Teaching a Chihuahua Not to Bite

Biting is an instinctual characteristic shared by all dogs, and Chihuahuas are no exception.

Chihuahua biting a person's handLong before we domesticated them, dogs have used their teeth to kill prey, improve jaw strength, fend off predators, establish dominance in their pack's social hierarchy, and play with other canines. Modern-day dogs have inherited this behavior from their ancestors, biting when provoked or otherwise stimulated. Unfortunately, this often results in owners, family members or complete strangers getting bit -- behavior that should not be allowed.

Is a Biting Chihuahua Really That Bad?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 4.7 million dog bites occur in the U.S. each year, 800,000 of which require medical attention. Because of their small size, however, many owners turn a blind eye to their Chihuahua's biting. After all, how much harm can a 5-pound Chihuahua really cause?

While a bite from a Chihuahua isn't going to inflict the same damage as a bite from a larger dog like a pit bull or boxer, it can still leave a painful wound that's prone to infection. There's an old myth that a dog's mouth is cleaner than a human's mouth, but this isn't a true. A dog's saliva may contain one or more disease-causing pathogens, including Pasteurella multocida, Pasteurella canis, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and Capnocytophaga canimorsus. When a Chihuahua bites, germs such as these can enter through the wound and cause an infection.

Biting is also a financial liability for the owner. If someone is bitten by your Chihuahua while visiting your home, the victim could sue for the cost of medical bills, pain and suffering, and other related expenses. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III) and State Farm, roughly one-third of all homeowner's insurance claims paid out in 2014 and 2015 involved dog bites.

Furthermore, it's usually children between the ages of 5 and 9 who are bitten by dogs. Their small size, erratic movements, and inability to identify a dog's temperament makes them a prime target for an attack. Children and Chihuahuas can safely coexist in the same home, but only after teaching both the boundaries of acceptable behavior.

Why Chihuahuas Bite

Chihuahuas possess innate behavioral traits passed down from their ancestors, including biting. Even the most docile "lap-friendly" Chihuahua can bite when pushed to the edge. To prevent this unacceptable behavior, owners must familiarize themselves with some of the reasons why Chihuahuas bite.

Teething

Teething Chihuahua with rope toyA Chihuahua puppy's baby teeth (milk teeth) will erupt through his gums at 3 to 5 weeks of age, allowing the pup to transition from mother's milk to dry food. To relieve the discomfort associated with this developmental process, puppies will bite and chew on just about anything they can get their paws on, including toys, socks, shoes, carpet, rugs or even your hand. 

This behavior will continue until all 28 baby teeth have erupted. Your Chihuahua's biting and chewing habits may return when his adult teeth erupt -- usually occurring around 3 to 4 months of age.

Because of his young age, a puppy's bite isn't going to inflict much damage, nor does he intend to cause damage. Nonetheless, it's important to begin teaching your Chihuahua early that biting is not acceptable.

Follow these tips to control your Chihuahua's biting during the teething stage:

  • Allow but don't encourage your Chihuahua to bite your fingers.
  • Teach bite inhibition by pulling your hand away saying "Ouch! That hurts!" when your Chihuahua bites too hard. This is the single most important thing you can do (we explain in greater detail below).
  • Fill ice cube trays with low-sodium chicken or beef broth and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, offer the cool treat to your teething Chihuahua.
  • Chilled carrots are an excellent and nutritious treat for a teething Chihuahua.
  • Divert your Chihuahua's chewing away from things like shoes and carpet by providing them proper toys. Rope toys are great because they can withstand countless hours of chewing. Kong toys are some of the toughest dog toys on the market, making them perfect for a teething Chihuahua. You can even fill them with water and freeze it for added relief of sore gums.
  • Avoid plush toys, as they offer little-to-no relief of sore gums and are easily torn apart.

Maternal Aggression

Chihuahua mother nursing her litterFemale Chihuahuas are more likely to bite during the first 2-3 weeks after giving birth. Known as maternal aggression, this behavior is the result of powerful chemical alterations occurring throughout her body, including increased production of the hormones oxytocin and prolactin, and decreased production of progesterone.

Known as the "love hormone," oxytocin is released by the hypothalamus section of the brain and is associated with maternal bonding, nurturing and attachment. It's used to stimulate contractions during labor, helping the fetus move through the birth canal.

Levels of the calming hormone progesterone decrease when a female Chihuahua is about to give birth, triggering increased production of the hormone prolactin. In addition to stimulating milk production, prolactin is associated with nesting and maternal instinct. Veterinary experts believe prolactin is also primarily responsible for the behaviors exhibited by female dogs during pseudopregnancy. These hormonal changes experienced by a female Chihuahua during pregnancy, or shortly after, can make her more aggressive.

You shouldn't attempt to correct a female Chihuahua's maternal aggression, but rather keep your distance until her hormones go back to normal. If you need to inspect or weigh her puppies, wait until she leaves her nesting area for food or water. Her aggression should gradually fade with each passing day after giving birth, with her behavior returning to normal within 3 to 4 weeks.

