chihuahua training: learn how to stop your chihuahua from barking!

nadia chihuahua facts, chihuahua training 124 Comments

chihuahua-barking

chihuahuas love to bark.  it’s a perfectly natural thing for them to do, just as it’s normal for us humans to speak.  it’s when our chihuahuas bark excessively that it becomes a problem for all concerned, including the neighbors.  the goal isn’t to to stop our chihuahuas from barking, but rather learn how to control the excessive barking.

“is a chihuahua the right pet for you?   find out in caring for your chihuahua made easy:  breed information, health care and nutrition.”

the fact is, chihuahuas bark.  they do it when they’re excited or when they sense danger.  some do it when they’re bored – or worse, for no reason at all. in these cases, you want to teach your chihuahua that barking is only permitted under certain circumstances.

the first step in modifying this problem is to determine the reason why your chihuahua is barking in the first place.  once you’ve identified the cause or trigger, you can then plan your training solution.

why do chihuahuas bark?

  • to express their needs (being bossy).
  • they are staking out their territory.
  • to alert other members of their pack (that’s you and your family) of impending danger.
  • when playing, just through sheer excitement.
  • barking at other animals. depending on where you are in the world, it could be squirrels or any other small animal.
  • if they are isolated.
  • some chihuahuas bark excessively when separated from their pack (you and your family).
  • if they are trapped behind some type of barrier like a fence or window.
  • just for fun!
  • to express dominance (puppies normally test you out at some stage with a display of dominance barking).
  • they bark because their owners have inadvertently rewarded excessive barking in the past (this is crucial to understand)
  • through boredom or a lack of physical and mental stimulation.
  • may feel stressed or uncomfortable for some reason. things like feeling threatened or if they don’t have an appropriate place to sleep can cause excessive barking problems.chihuahuas that haven’t been properly socialized often become nuisance barkers.
  • may be looking for a response or some attention from their pack.

keep in mind that even though it may appear to you that your chihuahua is barking at nothing, this is not necessarily the case.

this is because your chihuahua has a much more acute sense of hearing, smell and sight than us humans.  your chihuahua’s excessive barking is probably being triggered by something.

how to stop your chihuahua from barking

the most important piece of advice to remember when trying to modify any dog behavioral problem, is to clearly communicate to your chihuahua what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

one of the biggest mistakes us chihuahua owners make is to inadvertently reward our chihuahuas excessive barking. we actually encourage and reinforce the barking problem when we commit these three dog training sins:

  1. yell and scream at the chihuahua – this just gives them the attention they were crying out for.
  2. let them inside. If your chihuahua is barking his/her head off outside, then you let it in, this just rewards the barking.
  3. if your chihuahua is barking and you react by giving him/her a comforting cuddle or a treat of some sort, you are definitely encouraging your chihuahua to bark again. by doing this you are communicating to your chihuahua that you are happy with them. you should be making it clear that his excessive barking is inappropriate.

training techniques to try and reasons why your chihuahua barks

chihuahua goes crazy every time the phone rings

this is a very common and annoying time for chihuahuas to bark excessively. try these training techniques:

  • never yell at your chihuahua.
  • get your chihuahua used to the phone ringing, don’t make it such a big deal. ring your home number from your cell phone or get a friend to keep calling you. when the phone rings just sit there, don’t say or do a thing. repeat this process over a few days, your chihuahua will probably continue to bark for a while but will give up before long.
  • if you give your chihuahua basic obedience training, behavioral problems such as excessive barking are easily controlled. your chihuahua looks up to you as their pack leader and is eager to please you in any situation. teaching the quiet! or stop! obedience training command will soon correct nuisance barking problems.
  • you may have some success by changing the tone and volume of your ring tone.

chihuahua barks when you are not home

chihuahuas are social creatures, when they are separated from their owners they can become stressed and frustrated. this type of excessive barking is often caused by separation anxiety.

