Adorable, diminutive, and affectionate, Chihuahuas have won the hearts of millions all around the world since their first foray into the canine world in Chihuahua (surprise!), Mexico.
Often mistaken as safe and harmless, Chihuahuas, just like any dog, have the capacity for aggression under specific circumstances.
Did you know that Chihuahuas are one of the breeds most likely to snap, bite, or attack a stranger AND an owner!? Correct.
And that’s not all! Here are 5 Chihuahua dog bite statistics and facts that might just knock your socks off!
By Adeline Ee.
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5 Chihuahua Dog Bites Statistics And Facts
If you were ever wondering what the surprising Chihuahua dog bite facts and statistics are, check this out!
Chihuahuas are one of the lowest scoring breeds in Temperament Tests
Following a study done by the American Temperament Test Society, out of 46 Chihuahuas studied, 32 of them passed the temperament test giving Chihuahuas an unimpressive score of 69%, one of the lowest scoring breeds.
To potentially over-explain things, the Temperament Test is a basic, entry-level test that many dogs have to undergo before participating in activities like obedience classes, agility classes, and even simply gaining an entry into a dog park in some cases.
And yes, that also means that a dog is more likely to show aggression or bite.
The Chihuahua is one of the top breeds most likely to bite a human or a dog
A study on more than 30 breeds of known bite-happy dogs found that Chihuahuas not only is ranked in the top 3 for aggression against other dogs but also in aggression against humans, right up there with Dachshunds and Jack Russell Terriers.
Talk about small dog syndrome!
Most likely to bite a veterinary professional
With over 2,000 surveys done with vets and animal control personnel in Colorado, it was found that Chihuahuas are the breed most likely to bite a canine professional.
Most likely to bite a stranger OR owner
In these dog bite statistics at Allpetslife.com, Chihuahuas are the 2nd most dog breed likely to snap or bite a stranger and its owner, coming in right after the Dachshund and closely followed by the Australian Cattle Dog, Border Collie, and Beagle.
This number is also likely to be under-reported, as the majority of Chihuahua bites do not require first aid or medical intervention, while bites by larger breeds can result in severe injuries and do
Might bite children!
The percentage of dog bites inflicted on children are:
- Labrador Retrievers at 15.6%
- Pit Bulls at 7.5%
- German Shepherds at 6.8%
- Chihuahuas at 4.2%
- Rottweilers at 4.1%
Again, this statistic might also prove inaccurate, considering there is WAY more chance of a Pit Bull bite getting reported and treated medically than a Chihuahua.
Why Does A Dog Bite?
Dogs are animals, period. We make THINK they are our furkids, but they are not the same species. Just like any animal, including humans, when threatened or confused, they will lash out.
Many factors can cause a dog to bite, including sensitivity, anxiety, fear, aggression, dominance, and being cornered.
They Feel Their Safety Is Threatened
Although Chihuahuas aren’t seen as a guard dog breed they have proven to be very sensitive when it comes to the safety of either them or their owner.
So if your Chihuahua thinks that either one of you is in danger, this reason is more than enough for Chihuahuas to bare those little teeth
They Have A Weak, Inexperienced Owner
Once a behavioral consultant, one of the main things that used to bother me terribly (and still does), is an owner looking at their little runt of a Chihuahua snarling and baring its teeth, and going “awwww, how cute”.
Whaaaaaaat? If my Rottie did that, I’d get an “aggressive dog” charge slapped in my face faster than I can deliver a correction.
Needless to say, two months later, that same owner would be knocking at my door, almost in tears, saying “my dog won’t stop biting me”.
Just because a dog is small doesn’t give it an excuse for atrocious behavior. URGH.
Their Bites Are Just Playful Nipping
This relatively harmless, albeit annoying behavior is most apparent in the herding breeds like Border Collies and Australian Cattle Dogs, which is probably why they are also ranked among the top “bitey” breeds.
Losing yourself in excitement is normal, but excessive nipping is not.
“Nip” this in the bud ASAP. Pun fully and happily intended.
They Are Sick Or In Pain
Like all dogs (and living things for that matter), Chihuahuas will lash out when in pain, or feeling sick, the same way we growl at everyone when we get a toothache or tummyache.
All animals have moods, and pain is one heck of a Debbie Downer.
[Bonus Fact 9 – Almost A Quarter Of Dog Bites Need Medical Attention
It’s no secret that biting is in a dog’s nature. It is, after all, their first line of defense, as well as their primary method of offense.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), tens of millions of dog bites occur globally out of which 4.5 million people get bitten by dogs in United States alone, with a total of about 885,000 people ending up seeking medical help.
While Rottweilers and Pitbulls make up majority of the reported bites, attacks by Chihuahuas largely go unreported and undocumented.
Rottweilers and Pitbulls are powerful dogs, whose bites are likely to end up in stitches, while a Chihuahua…well… .
Like all dogs, Chihuahuas have a surprising capacity for aggression, also due in part to the slack, devil-may-care attitude of many Chihuahua owners.
Don’t be a statistic!
No matter how small and harmless a dog may seem, socialization and training are CRUCIAL.