Whether you have a baby and want to get a Chihuahua, or are expecting a newborn and want to make sure that your Chihuahua responds properly, there’s a lot to learn about this critical bond between Chihuahuas and babies!
While Chihuahuas can be known for their aggressive behavior around babies and children, they can safely live together for many years! You’ll need to introduce your Chihuahua to your baby properly and train both of them socially. They need to learn how to interact with each other for a healthy relationship.
Below is everything you should know about it!
How to introduce my Chihuahua to the new baby
When you want to form a healthy and loving bond between your Chihuahua and your baby, the goal is to focus on the right approach to doing just that. Here are the top points to help you focus on doing so properly:
- Start before the new addition arrives
- Understand that progress isn’t always linear
- When introducing Chihuahua to a new baby
- Get them used to restricted access to the baby’s room
- Allow them to check out all of the new furniture and gear
- Create a playpen for them to spend time in to keep them close but separate
- Prepare them with a fake baby
- Show them the baby’s scent
- When introducing a baby to a new Chihuahua
- Let them settle in first and get used to the sounds and scents
- Move at the Chihuahua’s pace
- Adjust as needed
Start before the new addition arrives
Whether you are bringing in a puppy to a household with a baby, or a newborn baby in o a household with a Chihuahua, give yourself plenty of time to get everyone ready. Preparation is vital, and it will help make the actual introductions as simple as possible for everyone’s benefit. Who needs extra stress, right?
Understand that progress isn’t always linear
This is a challenging but important thing to keep in mind when working with your baby and Chihuahua. If they make progress on Monday, they may backslide by Thursday and need to crawl their way back up.
Whether it’s just the natural learning process or a bit of fear or stress on either end, you’ll need to work at their pace and continue to do so until both are comfortable around each other. Rushing the process can have a lot of negative impacts on the entire thing.
When introducing Chihuahua to a new baby
This is often the hardest of the two, so following steps is crucial to go as smoothly as possible!
Get them used to restricted access to the baby’s room
Your Chihuahua will be used to simply going wherever they want to, whenever they want to. Start restricting access to the areas you will be using for your baby. Perhaps it’s part of your master bedroom, or perhaps it’s a separate nursery. Put up gates and/or shut the door to get your dog used to having no access to the spaces.
Allow them to check out all of the new furniture and gear
When you bring in furniture and clothes, and toys, don’t be afraid to let your dog check it out. Chihuahuas are energetic and inquisitive dogs, so they’ll be really upset if they don’t get a chance to check everything out. Pair that with a new baby in the not-too-distant future, and it’ll be a mess!
Create a playpen for them to spend time in to keep them close but separate
Since you want everyone to spend time together, get to work on creating a separate space for your Chihuahua and then get them used to staying in that space. A large playpen is often plenty big for this small dog, so you don’t need to get wild about it.
This playpen will not only be their space to enjoy their time with you and the family, but it’s also their designated space. This will be their space when they need some distance from the baby and its noises.
Prepare them with a fake baby
It sounds crazy, but it’s important! Just the act of seeing you carry around a little bundle with a baby in it will be bizarre and confusing for them. They may bark and paw and try to get you to pick them up instead.
Since this is not what you want, you’ll need to first train them with a fake baby. Ignore their attention-getting behavior and reward their good behavior (lying at your feet or nearby on the couch and watching). Doing this with a fake baby prevents stress and injury. It also means that they’ll get a dress rehearsal for the real thing!
Show them the baby’s scent
Before you bring the baby home, or as you bring them home, show your Chihuahua the scent so that you can help them know what to expect. In the first few days after bringing the baby home, they’ll adapt to the scent. To make it easier, pair that new scent with treats and extra love and attention — they’ll learn to associate it with good things!
When introducing a baby to a new Chihuahua
If you have a baby and you are bringing a new Chihuahua home, you’ll find the process is a little easier. Since your Chihuahua will not be possessive of you, the introduction goes easier and faster on both ends.
