🐕 Surrounding threat
Chihuahuas, just like any dog, can bite. But, these pint-sized dogs tend to bite for some other reasons than most breeds. Due to their small size, chihuahuas often feel the need to act more considerably than they actually are. They will often attack dogs four times their actual size to demonstrate that they mean serious business. But most of the time, you can correct this behavior with adequate socialization and discipline.
🐕 Health issue
One reason your chihuahua might be suddenly bites or starts being aggressive is that there is some sort of physical health issue. That is why you really should be considering taking your chihuahua to the vet right away to guarantee that there is no medical emergency present in your doc. Chihuahuas begin to be aggressive when they are in pain or even when they can’t see or hear well.
🐕 Attention seeker
Once you rule out the health condition, you need to think about your chihuahua trying to achieve with the aggression. The change in behavior can either mean it is trying to get you closer or trying to get you away. It is normal to think that your chihuahua is trying to get you away. But if you suddenly feel that maybe it is trying to get you to engage with it, your chihuahua is acting a play or attention-seeking behavior. Remember that chihuahuas are very loyal to their owners, and they don’t want to be neglected. So, their force towards you can mean playtime.
🐕 Guarding a space
This is the opposite of the above reason. Think about resource guarding if you know that your dog has no health issues and is asking for space. This is when a chihuahua is protecting a thing that they need in order to survive. Such examples are shelter, water, food, a person, or even a spot. A lot of times, people don’t see these early signs, like when it flicks its eyes or paces in an area back and forth. These actions mean your chihuahua is guarding an area. Resource guarding usually starts very minimal or quietly and then suddenly becomes excessive.
🐕 Recurring events
If none of those mentioned above is the reason, maybe you need to think about recurring events. You must observe the time and day of the biting behavior. Is it when you put a leash on your chihuahua? Or, your chihuahua has this behavior during groom time. You must look for patterns and contexts and try to avoid the triggers.
If your chihuahua still bites, there might be something that stresses it out. It would succor if you looked for the stressors because they might be like avalanching in its head. Trigger stacking is very subtle because it tales a bunch of stressors that would not typically send your chihuahua over the edge. But, when it takes place over and over again, you get an aggressive event.
Signs are when your chihuahua is sensitive when you take it to play at the park or even when someone is knocking at your door or mealtime comes later than usual. If these are the things that you might think stress your chihuahua, you need to start keeping a log of every little thing. You also need to realize that stress is neutral. So even your chihuahua is happy, or it sniffs all the time whenever you walk at the park, that could be a stressor.
How To Correct The Behavior
Now that you have an idea why your chihuahua bites, it is time to control this behavior. It would help if you treated these biting actions while your chihuahua is still young as an owner. Because the older your chihuahua gets, the more challenging for your chihuahua to change its behavior.
🐕 Give attention
GIve your chihuahua the attention it needs. You have to look at boredom as a reason for biting. When you leave your chihuahua alone for some longer time with nothing to play with, this can result in acts of aggression. This is because they feel the need to lash out simply because no one is paying anthem attention.
So make sure always to give your chihuahua enough attention as much as possible. Also, don’t forget to provide them with toys to play with while you are not home. Lastly, if your chihuahua is overly lonely, you might even want to consider getting a second dog. This will give them a playmate as long as it is not a threat to your chihuahua.
🐕 Socialization training
Talking about chihuahuas’ behavior, socialization must start very early. Once these dogs get set in their own ways, behavior is something that is hard to change. When you bring your new chihuahua home, ensure to begin socializing right away. Then, if you have other dogs or pets in the house, make sure to set their emotions to your new puppy.
This will let your new chihuahua a chance to acknowledge there is a hierarchy in the home, and there will be fewer bites and more on happy times. At the same time, if you have small children, expose them to the new dog slowly but safely. Remember that chihuahuas are very tiny and fragile, so you will want to supervise them around tiny tots constantly.
For more ways how to train your chihuahua not to bite, click here.
What To Do If It Bites
This section is to be used on your chihuahua when it is trying to bite you, not on a puppy who is just on the teething stage. You may not want a few of these methods, but none of them cause any pain to your chihuahua.
🐕 You can say NO
If your chihuahua starts to bite you, you can firmly say NO. After that, get up and walk away from your dog. You can also set your chihuahua down away from you. You can also ignore it for a few minutes.
🐕 Hold it
This step may be challenging, especially if your chihuahua shows aggression. When your chihuahua would try to bite or growl at you, pick it up from under its belly and hold it high above your head until your chihuahua calms down. Once your puppy quieted, you would set it down and walk away from your chihuahua. This works better than the first one, but this step needs a lot of courage to do it.
🐕 Turn the dog over
The third method is to turn your chihuahua over onto its back and just hold it there until your chihuahua quiets down. Hold it rigidly enough to keep it from getting away, but do not hold it so tight that you hurt your chihuahua. Once it settles down and stops growling, trying to nip you and get away from you, just let it go. This is a behavior canines do in the wild to show who is the head or alpha, and in this situation, you must show you are the leader.
Biting is expected in a dog. But if it happens so suddenly, maybe you need to look for the reasons that trigger this behavior. Your chihuahua is very small that is susceptible to stress and anxiety. Health issues are also reasons your chihuahua bites. This is because that is the only way to show that they are in pain or there is something wrong with their body. So to avoid making this behavior worse, go to the vet immediately before going to a behavior trainer. Treating the biting behavior is very important, especially if you have kids at home. Chihuahuas are only tiny, but they can still harm your happy family.
Here at ILoveChihuahua, we share our personal experiences as owners of this feisty breed. We talk about recommended methods, dog supplies picks, and advice on common Chihuahua problems. Our goal is to promote responsible dog ownership, so there would be fewer Chihuahuas in shelters.