Pain-Induced Aggression

Chihuahuas have a natural instinct to protect themselves from danger. When a Chihuahua experiences pain, he may lash out and bite the person nearest to him, regardless of whether that individual caused the pain. He doesn't know who or what caused the pain, but his natural fight-or-flight instinct tells him to lash out at the nearest person or animal.

According to a study of 13 dogs conducted by researchers at Autonomous University, Barcelona, pain-inducted aggression was identified in all dogs. "Dogs that had never been aggressive before the onset of pain began to behave in this way in situations where an attempt is made to control them," explained lead researcher Tomàs Camps. This study was published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior— Clinical Applications and Research.

If your Chihuahua suffers from a medical condition like patellar luxation, which is common in this breed, he may exhibit aggressive behavior when touched in the affected knee. Owners and family members should use caution when handling a Chihuahua who's suffering from painful physical conditions or injuries to avoid being bit.

A Chihuahua doesn't necessarily have to be suffering from an injury or medical condition to exhibit pain-induced aggression. Toy breeds are most susceptible to pain-induced aggression because of their small size and heightened sensitivity towards pain. If a child (or adult) presses pulls, pinches or pushes your Chihuahua with too much force, he or she may get bit.

Signs that your Chihuahua is in pain may include:

  • Aggressive behavior
  • Flattened ears
  • Loss of appetite
  • Not interested in playing
  • Reluctance to accept treats
  • Yelping, whining or growling when touched (reactions such as these typically occur when a specific spot is touched)
  • Difficulty jumping and climbing stairs
  • Heavy panting
  • Excessive paw-licking
  • Difficulty sleeping

If your believe your canine companion is suffering from pain, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian ASAP. After performing an examination, your veterinarian can help to identify the cause of the pain and offer advice on treatment and pain medication options.

Past Abuse

According to the study "Behavioral and Psychological Characteristics of Canine Victims of Abuse" published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science (JAAWS), dogs with a history of past abuse were more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior towards unfamiliar people and unfamiliar dogs.

If you adopted a Chihuahua from a shelter or rescue, perhaps his biting is the result of abuse by a former owner. You can check with the organization from which you adopted your Chihuahua to see if there's any history of abuse, but many cases go unreported. 

Whether it's physical abuse, social isolation, yelling/verbal punishment, confinement to a chain, or removing the pup from its mother too early, abuse comes in many different forms. Some Chihuahuas recover quickly from such abuse, while others have lasting emotional scars that sow the seeds for aggressive behavior.

Teaching a Chihuahua with past abuse to trust humans again isn't an easy task, nor will it happen overnight. With time, patience, dedication and lots of affection, however, you can help your Chihuahua overcome these negative feelings.

Fear

Biting Chihuahua

A Chihuahua is more likely to bite another animal or person if he fears for his safety. Veterinarians are often the target of such aggression, simply because dogs are fearful of unfamiliar people and situations. When you take your Chihuahua to see a new veterinarian for the first time, he may growl and nip during the examination. The veterinarian isn't going to harm your canine companion, but he or she is still perceived as a potential threat.

Because the victims of fear bites are typically strangers, owners should tell strangers not to pet or otherwise touch their Chihuahua. It's not uncommon for strangers to stop and pet dogs at the park. In doing so, they place themselves at risk of being bitten. If you walk your Chihuahua in a park or other public area, politely decline any requests to pet your canine companion, unless your Chihuahua is familiar with the individual.

Socialization is key to nipping fear-inducted biting in the bud.

Territorial

Chihuahuas have a natural instinct to protect what they believe is their property, including toys, food, treats, water, beds, people and home. Known as territorial aggression, a Chihuahua is more likely to bite another person or animal if that person or animal encroaches upon their property. The purpose of this isn't to harm the individual but to make him or her go away.

A prime example of territorial aggression is when a postal worker delivers mail to a home, only to get chased and potentially bitten by the homeowner's dog. According to a report by the United States Postal Service (USPS), 6,549 of its employees were attacked by dogs in 2015. The dog perceives the postal worker as encroaching upon HIS territory, so his natural instinct is to chase the postal worker away.

Preventing bites from territorial aggression begins with teaching your Chihuahua that it's YOUR property and that YOU will protect it. If he acts aggressively when a stranger knocks on the door, show him that it's okay by asking a friend to come over and knock and enter through the front door, rewarding your Chihuahua with a treat afterwards.

If your Chihuahua is aggressive in a particular area, such as the corner of the living room, give him access to the area only when he's not displaying signs of aggression. You can do the same if he's aggressive around a toy, taking the toy away and giving it back when he's docile. Some experts also recommend making dogs "work" for their toys and property by performing basic obedience commands like sit or heel, after which the dog is rewarded with the toy or item. Along with regular socialization and positive reinforcement, this can put an end to territorial aggression.

