Do Chihuahuas bark a lot? Unfortunately, barking is definitely a problem with most Chihuahuas.
If you are reading this, you probably want to know why your Chi yaps so much.
While barking in dogs is akin to talking in humans, it can be an annoying problem for owners and also for the neighbors.
In this guide, we will talk about reasons why your Chi might bark excessively (more than normal) and also consider some ways to reduce it.
We will help you understand why this small dog breed is fond of barking!
Do Chihuahuas Bark a Lot – 7 Types of Dog Barks and Reasons Behind Them
Barking is an instinctive behavior and your Chihuahua will bark from time to time to convey important messages to you.
Naturally, your pet’s excess barking routine could become extremely annoying for you and your neighbors.
A tiny dog like your Chi is surely a darling but can also be a nuisance at times!
Here are the main reasons why Chihuahuas tend to bark:
1. Isolation and Boredom
If you leave your Chihuahua puppy home alone for prolonged periods, then isolation and boredom are the main reasons behind its barking.
Chis are Velcro dogs and they always need human (or other canine) companions.
Your pet is trying to communicate that it is lonely through its excessive barking.
Some kinds of boredom barking can also indicate that your pet does not receive enough physical and mental stimulation.
Naturally, you won’t know about this barking unless your neighbors alert you to it or unless you have a spy cam installed to know what your pet does in your absence.
2. Territorial Protection
Chihuahuas are extremely territorial and loyal dogs. They will naturally bark when they see something unusual in their surroundings.
This type of barking is also called ‘alert’ barking since your pet will use it to bring your attention to something out of the ordinary.
As a dog owner, it is important to understand the barking behavior of your dog.
We are sure that you would not mind this type of barking since it can help keep you and your family safe from potential harm.
3. Fearful Barking
The third primary reason behind your Chihuahua’s barking is fear.
Chis are known to be nervous and timid at times, and this fear stems from an evolutionary trait.
Perhaps your Chi is aware of its small size and knows the fact that barking when it is afraid helps him/her get extra attention.
Your Chi might bark or yap excessively during thunderstorms, car rides, fireworks, trips to the vets, etc.
Some types of fearful barking can also be a warning to another dog or animal to stay away.
You might find your Chihuahua barks fearfully when it is on leash or while it is backed away into a corner or has limited options to move away.
4. Attention-Seeking Barking
Your Chihuahua might also bark when it wants something.
Your Chi might just want your attention in the form of cuddles and petting, or it might want food, or to be let outside to relieve itself.
Naturally, you will need to train your Chihuahua pet about the kind of attention barks you appreciate and the ones you don’t.
For example, a bark at the back door once your pet has drunk water is appreciated. However, a bark when you are working and when your Chi is just feeling ignored or left out, is not appreciated.
Your chihuahua barking non-stop is craving for some undivided attention!
5. Playful Barking
Some Chihuahuas also bark playfully while playing with kids or other dogs.
Here, the pitch of their bark will be higher, happier, and more cheerful. It is distinctly different that the barking when your pet is alert or fearful or bored.
When your Chihuahua barks playfully, its ears and mouth will be relaxed.
6. Growling Bark
Chihuahuas can also growl as a warning as a part of their normal communication. Some kinds of growling is playful too.
You must take into account the situation when your Chi growls. For example, your pet might growl when you are playing a game of tug. This type of growling is playful.
Growls can also signify that your Chi wants something to begin or end. It might communicate that someone or something is invading its personal space and causing it anxiety.
If your Chi growls while baring its teeth then it may be preparing to bite.
If you are confused about what the growling means, you can ask a dog trainer for help.
When your Chihuahua whines, it is usually to get something from the table, or perhaps get access to somewhere or maybe to go outdoors for relieving itself.
Whining is difficult to figure out because it can be a sign that your pet is in pain or could be a request to do something.
If you happen to move into a new home, your Chihuahua dog may be whining due to environmental changes.
New pet owner? Don’t fret! It’s not all about pain or attention when your dog keeps on whining! Sometimes, separation anxiety is the reason if your pup is separated from his mother or group.
What To Do if Your Chihuahua Barks Excessively?
Please bear in mind that not all kinds of barking is bad.
Barking is an important form of communication and your Chi will need to bark from time to time to convey important messages to you and to other dogs.
So, before we move on to how to train your Chi not to bark excessively, let us first define what excessive barking is.
What is considered as Excessive Barking in Dogs?
The term excessive barking is highly relative.
