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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.


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.

Cathy signature Chi

John Trudeau

Wednesday 21st of February 2024

My older Chihuahua used to bite since we bought a younger Chihuahua it has stopped. A number of times I have heard the odd yelp but it happens rarely now. Neither bite we always use dog toys to play with them.

Cathy Bendzunas

Thursday 22nd of February 2024

That's good that it stopped John.


Tuesday 13th of September 2022

I got a rescue chi, so do not know her story. She is only 3 lbs. & is terrified of anyone walking . She doesn’t like to be picked up , but will sit on my lap. Her terms. Otherwise, she runs to her pet taxi for cover. I cannot reach in to get her, as she will bite. I have another chipoo & Peanut is definitely the leader of the pack. What can I do to make her trust me more?


Tuesday 13th of September 2022

Time will help some of that. It takes a long time for some dogs to trust. If she's food motivated, use a treat when going to reach for her. She needs to learn that something good happens when you pick her up.


Sunday 19th of December 2021

Yes I bit him back and now he thinks twice


Sunday 24th of October 2021

My 6 yr old male Chihuahua just started biting ankles, literally breaking the skin. He does it to strangers, he has never been socialized, it is only me and my 2 dogs at home. I have another chihuahua that is 11yrs old and she is not aggressive, I have had them both since they were puppies. Do you think there is any Hope to stop this?


Monday 25th of October 2021

Yes, there is hope but it will take some work.

Craig (Dad)

Monday 10th of May 2021

PLEASE HELP! Determined no matter what to fix but need help. 12 Year old Chi male. Cute and friendly but. 1. Minimal scratching. 2. No holding. 3. Bites growls barks. Some of each. 4. After 3 years won't take harness/leash. Potty trained, kennel and carrier trained. Since birth. Will stay near when outside listening fairly well. 5. Knows tricks and commands with fair response but recently angry when I give down command charges hand. Always been his trainer. 6. Working on desensitizing him to touch and fear of harness. FURmly believe in positive reinforcement even though some store trainers said grab him with gloves and force him. Can't afford a trainer right now. Vet says he seems healthy. No anger towards him . Please help. THANK YOU FOR ALL SUGGESTIONS.

Jarah Emerson

Monday 6th of September 2021

@Craig (Dad), I have a chi who sounds just like yours. I made my own leash out of shoe strings that has a emergency release so that all I have to do is lasso him and then the taking off is simple. He still flips out a lot about it but this has really helped. Email me and I can send you one if you like. It’s worth a try I’d say. I’ve had my chi a year but he’s 3 and was abused his first 2 years. He has scars around his neck and chest area so I think that’s why he hates leash and harness and I don’t think I’ll ever get him in a harness or clothing but the crazy thing is once he gets the leash on he walks perfectly on it and loves it. It’s the on and off that makes him crazy. I’ve rescued probably 50 dogs in my life of all sizes and breeds and I can say 100% that this 3 lbs chihuahua has been the most challenging ever. I think we get good karma points for taking these challenges on. ;)


Monday 10th of May 2021

Wow, Craig, you have your hands full with your little guy. I don't know what else you can do but I can put your problem up on the Facebook page if you want to see if anyone else has some suggestions for you.