There are many variables at play here. Is the Chihuahua a new puppy being brought into an unfamiliar environment with young children? Is there a new baby coming into a home where there was only a Chihuahua. Are you adopting a fully grown Chihuahua from the shelter? What’s their background, is it known? Do you have young children or older children?
There isn’t one simple answer to, are Chihuahuas good with kids?
Chihuahuas and Children
This is going to come down to training. This requires training your children and your Chihuahua. If you aren’t willing to spend the time on this, then you might want to think about another breed of dog.
A Chihuahua needs training, even if there are no children in the house. Without patience and the right time spent on socialization and training, your Chihuahua will probably not turn out as you hoped.
They can be stubborn, hard to train and a lot of owners report, difficult to housebreak. It’s not through lack of intelligence, because they are bright sparks. They do feel as though they should be in charge, though.
Therefore, the impression that Chihuahuas give is one of a spoiled little brat. Owners forget they are dogs and treat them in ways they wouldn’t treat bigger dogs. I’m certain you understand what I mean. You can’t allow this to happen when you want a Chihuahua good with kids.
How to Show a Chihuahua How to Behave with Kids
A Chihuahua needs teaching how to behave around children. First, teach a child how to hold and react with the Chi. It requires gentle interaction, this lets the dog know he’s safe and no harm will come to him. Puppies love to nip when they play, curtail as soon as you see it, (this is the same for any puppy). If not, it becomes difficult to stop them when they get older, and when a bite means something.
When they nip, take your hand or your child’s hand away, rebuke the Chihuahua firmly and give him a toy to bite. This is where your time and patience are necessary. Because now is the time you must closely watch for any signs of aggression from your Chihuahua towards your child.
If you see or hear anything then your Chihuahua must be told instantly no! Moved to his crate and left alone for a period. You must show you are in charge and any aggression towards a child is not acceptable. But the Chi must know what he’s done wrong. Chastise him every time he shows even the mildest aggression.
A Chihuahua for Kids
Children themselves are noisy and rambunctious and don’t take a lot of care of how they handle small delicate creatures. A Chihuahua will not grasp what’s going on around him. And you can’t expect him to. If you’re lucky, they have socialized him (the breeder) around children before he came home to you. But most will not have been. Their first experience of a child will be when you bring him home. This is a lot for any puppy, not just Chihuahuas to cope with.
You must teach your child to be careful, respectful, loving, and gentle when they interact with a baby Chihuahua. They are incredibly fragile little dogs and bones are easily broken. But just as important are first impressions. If he’s handled roughly or even hurt, then this will imprint on his mind. This then will be the beginnings of aggression when around children. He means to protect himself and warn off any approach by a child that has hurt him in the past.
If you are considering a Chihuahua puppy and have a small child or children, you need to give this some serious thought. Are your children the rowdy type, very active, jumping, running around, and so forth. Nothing wrong with that, but is it a wise choice to bring a Chihuahua puppy into that environment?
If you do and the puppy takes exception to the noise and activity, he is likely to snap or nip at the kids, because he’s fearful. That leaves you in an awful predicament. It can even lead to giving the puppy back to the breeder or worse, taking him to a shelter. This Chihuahua puppy’s start to his little life has now become horrible.
Chihuahuas and Babies
A new baby is a stressful time for parents. Babies cause sleepless nights for both parents. One parent most times still has to go to work. So it makes little sense to bring a new Chihuahua puppy into that situation.
We know Chihuahuas are barkers and love a good yap at any sight or sound of movement around the home. New babies and continuous barking will not go well together.
We’re not saying it can’t work, but it will not be easy. Far better to wait until the baby is a few years older. If you go ahead, then please take our advice and NEVER leave a baby or young toddler alone with your Chihuahua (or any dog).
But what’s the situation if you already are the parent of a Chihuahua and you bring a new human baby home? If your Chi is the clingy type, then you will have some problems, and it’s best to prepare a little before the human baby arrives home.
Establish the areas in the home where the baby will be and where you’re not willing to let your Chi go. Two to three months before the baby is due, put gates across those areas and start closing doors. Do this over time, so that your Chi understands.
Because you will have to take care of the baby, it will mean leaving your Chi alone. In the months preceding the birth, use a playpen. Start slowly and increase the time your Chi spends in there. Make it cozy and comfortable, use some treats place his favorite toys in there.
You might play baby noises around the home, the sound your baby will make will be an unfamiliar experience for your Chihuahua. As you bring home new baby equipment allow your Chi to do the sniff test on them. If they are toys that make unusual sounds, let him hear those.
With some thought, there are ways to help your Chihuahua overcome his anxiety and fear of the new baby and the changes that will now happen.
Chihuahuas are a fantastic little dog. They’re fiercely loyal and loving companions. While having one with a new baby can prove problematic, with older and sensible children it can be an amazing experience.
They can make wonderful family dogs. If training and socializing are undertaken responsibly and consistently. As long as you prepare for this, then there are no other reasons a Chihuahua can’t become a brilliant family member.
Brad Davenport would love to live in a world where dogs rule (a kinder more caring society). As an experienced writer about dogs he’s been published on numerous websites. When he’s not writing about dogs you can find him with his wife and son on long walks with their feisty, little Havanese, Biscuit.