  • keep your chihuahua well exercised (physical and mental) and provide fresh water, chewing toys and a nice comfortable place to sleep. you can also try to block your chihuahuas view of the street or other distractions. basically, make sure your chihuahua is happy.
  • if you know your chihuahua has been barking while you have been away, you must ignore him/her for a while when you return home. this is difficult for lots of chihuahua owners, but if you don’t do this your chihuahua believes that their barking is the reason you came back home to them. just go about your business for a little while when you get home, ignoring your chihuahua. when they have settled down, you can then initiate contact with them.
  • this next method takes time and patience, but can be a very effective. it’s based on that important rule applicable to all training situations. praise or reward when your chihuahua does something good, create a negative association when they do something bad. leave the house as you normally would, but just hide somewhere nearby. when your chihuahua starts to bark spray him/her with water or throw a tin can full of coins or rocks in their direction (this is the negative association). try to keep out of your chihuahuas sight while doing this if possible. go and hide again, if he/she is quiet for a while, go in and reward their good behavior with some praise and maybe a treat. this process may need to be repeated over and over until you have broken the excessive barking habit.

chihuahua barks for attention or to demand something

this is one excessive barking problem that can be corrected very quickly.

  • if you establish yourself as the pack leader or alpha dog in your owner-chihuahua relationship, this type of barking problem won’t occur. you’ll also form a strong bond with your chihuahua based on trust and respect.
  • another effective method you can try to stop this attention barking is simply ignoring your chihuahua. your chihuahua will probably become frustrated and bark a lot initially, but once they realize that it is not getting them anywhere, they will stop. this training method can be hard on the ears for a while!

chihuahua barks at passers by

workers like the postman and delivery driver’s are constantly being barked at throughout their day.

  • your chihuahua perceives these type of people as intruders or a threat to their territory. they bark and every time they bark they are rewarded as the intruder goes away. your chihuahua is then very pleased that they have averted this threat, which leads them to do it again and again. their behavior is reinforced and therefore this can be a difficult problem to turn around.
  • if possible, you could try to block your chihuahuas vision or access to the area where these people pass by.
  • if your chihuahua consistently barks at a particular person, you may need this person to help modify your chihuahuas behavior. just say your chihuahua gets really agitated each time the postman arrives. have a chat to your postman and give him some of your chihuahuas favorite treats. each time they deliver to your house, they can also deliver a tasty treat to your chihuahua. in your chihuahuas mind the postman goes from being a threat, to a welcome guest.

if you consistently apply the above training techniques and add a little patience, you should have your chihuahua under control before long.

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source: dog-obedience-training-review.com/how-to-stop-your-dog-from-barking.html

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Comments 124

  1. Gloria

    I have a male 4 year old ( human years ) that barks non-stop at my brother when he visits lol we are both in our early 60’s ..there are 6 of us in the household ( humans ) one dog buddy of course no other inside pets…but my brother has cats we think this could be the reason other than the brother tries to play chase with him which I think distresses him more it is the most sharpest bark ever when he barks at him, not the same towards anyone else or cars ., animals etc now buddy walks my granddaughter to her bus in the morning and patiently waits for her after school when the bus brings her home he is not on a leash of course one of us is also escorting them we live in the country part of our town but we do have our share of traffic, and people out walking even with dogs of different sizes, when the barking starts we tell him its okay just the neighbors and he quits then we scratch him behind the ears and tell him he is a good boy .,,but with the brother I am afraid no help there till he modifies his behavior lol we don’t take him there for visits don’t need the extra stress on him he is a good boy……….

  2. No

    Most of you should never own a dog…EVER. Forming a complete sentence is not a requirement for owning an animal…but now I’m thinking it should be…

  3. beverly norman

    I don’t have a dog. Do not want one. But several weeks ago A Chihuahua appeared at the house across the street. If I had a pet, as many of you know you are as responsible for the life of that dog as if he were a child. Would you put the child in a yard out doors all day and leave him/her on their own?

    The owner was leaving it behind a child gate on the front porch while he goes off to work from 6 am to midnight. I work in my yard quiet a bit, and my side yard faces their front yard. A few days later the pup has learned to cross over the gate. She crosses the street and shows up at my fence. She just looks at me but not barking. I move around the yard to get to my gate because I realize she has escaped and that she might get run over in traffic. Before I could reach the gate she ran back into the street and a car quickly stop and picked her up.

