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How To Stop Dog Biting

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How to Stop Dog BitingI think we can all agree that Chihuahuas are the cutest dogs in the world. These tiny dogs have won the hearts of millions over the last few thousand years or longer depending on who you ask.

Chihuahuas have a larger than life personality, that often gets them into serious trouble. If you have ever owned one of these dogs or know someone that has, you are probably aware that they can bite.

While their bite can be tiny, it can also really hurt and could cause serious damage! Today we are going to take a deeper look at why Chihuahuas have a tendency to bite and what you can do to curb this annoying habit.

Why Do Chihuahuas Bite?

Chihuahuas just like any dog can bite but these pint sized pooches tend to bite for other reasons than most canines. Because of their size Chihuahuas often feel the need to act larger than they actually are. That old Napoleon Complex.

They will often attack dogs 4 times their size just to show them they mean business. But many times, with proper socialization and discipline this behavior can be corrected.

Previous Abuse or Neglect

Sometimes if a dog has been rescued, she may have been abused in her previous home or not have gotten the proper attention and training.

Personality Disorders

Some Chihuahuas may just be high strung and aggressive. Sometimes it’s due to bad breeding.

Check for Illness

If you have an older dog that is showing signs of aggression, you will need to take them to the vet. Many times an underlying illness will cause your normally well behaved dog to start biting. Only your vet will be able to determine if illness is an issue. Ailments such as arthritis can really make your older dog feel very bad.

Teething

If you have a puppy that is teething, he will bite anything he can get his little teeth on. When he bites you, say “No” or “Ouch” in a firm voice, put him down, give him a chew toy and  and walk away.

Give Your Pet the Attention They Need

We have to look at boredom as a reason for biting. When you leave your dog alone for  hours with nothing to do, this can lead to acts of aggression. They feel the need to lash out simply because no one is paying them attention.

So make sure to always give them enough attention whenever possible. Also give them toys to play with while not at home and if your dog is overly lonely you might even want to consider getting a second dog. This will give them a playmate and who doesn’t love a multi dog household?

Socialization Is the Key

When it comes to Chihuahuas, socialization should begin very early. Once these canines get set in their ways, behavior is something that is harder to change.

When you bring your new puppy home make sure to start socializing right away. If you have other dogs or pets in the home, make sure to introduce them to your new puppy. This will allow your new dog a chance to realize there is a hierarchy in the home and there will be less bites and happier times.

Also, if you have small children expose them to the new dog slowly but surely. Remember that these dogs are very tiny and fragile, so you will want to always supervise them around tiny tots.

What to Do if Your Chihuahua Bites You

I’m going to tell you what has worked for me. This is to be used on your dog when he is trying to bite you, not on a puppy who is just teething. You may not like a few of these methods but none of them cause any pain to the dog.

When we got Buddy, our American Bulldog/German Shepherd puppy, he had a very aggressive temperament. He was a rescue, only 6 weeks old but we could tell he would be a big dog. He’s now over 80 pounds. It was kind of cute seeing this little fur ball growl at us and try to bite and act like  a big tough guy. But I knew it would not be so cute when he was a big scary adult acting that aggressively.

So I asked a trainer I knew what to do. She said to first do what I mentioned earlier, and say “No” in a firm voice, get up and walk away from him. Or set him down away from us. And then ignore him.

If this didn’t work after several days, then we moved on to the second idea. When Buddy would try to bite or growl at us, we would pick him up from under his belly and hold him high above our head until he calmed down. Once he quieted, we would set him down and walk away from him. This second method worked better for us than the first method but the trainer said if it didn’t work, we could try the 3rd method.

The third method is to turn the dog over onto his back and just hold him there until he quiets down. Hold him firmly enough to keep him from getting away, but don’t hold him so tight that you hurt him. Once he settles down and stops growling, trying to nip you and trying to get away, just let him go. This is something dogs do in the wild to show who is the alpha. In your pack, you need to be the alpha, the leader.

We only had to use this third method once or twice with Buddy.  I’m happy to say that as an adult, Buddy is not aggressive at all. I’m so glad we nipped the problem in the bud before it became a problem.

Have you had to deal with your Chihuahua trying to bite you or other people? Have you tried anything that has stopped the behavior? Let us know in the comments.

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Sarah

Sunday 15th of November 2020

My 6 month old chi x jack russell has started biting people when they go to stroke her, it’s mainly people she doesn’t know and also if I’m holding her, I tend to carry her when we are not in open spaces as she not keen on her lead and if anyone asks to stroke her she will growl and snap at them quite Viciously. I have 2 children 8 & 10 which she adores and will quite happily sit with any of us in the house without any Territorial tendency’s. Any advice?

Cathy

Sunday 15th of November 2020

She is resource guarding you which means she sees you as her source for protections, sustenance, shelter and love. She's guarding you against anyone who may take you away from her (in her mind of course). This is hard to break, particularly if she is doing this when you are out and about. If at home, tell her no in a firm voice and immediately remove her from the situation for a timeout. Put her in a closed room, crate, playpen) and ignore her for 10 minutes or so. You may need to do this over and over before she realizes this is not acceptable behavior.

Laurie Brown

Tuesday 10th of March 2020

I must be very lucky but my 11 week old chi will lie down next to me when I'm eating and never try to go after my food. The first couple of times I did this all I had to say was No and he.backed right off

Cathy

Wednesday 11th of March 2020

Yes you are lucky Laurie!

Jessica

Thursday 19th of December 2019

We’ve adopted an 11 year old chihuahua after her elderly owner passed away. She has settled in well with our dachshund and golden retriever. However, she is very protective of me. When I am petting our golden retriever she will try to get between us and has actually bit her to get her away from me. She does not do this with the dachshund. How do I correct this? When she first came into our home she was terrified of the golden and would charge her anytime she came close. Now she primarily gnores the golden unless I am petting her.

Cathy

Friday 20th of December 2019

She has established herself as the alpha and she is telling your Golden that you are her property. When she starts that, I would immediately tell her no and put her down and ignore her for 5 minutes or so. Or if she attacks the other dog, tell her no, pick her up and put her somewhere else for 10 minutes, like a playpen or another room will she will not have access to you.

Debbie Johnson

Saturday 14th of December 2019

I own several chihuahuas never ever had an issue with biting

Cathy

Sunday 15th of December 2019

You're lucky Debbie. Many people have issues with biting.

Heather

Saturday 28th of July 2018

Hi. My chi is 4 years old. Her name is chi chi. She bites and growls all the time, even me and everyone else in the house. She also will bit anyone who comes over. She will come over and cuddle with you, act like she wants your attention and then she bites. I can't cut her nails, put a collar or leash on her, or tick and flea medicine without her biting. I have had her since she was 12 weeks old. She nipped a bit as a puppy but nothing like she is now. I love her to death but I don't know what to do with her. Help please.

Cathy

Saturday 28th of July 2018

Chi chi is being a bully and trying to show everyone she is the Alpha by biting to get her way.

This is going to be a hard behavior to change but it can be done. You will probably need a dog behaviorist to help. There should be a few in your area but if not, here's a good one that will work with you online: https://landmarkbehaviour.com/services