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:
- yell and scream at the chihuahua – this just gives them the attention they were crying out for.
- let them inside. If your chihuahua is barking his/her head off outside, then you let it in, this just rewards the barking.
- 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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my mom and grandmother chi’s live with me now. Grandmother is in a nursing facility for her special needs and my mom lives with me, but works outside of the home fulltime. One scratches at the bedroom door wanting out, but if I open it he hides and barks. The other one won’t let me leave the bedroom door open, if I do, she will bark continuously. I’ve tried giving them baths, hand feeding them, walking them, giving them praise and treats, spraying them with water. Nothing works. If I ignore them, the barking and scratching at the door goes away, but they still hate me. I can’t move around in my own house without them barking and if I attempt to get close to them they run and hide. They are not social, they hate everyone. I’ve been nipped on the ankle by one of them and bit on a finger by the other for attempting to grab them from under the bed. If my mom is home they are much happier, but if I move around or come near they bark continuously and it drives my mom crazy. She can’t even have her bedroom door open if we are home. If mom is home alone with them, they walk all over the home and act happy and do not bark much, but as soon as me or my family come home, the bad behaviors start up again.
My mother in law has came to visit and goes nuts barking at her any time she enters or leaves the room and when she leaves the room and closes the door
This is a reply for Will whose comment is currently top of the list. Could your wife try handfeeding the chi? When a similar situation happened with a chi at my chi’s dog club, the trainer recommended that the husband (who was the unfavoured spouse in that couple) should give the dog all its meals by hand, i.e. piece of kibble by piece of kibble. The dog learned that the husband was the giver of good things and it improved their relationship.
My wife and I took in a 10 yr old rescue Chi a month and a half ago. He very quickly bonded with me, but my wife is struggling to make a connection with him. We have 3 other dogs of various breeds with whom he gets along very well, but if I am not home he will bark continuously at my wife and she cannot even come near him without him growling and running away. He even seems to do better with my 7yr old.
I have really come to love the little guy but I don’t know what to do to help both my wife and this little guy learn to trust each other. My wife is ready to throw in the towel. I am desperate for help!
We have had our chi for 11 years brother and sister. I find using a fine mist bottle at the face does work for stopping the barking. My male howls so bad but when I shake the spray bottle he retreats and stops barking… he may try again but just a quiet howl of disapproval.
As for nipping heels they have a thing about who can be their friend and trusted. Ignore them when you first come into their presence. Let the dog approach you. Don’t touch the dog.. If the dog is licking his lips … lick your lips too but do not make eye contact at all.. that is a challenge. Wait until the dog warms up and attempts to what to be patted or has an interest in you. Dont make quick moves either. It may take some time for them to trust someone… they’re picky.
As for window watching. use a box or cardboard to cover the window.. out of sight out of mind.. I find that blocking them from seeing things happening around them. like in a car looking out the window.. keep them in kennel with drapes that block out distractions that cause our precious chi from annoying habits.
My Chihuahua dog barks a lot specially when it rains and thunders. I have try everything to stop him,but at no avail.
I’ve been living at mother in law’s house with my husband for four months and their chihuahua hates me for no reason, she barks whenever i move and the ironic part she taken the dog treat i handed to her for the first time; This is a very confusing chihuahua.
Ps. she is starting to bite my legs when i walk around the house.
My 2 1/2 pound chihuahua barks and growls at almost everything. She barks at my brother who lives with us very much. I don’t know what to do! She barks all the and won’t stop until I put her outside. She barks when he walks by , when he walks out of a room, when he talks , WHEN HE DOES REALLY ANYTHING. I have no clue what to do, I love her but I can’t afford to put her in training!!
I would love to take my chihuahua out to events without her continuous barking, it is so embarrassing!!
please help me!!!
