How to Teach a Chihuahua not to Bite?
A dog can bite. So can a cat and even a hamster, but biting dogs have become one of the most notorious memes for the species. Getting a dog or even seeing one in the street, most people see biting as one of the integral features of the animal. Due to this fact, small breeds and especially Chihuahuas, are becoming more and more popular today. The logic is pretty simple: if a Chihuahua bites, he or she simply cannot make as much damage as a Sheppard.
This utterly backward thinking is pretty dangerous both for people and dogs. On the one hand, the implication that a dog can bite you simply because it is a dog and biting is a dog's normal behavior leads to numerous misconceptions.
- People are irrationally scared of dogs and impose this irrational fear on their children
- Numerous families and single people deprive themselves of all the benefits of owning a dog
- Whole breeds become victims of this unreasonable misconception being banned or restricted in various regions.
And when we talk about Chihuahuas, biting has become one of the notorious traits, mistakenly associated with the breed along with possessiveness and excessive barking.
Just like any other action, biting is a way for your Chihuahua to communicate, express his attitude and exercise his or her position in the pack. Suppose your Chihuahua suddenly started biting or is famous for using teeth excessively since childhood. In that case, there is a big chance that you played a massive role in the development and establishment of these severe behavior issues.
Although it may seem that a Chihuahua bite is harmless and can hardly be considered a severe problem, think twice. A biting Chihuahua can not only injure children, small pets, and even grown-up family members and visitors in your house but cause severe psychological trauma that will break trust and spoil the atmosphere in your house.
Therefore, it is essential to address the biting issue among Chihuahuas as among Sheppards or Pit Bulls.
Just like with any behavior issue, biting does not appear out of the blue. In this article, we shall explain how to deal with your biting Chihuahua through analyzing the nature and reasons for biting.
Why Does my Chihuahua Bites?
There may be several reasons for the development of biting problems. To determine what you are dealing with precisely, ask yourself the central question: When did the biting problem appear?
- You Chihuahua might have always been a biter, and you started to see it as a problem simply because the dog got bitter and the bites became more harmful
- A Chi suddenly became a vicious biter, although he or she might have been peaceful and calm before.
When you understand more or less when the problem occurred, it will be easier to understand its true nature.
Let's go over the main reasons for the biting problem.
YOUR CHIHUAHUA IS A ROUGH PLAYER.
When a puppy as tiny as a Chihuahua starts biting during playtime, most owners find it adorable. People start encouraging this kind of behavior with laughter, petting, or escalating the game teasing the dog more and more.
Just like any living creature, Chihuahua puppies go through the phase when they check the borders, try to understand what they can and cannot do in their pack. Once you neglect training at a young age and don't set those borders, you Chi may decide that this kind of rough playing is acceptable in the family and continue to practice it at a mature age.
As long as dogs have a different understanding of time, aging, size, and other matters, it will be pretty hard to explain to a fully grown-up Chihuahua why you encouraged biting all his life and then suddenly decide that it is a problem.
YOUR CHIHUAHUA IS THE PACK LEADER.
Being a pack animal, any dog is looking for a leader. If this position appears to be vacant in the family, your Chihuahua will initially take it.
A pack leader is the one who makes decisions, determines the behavior of other members, and sets restrictions. And if your little gremlin decides that he or she is the pack leader, biting simply becomes a way for a dog to exercise its rights in the pack and restore order.
Working on your leadership qualities and mutual trust between you and your dog, you will stop the problem if it suddenly occurred and prevent it if you just took a Chihuahua into your home.
YOUR CHIHUAHUA IS BORED.
Biting may simply be a bad habit that develops due to boredom and less physical and mental stimulation. The mouth is a very sensitive and multifunctional organ for a canine. Keeping it occupied is very important for any dog. If your Chi does not have enough chew toys, feels neglected or bored, biting will be another way to express the dog's frustration and attitude.
YOUR CHIHUAHUA IS FEARFUL OR WENT THROUGH A TRAUMATIZING EXPERIENCE.
