Chihuahuas are known as the world’s tiniest dog breed and one of the most adorable breeds! However, they are also known for being yappy. These small dogs can have a big bark.
Barking occurs for a variety of reasons from a dog wanting attention, being hungry, seeing strangers, etc.
While there are many reasons that can cause a pup to bark, stopping them completely isn’t the exact answer. Rather the approach should be reducing the amount of barking and trying to showcase good behavior by rewarding good behavior.
So essentially, some training tips will help chihuahuas learn how to control their desire to yip a lot!
How To Stop A Chihuahua From Barking
Barking can be annoying to anyone. However, using some training tips to help reduce the amount of barking can be really helpful. When using any of these tips, consider rewarding a learned behavior.
This is called positive reinforcement and aids in the training process. After the desired action is taken by the pup, a treat like a biscuit should be given immediately after.
This is a tried and true method for mostly all dogs and should be practiced while considering some of these tips.
1. Never Yell Or Scald While Barking
It might be tempting to yell or scald a chihuahua while it is barking. It is super frustrating to hear them barking loudly and sometimes our first instinct is to yell at them.
While we all might be guilty of this instinct, controlling it is really important to helping chihuahuas learn that barking isn’t always appropriate.
When we yell, this is a very negative response and becomes more of a reason for the pup to bark. They can also become scared because of this. This is not to say that being stern isn’t necessary.
Being stern and yelling are different things. Being stern means we’re committing to helping a situation with firmness rather than negative energy. It is possible to stay upbeat while remaining stern.
2. Consistency Is The Important Key
Staying consistent goes hand-in-hand with positive reinforcement training. Repetition is one of the oldest ways to train anyone or anything. Through repetition, the desired behavior becomes more dominant over a less desired behavior.
When it comes to stopping or reducing a chihuahua from barking, whatever methods we choose to train them should remain consistent and repetitive to ensure that the training sticks.
Positive rewarding should always be used with treats in hand so there’s not a misstep at the appropriate time to give them the treat.
3. Determine The Cause Behind The Bark
Examining the reason behind the barking can really help in reducing the barking. While some barking might need to be a training approach, other resolutions might be as simple as removing the cause behind the bark.
For example, some chihuahuas bark at passing people or traffic if there’s a main road nearby. Having curtains up can help, however, they only do so much as the dog can slip under the curtain and see out the window again.
A better approach to this situation is to remove the dog from the room altogether.
This can be done by encouraging playtime, providing food or treats, etc. This distracts the dog from the source of the barking.
On the same hand, the cause behind the barking can be a number of other things. Separation anxiety can cause barking and stress. Chihuahuas are loyal and can find themselves feeling a little lost when they are away from us.
Barking can be a result of this and the solution is a little more involved. Having a pet camera is an option. Some models come at affordable prices and can be a great way to communicate with our pups when we’re not around.
Hearing our voice can help ease some of the barking.
4. Ignore The Barking Dog
When chihuahuas bark for attention, it can be hard to just simply ignore the barking. We feel compelled to say something or do something. However, ignoring the barking is the answer as it shows the pup that they’re not going to get attention constantly.
When the barking has subsided, this is why positive reinforcement comes into play. Rewarding them with a treat after the barking has ended shows them that they shouldn’t bark strictly for attention.
Always ensure that the barking is for attention before simply ignoring the pup. Check the food and water bowls, check for open windows or passing people or cars.
Most dogs when they want outside for going potty will dance about or head towards the door that is used to go outside. If the chihuahua isn’t doing this and all other possible reasons have been ruled out, chances are the dog is barking for attention.
In this case, it is appropriate to ignore the barking and proceed with positive reinforcement.
5. Train Them To Get Use To The Stimulator
Training chihuahuas to get used to whatever is causing their bark will help reduce or eliminate the bark. If other dogs or strangers are the issues, have a friend help out in this training.
Start with a friend that the dog doesn’t know and another dog being far enough away that the dog cannot see them. Gradually bring the friend and dog closer into the chihuahua’s view.
During this time, feed them treats as positive reinforcement. This associates the dog by seeing other dogs in a better light.
6. Combine Known Commands With Positive Reinforcement
Distractions from the source of barking can be done in a variety of ways. While taking them away from the source is a good way to approach this, so is using known commands as a way of distraction.
Barking can happen when there’s knocking on the door or other sources. This can be remedied by commanding the chihuahua to do something else it has already been trained to do.
For example, telling the dog to sit, lie down, go to bed, etc, is a great way to distract it from whatever is causing the barking. This must be immediately followed by giving them a treat.
The positive reinforcement combined with a previously learned command will aid in teaching chihuahuas not to bark.
7. Keep Your Chihuahua Entertained
Chihuahuas love playing and being entertained. Barking can occur when a dog is bored with its surroundings. In order to alter this behavior, keeping them entertained is essential.
