Why Do Chihuahuas Bite? (Solved & Explained!)

Chihuahuas bite when they are afraid, when they are defending their territory (or you), and sometimes to keep you from touching them if they are ill or injured.  Chihuahuas that have been weaned too early may also bite to play, not realizing that they are biting too hard, as they learn this normally from their littermates or their mother.

Today we’re going to answer the most frequently asked questions trending on the web this week about Chihuahuas and their aggressive tendencies. How hard can they bite? Why is your Chihuahua growling? Read on to get the answers as they are waiting for you right here!

What to do when your Chihuahua bites you?

If your Chihuahua bites your hand, pull it back and say ‘oww’ or whimper the way a hurt dog would. This will show your dog that they’ve hurt you, which in most cases was not their intention. Repeat this anytime that your dog bites you and over time you should see a change.

Most often your dog just means to ‘chastise’ you, not to hurt you, and once they learn that the bites are painful then they will generally adjust their behavior.

Is it common for Chihuahuas to bite?

Chihuahuas can sometimes be a bit on the nippy side. This may be a result of being weaned too early and it’s also not uncommon for Chihuahuas to ‘lash out’ if they are ill, injured, or otherwise in pain.

If you think that the latter may be the case, bring your dog in for a checkup to make sure that it’s not a health issue – your dog might not be just grumpy, they might be trying instead to tell you something!

Why do Chihuahuas tend to be aggressive?

Chihuahuas tend to be aggressive because they have a strong instinct to protect both you and their territory. These dogs have no idea that they are only inches tall and will charge at a human or a much larger dog with complete abandon.

You can teach your dog the ‘sit’ command and when they display behavior like this, quickly distract them and tell them to ‘sit’, providing a treat when they do. Over time, your dog will be less aggressive and should settle for simply alerting you when they are unhappy instead of rushing into trouble immediately.

How bad is a Chihuahua bite?

You may have heard that a Chihuahua can bite with the abnormally high force of 3900 PSI. This is definitely not the case. While it’s cited all over the internet, 3900 PSI amounts to 6 times the force that a Lion can bite you with.

It is believed that this was a misinterpretation of a study that gave the numbers in ‘Newton’ measurements, but whatever the case, the correct force of a Chihuahuas bite is a much more modest 450 pounds per square inch – definitely enough to get your attention, but certainly not what the web would have you believe!

Why is my Chihuahua aggressive to strangers?

Chihuahuas, especially females, are mistrustful of strangers and they constantly worry about their owner’s safety. Add in that these are among the most territorial dogs you can find, and it’s definitely a recipe for making strangers feel unwelcome.

You can help to reduce this a little by socializing your Chihuahua, by taking them to a dog park to get used to other animals, and give your friends some treats to give by way of introduction when they visit. Over time, your dog will soften a bit where people are concerned, or at the very least to your friends.

Why does my Chihuahua bite my hands?

Believe it or not, your Chihuahua pup may believe that they are simply playing. When weaned too early, a puppy will sometimes demonstrate this behavior, as one of the things that they learn while playing with mom and their littermates is when and how hard it is acceptable to bite.

When your dog bites your hands, make a whimper sound or say ‘oww’, pulling your hand back and stopping play immediately. Once your dog understand that the bites hurt, the behavior should lessen or possibly even disappear altogether.

Why does my Chihuahua bite my face?

If your dog bites at your face, this is generally a sign that they are either very frightened or possibly even injured. With a new dog or with any animal, one of the things that you need to understand is that it’s not natural for them to allow you to get your teeth anywhere near their face or throat.

In the wild, this would be a death sentence! What you will need to do is to gather your patience and work on building trust with your dog. When they bite you anywhere, say ‘ouch’ or whimper so that they know that they’ve hurt you, but don’t try to punish them. Reinforce good behavior with treats and build trust slowly.

How do Chihuahuas show dominance?

Chihuahuas show their dominance by getting loud and aggressive when you approach them, their owners, or even simply the area they consider their ‘territory’.

Barking, nipping, and attempting to chase off animals or people is not uncommon, so it will take a little patience and training on your part to discourage this behavior. In your dog’s eyes, they aren’t misbehaving – they’re simply protecting themselves, you, and your shared home.

How do you stop a Chihuahua from biting?

If your dog is biting at your fingers, curl them in so that the Meatiest portions of your hand are the only ones that your dog may bite. After this, when your dog bites then whimper to show that you’ve been hurt and immediately stop any playtime.

After that, you can attempt to play with your dog again, but say ‘ouch’ and stop again immediately if another bite occurs. This is a slow process, but it can help – most dogs aren’t naturally inclined to bite you, they just don’t understand how hard is TOO hard to bite when trying to get your attention.

Why does my Chihuahua growl at me?

Chihuahua growling is designed to get your attention and to warn you, so pay attention to the context. Your dog may be saying ‘don’t pick me up’, ‘stay away from my food’, or a number of other things. Stop for a moment and assess – there is definitely something your dog is trying to tell you.