To prevent territorial aggression around food, carefully approach your Chihuahua with a treat while he's eating. He should stop eating momentarily to accept the treat, after which you should walk away and wait a few minutes before returning with another treat. This shows your Chihuahua that it's not always bad when someone enters his territory.

Illness

Certain illnesses and diseases may trigger aggressive behavior in Chihuahuas. Hypothyroidism is one such disease that can make an otherwise docile dog more likely to bite. Located next to the larynx (voice box), the thyroid gland is a small gland that's responsible for producing thyroid hormones, which regulate healthy metabolic functions. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough of these hormones.

While hypothyroidism occurs mostly in larger breeds, Chihuahuas may develop it as well. A simple blood test performed at the veterinarian's office can reveal whether your Chihuahua is suffering from this disease. Thyroid hormone supplements like Levothyroxine (Soloxine) are often prescribed to treat hypothyroidism in dogs.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism may include:

  • Aggressive behavior
  • Lethargy
  • Hair loss and excessive shedding
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Hyperpigmentation of the skin
  • High cholesterol
  • Anemia

Lyme disease is another disease that's been linked to aggressive behavior in dogs. Transmitted through the bite of an infected tick, it can cause swollen joints, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, loss of appetite, as well as neurological symptoms like irritability, confusion and aggression. However, only 5-10% of dogs with Lyme disease show symptoms.

There's a vaccine available for Lyme disease, but many veterinarians recommend traditional tick prevention methods instead due to the risk of adverse reactions from vaccination.

Teaching Your Chihuahua Not to Bite

There's no universal training technique that will stop all Chihuahuas from biting. Dogs bite for many reasons, and the method for stopping this behavior varies depending on the trigger. With that said, the following tips can greatly reduce many instances of biting and other forms of aggression in Chihuahuas.

Don't Punish for Growling

Many owners scold or otherwise punish their Chihuahuas for growling. In doing so, they eliminate a key warning sign that precedes biting. If you teach your Chihuahua that growling is bad, perhaps he'll bite without warning the next time he's provoked. The possibility of biting is still there, but the warning sign -- growling -- is removed.

Allowing your Chihuahua to growl may sound counterproductive if you're trying to teach him not to bite, but it's actually beneficial. Owners can teach their children to back away from the Chihuahua when he growls to avoid getting bit.

Growling may also reveal the cause of his aggression. If your Chihuahua growls when picked up, perhaps he's suffering from a painful injury or medical condition. If he growls when another pet approaches his crate, his aggression is territorial.

Teach Bite Inhibition

Teaching Chihuahua bite inhibitionBite inhibition refers to a dog's ability to control the force of his bite. When you give your Chihuahua a treat for instance, he shouldn't bite your hand using the full strength of his jaw. If he knows bite inhibition, he'll accept the treat more cautiously to prevent injuring you. The goal isn't to prevent your Chihuahua from biting, but rather to teach him to control the force his of bite.

Puppies learn bite inhibition at an early age while nursing and playing with their littermates. If a puppy bites one his littermates too hard, the littermate may let out a high-pitched yelp, saying "You bit me too hard -- and it hurt!" The same goes for puppies while nursing: biting the mother too hard may cause her to get up and walk away. If a puppy wants to play and nurse, he must learn to control his bite.

This is one of the reasons why puppies should stay with their mother for at least eight weeks. If a puppy is removed too early, he's less likely to develop bite inhibition through playing and nursing. The same goes for singletons who are born without playmates.

Here are the three rules to follow when teaching bite inhibition:

  1. Respond to forceful bites. When your Chihuahua bites too hard, respond by pulling your hand away and saying "Ouch, that hurt!" You should then ignore him for the next few minutes to discourage forceful biting.
  2. Be consistent with your training efforts. Consistency is key when teaching your Chihuahua bite inhibition. If you respond with a loud "Ouch" on one occasion but not the next, it confuses him by sending mixed messages.
  3. Reinforce into adulthood. Bite inhibition is best taught at an early age, while the puppy is still young. However, you should continue to reinforce it well into your Chihuahua's adulthood.

Socialization

Chihuahuas are much more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior if they aren't socialized. When a Chihuahua isn't exposed to other people, animals and environments, he's likely to develop fear-induced aggression, such as biting an unfamiliar person's hand. 

One study conducted by researchers from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University found that unsocialized puppies were 580 times more likely to develop aggression problems later in life.

The idea behind socialization is to show your Chihuahua that other people and animals aren't bad, preferably while he's still a puppy. Puppies are most sensitive to socialization between the ages of 3 and 16 weeks, making this is a critical time to prevent aggression. If your Chihuahua has positive experiences with other people and animals at a young age, he'll develop a more relaxed disposition towards unfamiliar faces in the future.