Let them settle in first and get used to the sounds and scents
Let your new dog settle into the home. Start them off in their room and just let them get used to sounds and scents without having to necessarily confront them. This will help them get used to everyone at the same time.
Move at the Chihuahua’s pace
Move at the new addition’s pace when introducing your baby to your Chihuahua. They will see the baby as a threat, especially with their noises and random movements. Your baby will want to grab and possibly mouth the dog, and you will need to make sure that your Chihuahua feels safe and secure in their personal space.
It may take weeks or months for your new Chihuahua to be comfortable around your baby, and that’s fine!
Adjust as needed
You may need to start with your baby in their zone and your Chihuahua in their zone (such as a playpen). This gets them used to spending “time” together without spending it in the same space. You can adjust as both get curious and start to relax. The goal is to move it slowly and carefully to make their meeting and playtimes are going to be as safe and fun as possible.
Are Chihuahuas good around babies?
Naturally, Chihuahuas aren’t good around babies. Most toy and small dogs aren’t, since they see the baby as direct competition — and this “threat” is still bigger than them. Using the advice above, however, you can socialize the furry and the human baby to get along just fine!
Remember that as your baby grows out of the infant stage and into the toddler stage, you’ll need to carefully show them how to interact with your Chihuahua. While it’s understandable that infants can’t control themselves or understand their movements as potentially threatening, toddlers can be taught to treat your Chihuahua with respect!
Do Chihuahuas get jealous of babies?
Yes, Chihuahuas easily get jealous of babies! This is especially true since most will have the Chihuahua first and treat them like babies. Then when a human baby comes in, the Chihuahua will feel jilted and shoved to the side. They’ll need to learn that this new baby doesn’t mean that they, themselves, don’t lose all of your love and attention.
Taking a proper approach to socialization will help them understand that much better and faster. The other thing is that this socialization will help prevent aggressive outbursts and violent behavior that can occur quickly and easily in Chihuahuas. Safety is the most important thing all around.
How do Chihuahuas play with babies?
After the original socialization period, done successfully, it’s normal for Chihuahuas to see babies as playmates! This is not bad since it will help cement that bond to prevent future aggression and bad behavior. That being said, this, too, will take time and training to protect everyone’s safety.
Playing will involve lots of rolling around (for your Chihuahua) and tail wagging. As your infant grabs at them, they might bark and roll around and wag, too. Your Chihuahua will have to learn how to lick instead of bite and get used to the grabbing behaviors of babies.
Your Chihuahua may try to play with some of your baby’s toys when they play with them, which is perfectly fine. Just watch for signs that your Chihuahua is getting aggressive if your baby goes to grab for them back!
Remember that your baby is going to move in unexpected ways. It doesn’t take much for these unfamiliar movements to stress out a Chihuahua during playtime and cause an aggressive outburst. Always keep playtime supervised for everyone’s safety.
The danger of Chihuahuas around babies
A core part of being a responsible parent to both babies and Chihuahuas are understanding the danger that Chihuahuas can pose to your little one. While the tips and advice above can help, some points about a Chihuahua’s personality and genetic makeup can be threatening. Top details here to remember about your Chihuahua include:
- They are possessive of their favorite humans
- They are prone to jealousy
- Babies will be bigger than them and threatening
- They are easily frightened and anxious
It seems bleak! It doesn’t need to be, though. The goal will be to understand the risks and how to minimize them. While Chihuahuas are not the best dogs to have around babies, they can easily coexist and learn to be the best of friends!
There’s a lot to keep in mind when it comes to pairing Chihuahuas with babies, and focusing on all of the points above will help you keep the entire experience positive, engaging, fulfilling, and enjoyable for your dog and all humans in the house!
Chihuahuas aren’t the best dog breeds for babies, but they can be the best of friends with proper socialization and time! You’ll need to help both adjust to each other before they arrive and after the fact.
You’ll need to move at your Chihuahua’s pace to help keep them from getting overwhelmed. Careful and planned introductions with supervised playtime make the perfect starting point for a happy and healthy relationship between your little one and your Chihuahua for a lifetime of fun!