I HAVE A VERY LITTLE CHI I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE HER PLACES WERE PUPS ARE ALLOWED OR EVEN NOT SHE IS A THERAPY ANIMAL FOR ME I HAVE ANXIETY ISSUES BUT EVEN WHEN WE HAVE HER IN THE OUR CAR WITH US SHE IS GOOD UNTIL WE STOP OR AT A DRIVE THROUGH SHE BARKS AND BARKS UNTIL WE START TO MOVE AGAIN, I HAVE TRIED IGNORING HER TELLING HER NO BARK BUT SHE STILL BARKS THEN SHE WILL JUST WHINE WHINE I’M AT A LOSS WE ADOPTED HER 2 YEARS AGO SO I DON’T KNOW WHAT HER LIFE WAS BEFORE ME SHE IS ALSO A SHAKER HELP PLEASE.
I have 2 chis, a Male 7mths old (Scrappy) he only growls and whines never heard him bark not once, and a Female (Lady) she barks when ever she hears someone coming up the stairs, o yea i stay in an apartment, well I learned that if i yell it makes her nervous and she be quiet but if clap my hands a few times she will, shes so weird acting. I’m going to be trying some of these suggestions on her about the bottle and the noise thingie…. We shall see how it goes, is there any thing i can about my pup not barking?? Or is that a chi male thing??
My chi barks at my son wo has lived wtih me for 4 years now. She has barked at him from day one. He tries to be nice to her but she barks at his slightest movement. It has now gotten to the point that if he is home during the day and I am at work she barks continuosly. My other chi then hides under the bed all day when this is going on. It has gotten increasingly worse.
I am a commited pet owner and have had many pets of many kinds over the years and this is a first or me in regards to the constant barking. I have a 3rd rescue dog that I think has chi in her but she is sweet and does not bark needlessly.
I have heard that Benadyl helps . Has anyone had any experience with this. I do not have a lot of cash for vets, prescriptions etc. I love these “girls”. Any help?
My chihuahua is one year old I also have two jackawaa.i can no longer enjoy taking my chihuahua out because he howls and barks at everything wind,people,and other dogs .it is so loud .has any one got any suggestion on how to stop him .
Get a Pet Corrector in a bottle! No, get several. My chi is 10 months old and it works. Doesn’t hurt, but sure distracts her and gets her attention. Now, if I show it to her she stops. Only trouble is that she is so fast it’s hard to get her. But the air noise really stops her. I should buy the company. I really believe in it! Kindest way you can train them. Just keep some near you.
My Chris constantly barks at my cats. They don’t hurt them, only bark. I thought about having a vet do debarking surgery till I read about the risk of surgery. So that is not an option. How does barking collars work? They really are sweet 8 month old pups. They got me threw my husband’s death.
I rescued my male not-neutered Chi (age 6 months) (plan to have him nuetered as soon as my vet says it’s safe, he only weighs 2lbs 14ozs) recently from a neglectful situation. He has become very attached to me. He’s great with my other dogs (2 Chis & a dachsie). Learns quickly. On day 3 he started barking & lightly growling if a stranger approached while I was holding him, but has not snapped at or tried to bite. Yet when I took him to Petco to buy him a collar I placed him in the buggy with one of my other Chi (a hearing dog a/k/a service dog) & he didn’t bark or growl. Once he gets to know the person he’s fine. But he will not take food from a stranger (to me this is a good thing). If the stranger hands me the food he’ll take it from me. Since he came from a bad situation and is now safe I’m wondering if this is fear barking from lack of socialization or he’s picking up on my disability and attempting to alert me? Maybe even a little bit of both. My service dog (hearing dog) does not bark to alert. He touches me. I have noticed that he pays attention to what my other dogs are doing and does it too. My other dogs are not yappers but will bark if someone comes to the front or back door and stop as soon as I acknowledge it and say I’m coming. It’s considered o.k. for a hearing dog to bark to alert as long as it isn’t aggressive or non-stop. Any input on this will be welcomed. Any suggestions on how to get him to stop barking once I’ve acknowledged the alert without completely stopping the initial bark alert.
Everytime my two sons come into living room when husband is home the chihuahua barks and tries to bite them. He is absolutely fine with them whdn husband not around. What can we do?