Here are some tips to follow when socializing your Chihuahua:

  • Make sure your Chihuahua is up to date on his vaccinations before exposing him to other people and animals.
  • Take a trip to the pet store with your Chihuahua.
  • Bring your Chihuahua on car trips (just don't leave him the car).
  • Go on walks with your Chihuahua, such as dog parks, around the neighborhood, wooded trails, etc.
  • Play fetch with your Chihuahua outdoors.
  • When taking your Chihuahua to a dog park, walk him around the outside of the fence first.
  • Take your Chihuahua to friends' and family members' homes.
  • Invite friends or family members over to your home, encouraging them to play with your Chihuahua.
  • Sign up for a group-based obedience training class.
  • Reward your Chihuahua with a treat after each socialization experience.

Spaying/Neutering

Spaying or neutering may reduce aggression in Chihuahuas. According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of California, intermale aggression was reduced in 60% of male dogs by neutering, with rapid reduction of aggression in 25% and gradual reduction in 35%.

Neutering results in lower levels of testosterone, reducing behavior associated with this hormone such as urinating to mark territory, hyperactivity, running away, and aggression.

Spaying a female Chihuahua eliminates her heat cycle, and subsequently the behaviors associated with going into heat. It may also reduce female hormone-driven behavior, including nest guarding in pseudopregnancy.

In the past, it was widely believed that neutering male dogs before puberty was necessary to prevent these behavioral problems. A study cited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA), however, suggests that neutering male dogs in adulthood is just as effective at reducing aggression as neutering before puberty.

Professional Help for Biting and Aggression

Happy, docile Chihuahua not biting

When all else fails, seek professional help for your Chihuahua's behavior. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends consulting with a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist.

Alternatively, you can seek professional help from a Certified Processional Dog Trainer (CPDT) or member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT).

The bottom line is that you shouldn't throw in the towel just because your previous training efforts have failed.

References:

https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/biting/dog-biting-prevention

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/avoid_dog_bites.html




57 Responses to “Teaching a Chihuahua Not to Bite”

  1. Beatrice says:

    Have a small chihuahua lady couldn’t take care of him so I took him in he about 1 1/2 years old he was good at first but then he started to bit me he bit me on my lip and arm I’ll try to get him off the bed or sometimes pick him up he attack me what can i do!

    • Debra says:

      I purchased my roommate a chihuahua, for the first 6 months she loved this person a lot. We were fixing to have her spayed and she had a phantom pregnancy that’s when she started biting my roommate. After we had her spayed the vet said she might come down and stop the biting. But she did not stop biting my roommate. What can we do?

  2. Natalie says:

    Our chihuahua is a 1yrs 2months old, she has been doing fine with my 2 yr old grandson but in the last few days She has actually bit him 3 times now since Sunday twice on the cheeks and one on his hand. Not sure why I know he went to pet her once and tried to touch his kiss her and she bit him. I know at times he gets kind of rough with her playing but she plays with him and starts licking and wrestling with him. sometimes they play and she nips his heels but now its like a bit and scares my grandson. She does not like my 3yr nephew she will bark and bark at him them when he gets near her starts nipping at him.

    Any suggestions.

  3. Leigh says:

    We took in a chihuahua/min pin mix. He is 6 yrs old and neutered and in good health. His previous person was taking him to the shelter because he bites. I have been paying close attention to what causes this behavior. If we pick him up to get him off the bed he growls, but if I speak calmly to him he stops growling. The problem is really with visitors. He is so agressive, bites their feet and is just awful. He goes nuts if anyone approaches the house. Our other two dogs are quite mellow and while they will bark to warn us someone is coming, they pick up our cues and are friendly. This little guy is mean. He is also very aggressive with large dogs, and has been bitten once in the short time we’ve had him. We have to keep him leashed at the dog park and it takes all my attention to keep him from trying to kill some dog that outweighs him by 80 lbs. Does anyone have suggestions? I’m ready to take him to the shelter myself, but I know he won’t find a home if he’s a biter.

  4. Becky Goodale says:

    We just adopted a 6yr old male Chihuahua from a rescue that the rescue group sent to a behaviorist to correct his biting and barking. Once we had him home we noticed how thin he was and that he was not eating. since his back was hunched we asked the rescue group for his vet check which they had not done. Over the next week and a half I tried to get him to eat and he only ate small amounts. I finally took him to my vet to find out a lot of his teeth were loose probably due to malnutrition. After a good cleaning and removal of 7 teeth he is eating better.
    From what I understand small breeds are prone to bad teeth and this can cause the dog pain and biting and being grouchy. check the teeth or other sources of pain your dogs may have.

  5. Antwon is dabbing says:

    I am a proud mother of 49 chihuahuas and with two more on the way, I think that if you give them too many toys and you suddenly take the toys away all of your chihuahuas will become very hostile and will go on a rampage and you will surely die.

