If you’re desperate to stop your Chihuahua barking or yapping all the time then keep reading! … As adorable as your Chihuahua is, a dog who never stops barking can become very annoying and before I go onto suggest solutions to excessive barking, it is important to understand why dogs bark and more importantly why your Chihuahua is barking so much.
A bark to a dog is means of communication. They are trying to tell you something and the message they are trying to communicate could be any of the following:
- To tell you they don’t like being left alone
- To signal a threat is close by
- To get your attention when they’re after something
- To express dominance
- To get rid of excess energy
- To express ownership over their territory
- To show happiness and excitement when having fun or playing
- To say “hello” to a friend or a tell a stranger to “go away”
- To alleviate boredom
- Because you their owner has inadvertently trained them to bark! (read more about this below)
From this list, you should be able to get some idea why your Chihuahua barks so much. What is it they are trying to tell you? Maybe you have two or more chihuahuas barking excessively each of whom has a different problem or need they are trying to communicate to you.
Once you have some idea why your Chihuahua is barking we can move onto the next step.
How NOT To Stop Your Chihuahua Barking
These are the three biggest mistakes most people make and instead of quieting your Chihuahua down they actually encourage him to bark more:
- Shouting at your Chi when they are yapping. All you are doing here is striking up a conversation since you are being just as loud as they are and and this tells your dog that they should continue to make the same level of noise.
- Giving your Chihuahua a treat or a reward. All you are doing here is show your approval of their bad behavior which will encourage them to bark again.
- Paying attention or playing with your Chi. This is the biggest one of all and the most difficult to avoid. However, when you turn your attention to your Chihuahua when they are barking like crazy, this signals to your dog that anytime they want to be cuddled or played with, all they have to do is give you a migraine!
As I’m sure you’re starting to see, often we teach and encourage our dogs to bark and continue barking. Just by avoiding these three mistakes you will significantly reduce the time your Chi spends barking and as you continue to teach your dog the obedience training tactics I discuss on this site, you will soon stop all excessive barking completely.
So now you know what not to do when you Chihuahua is barking too much, the question is what DO you do when your Chi is raising hell with their yap! This depends on the situation so lets look at a few case studies:
Stop Your Chihuahua From Barking When Left Alone
Whether your dog is a long haired, short haired, applehead, deer head or teacup, separation anxiety is a big problem with Chihuahuas and other toy breed dogs. Because of this, stopping your Chi from yapping when you leave the house can take some work. However, as always your persistence will pay off in the end.
Here are the steps are I recommend:
- Prepare for your departure and the anxiety it provokes by ignoring your Chihuahua in any other situation where they bark excessively. Wait until they have calmed down and then reward this behavior.
- Take your Chi for a walk which you know will tire him out before leaving him alone.
- Before you leave the house, make sure your Chi has everything they need including food, water, toys etc…
- If they start to bark, do not respond in any way which will seem like a reward.
- When you return home, make sure you wait until your Chihuahua has stopped yapping before giving him your attention. Praise his calmness and make sure you spend time playing with him.
Stop Chihuahuas Barking At Strangers, Your Friends Or The Mailman
I’m sure you’ve realized by now that Chihuahuas are very possessive of their owners and can regard all other people as a potential threat. They are not just protecting themselves, they are also protecting the attention you give them and are worried that this might be taken away by a stranger.The main challenge here is that often the person being barked at will naturally retreat to avoid any further animosity and this signals to your Chi that barking at strangers will drive them away and will do the same next time.
The steps to take:
- Rely on the obedience training you have being doing with your Chi and use the commands “stop” or “be quiet.”
- Enlist the help of the ‘threatening individual’ and ask them not to retreat when barked at but instead to ignore your dog and continue on with their business.
- Use some basic socialization training and ask your friend or visitor to give your Chi a treat when they first arrive to let them know they are not a threat but a friend.
Stop A Chihuahua Barking For Attention Or When They Want Something
This is much easier to deal with than the other two situations and simply relies on you taking a few basic steps:
- Return to the foundations of your obedience training and use a command like “stop” or “be quiet.” Once you’ve chosen a command, be consistent and do not change it as this will only confuse your Chi.
- As with all obedience training, it is crucial to draw a strong association between a reward and a desired outcome for your dog. For instance, if your Chi is barking for food wait for them to stop barking, before feeding them. Make sure you wait a suitable amount of time so that your dog knows that it was their silence and not their bark which brought about the reward of food.
Who Is The Alpha Dog In Your House?
Handling your Chihuahua’s excessive barking is something which is best dealt with before it becomes an issue. As with all dog training, how your Chihuahua responds to you depends almost solely on how well you have established yourself as the Alpha pack leader. If you reward quiet behavior and ignore incessant barking, you should find your Chi’s yaps will quickly decrease.