    I was afraid they might be taking her.

    But they pulled up in the next available drive and I walked over to the car. They said she had a collar and they had called her owned who was going to pick her up. The dog disappeared for a while. Then he began putting the dog in the yard at the side of the house from 6 in the morning until near midnight. This goes on for two weeks. I could hear her when I was in the yard, but not in the room where I sleep. My grandson who sleeps in the bed room near the dog started complaining he could not get any sleep except between midnight and 6:00am because of the dog barking.

    There is only one small space in the gate where the dog can see out. We have a walking path and a bike path that all the neighbors use to get to work, walk their dogs etc. So she is continually barking because of all of the traffic.

    I go over and ask the owner of the house to please control the dog barking. She says it is not my dog, it belongs to my nephew who lives here. That she would speak to him. She did not remove the dog all that day either. The next day at 6:oo, I take my cell and go to the side yard where the dog can be heard very well loudly and continuously barking. I call Animal control and leave a message with dog barking in the back ground. The next day I did the same thing. Telling Animal Control I will be calling you until this stops.

    Animal control also tells me it is the owner of the properties responsibility for any thing that goes on there. So the owner will get the fine.
    I’m assuming the master left the dog with food and water, but in the heat of the day, the patio where the dog is confined is in full sun, and the patio is paved. The dog at that time of day fines a cool piece of shade somewhere and takes a nap I suspect, because it does not come out to bark and I know that the master has not returned home. The third day I wait until 9:00 to call animal control, so I can talk to a real person. She said that on my first request/report a letter was sent to the address. They give it two days to arrive before they show up. The third day, quiet!

    She said after Midnight if the dog is barking I call the police department on the non-emergency number. Believe me I will.

  4. Lanie223

    Get rid of it well that’s no good
    Or fair it’s your FAULT so do something about it

  5. Jayne Barnard

    I have two Chihauhaus both nine months old and brother and sister. I have had Gracie since she was 13 weeks but only had the boy Sidney since he was six months… like any pups they are full of the devil they are pretty much house clean save an occassional accident…but although their behaviour is good around my home and garden its something else when we are out. They bark and act aggressively when other dogs come near..
    they are fine with my Staffy cross and my Daughters Lab and sometimes their parents stay over fine then too..
    I would love them to be able to run freely on the common everyday but when we met another dogs or dogs they chase them and bark loudly..
    so embarrassing.. any ideas. Today I had to put them back on their adjoining leads..they also go mental when another dog comes near the boot of my car I am pulling my hair out any ideas pls x

  6. Mike berry

    Please help I’ve tried everything and she still barks at everything even people she knows I’m desperate in need of help 7years old she is can she she be trained

  7. Michael

    Owners should have at least a 5 year course of understanding canine behavior, and thoroughly understanding their dogs breed and it’s traits.

    I was proud owner of a pure bred AKC registered anatolian shepherd (recently had to be euthanized because of cancer growths on his face, and his age was 2 years over the expected lifespan as well as he was suffering with hip displacia) , I didn’t get him just because he was huge and muscular, I got him because of the breeds temperament, and his non aggressiveness towards children,,,,one of my grand kids used to ride him like a horse when she was very little, and holding on to his ears, Rocko (his name) even protected our pet rats, and during cage cleaning Rocko would lower his head into the cage (on the coffee table), and let the rats run up his nose and sit on his head.

    Now that is a dog I was proud of, he never bit a single person in his entire life, mostly because people were afraid of his intimidating bark and size.

    Anyway I know this post really isn’t about chihuahuas, but I thought I would post and example of the relationship between dog and owner, and if you understand a breed, then owners wouldn’t be so cruel, because their dog isn’t doing what they expect of their dogs.

  8. harshal

    hi,
    I have an 7 months old leprador as a pet but he barks all night without any reason he disturbs the sleep of my family.
    please tell me what can I do for this problem
    I love my pet very much

  9. Elias

    It is evident from the number of posts on this page that barking dogs is a huge issue.

