I 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.
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.