Why can certain breeds of small dogs try nipping your ankles such as the Chihuahua

I confess my male has done something like this on occasion. However, I know his intention is not to nip – it’s to “carry”. Odd for a Chihuahua – I know. Whenever he gets super excited, he picks something up with his mouth. Inside the house it is usually a toy and he will then run around with the toy or if a new person is involved, he will greet them with the toy (and yes he can bark while carrying whatever). In the morning, when he is excited at the prospect of going for his WALK!, he will often grab my boyfriends size 11 sneaker and trot around the house until I get the leash. Outside, if he can’t access anything else, he has been know to try to “carry” a person’s pant leg. Many people will interpret it as an attempt to nip (and I don’t blame them) so I do my best to make sure he is calm before approaching anyone.

That being said, I suspect most small dogs are attempting to nip and it probably has origins in defensive behavior.

They can’t reach your throat.

It’s a chihuahua, a bundle of nastiness as ratting dogs often are. Like all terriers they can be trained to be well behaved and control their instincts but far too many people see a cute widdle doggie and haven’t got a clue as to their true nature or how to deal with it.

Well Chihuahuas can’t really reach much higher can they?

When it comes to some breeds they were cattle dogs and were taught to nip heels and stay low to avoid a kick. Staff at Buckingham Palace know all about this. Corgis were bred as cattle dogs.

Just my theory but I think being tiny can be terrifying. And hurt before you get hurt becomes the result.