    I live next door to a poorly trained dog which barks all day long. 2 years this has been going on, & I started with polite visits & requests to stop the barking–no change in behaviour. I now contact bylaw enforcement & let them deal with both the dog & the owner, who is a piece of work herself. She will eventually get fined, & the landlord will serve her with an eviction notice. I don’t want it to go that far, but she makes zero effort with the dog, & I can’t take the non-stop piercing shriek of this dog much longer.

    So many owners refusing to take responsibility for their dogs. It’s unfathomable to me that an owner will say “My dog barks & she won’t stop, so I may have to get rid of her”.

    are. you. kidding. me. the dog barks because that’s what dogs do, & because you haven’t stepped up to correct your dog’s behaviour. The problem is never the dog–the problem is the dog owner, whose responsibility it is to train the dog & not allow it to be a nuisance. So many irresponsible, clueless owners who are too lazy or just won’t put in the time & effort of training.

    behaviour classes for dogs & owners should be mandatory.

    I love dogs, but irresponsible, disrespectful owners have soured me on the whole “neighbourhood dogs” experience.

  10. Jo

    hello i have an 9yr old chi and i am in need of my mother in law staying with him until i find a place. my chi is feaful and at no moment turns and snaps even at me at times. he is a male chi and i am worried that he will turn on her or any of her dogs. what can i do to show him who is the Alpha male.

  11. JBolds

    My Chihuahua puppy ( only 8weeks old) has an area in my room with her toys and bed but at night she wakes up and whines and toys climbing into my bed. First I out boxes to stop her but she learned how to climb them, so then I just out boxes under the bed (because she also likes going under the bed). She’s started to learn how yo climb into my bed and when I try to grab her she bites me. Sometimes I just get so frustrated and yell but she always continues to try to get into my bed. I recently just stared to ignore her until she goes to sleep and she does but then she wakes up again and does the same thing and doesn’t go to sleep until I wake up. What should I do to atop her from trying to get into my bed?

  12. cricketm

    My moms dog barks at her when she comes home, changes clothes for work or bed, cooks, cleans, talks to anyone, phone rings, eats, going to bed, working outside, puts shoes on/off, watching tv, laughs at the show on tv, coughs, breathes, moves, goes to the bathroom, then she will bark at any kind of fighting on tv or funny sounds. She does not do 90 % of this when i do these things, because i tell her no and i do not like that. so she does not bark that much for me doing activities. Is this excessive barking or should be looked at as normal.

