Chihuahua’s are adorable, tiny, and excitable. They are known for being feisty little dogs, with lots of energy and sometimes aggression! Due to their size, they are not seen as seriously aggressive dogs, as the amount of harm they can inflict on a human is somewhat limiting, but they can still bite.
They are tiny dogs who are most likely scared of bigger things, meaning they act up and try to present as scary to let other dogs and humans know they are in charge.
Chihuahuas have a minimal bite force and are all-around cute dogs. They have a reputation for being somewhat aggressive, but it is essential to remember that they are not aggressive with insistent training and need direction.
How Are Dog Bites Measured?
The force of a dog bite is measured in pound-force per square inch. Humans’ jaws move more vertically and horizontally, so it would be more simple to measure the bite force.
This would probably be carried out medically using technology such as strain gauges. Dogs have a different structure to humans, and their jaws move more vertically, so there is no need to measure the bite force laterally.
It is challenging to measure bite force in animals, especially dogs.
It is hard to place a force measurer in the mouth and get them to bite down hard. So, it can be done by electrically stimulating the dog’s jaw muscles or the more normal way of using digital bite meters.
The strength of a dog’s bite force has been researched extensively, and dogs are put into nine different categories based on the shape of their skull to measure force.
PSI is the measurement used. It can be explained as pound-force per square inch, and the bite’s pressure depends on the item they are biting. The same amount of force is not used to bite a toy as it is to bite an attacker.
How Strong Are Dog Bites?
The force and strength of a dog bite obviously depends on the situation or item the dog is biting. The average force of a dog bite ranges between 230-250 PSI and depends on the breed of the dog.
The bigger and stronger the dog breed, they can typically do more damage. Dogs such as rottweilers have one of the strongest bites, measuring at about 330 PSI!
Which Dogs Have The Strongest Bite Force?
Several dogs have a strong bite force, some of which are way above the average force used. This is a list of some of the breeds with the strongest bite:
The Kangal is a Turkish dog that is known for having the strongest bite in the world. The dogs are primarily used as defense and guard dogs and are huge.
The dogs are double the size of a labrador, and their bite force comes to a whopping 745PSI. To put this force into perspective, a lion’s bite force is only 650PSI.
This is the strongest bite force ever recorded, yet these dogs are bit softies with families and children. They are very protective dogs and make excellent guard dogs.
The American bandogge is a close second to the Kangal dog. These dogs look like a mix between a bull mastiff and a rottweiler. They are strong dogs, with their bite being stronger than a lion’s. They require training and socialization as puppies, and they make lovely dogs.
A rottweiler has a bite force of 328 PSI. These dogs are renowned for their strength and are often feared. They are loyal and calm dogs and are friendly when properly trained. Their bite is strong and hard and is a reason why they are known for being intimidating dogs.
Surprisingly, a Siberian husky is also on the list for the dogs with the worst bites. The husky has a bite force of 320 PSI, which is shocking for its fun-loving nature! Huskies are great for guard dogs as well as cuddly dogs!
The American bulldog is renowned for being aggressive; however, they are soft dogs with big hearts if it is socialized correctly. The American bulldog has a bite force of 305 PSI, but they are easy to train and very clever. They need lots of exercise, but they make the perfect family dog as well as a guard dog.
The Force Of A Chihuahua’s Bite
So, bet you’re wondering where on the list the chihuahua’s bite is. The chihuahua has a bite force of a mere 100-180 PSI. There has been speculation that the bite force of a chihuahua is 3,900, which is evidently false.
Although the bite is not strong, it is still enough to inflict injuries on people. After all, the force of a human bite is only around 160 PSI. Chihuahuas can be temperamental, snappy, and may growl. This does not always mean they will bite, but they certainly can if they want to.
Has A Chihuahua Ever Killed Someone?
A chihuahua has killed someone before. It is incredibly rare, and they were placed fourth out of the breeds with bite incidents involving children.
This does not necessarily mean they are the fourth most dangerous dog, as a labrador was rated as the first. It means that these are the breeds of dogs that have the most accidents involving children.
Out of all bites, chihuahuas were responsible for 4.1% of these bites. This is because chihuahuas are particular and can be grumpy. If they are trained properly, they may be fine. It varies on the dividual personality of the dog, too.
Something else that may affect it is the popularity of the dog. For example, 15% of dog bites involving children were committed by labrador retrievers.
This does not necessarily make them a dangerous and horrible breed, but they are statistically a popular breed. If they are not socialized properly, it can happen to any dog.
The severity of a chihuahua bite is proven to be mostly minimal, with most chihuahua bites being level 3 bites. This means that the bite has penetrated the skin, but the bites are not as deep as the dog’s teeth.
Overall, there has been one fatality caused by a chihuahua bite. It was not confirmed if the chihuahua had bitten the deceased or if it may have been one of the other dogs on the property.
Either way, it is sad. It is important to remember, though, that chihuahuas may be territorial breeds who can be snappy, but it is almost impossible to be killed by the bite of a chihuahua.
Dog Bite Statistics
Approximately 4.5 million dog bites happen each year in the United States. Eight hundred thousand of those bites result in medical care, and around 16 of these result in fatalities. So, that’s a lot of bites, but not a lot of deaths.
It’s something that can be prevented in training and socialization at times, and sometimes it is just the nature of the dog. According to a report, over 35 different breeds have contributed to 433 deaths within 13 years.