Some pet parents cannot stand their dog barking more than 2 times in a row.
Others don’t mind if their pet barks continuously for more than a few minutes especially to communicate with another dog in the neighborhood or to let them know that a stranger is at the door.
Apart from its duration, the time of the barking will also decide its normalcy or excessiveness.
For example, barking at 2 a.m. is excess but barking in the middle of the afternoon isn’t.
Therefore, you must first understand and decide what is and isn’t excessive barking. This can help you better train your Chi to not bark excessively.
Here are the steps to curb excess barking.
Also Read: Are Chihuahua Easy to Train
13 Easy Tips to Curb Your Chihuahua’s Excess Barking
1. Socialize your Chi
Socialize your Chihuahua to be around other dogs and humans. This is important to prevent your pet from barking at other dogs and humans.
Ideally, you must start this training from your Chi’s puppyhood so s/he gets socialized from an early age.
You can enroll your Chi puppy in a puppy kindergarten or a doggy obedience school.
Here, your pet will get to interact with other dogs of its age and this can significantly reduce its barking on walks or at every dog that passes by.
Also, you must socialize your pet to other people. Invite your friends and family members over to meet your puppy once it is 3-4 months of age.
You can even take your pet around to other people’s homes, to dog parks, and on shopping trips.
This will help your furbaby feel more confident around people and in many places, which, in turn, will reduce its urge to bark.
2. Keep your pet engaged physically
A lot of barking emerges from boredom.
Provide your Chi with daily exercise sessions to keep its barking in check.
Two or three short walks of 15-20 minutes each are ideal for your small pet to curb excess barking as they help expend excess energy and keep your pet calmer and happier.
3. Keep your pet mentally stimulated
Provide your Chihuahua with plenty of chew toys, squeaky toys, rope toys, etc.
You can also buy a set of assorted toys like this one as it has plenty of variety of toys to engage and occupy your pet’s mind and prevent boredom.
You can also buy Kong toys like this one to hide some tasty treats in.
Your Chihuahua will have hours of fun searching for those treats which can curb boredom and loneliness-related barking.
Also Read: Best Toys for Chihuahua
4. Provide it with chew/dental treats
Chew treats or dental treats not only eliminate plaque and tartar from your pet’s teeth, but they also reduce boredom and give your Chi a ‘job’ to do.
Dental treats help ‘engage your pet’s mouth’ for several hours which, in turn, alleviates boredom and unwanted behaviors like excess barking.
We recommend Greenies Teenie Natural Dental Treats for Small Dogs.
Also Read: Best Dental Chews for Chihuahua
5. Feed it some calming/hemp treats
Hemp treats can calm Chihuahuas with anxiety and stress.
If your Chi yaps continuously on car rides or during trips to the vet, fireworks, or thunderstorms, then try these calming hemp chews .
These could ease anxiety and nervousness and prevent excess barking, excited urination, and other behavioral issues.
6. Use Chihuahua calming wraps
Vets also recommend dog anxiety calming wraps like this one to prevent drooling, barking, whining, crying, and shaking during thunderstorms, vet visits, etc.
They are a drug-free method of easing anxiety, fear, and other bark-triggers mentioned above.
7. Use humane bark collars
Humane, no-shock bark collars can effectively curb boredom or attention-related barking in your Chihuahua.
They are especially great for night-time use in case your pet barks a lot during the night.
The way these work is, each time your pet barks, the collar senses the vibration in its throat.
This triggers a mechanism to make a beeping or vibration sound which gently startles and distracts your pet to stop barking.
Your Chi will soon understand that each time it barks, there will be an annoying buzzing/beeping sound and soon learn to curb its excess barking.
This is a completely safe way of preventing unwanted barking in your pet on walks, when you leave it home alone, and especially at night when you want some well-earned rest.
We recommend the Masbrill Humane Dog Collar .
Alternatively, you can use these non-shock spray collars with lemon or citronella oil sprays. Your Chihuahua hates these scents and every time it barks, the collar triggers the spray.
Soon, your pet will learn to associate barking with the scent.
Also Read: Best Bark Collar for Chihuahua
8. Teach your pet the ‘No/Stop it’ command
When your Chihuahua barks for no reason or at nothing in particular, you can make a loud noise with an air horn or a newspaper roll rapped on the table or floor.
This will bring its attention towards you. Once it does, follow this up with a ‘No’ or ‘Stop It!’ command.
This will further reinforce the message that barking is unacceptable.