Peanuts the Wonder Dog is 8 months old and he just started barking at ? 2 Cats next door sneak over to check him out and he is afraid of them (unless I am out there with him.).
Barking started again tonight and my husband, Mom and myself ignored him.. very hard on the ears.. Then I threw the ball, played with him with his stuffed animals and he is out like a light sleeping next to me on the couch. I can do this every night until the cows come home. It worked like a charm.
I liked the “ringing phone” comment about letting the phone ring. We will work on this over the weekend. He hates the noise. I have turned the ringer down and no longer listen to the people leaving a message for us……The phone can be silenced so it is better for all of us..
I have a chihuahua X pug and he is also been treat like as baby sky so I know what you mean,. My Pudsey barks if people walk in he barks and jumps up at them, he barks at the door knocking and people going past iv tried lots if different things but nothing is helping 🙁
I’m finding that the more a chihuahua is punished or scolded for barking, the more anxious they get, the more they bark – especially if you’re not within reach. Working on the issue behind the problem barking is important, there’s no such thing as dominance barking, but many chis do bark just to get your attention. They can always be taught more appropriate ways to express themselves. They can be such quiet, sweet dogs with positive reinforcement!
My long haired chihuahua wants to chase squirrels while we are out on a walk on leash. She will take off at top speed on long leash and grts absolutely fixated. I have been keeping her on short leash as a result but she still tries. I am afraid she will hurt herself fighting against my holding on. Today I just crouched down petted her and explained to her that chasing squirrels was futile and she calmed down and was ready to move on. Do you gave any other suggestions? I am afraid if she got close to one it would turn and bite her.
Hello new to this site so hope I’m doing it right. I have 2 Chihuahuas and they are so spoiled, My mama chi is 5yrs and weighs 6lbs and her baby is 2yrs. And weighs 2lbs now they bark at everything. And I live with 7 roomates they don’t care for dogs. Single men and my babies do not like any of them when they are outside with me all they do is bark and go for their anckles. I’ve tried the can and ignoring them and spray bottle nothing worked but my roomates yell at them to shut the F*** up and stomp there feet at them and that’s when I tell them don’t do that please I’m trying to train them but they don’t care so I pick them up and go to my room.. Can’t afford to move and I am disabled my mama chi is my service dog for my panic and axiety attacks so they are never alone never! Help please any advice for me they are my life my babies!
My chi doesn’t bark , except when someone comes to the door or she sees something outside not normal, which is very little. She gets lots of attention, toys, walks and she sleeps with me. (I was stricter at first, but it didn’t last, I brush her a lot and keep her paws and bum clean.) To the person who didnt want the chi on bed-maybe you want a different kind of dog, just saying. At least make the bed warm and cozy with a blanket to snuggle under-thats what many chi’s like- is getting under the blankets. not to mention being close to you-their family.
Ignoring seldom works ON ITS OWN Many dogs bark BECAUSE they are ignored.. Rewarding good behavior does work though, and if you can do that you can use negative consequences -as long as it is LESS than the positive ones.
The bark collars work very well, on low settings-these are required by some municipalities with problem barkers. After 3 warnings, you HAVE to go to classes and use the collar. It works on 90% +BUT you have to be taking care of your dog and giving it the care it needs and deserves. Please find a better home-not the pound-and feel proud that you did the right thing if your lifestyle isn’t right for a chi-no shame in that game-you are actually doing a good thing for yourself and the dog.
id move the couch from the window for one jessica
I think I’ll be the first person in these comments to admit I’ve done everything wrong when it comes to my chi Bella. I’ve treated her like a baby and now she’s an out of control Barker, IF I’m not in the room. I guess she figures she’s the replacement Alpha when I’m not in the room. She barks at all of the stray cats, other dogs, kids on bikes, motorcycles; you know everything that occurs outside. I never wanted her to get up on the back of the couch by the window, but that’s where she stays 20 hours a day.
I have tried the loud sounds and it works, but it makes her skittish. So, I finally realized when the entire pack changes their ways, Belle will too. Good luck everyone!