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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.

Cathy signature Chi

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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.

Cathy

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.

Brenda Stapleton

Friday 19th of February 2021

I need so much help here. MY chi, Angel (yes, very deceiving) has turned into such a bully. We can not have any one over. She either barks at them the entire time they are there, or she bites them. My husband says she needs a shock collar, but I am not for that. Any suggestions?

Cathy

Monday 22nd of February 2021

Shock collars are a very bad idea for a chi. I have heard they have some out now that just have vibrations and are not painful but I don't know anything about it. Angel needs some professional training. If you can't get a trainer right now due to COVID, try online training. There are a few that I know about. Train Pet Dog has a course specifically for chihuahuas. There's also http://smalldogacademy.com/

Deborah tedman

Monday 8th of February 2021

Hi can you help me. My chi candy is a year old next month March. Hasn’t had any socialising due to a broken leg had to have a pin and wire . She was in a crate for 8weeks. Then got Desexed and two hernias removed. So more time in a crate . She is so placid never bitten anybody . Untill a lady came to pick something up at my home. I invited her in my chi was in the laundry. I opened the door and she went off at the lady. Bit her on the leg. Not bad but I was in shock as she has never done that . Why would she all of a sudden attack . The lady did say she has rag doll cats and maybe candy could smell the cats on her . I’m sending her to an all day doggy day care To get her socialised. As she is so scared of other. Dogs Maybe they will help her to relax around other dogs. Have you any advice pls to help me Debbie Also. She is starting to bark at family and friends she knows coming in to the house. Going there feet I can’t understand why. When she has always been so placid I got her at 8 weeks old She is very protective of me but is starting to be abit aggressive when people come. Just barks and barks at them too

Cathy

Wednesday 10th of February 2021

This behavior is somewhat common with chis and usually shows up once they are adults. That could be why you didn't see it before. Socializing may help. And the more people that come to your house will help too. If you can have some treats near the door and when anyone comes in the house, have them give her a treat. You want her to learn that people in the house are a good thing. If she takes the treat and is calm and quiet, praise her for it. If she continues to act aggressive, pick her up and put her in a closed room for a time out. You may need to get the help of a dog trainer if nothing seems to help her.

Annette

Saturday 23rd of January 2021

We have a four year old adopted when he was three. Cheeto tries to destroy any and every one that walks in the door. He lets my husband pet him if he is on the floor (the dog not the husband). He did bite me very hard once while I was trying to pick up the food he spilled. No one can be on HIS couch except me. I love him to death but I need help!

Cathy

Tuesday 26th of January 2021

You may need to get a pet beaviorist to work with you on helping Cheeto.

Carmen-Louise

Monday 14th of December 2020

My 2 Chis are rescues. Pixie (14) snapped at the toddler next door - she is under surveillance when the toddler is outside and let Pixie approach on her own terms like a short sniff and back off. Gucci on the other hand is my social butterfly BUT will growl and bite whenever I dress him up. It's very cold here in Ottawa Canada in the winter. A few times I had to put him in the bathroom for a 45 sec timeout. I make it a game with rewards sometime when I dress him up.

Cathy

Monday 14th of December 2020

Yes, too bad they don't understand that getting dressed will mean more warmth and comfort.