Above all, biting is, of course, a defense mechanism. Your Chi may bite because he or she feels threatened. It can happen due to several reasons:
- The dog is naturally insecure
- The dog feels threatened by a particular family member or visitor
- There occurred some traumatizing events or experiences.
Anyway, biting, in this case, is an expression of mistrust that initially turns into fear in a dog's brain. Establishing trust through understanding the source of anxiety is the most efficient way to deal with a biting Chihuahua in this case.
How To Stop a Chihuahua Biting?
Just like with any training, stopping the biting problem will require some time, effort, and patience. Depending on the problem's origin and your Chihuahua personal traits, dealing with the issue may take somewhere between a couple of days and a couple of weeks.
However, before starting the problem, make sure to take your Chi to a vet and eliminate all health issues that could cause frustration that often leads to biting. Also, make sure that the training is routine, daily, and happens in a quiet and safe space without distractions.
Experts determine three methods of dealing with a biting Chihuahua:
Let's go over each step-by-step so you could determine the most comfortable and efficient one in your case.
STOP BITING THROUGH INTERCEPTION.
- Start with observation. Keep an eye on your Chi's interaction with another animal or human. Your goal is to determine precisely when the dog starts biting and see what triggers this behavior
- Check the body language. Dogs` body language is incredibly expressive. Note your Chi's pose right before the bite. Depending on the reason for such behavior, those may be a tucked tail, leaning to the floor, showing teeth, etc.
- Intercept the bite. As soon as you notice the warning sign, stop the game or any interaction with a dog immediately before he or she goes for the bite
- Ignore the dog. Don't show any positive or negative reaction until the dog calms down
- Repeat. As soon as your Chihuahua relaxes, go back to playing and repeat the routine if the warning signs occur again.
This method is most efficient with the "rough players" and setting the Chihuahua puppy's borders. As soon a dog understands that biting means the end of fun, it will become taboo.
STOP BITING THROUGH REDIRECTION.
- Chew toys instead of fingers. Provide your Chihuahua with several chew toys and allow the dog to determine the best one. Remove all other toys. Take away and return the favorite one several times. This way, you let the dog know that you are in charge of his or her treasure
- Hand-feeding. Make sure to let your Chi take treats directly from your hand instead of throwing them on the floor. This way, a dog associates your smell with the essential recourse – food, and puts you in charge of this resource
- Provide your dog with enough physical and mental exercise. Make sure that your Chihuahua's mouth is constantly occupied. Some dogs need more stimulation, some – less. However, exercise, puzzle chew toys, and plenty of playtimes will eliminate boredom – the source of the chewing problem.
This method works best if your Chihuahua bites because he or she is bored and frustrated. It also helps you establish your leadership and puts you in charge in the dog's eyes.
STOP BITINIG THROUGH SOCIALIZATION.
- Set the borders. When you deal with a young Chihuahua, it is crucial to let know that biting is inappropriate. Naturally, dogs use biting as a socialization mechanism. They bite during playtime or "educating" each other. If you took a puppy younger than 8 weeks old, there is a strong chance you will have to perform the mother's function and socialize your Chi
- Let me know if there is a problem. If a young Chihuahua bites during the playtime, make a high-pitched sound loud enough to draw the dog's attention and stop the game immediately
- Ignore. Don't pay attention or encourage the puppy any way until he or she relaxes entirely
- Resume the game. Go back to playing and resume the routine if biting occurs again.
It is the essential method of dealing with young puppies and eliminating the biting problem before it occurs. Remember, a biting Chihuahua is not adorable. It is a problem that would have been addressed immediately if your puppy bit his mother or siblings. Since the dog enters your house, it is your responsibility as the pack leader to socialize and educate your pet,
The biting problem can be pretty annoying. It can seriously hurt your relationships with your dog, family members, friends, and visitors. However, this issue is not hard to deal with as long as you address it at the earliest stage and don't let it develop into a crucial behavior issue.