Chihuahuas and Small Children – Can They Coexist?

Small Child With Chihuahua

Child With Chihuahua

If you're thinking about adopting a Chihuahua, you might be wondering if the breed is safe for 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.

Three Small Chihuahuas

Three Small Chihuahuas

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.
Boy With Chihuahua

Boy With Chihuahua

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 your 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.

18 Responses to “Chihuahuas and Small Children – Can They Coexist?”

  1. Billy says:

    I have a 2 year old son and getting a 8 week old chi… Is this a bad idea

  2. Shannon Hockett says:

    Hi my Chihuahua is 4 years old. I now have a 5 month old baby he’s starting to move around and want to grab my dog. My dog doesn’t seem to like it. He walks away and try to avoid the baby as much as possible. I don’t think he would hurt my baby but I’m afraid if my baby does grab him I’m not sure what he would do if I’m not there. How can I interact the 2 safely?

  3. Em says:

    My dogs eight months and has been attacking kids. What can I do? Does fixing him help?

  4. Kelly says:

    My 8 yr old chi doesn’t like my 11month old. She’s honestly scared of just about everything and is also scared of the baby and wants nothing to do with her. Which is interesting because she’s been socialized plenty with kids 3 and up and likes them. It’s both sad and frustrating to try dealing with such a scardy dog. I’m at a loss. I’d hate to rehome her, but I also hate seeing her constantly stressed and miserable. I worry the fear could turn to aggression. Any advice?

  5. Samar says:

    We have a 1yr old chihuahua, he sleeps next to me or my 12yr old daughter everynight. If anyone was to enter the room he starts growling and barking and showing his teeth, as if we were introders or strangers to him. Sometimes inwould just walk in the room early in the morning to grab something and he starts, as if he doesnt know me. He’already snapped at my six yr old son twice, and one on my nephew, just because they were playing with him, maybe he was bothered by them. I dont know what to do. Is this behavior reversable? Is it a good idea to keep this dog?

  6. kasey says:

    Sometimes it comes down to the dog or the loved one. I’ve known too many Chihuahua owners who literally chose their bad tempered Chihuahua over family and friends. It’s plain ridiculous. No dog should be allowed to bite no matter their size. A lot of Chihuahua owners let those little punks get away with too much.

  7. Charlotte says:

    I have a 1 year old chihuahua and a 3 year old son and they adore each other.

  8. Jaimy says:

    We are looking into a chihuahua – Pomeranian cross. We have a 2 year old and a 4 year old. I’m very hesitant simply because we’ve met a lot of less than friendly chihuahuas and it terrifies me to have the around my littles. However, this post reassured me it is possible – thanks for the tips!!

    • Lisa says:

      I have a chihuahua and a beagle, both males. Beagles are great with young children. I’ve noticed my chihuahua can be tolerant with kids, but it depends on his mood. I would try a beagle if I had young kids.

  9. Amanda says:

    Okay we were given a one year old Chihuahua and we have two small boys under four. For starters, is it safe? We introduced them and it was fine, but later one the pups tried to bite my old oldest boy. Should we get rid of him or what can we do?

  10. Paige says:

    Cutest Cudlly nice And Sweet

    I would Name them Clowey And Popey
    And they Would Have Five Puppies

  11. Leslie says:

    What happened with your dog? I’m debating on getting one and I have a 9 year old. Now I’m very concerned!

  12. Chihuahau says:

    Its because it feels jelous, chihuahuas are very loyal

  13. Missjune says:

    What about older chihuahuas? My dog was 9 when my daughter was born. I knew when I was pregnant she couldn’t be around kids due to biting every kid every time. She will leap to go bite them if they even look at her. When my daughter was 6 she pointed her finger through the baby gate and my dog got up and ran across the room and bit her finger. I have to keep her double baby gated. My daughter now 3 has been bit three times and is always growled at. If my daughter wants to throw in a treat to her she gets ferociously growled at. Now my 3 year old is scared of her. But loves her grandparents’ dogs. I now have another newborn so by the time this daughter is old enough to know never to touch or come near or enter a room she’s in, my dog will be 15….she used to be my baby. Now she’s isolated. I’ve tried letting her sleep on blankets that smell like my kid, my kid being the only one touching and giving treats everyday, etc. I need advise! I want my dog to be a happy family dog but my kids safety has to come first.

  14. Pat says:

    I have a nearly 3 month puppy, it’s just my husband and me. She was fine at vets office. Today my 8 yr old grandson and his dad came over, while we were outside for potty time. When they came toward us, she started barking and was very hyper. I sat her down and let her sniff and know they were ok,she is real active and tends to nip me. So was worried she might grandson. Any suggestions on when new child comes over?

  15. Camilla says:

    Hi. I’m having a problem with my 6 month old chihuahua. Within the past week he has randomly been attacking my children….mainly my daughter, who is very calm around him and kind to him and my son who is more of a nervous personality with the dog. The two others he is fine with. I’m not sure how to handle this. We crate him at night and when we leave the house or when he is bad. Within the past month he has been attacking the cage as we try to put him in. I’m at my wits end with him because he got my daughter at the corner of her eye and my son’s arm as he went to lay down next to the pup. Any advice is appreciated. Also any help on uncontrollable barking?

    • Leann says:

      I know this is a couple years old but did you have any luck with your chi? I’m having a horrible time with mine. It’s like we take a step forward and ten steps back. He is acting so vicious with my niece who is living with me. I’ve tried everything. I’m so worried he is gonna hurt her really bad when I’m not looking

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