Chihuahua fear biting
We talk a lot about ‘ chihuahua fear biting’ when we talk about behaviour issues in chihuahuas. But what does it mean and how can we get our chihuahuas to stop doing it?
Fear biting is pretty much what it says, your chihuahua is afraid of something so he will do his best to defend himself with the only tools available, snapping, snarling and sometimes with a full-on contact bite.
Does your chihuahua; nip backs of legs of joggers, children & visitors to the house or bark & snarl at other dogs or jump up at cyclists?
The reason your chihuahua does this is because he finds these events stressful. But rather than run away it is in his feisty, brave nature to go head-on and try to scare them away.
Chihuahuas do not like people charging around in front of them. To him an oncoming jogger is an unpredictable giant, running at them waving their arms about. They often feel the same about children.
They are also very territorial and protective so when a visitor they don’t know comes to your house they will step up and attempt to deal with the situation.
Other dogs can often cause an aggressive reaction in your chihuahua. because he is fearful of what the other dog may do. So, again rather than avoid the confrontation your feisty chihuahua meets the challenge head on. Often to the utter bewilderment of the other dog.
How to stop your chihuahua fear biting
Don’t worry all is not lost you can train fear biting out of your chihuahua. The key is desensitising him to the events that cause him stress and turning them into situations with positive associations.
Your chihuahua will take his cue from you so you need to be calm, if you are anxious and excitable then your chihuahua will pick this up. You also need to be an effective guardian in your chihuahuas eyes. This has nothing to do with being dominant and aggressive towards your dog. You can read our article on ‘Who’s in Charge and Why it Has To Be You’, for more advice.
Good basic training is a good place to start, try and get this achieved as early on as possible in your chihuahua’s life. Sit, stay and good recall is essential. Along with early socialisation with other dogs.
If aggression towards other dogs is the problem then he needs to meet lots of nice calm dogs on a regular basis. Arrange play dates (on neutral territory) with friends and their dogs. Read the article ‘Aggression Towards Other Dogs‘ for a more detailed advice on achieving this. Remember your dog will always feel stressed meeting other dogs if he is on a lead. Walking
Identify the trigger
Introduce him gradually to more of the situations that are a trigger. Arrange for people to call at the house or go out for walks on a regular basis where he is going to encounter joggers, children and people milling about. Be calm, patient and ready with some high-quality treats and praise.
It may take time but with lots of encouragement and positive reinforcement you can get to grips with chihuahua fear biting.
If your chihuahua is beyond these basic measures then get the help of a local dog behaviour specialists who will be able to observe you and give more tailored advice.
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