One of the best things about owning a Chihuahua puppy is being able to play with him whenever you want. They are so full of energy and are always up to something – which makes them a lot of fun to play with. However all that fun can come to an abrupt stop if the puppy starts biting or nipping at you.
Although these little guys can’t do much harm, it still can get annoying really fast. No one wants to own a dog that keeps biting or chasing after everyone he sees. Not only can the biting hurt, it can also mean that most of your clothes will have tears and holes in them.
Biting is the type of behavior that you want to stop as early as possible. It’s not something that you want to let your Chihuahua get away with. But before you can do anything about it, it’s important to understand why your puppy is biting everyone around him in the first place.
Why does my Chihuahua puppy bite me?
A dog will bite for a number of different reasons. It could be self-defense, aggression, dominance, or him just playing. Yes that’s right, your Chihuahua’s bites could be his way of calling you to play. And when you are dealing with a puppy, most of the time it is exactly what is happening.
Chihuahua pups are no different than little kids. While young, your dog will want to do what most children like to do – play. The only difference is that when children play they pretend they are adults, they act like doctors or astronauts, your little Chihuahua puppy will act like a big tough dog out on the hunt.
The growling, biting and chasing are all the things a dog would do if he had to survive out in the wild. Playing is a lot like practicing for them. They are sharpening their skills for when the actual moment comes.
Now I know what you’re thinking, your Chihuahua won’t need any of those skills because he will be spending most of his time indoors either sleeping or eating food out of a bowl – and you’re right! That still however doesn’t change the fact that they are instinctually wired to practice their hunting skills.
When you see your little pup chasing, leaping and barking at a rolling ball, keep in mind that he isn’t mad at the ball. He is just pretending to hunt very much like a kid would pretend to be an astronaut setting off in his rocketship to explore new planets.
When play-biting is more than just playing
Although most of the time the nipping and biting is harmless and doesn’t really hurt, sometimes it can get out of hand. Here are a few things you should watch out for
- Biting that punctures skin
- Actual dominant behavior
- Possessive behavior over his toys or food
- Aggression towards other pets
- Jealous behavior that leads to aggression
If you see any of these things happening, then please take more precaution. This behavior is more than just harmless play biting.
Never leave the dog unsupervised around young children or other pets. Even if your Chihuahua isn’t a threat to others – children or other animals might retaliate when bitten by him.
Stop Chihuahua Puppy Biting
Most dogs usually outgrow this type of behavior on their own naturally. It’s not something that requires any specific “training” but it’s more of a process that happens on its own.
Puppies that play with other pups tend to learn quicker that biting during playing is not ok. If one puppy bites another one too hard, the puppy will yelp and stop playing. This will let the biter know that if he wants the fun to continue, he needs to learn to control his bite. And of course as you probably already noticed from your own Chihuahua pup, puppies never want to stop playing.
If your Chihuahua puppy bites you while playing then chances are that he never learned that he shouldn’t. All you have to do is show him that if he wants to keep playing, he should save those teeth for his toys and not your clothes/hands and there are a few ways of doing so:
Yelp out or say OW when he bites you – Say it loud enough to get his attention and look hurt while doing it. Pull your hand back and rub it. Even though dogs don’t speak our language, they are still really good at reading body language.
Stop playing with him – drop everything you’re doing immediately and wait for a few minutes before you come back to play.
Replace your hand with a toy that he can sink his teeth into – biting is not the problem on its own. It only becomes a problem when the Chihuahua bites somebody.
Use the above tips every time you play with the pup. Make sure others that play with him also do the same. He will learn a lot quicker if everyone responds in a similar manner to him playing rough. Pretty soon your dog will realize that if he wants to have fun, he shouldn’t be biting people that are playing with him.