Chihuahua fear biting: Why do they do it and how can you stop it.

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.

A jogger in high viz will do it for Mika every time.

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.

We love your feedback and comments, please leave them below.

5 thoughts on “Chihuahua fear biting: Why do they do it and how can you stop it.

  1. demonica Reply

    Both this and the barking is the problem for my jack chi. As these types of dogs are small I think its just a warning to others that he’s there. They are temperamental kind of dogs. I have found that they get quiet anxious too. Its embarrassing to have to say sorry he has anxiety to everyone. But he does. My vet advised changing his food as he has tummy issues too. There is a new dog food out which will help with calming him down ,if it works I will let you know.
    The other issue I have now is that he has bowed legs which need correcting via operation. Plus he will have arthritis in his joints. This is a common problem with these type if dogs too.

    • loukir47 Post authorReply

      Hello, Thank you for your post. We do have some other articles that may help on the site, so have a look around. It is interesting to hear about the food. We will be looking at food soon and creating some home cooked recipes for people to try. It is sad to hear your chi will need surgery. I hope it goes well.

  2. Barbara Reply

    My two chihuahuas could not be more different from each other. One has had four homes and came to me to be assessed before being PTS because he bites. After two years I love him so much and would never part with him. He is still bossy and nips occasionally but we understand each other and he is here to stay. The other little boy is an angel, dumped in a car park and terrified when I got him from the pound. So gentle and loving soaks up love and kisses like a little sponge. I’m off for another one tomorrow who has been abused. So hopefully with patience and time he will be a darling as well.

    • Louise Kirby Post authorReply


      Thanks for your comment. Please update us when you get your new furbaby home.

  3. Barbara Reply

    My previous tale was about snappy bossy Ashley and his wellbehaved new friend. When i went to the pound to rescue another one i was surprised to find it wasn’t a chi but a sad neglected toy poodle! Never the less he is here now and happy. Not quite the end of the story though, i have been given two more baby chi’s whose domestic situation was critical, they are both ten months old. Very nice natured and happy babies and Ashley likes them. Then along came Ruby another little toy poodle girl. So now instead of 2. Little darlings i have 6 all getting on well together and with the cats, maybe Ashley likes having other tinies around because his behaviour is much better now.

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