Why Chihuahuas Bark so Much? Reasons for Excessive Barking in Chihuahuas and how to stop it.
Dogs bark. It is the first thing we learn about them, and it is one of the things that determines them as “personalities.” Although just like all animals, dogs communicate non-verbally through body language and scents, barking is a pretty expressive means of communication. The way your Chihuahua barks indeed tells a lot about his or her mood, intentions, and even health condition. And the notorious Chihuahua excessive barking tells a lot about the dog.
Although it is a behavior issue, let’s try to look at excessive barking as another means of communication, an attempt to deliver a specific message. Only when you truly understand why your Chihuahua barks so much will you be able to eliminate the problem before it grows into a serious issue.
Does My Chihuahua Bark Too Much?
Before we explain how to deal with excessive barking, let’s try to understand why dogs bark at all. Hardly will you find a dog that does not bark. But what kind of barking can be considered excessive?
WHY DO DOGS BARK?
As we have already mentioned, barking is another means of communication for dogs. However, it is much less used and efficient in the dog’s world as body language or scents. Your Chihuahua will use barking when he or she is sure that the “communicator” is either too far or cannot understand scents and body language. Indeed, your tiny Chi is more observant than you might think. He or she has already understood that humans are pretty bad at body language, and their noses don’t worth anything.
Usually, dogs barks to:
- Call a brethren;
- Express an intense emotion;
- Determine the territory;
- Warn another animal about its presence;
- Draw humans` attention.
Therefore, it is pretty standard that your Chi may suddenly start barking at a bush in your backyard or at the door when someone comes around.
You may consider barking to allergies: as soon as the reason for your sneezing or rash goes away, so do the symptoms. The same principle works with healthy and normal barking. As soon as the irritating object disappears or you pay attention to your Chi, he or she is supposed to stop barking and use body language and other more efficient communication means.
Therefore, excessive barking, which lasts for an extended period and may even grow into obsessive behavior, is a severe issue. It is not only annoying but can be pretty harmful both for you and your pet.
Here are several reasons to stop excessive barking as soon as the problem occurs:
- It seriously alters the atmosphere in your house;
- It can cause issues with neighbors or landlords;
- It often grows into obsessive behavior, which may either turn into aggression or become a reason for your Chi to hurt himself unintentionally.
DO CHIHUAHUAS BARK TOO MUCH?
It is one of the common myths and misconceptions about Chihuahuas. They are considered to be pretty nervous and, therefore, loud dogs. However, the roots of this myth lie in the general reasons for excessive barking in Chihuahuas that have nothing to do with a particular breed. The only thing that can highlight Chihuahuas among other dogs in the matter of excessive barking is that Chis are tiny dogs, and it may take them significantly more effort to draw the owner’s attention.
Once people don’t address the issue on time, finding it harmless or even adorable, excessive barking grows into a severe problem and becomes the dog’s distinctive trait. Unfortunately, this kind of training neglect is pretty common among Chihuahua owners. That is what they have eventually got their unfortunate reputation of excessive barkers.
Why Does My Chihuahua Barks So Much?
Excessive barking may result from health issues or behavior problems that occur due to neglect or lack of training. Understanding the true reason for excessive barking is the key to solving the problem successfully. Let’s go over the most common reasons for excessive barking among Chihuahuas, so you could determine why your Chi might have suddenly turned into a barker.
This is how it works in wild nature: when you meet a predator that you cannot outrun, you should do your best to seem as massive and ominous as possible and hope that it will scare him away.
For many Chihuahuas, excessive barking is simply the way to express and overcome their fear or vulnerability. It may happen due to two reasons:
- Your Chi may naturally be a fearful creature;
- A Chihuahua might have experienced a severe psychological trauma that led to such an issue.
Either way, all you can do is address the fear, determine what scares your dog precisely, and work on this problem through sustainable training.
Just like any other canine, your Chihuahua is a territorial animal. A dog’s territory is a safe spot, a place where the pack can rest and breed. Therefore, it is a vital resource that should be protected.
And just like any other dog, Chihuahua is a pack animal. Whether you live alone with your Chi or the dog is a prominent family member, those who live in the territory constantly, spreading their scents everywhere, are the pack members.
An here comes the critical part – the pack leader. If your Chi sees you as the head of the group, he or she will trust you to protect the territory. If you let your furry friend take over the house and become the pack leader, he or she will initially become territorial and bark at every sound behind the door protecting the vital resource.
The only way to overcome this problem is to establish your leadership in the pack, demonstrate to a Chihuahua that you are the one who makes decisions and takes responsibility in the house. Believe us; each dog will only be happy to relax and let go being sure that the human will take care of everything.
Once again, dogs are pack animals. Even one more living being next to them is already a pack. If you have to leave your Chi all alone for the whole day, he or she may develop excessive barking simply as a way to draw attention and communicate with some other dogs around. In other words, in this case, excessive barking is just an expression of loneliness. In case you have to leave your Chihuahua alone in the house, you should address two main issues:
- Lack of physical and mental stimulation.
Separation anxiety is a pretty multileveled condition that mostly depends on how we behave when we leave the house and come back. It is both a self-esteem and training issue that should be addressed by revising your and your dog’s daily routine.
As for lack of stimulation, your dog may simply be bored. Your Chi cannot watch TV or scroll through social media feed when bored. Therefore he or she will feel lonely and abandoned at a certain point. Make sure to provide your pet with chew toys, exercise, and other activities that would break up the day while your furry friend waits for you to come home.
BID OF ATTENTION.
Dogs are much more observant than we may even imagine. And stubborn also. Once your Chi started to bark and suddenly got a lot of attention, he or she will start using it as the most efficient way to communicate with you and any other humans. Eventually, you may get a dog that barks all the time, following all family members.
In this case, prevention is the best treatment. No matter how adorable it might look, don’t encourage your dog to keep on barking through rates, excessive attention, hugs, or any other way of positive reinforcement. Once the issue started developing, make sure to correct the dog or ignore him if you know for sure why he barks and want to prevent this behavior in the future. Being a pretty observant and rational creature, your Chi will understand that excessive barking is not that efficient and start looking for other, healthier ways to draw your attention.
AGING AND HEALTH PROBLEMS.
Excessive barking is not always a behavior issue. Sometimes it is either a result of diseases or health problems or one of the issues that develop with aging.
If your Chi started barking with no apparent reason, make sure to check him or her thoroughly and try to determine where it may hurt. In most cases, a dog will instantly react when you touch or push a hurting area. Either way, make sure to take your Chi to a vet for thorough testing. Sometimes it may hurt in hard-to-reach places like a mouth or inner ear.
Excessive barking is also one of the main symptoms of deafness. This condition may develop with age. However, certain Chihuahua types are genetically prone to this issue due to their peculiar scull physiology. Therefore deafness may start developing at a young age.
Excessive barking is also a pretty common issue among aging dogs. Just like humans, dogs tend to develop cognitive dysfunction. This condition is pretty similar to humans` Alzheimer’s disease and also occurs in older age. In this case, your dog may not even realize that he or she is barking.
If you don’t see any behavior or environmental aspects that might have caused your Chi to bark excessively, take your dog to the vet. The problem may be a symptom or a result of a health condition.
Excessive barking is a way for our furry friends to draw our attention and know that something is bothering them. It is one of the problems that can seriously influence the atmosphere in your house and develop into severe behavior issues that will alter your and your Chi’s quality of life.
As soon as you notice that your Chi might have started to bark too much, don’t neglect the problem and address it thoroughly. You may need expert advice or professional help to overcome this issue. Still, excessive barking is one of the fundamental problems, and solving it will prevent numerous problems in the future.