    P.S. Don’t get too many toys

  6. Tara Portis says:

    I have a male chi that his owners left him behind when they moved. He bites. And it’s not for any particular reason . We could be petting him or just sitting watching tv and he’s sleeping at the end of my bed and he’ll wake up and charge us . I always make him go outside when he shows aggression of any kind. He is approx 4 1/2 yrs and I’ve had him for 2yrs. Don’t get me wrong he can be very loving and snuggling but we just don’t know when he will attack us

  7. Kathy Odom says:

    My dog, Gracie is almost 11 years old. She has been my dog and loved me more than any human ever has. She is a chi. Lately, she will not even let me pick her up without trying to bite me and my husband. I’m very afraid of her. She tries to attack us, shows all her teeth and will not hesitate to bite. She’s never bitten our vet but tried really hard to today. He doesn’t know why the change in her. What can I do? I love her so much.

    • Leshia says:

      At times I think dogs could be in pain and lash out from not knowing who caused it. I know my old dog was more moody when he felt bad. Possibly let the vet see if he needs am anti inflamirory. He could be responding to a noise that happened at the time of some kind of trauma. It’s hard to tell. I just got a 2 months old chi and she has me going. Potty trained soon as I helped her, but bites constantly. Gotta get better and more toys.

  8. Bethany says:

    I need advice i have a 2yr old chihuahua and its a male when people come over he bites them and leaves a bruise he has bit 2 people and tries to other people and we have to put him in my bedroom

  9. Bernadette says:

    Hello,
    I have a 2yo Chihuahua mix. She is a rescue and I get a sense has been abused in the past. Our main problem is that when we have guests over, she becomes extremely aggressive and tries to bite. We have to lock her in other rooms away from our guests. It doesn’t matter the age- she’s tried to bite my 80 yo mom.
    Any advice for this?

  10. Rosa says:

    How Long does the teething last ? My chiwawa is 5 months and tiny but she seems to be biting more and snaps. She doesn’t tear my skin but she def shows her teeth and is constantly play biting with my hands. Please help! I want her to be sweet and nice and she is for the most part but she is spoiled. Did I totally mess up by spoiling her and having her stay in bed with me and holding her and kissing her constantly ? She just turned five months. Thank you.

    Worried owner

    • Sally says:

      My baby is the same she is 4 months old. Ive found that a loud NO and making a loud noise, say with a book or something to get her attention seems to work and when shes trying to bite me she thinks its a game. I just hold her like a baby and give her a chèwy like you would give a baby a bottle. I have to say that the louder the NO and a loud sound to go with it works the best. Then find a word that he/she understands. I use Settle. It works 😎 or act like he/she hurt you.

  11. Kayley says:

    Hi,iv just adopted a 5yrs old male full chihuahua and he has bit my nose. I think this was my own fault as I picked him up when he was sleeping & stuck my face into him but he is now showing aggression when I walk him especially with big dogs or people with walking sticks.i have asked a behaviour specialist what to do and they said don’t pick him up,cuddle him ,don’t let him up on setee but find this so hard as he is so loving and just wants stoking and cuddled all the time.he even pulls your arm back when you stop stroking him.does anyone no why this is?no one can stoke him or he’l growl but once he has sniffed and Sussed them out he’l get on there knee and let them stroke him no bother

    • Darlene says:

      Please text me if you found a solution to your 5 month old puppy. I just got mine and she’s 3 months and they could be twins. She wont sleep if she’s not next to me. I can’t leave her sight.Im by myself so no one teasers her but the biting has to stop. I tell her NO! and and omg she gets worse. Like she has a demons got control. My son took 2 from the same litter and they are angels. He says go to ur cage and they go. I tell mine that and she charges at me. I clueless as to what to do. I love her so much. Please any advise???

      • Sally says:

        Tell her NO with a loud voice and add something to go with it like a book. She thinks its a game, you have to dhow her its not!! I have had the same problem with my 4 month old. You have to be stern, pick her up by the scruff of the neck. She will yelp, but she thinks Mommy. Also, never hut her say NO in a loud voice how ever many times it takes and use a tool like a book and slam it down on the ground. Personally, i found that grabbing her by the scruff of the neck like a mommy dog would and verbally tell her NO. Also I found a calming word like settle. But never let her chew softly on your hands or fingers cause that confuses her. Its never OK to even lightly chew or nibble on your hands. Hope this helps you😎

  12. ana says:

    My dog Simon bites on every thing, he even broke my lawn mower string. How can he stop from getting into a mess. He’s so noisey!!!

  13. April says:

    I have a ten week old chiweenie named Cinnamon, she is very aggressive and bites my hands and snaps at me on a daily basis, she had plenty toys.I’m afraid to take around anyone or my grand babies because I don’t want them to get bit.

    Help me!!

  14. Tim McG says:

    I seriously do not get this don’t physically punish a chihuahua for biting. In the wild, how do animals show their dominance over another dog? Answer: They bite, they snarl they act physically agressive. And you’re telling me we humans should not? Why? I have found that in addition to verbal commands like saying “No” if Fido still isn’t getting the message a sharp tap on the end of the nose does the trick. It is a dog, not a basket of raw eggs, OK? Now I am NOT talking about beating the dog. Beating an animal is wrong and it is always wrong, but to take away the best physical tools we have to use as a last resort is sheer foolishness. They need to know who is boss and the animal way is through physical touch or control. Think like a dog not a psychologist.