Among the breeds most likely to bite are a pit bull, rottweiler, german shepherd, a mixed breed, and an American bulldog. In a report of the dog bite statistics from 2021, these breeds of dogs are not highly rated on the list.
A dachshund is actually first on the list for the likelihood of biting a stranger, with a chihuahua coming in second. It is surprising that a dachshund is supposedly more likely to bite a stranger than a chihuahua.
This is likely because dachshunds are popular dogs, and there are statistically more of them.
It does not mean certain dog breeds are more aggressive than others, but it may mean some breeds, such as Pitbulls, have an aggressive reputation, meaning some owners may assume the aggression of the dog without training them.
Why Are Chihuahuas Renowned For Being So Aggressive?
Chihuahuas have a reputation for being aggressive and sensitive. Some of this comes down to defense mechanisms with these dogs. They are scared of humans at times and may be scared of other, bigger dogs because they are small dogs.
There is a survivalist need for chihuahuas to be tough and aggressive; otherwise, their breed would be at risk of dying out as they would not be a threat to any other breeds. It is also reported that chihuahuas have a different type of brain to other breeds of dogs.
A chihuahua’s brain goes through three stages of maturity, unlike other breeds who go through four. This means that they are like permanent puppies in a way. They are fearful, aggressive, and do not understand how to behave sometimes.
Chihuahuas are likely just small dogs who are afraid of their surroundings. I mean, if we were that tiny, I am sure we would also be keen to defend ourselves and make ourselves feel and seem braver than we are!
What To Do If A Chihuahua (Or Any Dog) Bites You
If you have unfortunately been bitten by a dog, do not panic. There are ways to care for it. Dog bites can be sudden. You may be playing with your dog, and they bite too hard accidentally. Or, you may be bitten by an unknown dog.
Either way, it is important to know what to do if you get bitten. A dog’s front teeth puncture and compress the tissue and your skin. Their smaller teeth can also tear the skin.
This is unlikely to be a large wound, but it may pose an issue if it becomes infected. So, there are several steps to treat a dog bite. Firstly, you need to wash the wound as quickly as you can.
Don’t leave it for several hours; wash it as soon as you can. Wash it with warm water with a block of gentle soap, and wash it for at least 5 minutes. Then, if the wound is bleeding, stop the bleeding with a type of clean fabric.
Clean cotton or a baby’s cloth will do the trick. Then, any antibiotic or antiseptic cream or spray will work. This will stop the rate of infection whilst you wait to get proper medical care.
Make sure to wrap the bite in clean and sterile bandages, and change this bandage several times a day. Ideally, you need to see a medical professional regarding a dog bite. Keep an eye for any signs of infection in the bite.
If this occurs, you will need to get help sooner. Redness, pus, swelling, severe pain, and fever-like symptoms are all indications of infection from the wound.
How To Train A Chihuahua
Chihuahuas are relatively easy to train dogs. Some owners assume they are just inherently aggressive, and it is in their nature. Although at times it may just be the nature of the particular dog, they can be socialized to be less aggressive and not bite.
The main issue with chihuahuas is that they actually believe that they are the protector and leader of the household.
This means they were trying to establish themselves as the leader of the pack by being aggressive and attempting to bite strangers and more. The first thing you need to do to train your chihuahua is to establish that you are the leader of the pack, not them.
Set up regular and consistent feeding schedules, and essentially let them know who the boss is.
Although this sounds harsh, it is necessary to have a well-behaved chihuahua. Try to stop them from owning the place, like jumping up on beds and furniture.
This will cause them to be aggressive if they are not allowed to do so, so try to stop it from the get-go. It is vital to keep your chihuahua calm and collected by not making a huge fuss when you leave and enter your home.
It is important to walk your chihuahua every day and regularly. Start training your chihuahua to be friendly and approachable as soon as you get them as a puppy.
Socialize them with other humans and pets, and be persistent and continuous in your training.
A lot of the time, chihuahuas think that they are the boss, and what they say goes. It is important to stop them from assuming this, as this is why they may become aggressive and start biting.
How To Stop A Chihuahua From Being Aggressive:
Chihuahuas are usually aggressive because they have not been trained and socialized for their breed’s needs and are small, fearful dogs. They need a solid set of rules, or else they will make their own!
It can be difficult and scary to face a snapping and growling dog, leaving you to assume that they are the way they are and give up. It is important to remember that chihuahuas are not usually scary but scared.
Make sure to socialize your chihuahua with other dogs and humans in a comfortable environment where they feel safe. This needs to be done from a young age. Chihuahuas consider themselves the pack leaders, so make sure to help them realize who the real leader is from a puppy.
Only give them food after obeying your commands, and only reward them if they have done something you have asked. They need rules, such as what furniture they are allowed on, what is theirs, and when it is playtime.
Enforce these from the start, and don’t be harsh, but be assertive. They will respect and understand boundaries in this way. Training your chihuahua is essential and will result in aggressive behavior if it is not completed.
Chihuahuas have a small bite force, and they have been recorded to have killed one person in 16 years. They are fierce appearing dogs, but it is all a cover. They are fearful because everything is bigger than them.
They are aggressive because they feel the need to assume their position as leaders and as the boss.
It is crucial to train your chihuahua to be friendly (which is possible). They are loveable and cute dogs, and they make perfect additions to every family. They are not inherently aggressive dogs but scared little dogs.