One of the most common concerns people in regards to owning a Chihuahua is whether or not they are safe around small children. Because of their feisty, no-holds-bar kind of attitude, these pocket-sized canines have a reputation for being snappy and sometimes even aggressive. In a house of full-grown adults, you probably won't feel too threatened by a rambunctious Chihuahua. If there are small children in your house, though, you'll need to carefully survey the situation to determine if it's safe.
Chihuahuas are fun-loving pets that are energetic, loving, loyal, and they make great watchdogs. If a person or animals starts snooping around your house, chances are your Chihuahua will be the first one to sound the alarm. This doesn't necessary mean they are good guard dogs, but they do double as an alarm. Like all household pets, however, you must train them to be obedient if you want a safe environment for your children and family members to live in.
So, can Chihuahuas and small children live together in the same house? The short answer to this question is... YES, CHIHUAHUAS AND CHILDREN CAN COEXIST! But only when appropriate training and precautionary measures are taken. If you aren't willing to invest time each and every day with training, you should pass on a Chihuahua.
Training Your Chihuahua How To React Around Children
Obedience is something that every Chihuahua needs to be taught, especially when small children are living in the same house. Ideally, this should be done at an early age when they are still a puppy. The first year of a Chihuahua puppy's life is a critical time when their brains are trying to absorb everything around them. You can use this to your advantage by instilling certain commands and principles, such as the appropriate way to react around children.
Use the following methods to train your Chihuahua the right way to react around small children:
- If your Chihuahua is still a puppy, you can allow your child to hold them since there's no risk of injury. Just remember to closely supervise them to ensure it's a safe environment and that both your child and the puppy are gentle with one another. The more they interact, the more accustomed they will become of each other.
- When your Chihuahua puppy bites, whether it's playful or not, tell them "NO" in a stern matter. Some owners allow their Chihuahuas to bite their hands during the teething stage, but this only makes it harder to teach them not to bite later.
- Instead of allowing your Chihuahua to bite on people, give them a rope toy or some other toy that is acceptable for them to chew on.
- Closely monitor your Chihuahua for any signs of behavioral aggression around your child. If they start to growl or bear their teeth, tell them "NO" once again and then make them go their crate for timeout.
- Your Chihuahua should remain calm and docile anytime your child is around them. It's your responsibility to create a safe environment for both your Chihuahua and child to coexist with one another. Show your dominance by letting your Chihuahua know they did something wrong if they begin to act or exhibit signs of aggression. A simple "NO" is all it takes.
Showing Your Child How To Safely Touch and Pet a Chihuahua
In addition, you should also show your child how to safely pet and act around the family Chihuahua. Many owners seem to forget or overlook the potential injuries that a child may cause a Chihuahua. Their ultra-small bones and are delicate and easily break if not handled in the right way; therefore, it's important to sit down with your child and show them the right way to pet your Chihuahua.
Use the following methods to show your child how to safely react around a Chihuahua:
- Tell you child in a soothing tone to pet the Chihuahua puppy, and then show them the correct way - a slow, gentle petting motion going from the Chihuahua's neck down to their back. If your child is too rough or exerts too much pressure, simply tell them no and show the again.
- Ensure your child is petting the Chihuahua in a slow, gentle manner. Most people greatly underestimate the power of a small child until they become parents. Pulling on or even petting a Chihuahua with too much force can lead to injury.
- Only allow your child to pet and hold the Chihuahua while you are close by to supervise. Once they are comfortable with each other and have developed a strong, loving bond, you can let your child hold them without supervision. This may only take a couple months, or it could take a year.
- Set a good example for your child by never resorting to physical discipline on your Chihuahua. If you only touch your Chihuahua in a calm manner, then your child will likely follow. Besides, physical punishment tends to only have a negative effect on training and obedience.
The good news is that Chihuahuas and small children can safely live together in the same house. Yes, you'll have to spend some time teaching both your child and the Chihuahua how to react around one another. With patience, dedication and persistence, though, you can create a safe and healthy living environment that everyone can enjoy!
If you have any comments, questions or concerns about raising small children around Chihuahuas, please feel free to drop a comment at the bottom of the page. We love getting input from other owners, and it's helpful to our community as a whole.