This primarily should include playtime. Sure we play with our dogs, but for how long? Up to a half-hour of playtime can be had and should be complemented with toys that are interesting.
This can include different textures and materials but always ensure they are the appropriate size for small dogs and materials that are safe.
8. Ensure The Chihuahua Knows Who Is Boss
Chihuahuas love to feel in charge and when this behavior gets out of hand, it can be really problematic. It can lead to excessive barking and other things like begging for table scraps or being on furniture that they shouldn’t be on.
As humans, we should ensure our pups know who is boss. This can be done without coming off aggressive or mean. The best approach is doing it through means of showing by example.
When eating, try to schedule their eating times to coincide with your own so that you’re eating together. This can reduce barking for food when they see us eating and they don’t have food in their bowls.
If there’s furniture they shouldn’t be on, consider trying to train them to use their dog beds or a piece of furniture that isn’t delicate to dog claws.
9. Control When The Barking Occurs
Some barking is necessary, like to alert us when someone’s nearby that we might not know. While controlling barking is usually done for annoying barking, it is important to showcase appropriate times to bark as well.
If you want the dog to bark when someone knocks on the door, this is where positive reinforcement can be used to teach the dog to bark during this time.
Some people might want to stop the dog from barking when there’s a knock while others might want them to bark. This is where deciding which scenario is best suited to your needs.
To teach a chihuahua only to bark when the door is knocked on, have someone knock on the door and then give them a treat. Continue this process to help control the barking.
Doing what we can to control the barking does aid in the overall reduction of barking. Considering the pup will learn when it is the right time to bark will keep them from barking during other times.
10. Keep Potty Breaks Short
Potty breaks are meant to be short. They are strictly for taking care of business. Sure, we take our dogs on walks and that is an important part of their day, but during other times when it’s only a potty break, keep it short and simple.
Wait for the dog to finish its business, clean up the mess immediately, and get back inside. This repetitiveness of shortened potty breaks can help chihuahuas keep their focus on the task at hand and not wander and become distracted by any outside factors.
Do Chihuahuas Bark All Of The Time?
Chihuahuas get a bad reputation as being the tiny breed that barks all of the time. However, is this common rumor true? It can be true to an extent. They are small dogs with large personalities and loud barks.
The barking can come off as a constant issue because of this. Chihuahuas want to feel a part of something and anything and often times interject themselves with their barking.
This is where proper training and aid in reducing barking can be utilized. Keeping them happy and staying consistent with practicing training tips will, over time, help with this common problem.
Why Are Chihuahuas So Yappy?
Chihuahuas are sometimes considered “yappy” or “yapper dogs” meaning they yap and bark at mostly…anything. Their loyalty and protective natures often are the source behind the constant yip yap.
This can also come from a place of jealousy. Once again, practising proper training tips will aid in the reduction of this issue and help condition the dog to realize when real threats are the problem.
Almost every dog has a natural sense of danger, however, in the case of chihuahuas, this can be increased by their sense of loyalty.
If there’s someone new in your life, always keep treats handy and slowly introduce them to the dog and feed them treats while doing so. This creates a learned association with the new person or people.
A chihuahua’s first instinct will be to bark or be yappy but this conditioning shows them that certain people are alright. This is where the “control the barking” tip can really be helpful.
If successful, a chihuahua can learn when to bark and when not to bark at someone they might not know. Sometimes dogs will notice if we’re friendly towards someone or scared of them and will feed off of this vibe.
Positive reinforcement for them is important when we’re around those we’re friendly towards.
How Do You Stop Nuisance Barking?
Nuisance barking can loosely be defined as barking that occurs that extended periods of time.
When this happens, it is usually associated with attention-seeking behavior and should be ignored (provided that there are no issues such as empty food or water bowls, etc as previously discussed).
But is there another way to approach nuisance barking specifically? There are some tips to help with nuisance barking!
Tips For Nuisance Barking
- Teach the command “Quiet” – This is a bit of a challenge but can be accomplished through patience. With a stern, but calm voice, say the word “quiet” while a chihuahua is barking. They might not listen at first, but keep saying the word consistently until the dog pauses. When the pause occurs, even for a short second, immediately offer a treat. Continue this method until the word is learned. If successful, it can come in handy.
- Always be affectionate during positive reinforcement – Positive reinforcement is more than just giving a chihuahua a treat. The treat is the gateway to learning a desired trait or behavior, however, showing affection is important too. Petting them and using a soothing voice while giving them the treat further demonstrates how good they are being by listening to certain commands or actions.
Barking is a huge part of any dog’s everyday life, however, chihuahuas are known for being a bit more on the yappy side.
There is hope in curving the barking. It is important to remember that barking is sometimes necessary and through patience, proper training, and setting good examples, they can learn how to control their barking.
The world’s tiniest dogs might have big personalities despite their size but their bark doesn’t have to define them as a breed!
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