To stop a Chihuahua barking can be quite challenging most of the times.
Chihuahuas make good watchdogs because they have excellent hearing and a loud bark, considering their size. Some barking is a good thing. Most people are glad when their dogs tell them that strangers are approaching their homes. But it’s best to be glad quietly, taking your Chi’s protective tendencies for granted instead of praising them.
Controlling your Chihuahua barking
The first time your Chihuahua goes into a prolonged barking fit at a door-to-door salesman, don’t act like it’s adorable unless you want him to bark long and hard at visitors all his life. Instead let him know right from the start when he’s barked long enough by saying with a firm voice “Enough!”. It isn’t barking, but rather excessive barking, that drives people mad.
The problem is, even if you take your Chi’s warning barks for granted and don’t bother to praise him for giving you advance notice when a visitor arrives, he usually feels rewarded anyway. That’s because every time the meter reader or the salesperson leaves (after being barked at, of course), your Chihuahua thinks he chased them away. And that makes him feel real macho.
Trying to thwart a puppy’s natural tendency to protect his family only frustrates him. Worse yet, he may learn to keep quiet no matter what instead of acting as your early-warning system. Countless Chihuahuas have alerted their families about fires and scared off burglars with their shrill bark. The trick is being able to turn off your Chihuahua barking like a live alarm on command.
Use the command Enough to let him know when he’s done his duty and it’s time to quiet down. If that doesn’t work, there’s another way to stop a dog from barking. Buy a small spray bottle filled with water. Keep it handy and give him one surprise squirt, right in the face, to enforce the Enough word. But use this method as a last resort. You should avoid the tendency to threaten him with the water treatment, though.
Don’t punish your puppy after the fact. Not even if he has a guilty look. The truth is, dogs don’t feel guilt. That’s a people thing. Nor do they remember what they did five minutes ago. Sure there’s a poop on the rug and your Chi looks worried, but what you’re seeing in his eyes is confusion. He senses that you’re angry with him, but he doesn’t know why, which makes him apprehensive. Hence, the guilty look.
Preventing excessive barking
Most puppies whine and bark the first several times their owners confine them to rooms or crates. Whatever you do, don’t take your Chihuahua out of his place of confinement to stop the barking. That’s exactly what he wants, and doing so makes him feel rewarded for barking nonstop. Instead, wait until he’s silent for at least a minute, then you can go to him and let him out.
You can use some other tactics to stop dogs from barking. Try them in the following order, moving on to the next one in line only if you need to:
- The first few times you confine your Chihuahua and leave him alone, try to put up with the noise for ten minutes without doing anything. Some dogs simply quit sounding off when they realize they’re dramatizing to an empty theater.
- Play a radio softly near him. Music relaxes some dogs. Just be sure to keep both the radio and the cord out of his reach.
- If he is still mouthing off, make a sudden loud noise from another room. You can stamp your foot or slap the wall. But be sure not to say anything. It’s better if he thinks that his own racket, not you, caused the noise. As soon as he whines again, make the noise again. Repeat as often is necessary.
- From the room next to the one he’s confined in, bang two metal pots together. Do this once only every time he barks.
- Fill a spray bottle with plain water, spray him one time directly in the face every time he barks. When he’s quiet for a minute or two, go to him without the spray bottle and pet and praise him. This is the last resort, because it’s physical and your dog sees you do it, unlike the loud noise, which you hope he thinks he caused.
Quieting your Barker
Some Chihuahuas are noisy little dogs that seem to yip at the slightest provocations and mouth off nonstop when they want attention. Their tendency to vocalize makes them good watchdogs, so smart owners don’t want to completely turn off their tiny noisemakers. But frenzied barking for attention or when someone walks near the house gets old real fast.
You want to scream when your barking dog drives you to distraction, but resist the urge. If you yell when your Chihuahua barks, he’ll think you’re joining in. Don’t get exasperated and pick him up either. All that does is make him feel even braver. Why? Because in your arms he’s taller and protected by you.
One of the best ways to stop dogs from barking, when somebody’s at the door, is to set up situations in which friends bearing treats ring the bell. At the sound, put a leash on your dog, open the door, and invite the person in. Give the “Sit” command and as soon as your dog shuts his mouth and sits, have the visitor give him a treat. This system make take several tries, but eventually your dog will figure out that the doorbell doesn’t signal the bogey dog!
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