  13. calvin

    i always detested the breed unitil i met the puyppy that became mine….it was a case of the dog version of the old saying about there being no bad children only bad parents. he had been raised FROM BIRTH by a couple with 2 other dogs, three cats…they were handled from the time they were born….taken places, introduced to other people and socialized…there seems to be a larger percent of pyschologically malajusted people who CHOOSE toy dogs…AS EVIDENCED BY THE FEEDBACK SECTIONS OF SITES DEVOTED TO THEM….ANYONE WITHOUT ENOUGH COMMON SENSE AND CHARACTER TO HOUSE BREAK A 9 WK OR OLDER OLD PUPPLY DOESN’T NEED TO HAVE ONE…I STILL AM AMAZED WHEN I READ OF PEOPLE TOLERATING FOR YEARS A NON HOUSEBROKEN DOG OR THOSE SILLY DIAPERS, GIVE THE POOR DOG TO SOMEONE WHO KNOWS HOW TO PROPERLY LEAD IT AND GO GET A CAT THAT CAN BOSS THEM AROUND AND NEEDS NO LEADING. i’ve treated THIS TINY DOG exactly like every other dog i’ve had(collie, samoyed, shitzu, and mutt)and he is a delight….everyone NWHO HAS EVER MET HIM loves him and wants to know how did i get a chihuahu that LOVES TO MEET PEOPLE….easy, he was raised as a well loved dog, NOT A HAIRY INFANT and never bribed TO BEHAVE PROPERLY. from 8 wks OLD when my yelling “no” or “bad” could make him shut down and cry i used theSE words starting in normal tone and if he didn’t obey i got more forceful, THEY WANT TO PLEASE….A WISE OLD VET TOLD ME YOU DON’T EVER NEED TO HURT A DOG TO TRAIN BUT SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO EMBARASS HIM AND SHOWING YOU DISPLEASURE FORCEFULLY IS ENOUGH….. and please have enough sense not to talk in WHINING, NAGGING sentences when you’re trying to traIN…ONE WORD COMMANDS ARE WHAT WORKS….SAVE THE SENTENCES FOR TELLING THEM HOW MUCH YOU LOVE THEM WHEN THEY’RE SITTING WITH YOU IN THE CHAIR YOU share. I’M NO HARD ASS who wantS stupid pet tricks, he’s not trained for any more than come(eventually) and stay….BUT I DON’T TOLERATE BEHAVIOR FROM HIM THAT I WOULDN’T FROM A CHILD OF EQUIVALENT AGE. WE CURED THE BARKING THING EASILY…. HOLD HIM,WHEN HE BARKS TELL HIM SHUSH THEN HOLD HIS MUZZLE CLOSED A FEW SECONDS (THEY HATE THAT) AND REPEATEDLY MAKE A SHUSH SOUND, AND HOLD THE MUZZLE IF HE STILL BARKS..THEN LET GO AND WHEN HE BARKS AGAINN, CLOSE HIS MUZZLE again and say SHUS(i have a friend who says “quiet”)….IT DOESN’T TAKE BUT A COUPLE OF DAYS FOR THEM TO SHUSH WITH JUST THE SOUND….SOMETIMES MINE WILL GROWL a little UNDER HIS BREATH AFTER i’ve SHUSHED HIM but that’s really almost funny(CESAR MILAN RECOMMENDS ALLOWING A CERTAIN NO OF BARKS BEFORE SHUSHING SINCE IT IS NATURAL TO BARK….I GIVE HIM THREE BEFORE I SAY ANYTHING AND HE HAS GOTTEN ABOUT 50% COMPLIANT WITHOUT MY HAVING TO SAY SHUSH). THEY ARE KNOWN TO BE STUBBORN AND I FIND I HAVE TO PHYSICALLY PICK HIM UP AND HOLD HIS MUZZLE ABOUT ONCE EVERY COUPLE OF WEEKS TO REMINND THAT I WILL GET OFF MY FAT BUTT AND DO IT IF HE DOESN’T SHUSH WHEN TOLD. I DON’T NEED HIM TO BE SILENT JUST NOT BARKING SO HE HAS DEVELOPED SOME HILARIOUS VOCALIZATIONS INSTEAD THAT, AT LEAST TO ME, CONVEY WHEN HE’S IMPATIENT, EXCITED, OR WORRIED AND THEY SEEM MORE COMMUNICATIVE TO ME THAN ALL THE IRRITATING YIPPING THAT SO MANY OF THESE DOGS ARE ALLOWED TO DO.

  14. Angela

    Sorry James but i have to completely disagree with you. Yes there are Chihuahuas exactly how you have described, but that is due to the owners and the way they have been brought up. I have a Chihuahua bitch who will be 2yrs old in march, and she is very well behaved, uses catflap whenever she needs the toilet, and has recently passed both her bronze and silver obedience tests, first time. So please don’t tar every chihuahua with the same brush, its the owners that are irrisponsible.

  15. KELLEY PATTERSON

    I HAVE 2 chihuahua AND I LOVE BOTH OF THEM ONE JUST HAD PUPPIES SO 5 MORE TO THE FAMILY FOR NOW

  16. james

    am a dog lover myself and i have no idea why someone would own one of these nasty incontinent loud little monsters.

    they are not an obedient nor socializable breed and there is no real reason to own them (except to have the neighbors hate you). however, if you must own one of the mutent little rats, they have must be scared of some repercussions or there is no end to their bad behavior. obviously beating them is out of the question (although it sometimes seems like a good idea). loud noise is the best answer. I have found with the neighbors pack of mutant rats that banging a tin sign or shooting off a whistler bottle rocket shuts them up immediately. I don’t even have to do it anymore. when they know it is me they shut right up and run away in terror. baby the little monsters and their behavior is guaranteed to stay terrible. I promise you that.

