Chihuahuas are known worldwide for their tendency to bark at almost everything. Professionals among the pet community usually list them among the Top 10 breeds of dogs that bark. However, how much your Chihuahua barks will depend on training, socialization, and general temperament.
This article looks at why Chihuahuas bark, what their noises mean, and how you can can train them to bark less.
Table of Contents
- Are Chihuahuas Noisy Dogs?
- Why Do Chihuahuas Bark?
- Is Barking a Sign of Aggressiveness in Chihuahuas?
- Why Does My Chihuahua Bark at My Family?
- How Can I Tell Why My Chihuahua is Barking?
- What Can I Do if my Chihuahua Won’t Stop Barking?
- Are There Any Exceptions to Behavioral Training Methods?
- How Can I Teach My Chihuahua to Stop Barking So Much?
- What is the Easiest Way to Train My Chihuahua Not to Bark?
- What Is The Most Important Part of Training a Chihuahua Not To Bark?
- Is There Anything I Shouldn’t Do When Training My Chihuahua?
- Will My Chihuahua Ever Stop Barking?
- Are There Any Chihuahuas That Bark Less Than Others?
Are Chihuahuas Noisy Dogs?
Chihuahuas are known as very noisy dogs. Experts like Dr. Katy Nelson sometimes refer to them as ‘yappy’ dogs, because their small size produces a higher pitched vocalization than bigger members of the ‘Top Ten Breeds that Bark’ list.
Chihuahua barking can take on a number of forms, from a short, sharp sound to a long, drawn-out, near howl.
Why Do Chihuahuas Bark?
There are 3 main reasons that Chihuahuas bark. First, they’re highly territorial, and will bark at anything that infringes on what they consider ‘their’ territory.
Second, they’re bored. According to many veterinarians and trainers they may begin barking just to get you to engage with them.
Third, your chihuahua may suffer from separation anxiety. Chihuahuas are fiercely loyal and hate being left behind.
Is Barking a Sign of Aggressiveness in Chihuahuas?
Chihuahuas often use their loud bark to make up for their small size. It’s usually less a sign of overt aggression, and more a way of saying ‘don’t ignore me!’
Even when barking at intruders, the sound is more meant for attracting attention than it is a sign of impending attack.
Why Does My Chihuahua Bark at My Family?
Chihuahuas are VERY territorial. Even if the person is someone they see every day, they may bark if they think that individual will take too much of your time and attention.
Chihuahuas will bark at family and friends as a way of declaring you’re ‘their’ human, and making sure you can’t ignore them.
How Can I Tell Why My Chihuahua is Barking?
The best way is to follow their path of vision. If they are barking because of ‘intruders’, they will be watching the animal or individual who has caught their eye.
If they are bored or suffering from separation anxiety, they will be facing you. They may also glance at or bring you a toy or their leash to indicate their concerns.
What Can I Do if my Chihuahua Won’t Stop Barking?
Expert vendors, trainers and vets alike agree about the first rule: DON’T REWARD BAD BEHAVIOR!
Whether it’s anxiety, boredom, or alert barking, don’t give them the attention they’re after. Wait until after they’ve quieted down to respond to them.
It can be difficult not to respond, especially if they continue to bark for several minutes. However, any response will only result in further bad behavior.
Are There Any Exceptions to Behavioral Training Methods?
One exception cited by experts on sites like Chipets, is fear barking. Chihuahuas can feel threatened by many things, due to their small size.
If your Chihuahua is exhibiting signs of fear barking then you need to respond to prevent escalation. Reassure them that they are safe through attention and contact.
If the cause of their fear response is a person put some distance between your Chihuahua and the individual in question. If this is a person you associate with often, work to reduce the distance required in gradual stages, with rewards for each milestone.
When attempting to overcome a fear response, be aware that it may take a long time for your Chihuahua to stop reacting. Be patient.
How Can I Teach My Chihuahua to Stop Barking So Much?
There are several different training programs you can use. Experts recommend using a reward system involving treats and prearranged signals to encourage quieter behaviors.
Teaching your dog to ‘speak’ and ‘quiet’ on command is one method. You can also offer rewards for other behaviors, like bringing their toys or collecting their leash when they want attention.
Introduce them to people. Reward them for not barking, and encourage family and friends to do likewise.
What is the Easiest Way to Train My Chihuahua Not to Bark?
The easiest method is simple: Don’t respond. Not responding tells your Chihuahua that you will not reward barking, and encourages them to quiet down sooner.
Another method is socialization. Socialization helps reduce barking by exposing your dog to more people and places, essentially expanding their comfort zone.
For a more proactive approach trainers recommend teaching your Chihuahua to ‘speak’ and ‘quiet’. Reward them when they obey the ‘quiet’ command for best results.
What Is The Most Important Part of Training a Chihuahua Not To Bark?
The most important thing to have for training your Chihuahua is Patience. Improvements in the level of barking will not happen overnight, and frustration will not help you or your dog.
Remember to keep your calm and celebrate little milestones. That way, you and your Chihuahua will both have an easier time with training.
Is There Anything I Shouldn’t Do When Training My Chihuahua?
Don’t yell. For one thing, yelling is a response, which is essentially what your Chihuahua wants.
You should also avoid yelling because it will only agitate your Chihuahua further. Yelling may encourage them by making them think you are ‘joining in’ so to speak.
Yelling may also induce fear or anxiety responses. Since a Chihuahua’s natural response to fear and anxiety is to bark, yelling can actually make it MORE difficult to get them to stop barking.
Will My Chihuahua Ever Stop Barking?
It is unlikely that your Chihuahua will ever completely stop barking. Barking is a natural form of communication for dogs, and some amount of barking is healthy.
With training, however, you can encourage a healthy level of communication while discouraging excessive or obnoxious barking habits.
Are There Any Chihuahuas That Bark Less Than Others?
Most experts say that behavior and noise levels are dependent on the individual dog. However, with training, it is possible for most Chihuahuas to become quieter and better behaved.