What you need to know about chihuahuas and babies
Chihuahuas can be lovable pets and companions but often don’t work well in families with smaller children, especially babies. Chihuahuas and babies are not an advisable combination because of the dog’s temperament.
It’s a myth that Chihuahuas are naturally aggressive and yappy dogs. Your Chihuahua has to be cared for and trained carefully because their instincts – they can be skittish and easily threatened. Chihuahuas often form a strong bond with person and can be extremely loyal and protective. In dogs where training has been mishandled this often turns into anti-social behaviour, which is where the idea of chihuahuas and babies being a bad combination originates from.
Some Chihuahuas become over-protective of their owners and can be aggressive toward strangers. Bear this in mind when considering chihuahuas and babies. They will often follow the owner around and may become unpredictable in unfamiliar settings or with unfamiliar people. This is not the dog’s fault as from an early age they need to be taught the right behaviour.
For this reason introducing a baby into the family is a large decision for Chihuahua owners. The consequences of such a decision depend on the training and personality of the dog. Your Chihuahua might resent a new competitor for your attention if the situation is handled incorrectly. Chihuahuas and babies need to be under constant supervision when together.
Introducing chihuahuas and babies in a safe environment
You don’t have to choose between your beloved pet and starting a family. If you introduce your Chihuahua to your baby carefully there is a good chance that will get along just fine. When your Chihuahua is in the same room as you and your baby remember to acknowledge its presence and if possible include it on some of your interactions. If you ignore your dog when in the company of your infant it can lead to resentment and aggression.
Chihuahuas and babies: Toddlers
Other issues may also surface later on when your infant is developing their motor-skills and learning to walk. Actions like grabbing or bumping a Chihuahua, even if they are accidental can cause them to feel stressed and threatened which makes them prone to nip or bite. It’s absolutely essential that you always supervise your children’s interactions no matter how well trained your dog. Your Chihuahua is also at risk in situations like this as they have fragile bone structure that can be easily crushed or broken. Never leave chihuahuas and babies or toddlers unattended. This is a rule not only for chihuahuas but all breed of dog.
Chihuahuas and babies: Teach your children how to behave around your pets.
As soon as your child is able to understand they must be taught the correct etiquette and way to interact with dogs. Kids often can’t resist stroking and touching Chihuahuas because of their cute appearance. For this reason they must be exposed to the right way to pet and not grab or surprise your dog. Above all, remember to always supervise contact between your children and dogs – by doing this you ensure that your entire family – even the four-legged members- get along.