Tips & FactsTraining & Behavior

Why Does My Chihuahua Bite My Face? 9 Possible Reasons

If your chi has been nipping at you whenever you get too close, you might wonder: why does my chihuahua bite my face? From overexcitement to showing affection — these are a few possible reasons why these tiny dogs love biting their human owner’s face.

Your chi biting your face may mean something as innocent as getting excited over a game or fetch. Or it might signify a more serious issue, like an underlying medical issue. Knowing the cause behind your tiny dog’s bites is vital in preventing your furry friend from gnawing on your face.

See the possible reason behind your chihuahua’s face-biting endeavors and how to stop it.

Why Does My Chihuahua Bite My Face?

why does my chihuahua bite my face (infographic)

Here are a few reasons why your chihuahua has been biting your face often, answering the burning question of ‘why does my chihuahua bite my face?’ and a few ways to stop this behavior:

😬 You’ve Been Reinforcing Your Chi’s Behavior

Face biting is a thing chihuahuas do when excited, and you might’ve been rewarding the bad habit. If you give your chi things like toys, treats, and pets, your chi might’ve learned to do it more often to get those things! Instead of feeding into the negative behavior, reward your tiny pet when it’s behaved.

😬 Getting Your Undeniable Attention

Chihuahuas are needy breeds that often crave their owner’s attention. And some of them go to extreme lengths, such as biting your face to get you to look at it! This case is more plausible if you last paid attention to the small dog a while ago. 

If you wish to prevent face-biting from your chi, pay attention to it throughout the day. Whether you walk, play, or train your tiny furry friend, these should satisfy you. 

Aside from that, make it a habit NOT to reward your chihuahua with attention when it bites your face. And it’s best to leave to get the message across to your tiny pet — implementing it’s never good to nip someone’s face! 

😬 Fear or Getting Startled

Many aggressive actions from chihuahuas often pop up due to fear. Your chi might’ve gotten scared of something or someone getting close to its space. And when whatever these tiny dogs are afraid of gets near them, they can get overwhelmed, often responding by biting it. They’re creating a distance from whatever they’re scared of, and this may happen to you when you startle your chi. 

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Expanding on getting startled, chihuahuas can bite their owners if they get surprised. And this is especially the case if you go up to your tiny furry friend while asleep! Accidentally waking up a sleepy chi can lead to it getting disoriented and confused. As a result, your pet might go in to bite the closest thing to it — and in this case, it’s your face.

Therefore, don’t get surprised to receive a bite or two on your face if you surprise your chi. Whether on accident or purpose, discourage face-biting by simply not scaring your chihuahua. And always be thoughtful of your tiny pet, especially when it’s asleep!

😬 Your Chihuahua is Protecting or Guarding You

If your chihuahua has something valuable, such as toys, food, and treats that it wants for itself, it might bite your face out of fear of one of them getting taken. And this is a natural response from these tiny dogs as it’s part of the breed’s resource-guarding behavior.

Aside from that, some chihuahuas have strong guarding tendencies, often resorting to biting whatever’s near if they think their space intrudes upon them! Or if your chi believes someone in your family is in danger, whether it’s real or not. 

😬 Teething for Younger Chis

It might be teething if you have a younger chihuahua that bites your face often. We all know these tiny dogs like to munch on things when young to soothe their gums. So, if you’ve noticed your chi biting and chewing often, don’t blame it on yourself — but on your dog’s sharp canines!

In this situation, it’ll help to give your chi many things to chew on, whether toys or tasty treats. Aside from that, giving your little furry friend plenty of training now is crucial so it can learn what they and cannot bite. You can kickstart the training period with flying colors by using the “leave it” training method on your chi. 

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😬 It’s in the Tiny Dog’s Nature

No matter the variation, chihuahuas interact with their surroundings with their mouths and noses. They use these two more often than their eyes, significantly younger chis! Hence, the reason why your tiny furry friend has been biting your face might be that it’s interacting with it. 

Although it’s part of a chihuahua’s “nature,” it’s important to know when to teach your pup to stop.