  17. Alex

    My dog Bubbles is ALWAYS BARKING! I CAN’T GET HER TO STOP, SO I USUALLY TELL HER TO “SHUT UP” IN A MAD VOICE, THEN SHE UUALLY CRIES SO I SAY “SORRY BUBBLES”, SHE STARTS BARKING AGAIN, IT DISTURBS MY NEIGHBORS & IF SHE WONT STOP IT, ILL HAVE TO GET RID OF HER. 🙁

  18. princess

    Hi I have an 6 month old pure breed dog anf she is a very good girl but she bark at everyone she see when I ride he ferry it bother people and I need all the help I can get the barking is just noisey.

  19. Judy

    My beautiful 1 year old Chi , Bella is wonderful and has been socialized since we got her at 8 weeks! We have used the spray bottle if she nips too hard! When she barks at new people we have them give her treats! That is working well! She is very sweet and smart. She knows when she isn’t doing what we want her to. I think Chis need to please humans and she gets it when she doesn’t. She has been with us for over 8 months and responds best to firm loving commands and a lot of love and hugs. Small dogs seem to need praise and encouragement, consistant discipline to feel secure and want to please us humans. Our Bella is a joy to be around with us knowing we are her alpha dogs and she can depend on us! She wants us to be in charge1

  20. Michelle

    i have an 8 month old female chi….unfortunately we have found ourselves living in a motel for a few months. She only will bark when someone is walking across the landing. She can’t see outside, but she will hear the footsteps and go crazy. She was given to us by a therapeutic doctor for my son to work out some issues with nerve damage in his arm. she is perfect with him, so i would hate to get rid of her because of her barking. my city has a barking ordinance, and i just cant afford anymore of those fines. HELP please

  21. behelen

    I have a one year old chihuahua he is so cute, but the thing is that when Someone that he knows is coming to our home, he starts barking and won’t stop until i give him some treats. WHat can i do to stop that?

  22. Steph

    i have 2 brindle deer head chihuahua’s that are just over a year old. They are brother and sister from the same litter. The female is definitely the alpha dog out of the two and she has a problem with barking at our tv. We have a 53″ flat screen so it is quite large and any time another animal even cartoon comes on the tv the female will bark excessivley at the tv and then the male will copy her and start barking too. we tried the “Stop” command in a stern voice but that didnt work, so our second attempt is giving them a little squirt of water with a spray bottle/small water gun which only temporarily stops the barking until another animal comes on the tv. Anyone have any other suggestions we can try?

  23. Anythya

    wow by the sound of this i must have perfect lil angels :S …. my boy chihuahua, 1 year old never barks at all, the only time he does is when me and my other dog (scottie x shih tzu) have song time, he is never aggressive and gets super excited to meet new people, my girl chihuahua who is 4 months old has started to bark but only if she feels threatened by a noise but calms down the moment i tell her to stop…i will admit my dogs do bark when i go out (main problem being my scottie girl) but not for long …and i never go straight to them when i get home… they are indoor dogs but have there own space to sleep in and be in while i’m gone.
    I think because i tend to give off a naturally mother dominant energy that they know who is boss as they never listen to my partner but will listen first go with me….. i am surprised they don’t bark as our neighbours yorkies bark all day :S

  24. Sherry

    I have a 4month old chihuahua and I thought maybe he had a bit of a barking problem, but after reading peoples issues I realize my boy is just a pup. Socializing is so important for these little dogs. I am so lucky that I get to take my dog to work, not only does he socialize with other dogs all day he get passed around to whoever wants him..I was really worried I would get a yapper and whenever people walked is he’d bark but that’s not the case he is happy to see people and greats with a wiggle. If his barking starts I say no barking if he doesn’t stop he goes into his kennel with a towel over it.. I have been doing this since he was 6.5 weeks.. Hes doing pretty well.. I luv my chi

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