Are Chihuahua Bites Dangerous?
Chihuahuas do have a notorious reputation of being biters. They are generally considered pretty possessive and overprotective dogs that won’t hesitate to bite as soon as they feel threatened. Considering the breed’s growing popularity, there is a strong chance that if you have ever owned a Chihuahua or came around one, you have at least been frightened to bite by this tiny courageous creature.
Just like with any other breed, biting is a severe and even so-called “red zone,” aka extremely difficult behavior issue. And the fact that Chihuahuas are considered more of biters than Labradors or Spaniels is usually the result of how people react to their bites. Once you have a medium-sized or a big dog, you initially understand the danger of biting and take all the measures as soon as your dog demonstrates the first signs of rough playing or aggressive biting.
However, with small dogs and particularly Chihuahuas, the situation is a little bit different. People often don’t take their bites seriously or even find it adorable when such a tiny creature threatens to bite. Eventually, such owners end up with a dog with severe behavior issues, and the overall breed keeps on carrying the notorious reputation.
But are Chihuahua bites really dangerous, or are we mainly talking about behavior issues here? Continue reading, and you will learn some statistics and facts about Chihuahua bites that may surprise you and even change the way you look at small dogs in general.
How Hard Can a Chihuahua Bite?
This question appears to be not that easy to answer precisely. First of all, when we talk about living beings, the data is always subjective and depends on numerous factors. That is why further on, we shall speak of pretty average numbers.
Most probably, you don’t even care too much how much PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) can a Chihuahua bite contain. A bite is always a bite: it is unpleasant, painful, can damage your skin, and get infected. However, knowing some statistics will help you evaluate how hard a Chihuahua bite can be and understand why it is such a severe issue.
Let’s take some kind of a “ground zero” that will help us process the data easily. According to the current information, a bite force of a Lion is around 600 PSI.
Any animal’s bite force depends on several factors:
- Size of the head
- Width of the jaw
- Physiology of the mastication (chewing) muscle
For example, one of the biggest dogs with the most developed jaw today is Mastiff. This dog has a biting force of 552PSI, which is just slightly lower than a Lion’s. At the same time, an average male Mastiff’s weight is around 90KG (198 lbs), while a Lion usually weighs about 190 KG (418 lbs). As you see, size does not always matter.
It means that even two animals that seem to be in the same size range may bite differently. Breeders often considered this feature while walking on specific characteristics. For example, a Sheppard and a Golden Retriever are dogs of more or less the same size. However, Sheppard’s bite will always be stronger than the retriever’s one. It happens because creating Sheppard breeders needed a dog that would be able to protect the herd from predators. At the same time, a Golden Retriever, originally a hunter’s dog, is supposed to “retrieve” the shot prey without harming it with its teeth.
We all know that Chihuahuas are hardly the kind of dogs that were supposed to use their mouths either for protection or any type of assistance to their humans. However, being a pretty diverse breed, Chihuahuas are genetically related to numerous wild canines that live all over central America. Being active hunters, those dogs have relatively developed mastication muscle even despite their modest jaw size.
According to the research, an average Chihuahua’s bite is around 420 PSI. If you compare a Chihuahua to a Lion with its 600 PSI, your tiny furry friend may start looking much more impressive.
If we continue comparing statistics, a Chihuahua goes way above a Rottweiler with his 328 PSI and an American Bully with 305 PSI. It may be pretty hard to comprehend, but something that we have learned at science lessons in high school may help us justify those numbers. The thing is that the smaller the impact surface is, the more pressure an object makes. That is why a person wearing a stiletto shoe would provide 10 times more pressure on the surface than an Elephant.
Yes, a Chihuahua bite may not seem like a great deal compared to a big dog’s attack, but the smaller impact surface allows your tiny Chi to penetrate the skin much easier.
Do Chihuahuas Bite More Often Than Other Dogs?
There are no precise statistics of how often different breeds tend to bite humans or other animals. First of all, everything depends on the situation. You may be dealing with an act of aggression as well as rough playing or a protective reaction.
However, specific data demonstrates that Chihuahuas tend to bite Veterinarians more often than any other breeds. Also, statistics put Chihuahuas at the 4th place in the rate of breeds that are likely to bite children.
However, it does not really say anything about the breed itself due to several factors:
- Chihuahuas are among the most popular breeds today. That is why they are simply most likely to get around vets and children. When there are 100 Chihuahuas and 3 Shepherds in your neighborhood, your chances to be bitten by a Chi are statistically higher
- When it comes to aggression and biting, owners always concentrate on giant breeds and tend to consider Chihuahuas` bites less dangerous. That is why the percentage of Chis and other small dogs with behavior issues is higher than among larger breeds.
Can a Chihuahua Bite be Fatal?
There is no data that shows that any human has ever died directly from a Chihuahua’s bite. However, theoretically, it is possible if the dog manages to bite you on a vital arteria, and you won’t be able to address for medical assistance immediately. But it is only a theory, and no evidence of such cases have ever been revealed.
At the same time, it is essential to understand that any skin damage can be dangerous. Even if you groom your Chihuahua thoroughly, brush your pet’s teeth and observe the vaccination plan, any wound can get infected and inflamed, causing severe reactions up to sepsis and death. That is why if you or someone around you got bitten by a Chihuahua, it is essential to take all the precaution measures, sanitize the wound, and address medical help if any symptoms develop within the next few hours.
Of course, if the dog is not vaccinated or is knowingly sick, the bite may be even more dangerous. So if you got bitten by an unfamiliar dog in the street, make sure to locate the owner and ask to provide the dog’s immunization data. In some cases, you may need immediate medical assistance and prophylactic treatment to prevent viruses and diseases that can be transferred through a bite.
Why Chihuahua's Bites Are Worse Then Other Dogs'?
Chihuahua bites may not be as dangerous or painful as most other dogs`. But they carry much more complex and pressing issues. The fact that people often don’t take Chihuahuas` misbehavior and aggression seriously harms both the owners and the breed in general.
First of all, this neglect has already “earned” Chihuahuas their notorious reputation of being possessive and aggressive dogs. That is why numerous people worldwide deprive themselves of the joy of getting a devoted furry friend.
At the same time, despite the fact that Chihuahuas` popularity is growing, the dogs are not being taken seriously as most other breeds. Becoming fashionable accessories, more and more Chihuahuas tend to end up in shelters once they demonstrate aggression. It is the breed’s main problem today that puts into question its further development and preservation as well as raises numerous ethical concerns.
Putting aside prejudice and reputation, initially, Chihuahuas don’t bite any more or less than any other dogs. It is our attitude and perception of the issue that feeds it and boosts the statistics.
Chihuahua’s bites may not be as initially dangerous as a big dog’s. But when you look at the long perspective, consider the psychological aspect of the problem and its statistical outcomes, the overall picture looks pretty grim.
It has always been and will remain our responsibility to take care of our furry friends and help them resolve and overcome behavior issues. Biting is one of them. Even if It is not dangerous for a particular human, each bite contributes to the breed’s notorious reputation that can at some point become a severe issue. Please, think about it next time you find a Chi threatening to bite someone funny or adorable.