😬 A Chihuahua’s Insufficient or Lack of Training

A lack of or insufficient training is a prevalent cause of face-biting among chihuahuas. After all, if you’ve not trained your tiny pet not to bite your face, how would it know that it’s a bad habit? Hence, teach your chi as early as possible for less face-biting and more loving.

😬 Your Chi is Excited

Overexcited chihuahuas love showing off their enthusiasm by biting or chewing anything near them. And this is especially common in scenarios such as you arrive home or when you bring your furry friend out for a walk.

In that case, it’ll help to avoid doing the thing your chi gets most excited about and wait for it to stop biting your face before you move on to the next agenda.

😬 Underlying Pain

Finally, your chi might feel sick or be injured if it kept biting your face out of nowhere. After all, even the strongest and most tolerant chihuahuas can bite anyone where they’re in pain. Hence, if your small pet gets injured, be aware and warn those around you that your chi might bite, as it may feel a little scared. 

But if your chi’s behavior suddenly changes, scheduling an appointment with their vet would be the best course of action alongside a positive reinforcement trainer.

How to Stop My Chihuahua from Biting My Face?

A foolproof way to stop your chihuahua from biting is to remember that dogs are also individuals. Remember, no matter how tight-knit you are with your chi, and it won’t be comfortable in all scenarios! And as your small pet’s owner, you need to know of your chi’s comfort in various situations.

Help your chihuahua be successful by proactively removing all stressors in its surroundings. Or prevent your tiny pet from getting into overstimulating situations that force it to feel the need to bite.

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For instance, if your chi is nervous about meeting other dogs and people, it might bite your face if you go too close. Instead of forcing your small pet, introduce the other pets and their owners to your chi.

But if your furry friend refuses, don’t force it to interact with others. After all, no matter how good of a rep they have, not all chihuahuas will be willing to be friendly and social toward other pets and humans. If you want to help your chi break out of his habit of biting people’s faces, you can also work with a trainer.

With a professional trainer, you can learn how to work within your chi’s comfort level. And this will help your chihuahua work toward developing more tamed responses instead of face-biting.

Here are foolproof ways to train your chihuahua to stop biting your face:

✔️ Provide Chew Toys

Giving your chi chew toys is a proven method of keeping your pet busy and satisfied. And it’ll teach your furry friend that it should be chewing on inanimate things instead of YOU and other people. Besides this, it’ll reduce your dog’s feeling of needing to bite on stuff you don’t want it to gnaw on. 

 ✔️ Avoid Physical Discipline 

Chihuahuas will never understand physical punishments, rendering them useless. All you’ll be doing by smacking your chi is making it scared of you, forcing it to bite you more. Be patient with your chi, slowly train it to resist urges, and let it steam off on inanimate things instead.

✔️ Train Your Chihuahua Not to Bite Over Meals

A common cause of chihuahuas biting their owners’ faces is whenever food’s involved! These tiny dogs might not have enormous appetites, but they’re still overprotective of their meals. And it’s a difficult habit to break, considering chis learned it when in the litter — fighting for nutrition.

Prepare yourself if you have a young chi, as it’ll be a habit it’ll carry over to its food bowl. Therefore, train your tiny dog early to ease its food aggression and let it learn that you’re in charge. And you can reaffirm this by picking up your pet’s bowl and putting it back down whenever you wish. 

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Whenever your chi doesn’t react with a bite to your face, praise it and give it a treat. Meanwhile, if it growls and bites, tell it ‘no,’ and hold the bowl until your chihuahua learns. 

You can repeat this anti-face-bite process several times until you get the response you’re looking for from your chi. Regardless, the goal here is to let your dog know you’re the dominant alpha in charge of the food source and should never get bitten — especially on the face!

✔️ Place a Thumb Under Your Chi’s Tongue and a Finger Below Its Chin 

Try this technique if you still need to find the answer to why my chihuahua bite my face, and your dog continues to bite you. Although it may sound cruel, a few dog trainers use it as a fallback tactic. And many use this unique method as a last resort in easing or fighting off the urges of a chihuahua to bite your face.

Moreover, professional dog trainers suggest doing a loud squeal whenever your chi bites you. And once done, put your thumb in your dog’s mouth and gently press it under its tongue. Reinforce it by adding a finger underneath your pet’s chin — and hold this position for at least 10 seconds!