9. Teach your Chi to bark on cue
In addition to using the above steps, you can also prevent excess barking by teaching your pet to bark on cue.
To elaborate: train your pet to bark once. As soon as it does so, reward it. Do not reward when your pet barks multiple number of times.
Soon, with multiple repetitions, your Chi will learn to associate single barks with treats and praise and also understand that multiple barks do not get anything.
10. Know when your pet is barking for attention
Chihuahuas are notorious barkers for attention.
If you understand that your pet is barking for attention seeking, then avoid giving it any sort of response.
This also means rebuking or reprimanding your pet. (Sometimes, when you reprimand your pet due to excess barking, it could love that attention as well).
When your Chi begins to bark for your attention, ignore it or move away quietly. As soon as s/he is quiet for a while, move closer and give it attention.
Your pet will soon make the connection between silence and the attention s/he craves.
11. Reduce the triggers for excited/fearful barking
Many Chihuahuas bark due to external sounds, vehicles passing by, loud noises, other dogs barking, etc.
You can lessen this excited/fearful barking by managing your pet’s environment.
For example, if your Chi barks at other dogs while in the car, then you can put it inside a crate or obscure the windows using shades.
Once your pet is quiet, you can reward it for silence and let it out of the crate.
Select a high-quality crate for your Chihuahua like this one .
12. Get your pet spayed/neutered
It is scientifically proven fact that intact male and female dogs bark more than spayed/neutered ones.
Speak to your vet about the right age/time to fix your pet.
13. Remember: not all barking is bad
You certainly don’t want your Chihuahua to not bark at all. Some barking is necessary and important even. For example, your pet could warn you about an intruder.
In case your pet has done a good job of alerting you to potential danger, you can interrupt its continuous multiple barks with a loud noise (bell, air horn, or rapping the newspaper on the table).
Immediately reward your pet once it is silent.
FAQs on Do Chihuahuas Bark a Lot?
1. Why are Chihuahuas so yappy?
Chihuahuas are known barkers, so much so that people refer to them as ‘Yappy Dogs’.
There are many reasons why your Chi barks excessively. It could include excitement, fear, boredom, loneliness, attention-seeking, and stress.
Check your pet’s ‘bark-triggers’. If needed, keep a journal and enlist the times/scenarios when your pet started barking intensely.
You can then understand the reasons behind these triggers and patterns.
With time and proper training described above, you can learn to avoid these triggers and your pet will learn to associate silence with treats.
2. Do female Chihuahuas bark more than males?
Yes. Although there is no scientific study conducted on this, there is some evidence that intact/unspayed female dogs bark more than the intact male dogs.
3. At what age will Chihuahua puppies calm down?
If you start training your Chi puppy at the right age, and ignore its attention-seeking barking tendency, then you can easily train it to curb excess barking.
Most pups also calm down after they are fixed.
Finally, you will always have a calmer Chihuahua on hand when you treat it with love, feed it a nutritious diet, and also exercise it regularly.
4. Can Chihuahuas ever be quiet dogs?
Yes. Chis can be well-behaved and quiet dogs provided you train them well.
Socialize your pet from an early age, feed it a nourishing foods, exercise it daily, and give it plenty of toys.
This will always result in a calm and well-behaved pet.
Conclusion – Do Chihuahuas Bark a Lot?
Do Chihuahuas bark a lot? The answer is that yes, they are a yappy breed but with proper training and socialization as well as tips and products mentioned above, you can curb this excess barking.
Whether it is a pure Chihuahua breed or Chihuahua mix like Chiweenie dogs (cross breed of Chihuahua and Dachshund), it is always considered a yappy little dog!
In terms of looking for a companion dog, keep in mind that a Chihuahua doesn’t like another breed for company! Be it a small breed like them or a larger dog, they cannot get along well because they get snappy most of the time.
If you want them to be a little friendly, bring them to a dog park and see if they can get aggressive. Teach them to socialize as early as possible to lessen his being a barking dog when joined with others.
Nevertheless, if you’re a long-time Chihuahua owner, you can definitely attest that your Chi is an amazing toy dog- be it a smooth coat or short coat toy breed! Their cuteness and charm can still win your hearts though their barking can go unstoppable each day.
Chihuahua barking is still manageable and can be resolved by these above-mentioned tips.
Does your Chihuahua bark all day? Don’t worry, it’s just a normal dog bark attitude!
We hope this guide helps you have a calmer, better-behaved Chihuahua on hand.