Dogs use their mouths for many reasons. They use them for communication, for eating and drinking, for defense and protection, and sometimes just for fun. However, when you bring a dog home with you, the expectation is generally for your dog to not use his mouth inappropriately. This means eating the wrong things, making noise when he shouldn’t be, or using his teeth in the wrong situations. Most dog owners are opposed to the idea of letting their dog bite or mouth at their hands, as it can easily start to hurt or cause damage, even if the dog doesn’t mean to. Because of this, controlling or avoiding the dog’s bite is one of the more important aspects of owning one.
This aspect of dog ownership should even extend to the smaller breeds, including the Chihuahua. While a Chihuahua’s bite will likely not do as much damage as a larger dog, the behavior should still be discouraged. After all, smaller children or other small pets in your home can be at risk for bites too.
Chihuahuas can be stubborn and difficult to train. Much of a Chihuahua’s bad behavior is easily excused by the fact that they are small and don’t pose as much of a threat as larger breeds do. However, biting is generally a symptom of a larger problem. Whether that problem is fear, lack of bite inhibition, inappropriate play behavior, or outright aggression, a Chihuahua has a tendency to bite as they do not know other ways to cope or handle a situation. Because of this, not only is it important to address the bite, but to address the cause of the bite as well.
Addressing a bite response is best done as early as possible when a Chihuahua is still a puppy. However, there are still ways to correct biting behavior for adult Chihuahuas. Expect the training in either case to take a maximum of two weeks for your dog to understand what you want from him and what you will not accept.
Before anything else, determine the reason your Chihuahua is biting. Rule out the possibility of injury or illness by visiting a veterinarian beforehand and double check that your dog’s living environment is comfortable and not causing distress. Once you rule out these causes, you can begin training as normal.
Get some chew toys or tug ropes that your Chihuahua can use for biting purposes and gather up some treats to use as a reward for appropriate behavior. Sit down in a room free of distractions when you first begin and be prepared to utilize your training techniques whenever you choose to play with your dog.