Chihuahuas are known for being small and cute, but they can also be notorious for nipping and biting. If your Chihuahua is displaying this behavior, it can be frustrating and concerning. In this article, we’ll cover the top five reasons for biting and nipping, along with training steps to stopping nipping and biting in Chihuahuas.

Nipping Vs Biting

It’s important to understand the difference between nipping and biting. Nipping is a quick snap of the jaws, and there may or may not be skin contact. On the other hand, biting is an aggressive, physical attack, and the jaws will clamp down on the intended target, making skin contact. When owners are concerned about their Chihuahua chewing, in most cases, it will be nipping that is occurring.

Chihuahua nipping and biting issues
Chihuahua nipping and biting issues

Top 5 Reasons for Nipping or Biting


Teething can cause discomfort and itching, leading a puppy to mouth and chomp down on anything, including its owner’s hand, which can be mistaken for aggressive biting. Ways to help a teething pup include offering ice cubes and teething toys.

Past Neglect

Past abuse and neglect can shape a dog’s personality into one of fear, nervousness, and anxiety. If a Chihuahua is fearful, they may bite or nip as a defense mechanism toward a perceived threat. A great deal of socialization training will need to be incorporated.

Unclear Hierarchy

If a Chihuahua mistakenly believes that they are the leader or if they are confused about who is in charge, nipping can begin to develop. A dog that does not know their place in the household hierarchy may begin to test the chain of command, becoming defiant and nipping at their humans.

Reasons for nipping or biting in Chihuahuas
Reasons for nipping or biting in Chihuahuas

Defense Mechanism

Some dogs see threats and challenges all around them and act aggressively by growling and snapping their jaws at a wide range of triggers such as visitors to the home and other dogs.

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Injury or Health Issues

Dogs in the vulnerable state of being ill or injured may snap at their owners, something that would never occur otherwise.

Training Steps to Stop Nipping and Biting

Step #1

Intact dogs are more prone to acting aggressively, including growling and nipping at their humans. Spaying or neutering your Chihuahua may help to reduce this behavior.

Step #2

Socialization training is crucial for a Chihuahua’s well-being. This training should involve exposure to new people, places, and situations to help them learn appropriate behavior in different settings.

Stopping nipping and biting
Stopping nipping and biting

Step #3

To establish a clear hierarchy, owners need to teach their Chihuahua basic commands and enforce rules regarding unacceptable behavior. A dog that understands their place in the household hierarchy is less likely to nip and bite.

Step #4

Positive reinforcement is a crucial aspect of training. Dogs respond better to rewards than punishment, and owners should be patient and consistent when training their Chihuahuas.

Step #5

Seek Professional help if nipping behavior becomes severe. A professional canine trainer may better address the issue.

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Chihuahua Nipping and Biting Issues 7


Stopping nipping and biting behavior in Chihuahuas requires a combination of identifying the cause of the behavior and strict training. Socialization training, establishing a clear hierarchy, and positive reinforcement are crucial for a Chihuahua’s well-being. If behavior is severe, seek professional help.

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