    • Sally says:

      A smack on the nose with this dog goes strait to her brain. Neurologically, it can damage her permanently. There are better ways to deal with her.

      • Dawn says:

        I have a 5 month old girl Chi. I have found that a Loud No! Followed by a loud slap on couch or door works. I also use a small squirt bottle to stop her from being over zealous with our 56 year old girl Chi works.

  15. Leasha says:

    Hi I have a 13 weeks chi she just keeps biting my 4 year old daughter what do I do

  16. amanda says:

    My chihuahua is 2 yrs old and she keeps attacking my 10 yr old tea cup poodle. She has just started doing this and I don’t know what to do? I love them and would appreciate any ideas.

    • Sally says:

      Shes simply jealous or there is something going on with your older dog medically. I would take your older dog to the vet.

  17. kelly says:

    i have a 1 year old chi who has recently started to snap at people and kids in the street, he only started doing this when our other chi got attacked and killed by another dog in front of him and then a few months down the line a couple of teenage girls were trying to antagonise him.
    Im not sure if its because he is now alone, we are getting another puppy next year so am hoping it will calm it down but cant let this carry on, is there any training tips anyone can give me to help stop this behaviour? he is usually such a loving dog and hate seeing him act up in this way.

  18. Silver says:

    Hello, okay so I just recently got a 3yr old, female Chihuahua ( Possibly mix ) From a Friend, of a Friend. Her previous owners, could no longer take care of her, plus they had her outside and it was getting cold. So they chose to give her away, rather then bring her in.

    Much to my surprise, when I bring her home. I find out, that she is an extremely timid, and shy Girl. And isn’t fond of loud noises at all. She also wasn’t very fond of my other two Dogs. Angel, a 7yr old Chihuahua mix, and Katsu, a Beagel/Dachshund mix. Since she’s so scared, she attacks them for no reason.

    I’ve been working on this, her former owners hadn’t allowed her to interact with any other Animals at all. She is getting a lot better. And she’s even began playing with Katsu.

    They also had been feeding her Human food, nothing but table scraps. And they wonder why she hadn’t been eating her dog food. It was also, an extremely cheap food. If I was a Dog, I wouldn’t eat it either. It’s proving to be difficult breaking her of that Habit, but she’s slowly becoming acustom to chowing down on her own food. Kibbles and Bits.

    Now, you’re probably wondering what the problem is. It’s a biting problem. And it’s only towards my Sister. She’ll be sleeping beside her, and when she goes too move her, to get up or shift around, etc. She growls and bites at her hands. Now my Sister doesn’t take it well, and places her in the floor. In an angry mood, and I try to explain to her that it’s in a Chihuahuas genes. And that we just need to work on it.

    It irks me, that her former owners did nothing at all to train her. But if you’d please, offer some friendly advice I’d thank you kindly.

  19. Irene says:

    My Chihuahua Tipsy will not stop biting my Mum want him out of the house but i love him soo much i don’t want to part with him. I used soo much money to get him but now he is disappointing me.Ave tried even silent treatment but Tipsy bites everything including my Mum sofa set. kindly advice am not ready to loose him yet

  20. Wiley says:

    We have a chi is about 3 1/2 years have had him for 1 1/2 years. He was a rescue dog heartworm positive. We got him thru all of that, healthy and happy, but having problems with biting us. Is very lovable and affectionate but if we allow him to vary from his routine, re sleeping, etc. he bites. If he gets too tired and doesn’t sleep at the exact time he is used to he bites us. If we take him outside with a coat on (we are in a colder climate) and bring him inside where it is warm and try to take his coat off, he bites us. We have been trying the social isolation method to correct this but have been slow with success. Is this common behavior with these dogs? Other than this he is very affectionate and intelligent and obedient

  21. sue says:

    My chihuahua richard is 10 and had his shots 3 days ago when I went to pick him up he went to bite me. I’m so upset I cryed. He has never done that before. Thank u for the infoe I feel better.

  22. Zoee says:

    @Julie, from what I understand from your story was Mitzi are trying to dominant over you. My Chi used to behave this way when he was 2 months old. Is Chi nature to nip or bite. You will need to consistently correcting Mitzi behavior unfortunately only repetitive training can help. Because of their small nature is kind of hard to chase or correcting them. Best would be on collar and chained when correcting any unwanted behavior till repetitive

  23. Julie says:

    So I just got a Chiweenie two days ago, it was from my godmother so I’m not necessarily sure how old it is. Her name is Mitzi Lee and she is very small. She’s a dachshund and a chihuahua and she loves to bite. She’ll nip at my hands, my feet, my ankles, my thighs, my ears, anything really. When she nips at my hands I was told to make a yelping noise, but it doesn’t work. Ever. Whenever I pull back or ignore her she just comes back and bites harder every time. I’m forced to gently push her away. Her toys are always on the bed for her and I feed her regularly. She goes outside quite often, around four or five times a day for about 5 to 10 minutes each. Sometimes she has moments where she’ll get wild and hop off the bed, bite my fingers, run all around and just be a pain, may I mention that I’m typing this at 6:14 am. I got absolutely no sleep and I just had to put her in her crate and put her down stairs because she was attacking me. She doesn’t hurt much, but she repetitively bites over and over and it’s irritating. My mom smacks her in the face but I tell her not to. She tells me she knows best, but not when it comes to animals.
    I’m usually great with all animals.
    Please help me! I don’t want her to be a biting dog and if she continues I can’t have her stay.