Be careful not to hurt your chi and only apply minimal pressure. This awkward position will make your bite-sized pet uncomfortable, preventing it from biting you in the future.

The Chihuahua will not like it, and it could mean they will stop biting you and will learn for next time.

✔️ Use Gloves Doused with a Nasty-Tasting Dog-Friendly Substance

You can douse regular gloves with dog-friendly bitter spray to prevent your chi from biting. It’ll let your pet learn that bites don’t taste good, easing aggressive behavior. Before doing this, ensure the formula is safe for chihuahuas! After all, these tiny dogs are fragile and can die from one mistake — no matter how small or big it is.

✔️ Establish Your Dominance

If you have an older chihuahua that bites your face, it might think it’s the alpha in your home. So, to prevent your pint-sized furry friend from biting your face off, establish your dominance. Aside from that, some chis bite due to jealousy or prompt you to do something like feed it. 

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Let your chi know you’re the leader and dominant in the house. And this lets your tiny dog learn not to bite you in the future. 

But note that being assertive isn’t a requirement, as some chihuahuas react well to rewards. 

✔️ Socialize Your Chihuahua with Other Pets

Young chis often learn from each other or older dogs and other pets. Hence, socializing your chihuahua early on is crucial, helping it learn and understand what habits are acceptable and what are not.

✔️ Be Nonchalant and Ignore the ‘Attacks.’ 

If you wish your chi would stop biting your face or any other part of your body, don’t react. No matter how light or rugged your young pup bites, it’ll get bored fast since you’ll give little to no reaction. 

What to Do When Bitten By a Chihuahua?

Once your face or any other body part got bitten by your chihuahua, and it’s bleeding, here’s how to take care of it:

  1. Apply pressure on the bite/stab wound. Doing this stops the bleeding while leading the germs away.
  2. Clean the bite wound. Scrub a towel soaked with mild soap to clean Sunghoon’s injury. 
  3. Press down on the injury again. Grab a clean rag and apply the same pressure on step one, slowing and stopping all bleeding!
  4. Extra safety measures. If you have one at home, add dog-friendly antibiotic cream to the bite injury or dress it with a sterile patch of bandage. 

If the bite wound doesn’t seem to be better over time, contact your vet ASAP for advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why does my chihuahua bite my face so much when it’s playing?

A: Playful chihuahuas can become so hyper when excited that they may bite your face in the process! Your tiny pet may mistake you for another dog, letting you experience how they interact with others. And face biting is an expected play behavior among this breed, especially among younger chis. 

Q: What does it mean when my chihuahua often gets into my face?

A: When your chihuahua often gets too close to your face, it’s likely asking for your attention. And this is especially true when you and your tiny pet are in a room filled with other animals and humans! But pay attention to how your chi behaves when doing this, as it might tell you it’s hurt, hungry, and other things. 

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Q: Should I still trust my chihuahua after it bit my face?

A: Even after your chi bit your face for whatever reason, there’s no reason why you should lose trust in your pet. After all, you can teach your chihuahua to manage itself better with enough patience and care. And as you mold better communication with your small furry friend, you’ll be able to trust it again in no time!

Q: Can a chihuahua feel guilty after biting a person’s face?

A: It’s impossible for a chihuahua to feel guilty even after biting a person’s face. After all, there’s not a lot of evidence regarding a chi and secondary emotions. And it can be difficult to tell if the tiny dog will feel guilty as not even research has fully covered chihuahuas and their primary emotions. 

Q: Does my chihuahua still love me after biting my face?

A: Love bites are the typical “love” language among chihuahuas and their owners. So, you don’t need to worry about your members leaving you behind after biting your face. After all, chis are loving dogs that guarantee a good time.

Final Words

Why does my chihuahua bite my face? From teething issues to overexcitement over foods — these are among the many possible reasons for your chi’s face-biting endeavors. Whatever the reason, it’s essential to know the cause behind your tiny pet’s face biting to help it in the best way possible! So, keep an eye on your furry friend’s behavior once it bites your face, and explore the possible remedies then.