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How Do I Get My Chihuahua to Stop Barking?

Chihuahua wearing orange and red shirt with head back howling

Despite their small size, Chihuahuas have a reputation of being quite noisy. Their love for barking can become a serious problem if it exceeds the limit. Considering the fact that barking is the way through which dogs communicate, you shouldn’t try to stop it completely. However, you MUST train your Chihuahua to avoid excessive barking while acceptable forms of barking shouldn’t be discouraged.

Why Chihuahuas Bark?

2 Chihuahuas, one tan who is being quiet and one black tan and white who is barking.,

Knowing that barking is natural to dogs, the very first challenge is to determine the inappropriate reasons for barking. It can be a little difficult for new dog parents to distinguish them from genuine reasons. Basically, you need to analyze the contextual clues to determine the cause of barking. Some of the reasons why a Chihuahua might bark are listed below.

  • Excitement
  • Fear
  • Boredom
  • Territorial Barking
  • Attention Barking
  • Dreaming
  • Separation Anxiety
  • Dementia

How to Stop a Chihuahua from Barking?

Chihuahua puppy sitting on a stone pathway

Although it may seem a really difficult task, proper training can help you quieten the chattiest of Chihuahuas. Always remember that patience and consistency are your two most powerful weapons during this process. Therefore, use them efficiently to ensure success. Below are some of the steps you can take to stop a Chihuahua from barking.

Ignore the Barking

If you feel that your Chihuahua is barking for attention, don’t give any kind of response until it stops. Even the slightest look towards your pet can reinforce this bad habit. When the barking stops, praise your dog so that he/she could understand the benefit of being quiet.

Stay Calm

2 Chihuahuas sitting on a wooden table

Shouting back at your barking dog can encourage the dog to bark even more. The reason for this is that the dog can sense the frustration in your loud voice. Consequently, the dog himself becomes frustrated and barking is exaggerated. Therefore, it is important that you stay calm and patient with your canine companion.

Be Dominant

In contrast to their size, Chihuahuas have a dominating personality. Owing to this fact, a Chihuahua feels that he/she is the boss in the house. In these circumstances, it is critical to let your dog know who’s running the show. NEVER allow your Chihuahua to jump on you as it is their way of showing dominant behavior. Similarly, keep them off the furniture if you feel that they are being a little too aggressive.  

Be “Quiet”

Chihuahua with head laying on paws on a wooden table

The “speak” and “quiet” method is one of the most popular ways to stop barking. In this method, you first teach your dog to bark on command. Once the dog has learned that, you train him/her to go quiet on your instructions. You can get detailed knowledge about this training by clicking here.  

Dog Obedience Class

If you are finding it hard to counter your Chihuahua’s barking habit, you can take your dog to these classes. In these obedience classes, you are taught the ways of controlling your pet while it is exposed to two of the most common barking motivators, dogs and people. The controlled environment makes sure that no harm is done as a number of dogs and their parents are present.

Help! My Chihuahua is Barking and Growling at Night

profile of Black and white chihuahua growling

A variety of factors can make your Chihuahua uncomfortable during the night. For example, your dog might want to go to the bathroom or needs to have some food or water. In order to tackle these situations, the first thing you need to do is to create a comfortable set-up for your dog. Once you have done that, you can shift your focus towards the training.

Comfortable and Engaging Sleeping Area

Setting up a canine playpen with food and water is an effective way of providing your Chihuahua with a comfortable environment. You need to ensure that all the necessities (water and food) are available in the playpen. For this purpose, you can use a treat-dispensing toy. Similarly, you can place some interactive toys in the playpen to keep them engaged without your presence.

Training

Now that you have everything in place, you need to make sure that you don’t respond to unnecessary barking. A lot of people feel that their dog is barking because it wants to go to the bathroom. However, it’s not the only reason for barking at night.

Over the course of training, you will realize that the Chihuahua will start barking just for attention. You should completely avoid that because any kind of attention will reinforce this behavior. Even if you have to take your dog to the bathroom, keep the lights low and don’t say much. This will teach your canine companion that it’s a serious time and he/she needs to behave.

How to Stop a Chihuahua from Barking at Strangers?

YouTube video

A Chihuahua might bark at strangers for different reasons. This type of dog often barks constantly on walks. Fear is an obvious factor but it is quite possible that the barking was instigated by excitement. Therefore, it is important for dog parents to figure out the exact underlying cause before they could start training.

Barking out of Fear

If fear is the motivation for barking, you should ensure that you don’t put your dog in a vulnerable situation. Keep your dog at a safe distance from that particular person(s). When your Chihuahua seems more comfortable, you can allow him/her to come a little closer. Having said that, don’t rush the issue and be cautious (and steady) in your approach.

For instance, you can ask that stranger to throw some treats towards your dog. However, a safe distance should be maintained at all times and eye contact should be avoided. This training exercise can take a lot of time ranging from days to years (in extreme cases). It is important to ensure that your Chihuahua doesn’t have a bad social experience while the training is going on.  

Barking out of Excitement

Dappled chihuahua with head back barking

Although this scenario seems a lot friendlier, it is actually trickier to train an excited Chihuahua. The very first thing that you need to do is to divert your dog’s attention before it reaches that level of excitement. For this purpose, you need to indulge in an activity that your pet likes. For example, you may start playing with your dog’s favorite toy or offer some amazing treats to your Chihuahua.

Once your Chihuahua starts excited barking upon meeting a stranger, you are in a lot of trouble. You don’t want to reward him because it will reinforce the barking behavior in him/her. The pet will feel that barking can help him/her to fulfill the demands.

On the other hand, you want to distract your canine companion from the guest. Therefore, it’s a compromising situation that you should strive to avoid by adopting the first technique.    

Recommended Dog Training Courses get a Chihuahua to Stop Barking

There are two online video based training courses that I recommend.

  1. Doggy Dan – The Online Dog Trainer
  2. Brain Training for Dogs

These two courses serve two very different purposes. The Doggy Dan course is the best behavioral training course that I’ve ever used. It tackles problem behaviors like barking in ways that are innovative and kind and most of all WORK.

The Brain Training for Dogs course is a course that will help give curious and bored dogs something to do so that they don’t get destructive. Bored dogs often behave badly. The games in this course are fun to play with your dog and they go from easy to very advanced. If you think your dog is barking out of boredom this video course is a good choice.

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