they are older before getting a Chihuahua. Chihuahuas tend to be snappy towards children and Chihuahuas are fragile and can be easily injured by a child that is to rough with them.

Older children, age 10 and up, tend to do just fine with Chihuahuas as long as they are respectful and do not tease your Chi.

Chihuahuas typically do not do well with young children. It’s understandable when you put yourself in your Chi’s place and realize how scary it is to have this loud, jerky little person grabbing at you. They are frightened and just trying to protect themselves.

If you already have a Chihuahua and young children come into your household, you will need to train both your child and your Chihuahua how to act with each other.

Training Your Child:

  • Always supervise your child and your Chihuahua when they are together.
  • Teach your child how to be gentle when petting or holding your chi.Use calm, slow movements.
  • Use a calm, soothing tone of voice. Use a catch phrase. For instance, when I was teaching my granddaughter how to pet my Chi Kilo, I would say “Be gentle” over and over as I was showing her how to treat Kilo. Continuous reinforcement is needed until you are sure they understand.

Training Your Chihuahua:

  • Puppies are easier to train than adults of course. If your Chi is a puppy, you can place him/her in your child’s arms to get them used to your child.
  • If the Chi is an adult, wait until the dog is comfortable with your child before trying this. Work on allowing your Chihuahua to be petted by your child first.
  • Praise both dog and child if they are getting a long well together.
  • If your dog snaps at your child, tell the Chihuahua “no” in a firm voice, and put them in a “timeout” a way from everyone.
  • If your dog growls at your child, it’s a warning. It’s time to separate the dog from the child. You can try again with the training later.
  • If your dog is a puppy, and does the typical puppy thing by trying to chew on you or your child, tell them “no” and give them a chew toy instead. It’s important that they learn at a young age, that biting is a no-no.

If attempts to train your kids and Chis are just not working, then it’s time to get the advice and help of a professional dog trainer.

Chihuahuas and children together can work out but it usually will require some effort and work from everyone involved.

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Allana

Sunday 18th of October 2020

I love my 2Chichihuas Can I join this club please My email is playing up sorry

Cathy

Sunday 18th of October 2020

Of course you can Allana! You can join here https://ilovemychi.com/chi-club/ or I can just add you to the email list if you want me to.

Kelly Sherrill

Saturday 17th of October 2020

Yes indeed. I also taught my grandkids to sit in the floor and let the chihuahua come to them. Thry don't like children hovering over them.

Cathy

Saturday 17th of October 2020

Good training Kelly!

Norma Galvan

Saturday 12th of September 2020

We just got a tiny chihuahua and I have a two year old girl, and a nine month old boy... yeah. So the chihuahua already bit her face, just a little nip to be left alone but...idk what to do. Should I give her back and give up? My little girl loves her so much..

Cathy

Tuesday 15th of September 2020

It may be best to give her back considering the young ages of your kids. Of course you can keep her, but will need to be diligent about watching the dog around the kids and teaching the kids to be gentle.

Judy

Monday 29th of June 2020

We already had three chihuahuas when I became pregnant. Our dogs had ALWAYS slept in bed with us. As my belly got larger (twins!), our male chihuahua started to get very very excited; he would come up to me, smell my belly, tap it gently, and give me this very expectant happiness look. Fast forward to the day we brought home our infants. We'd never heard anything about not sleeping with our newborns, so we had Me, my husband, our twins and three chihuahuas all in the same bed. When they'd go down in their crib for naps, our older female chihuahua slept at the floor next to the crib.

We never had any problems whatsoever. I have a diminished sense of smell, and our dogs kept watch on our slightly more mobile kids and would let me know if one needed a diaper change.

Cathy

Monday 29th of June 2020

That is so cute Judy about your make chi getting excited when you were pregnant.

Melissa

Thursday 16th of February 2017

I juat adopted a chi from the shelter today... He and his 2 other litter mates were found in a abandoned house. We tool my 4 year old for a meet and greet last week to see how he was with her he did great. But since bringing him home he looks at her funny and acts skidish im scared he may try to bite her? Ive been trying to explain to her that hes little i dont want to have to take him back is it possible to teach them to co exist together? Im working with both of them but im still a bit nervous on the whole situation... I know it hasnt even been 24 hours.. And i know he needs time to adjust... PS he is also recouping frim being neutered.

kilosmom

Thursday 16th of February 2017

Just the fact that he is recuperating is enough to make him skittish of a young child. One of my dog's who adores children bit a child when she was recuperating. She never would have done that normally. Until he is feeling better, ask your daughter not to approach him for a few days and then slowly re-introduce them to each other. Have your daughter offer him a treat a few times a day so he associates her with good things. And then move up to petting, and the playing together, etc. I know it's hard but try not to be too nervous. Both the dog and child will pick on it and will stress them out too.