    • Dawn says:

      Having a baby Chi is like having a baby. They need consistency, patience, consistant training. A schedule. Lots of love and interaction. I have 5 month old chi Bella. The first two months, no sleep. Do not use the crate for punishment. Do not hit, she will only learn to be defensive. I have mine on a schedule like I had my vabies on. She has a playpen with her soft bed and blanket. I use this for nap time and when I need to shower. Never let her run unsuoervised. Potty training is hard, but she is getting it after 3 months. She .ow comes to me and varjs or whines. They do talk to you. Use command words consistently: NO, OUTSIDE POTTY, OUTSIDE POOPOO. TREAT. HOUSE, COME followed by name. Be firm and consistant. If she bites whitle your fingers and you push her away. She thinks youre playing. Pull your hands back and say NO BITE! and walk away. Reward good behavior. I also use a squirt bottle when she is doing unfavorable behavior. Squirt followed by NO and her name. Hope it helps.

  24. BRAELYNN says:

    so this is a real problem i mean but i have been trying to do this for 10 weeks and i just well she went to bite me and i looked her straight in eye and i said NO and u will never guess this is what happened and i felt really bad but she gave me that sad look and bent down and went to her bed i guess since well i have never yelled at her like that before and she actually listened i was just so surprised cause she has never listened to me like that.

  25. Jasmine says:

    Hi. When my 4 month old chi nips I tell her NO and put her down which is when she goes to her crate to sulk. I make a point of NEVER reaching into her crate. I always call her and have her come out on her own. I think this is why she willingly goes there. It’s her own special place to hang out or sulk or for her to be alone if she wants to.
    The problem we’re having now is her growling when she sleep and we want to mover her ie. from the couch or our laps. Any suggestions?

  26. Irish says:

    What would you suggest for a hand-shy and food-aggressive biter? I recently adopted an 18 month old failed show prospect (he was cryptorchid, and although otherwise a perfect conformation candidate, could never be shown because of the hereditary nature of the condition). I had him neutered within a couple of weeks of adopting him, and he has now been neutered for approximately 2 months, so he is about 21 months of age, now.

    His biting occurs either when you try to pet him from the front, or pick him up, and/or when he’s eating or wants to eat something you may have. He is improving with the hand-shy issue, and getting easier to approach from the front or from above, at least with me. Not so much with others–but I’m the one training him, and rewarding him with a treat when he allows the touch of a hand without shying away or trying to bite. However, nothing I’ve tried seems to be working with the food aggression. It’s bad enough that he’s food aggressive if you (or one of my other toy breed dogs) get near him while he eats, but he will also sometimes come all the way from across the kitchen to attack your feet (a distance of 6’10’, depending on which part of the kitchen you’re in) if he happens to be eating. Physical punishment is not an option. My preference is for positive reinforcement for good behavior, and simply ignoring (with or without a sharp “NO” if he’s doing something he shouldn’t) the behavior, when possible. It can, however, be difficult when it comes to a biting dog. Even a tiny one can cause problems if they bite a human, and this little guy can actually draw blood. I know this from unfortunate esperience!

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

  27. Enaida says:

    Hi my pinky (her name) chihuahua is 3 months old she she weight 1pound go to the pad to do her stuff i have her in a playpen and the grate inside shes been good the only think is the bitting and wen i put her sweter omg she get so tense and start bitting me she needed were i live is cold shes ok after im put it on, im confuse, maybe she do not like? What should i do? Thanks.

    • SuAnn says:

      Irish I have to tell you this you are way over your head if you’re allowing without any kind of physical pulling up on the dog’s neck collar or tapping on the nose that behavior is only going to get worse you can also isolate him to a crate and that would be your ignoring him not just letting him run around because that’s not correcting anything and I know because I’ve been there I have scars to show for it when I finally got down to business and wasn’t going to take it anymore I put those two things into effect but I also rewarded good behavior when it came and another thing I did I did not reward the behavior until the dog remain submissive in other words calm down and withdrew those beady eyes showing teeth, barking and it worked but it did take some time everything in me is telling me to write you this and don’t think those dogs can’t do destruction without biting it get worse okay I just had to tell you please feel free to let me know if this is Helpful SuAnn

  28. Jennyb says:

    I have got a male chi who is probably about 1 1/2 I’ve never had a problem, he’s always been “my boy” I tap him on the bum if he wees up something but then again I always have but not hard litterelly like a tiny tap. Recently same scenario he peed on my clean washing I went to tap his bum and he ran away since then the has tried to bite me several times and now doesn’t want to know me. I have a 4 year old and I don’t want to risk her getting bitten but at the same time I don’t want to give up on him. His tail is always curled under when I’m in the room, he won’t look at me anymore it’s really getting me down he will turn his head as far as he can to avoid looking at me. He seems fine with my daughter although I’m not letting her get too close at the moment and is fine with my partner. Any tips or ideas?? I do have another chi that is pregnant but I don’t think that can be anything to do with it as he is fine when I’m around her he doesn’t react or anything?

    • Giacci says:

      my chi does that as well… when I yell at her or tell her no, she wont look at me for hours. try sweet talking? it works for my girl. They hold grudges for some reason.

      • Latosha Marks says:

        Did it get better? My dog is chi is doing that now since I tapped him for bitting me on the lip when I wanted kisses, an curling his lip. He is only 4 months old…. it seems he loves everyone but me right now…

  29. Brindy says:

    I have a 10 month old Chihuahua mix. She is cute, playful and somewhat trained. I did have a hard time training her not to poop in the house at first. Then I observe her on how long it takes her after she eats that she has to poop and pee. Once I know that ( for her, its two hours), I take her out. Now I don’ have a problem. At night, I put a pee pad in the bathroom and she pees on it if she needs to. My only problem now is how to stop her frm biting even playfully

  30. WPRCJCPA says:

    Ive been teaching my 3 month old basic commands and he is learning it fairly well. Here are only two things i cant teach, to stop him from biting and where to poop or take his leak. I hope this article helps me on the biting problem.

  31. Dhruv Bhagat says:

    If you want your dog to prevent biting, you have to spend some time with your dog.. Knowing dog’s behavior is the perfect idea to know the reason behind dog’s aggressiveness. This will help you and your dog in a playful mood..!!

    Thanks for writing on this wonderful topic on a specific breed too.. I would love to have Chihuahua as my new pet 😀

  32. E.M says:

    You should NEVER use your crate as a punishment or time out! Time outs are human psychology!! If your dog bites a firm “NO,” and put the dog on the floor if hes on the couch, otherwise ask your dog for a behaviour you DO agree with, sit, down, etc; and REWARD that behaviour!! NEVER hit your dog!

    Your dogs crate should be a positive and safe place for him/her. As this is their version of a den. They need to be able to go in and out as they please to insure that they feel safe in their own environment!!

  33. Olivia Peters says:

    I believe my dog is a chihuahua and was miss treated before I got him so I am wondering how to stop his biting? My dog has bit there daughter and they want him gone.I am staying at relatives for now and they want my dog gone. I do not want to give him away . But I don’t know what.

    Olivia peters

    • Be patient and focus on positive reinforcement rather than punishment. When your Chihuahua begins to show signs of aggression (growling, showing teeth, tense body, etc.), tell them “NO” in a stern manner followed by ignoring them. It’s your tone of voice that will tell them who’s the leader (YOU!). On the other hand, when your Chihuahua is docile and affectionate, show your appreciation with petting, praise and the occasional treat.

      • Giacci says:

        So you say to reward by petting and what not. I rescued my dog and I believe she was abused. She gets aggressive sometimes when I go to put on her jacket to go outside for a walk. And when she gets to the point of being mad and lashing out, she sees red and sometimes wont come back from it for a straight minute or so, so saying no doesnt always work. I dont know what else to do. I love her so much but she has made me afraid of her.

        • Lady says:

          She’s taking the role of alpha in this situation. You need to establish dominace and take the role of alpha. If you need help with this search for training a dog in a pack.

  34. michele carson says:

    oh i think a have done a good job for a few things .he is puppy pad trained for both it was a lot of work but we made it and i feed him three times aday he eats very good and he do have alot of toys the ones that u r talking about i live in a apartment so he don’t no how to potty out side i fell i’m half way there it hurts when he bites me so i need help thanks again

  35. michele carson says:

    i thank u so much for putting the words up so i can try to have and love my pet more he is driveing my crazy i had him sense he’s been 5wks. i love him and i have put a lot of money in him his name is papi thank u again for your kind words to help me.i will give him away befor i hurt him thank u again i hope to here from u

    • Hang in there Michele! Training isn’t always easy, but your Chihuahua will eventually come around if you remain persistent and focus on positive reinforcement. Let me know if there’s anything I can help you with.

    • Paul Valerio says:

      We just got a long hair chi that is 3 weeks away from getting his first set of shots, (sorry forgot how many weeks he is), we are trying to train him not to bit and chew on everything and was also wondering what kinda of treats to buy him like brand wise and do we buy biskets or what? We did buy some but he won’t even eat them.. we mainly need tips on the chewing and bitting ( which I think is because he is teething) and what kind of toys are best for him?

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