Adorable and feisty – these two words could perfectly describe Chihuahuas. You’d likely agree if you had a chance to meet one. More so, if you got one.
Chihuahua simply has a gigantic personality packed into its small body.
However, despite it having almost every coveted trait of an ideal companion dog, there are many who think twice before having one. This is because a Chihuahua could be an annoying barker.
Read through to know the reason behind this habit and some ways to control its incessant barking.
Getting to Know A Chihuahua Breed
You may not believe it but the history of Chihuahuas could be traced to ancient times in Mexico.
Nobody could really tell who brought them there but they are known to have descended from the mute Techichi dogs of the Toltecs and have played an important role in the civilization of the Aztecs. It was during the latter when it was believed that the size of the modern-day Chihuahuas started to propagate.
At some part in its history, it was believed that the Techichi dogs faded entirely. However, they were rediscovered in the state of Chihuahua which is in Mexico. This is also the reason why it is called such.
What do Chihuahuas look like?
You will never miss a Chihuahua in a crowd. It is popularly recognized to be the smallest dog breed world over. It could grow between 6 to 9 in tall and weigh between 3 to 6 lb.
Other Chihuahuas even grow below the above-mentioned standards and they are called the Teacup Chihuahuas.
Chihuahuas have small compact bodies and short legs. They have triangular and pointy ears and a long tail.
The eyes and the nose of Chihuahuas are usually black. Their heads come in different types such as Apple-shaped, Deer-shaped, and Pear-shaped. They could also have either a long or a short coat.
The color of the coat of a Chihuahua varies. It could have a solid black, tan, gray, white, fawn, and silver. It could also come in two or more combinations of the said color. Moreover, there are Chihuahuas whose coats are with distinct patterns such as brindle, merle, and even spotted.
Many would agree that Chihuahuas have a distinct look in them. While this makes them prone to be subjects of satirical news articles made to mislead their audience, this also sets Chihuahuas from other dogs and other pets.
The Chihuahua’s Bark
Despite the overall charm and dose of cuteness, people can’t help but get weary of Chihuahuas because of their propensity to bark constantly and bark excessively.
Chihuahuas have high-pitched barks. As small as they are, it’s always a wonder how they could make their barks loud and intense.
Records show that the intensity of the bark of a Chihuahua could be measured to be somewhere between 80 to 90 decibels. This is one of the loudest dog barks out there including the barks made by larger canines.
From research previously conducted, it was determined that constant exposure to sounds with over 70 decibels could pose problems to your hearing. Thus, it may not be healthy if you get regularly subjected to a Chihuahua barking excessively.
And admit it, it could be pretty annoying too!
The problem is, there are simply Chihuahuas that make barking a habit. This could literally drive you insane especially if you don’t know why this is happening.
Reasons Behind the Dogs Bark
The barking of dogs could be brought about by many different factors. A Chihuahua is no different.
When Chihuahuas bark, it doesn’t immediately mean that they are bad dogs. In fact, it could mean that they are trying to communicate. What is mind-boggling though is that there are also instances when they bark for no reason at all.
Adorable dogs they may be, this cannot obscure the fact that this habit of theirs could be really annoying. It’s a good thing that dog owners could correct this behavior if they want to. Knowing what attributed to its barking habits would be vital in determining how to stop and manage it.
Enumerated below are some of the factors that can be considered.
Your Chihuahua wants to release excess energy
You may not be conscious of it but Chihuahuas are high-energy dogs. They are vivacious and are always on the go. They are non-stop in their search for ways to entertain themselves that sometimes they even land on various kinds of mischiefs.
When Chihuahuas’ daily exercises are overlooked then they can feel down and depressed. They can even take it to themselves to look for outlets that would enable them to let out their excess energy.
Unfortunately, most often than not, the result is either destructive or annoying. They get prone to misbehaviors such as gnawing at the furniture, digging, and even excessive barking.
Your Chihuahua lacks mental stimulation
Like other dogs, Chihuahuas wouldn’t just need ‘something to do.’ Instead, they do need an activity that would also provide them with their needed mental stimulation.
Normal walks just won’t do it for them. You should strategically combine this with other activities that would enable these doggos to think.
If a Chihuahua’s mind is not stimulated enough, then they can easily get bored. You will hear them bark for no reason just to find something to do. They normally exhibit monotone bark that could go on for hours.
Your Chihuahua is attention-seeking
Chihuahuas have the tendency to develop a strong bond with their fur parents. With that being said, they love being noticed and on the receiving end of affection.
If your Chihuahua could feel that they are being ignored, they could be susceptible to doing tricks and other antics that would get their favorite human’s attention. One of those is going into a “barking spree.”
Your Chihuahua is hungry or it wants something
Like a small child, a Chihuahua could be barking because it needs something. It could be hungry and is looking at an empty bowl. If it is house-trained, it could be that it is communicating the need to go out to pee or potty.
There are also some instances when Chihuahua barks because its ball accidentally rolled beyond its reach or its toy got stuck somewhere it’s hard to retrieve. Another scenario is when it wants you to give it some treats.
If your Chihuahua is not normally prone to excessive barking, then the above reasons should be explored.
Your Chihuahua is not socialized enough
If not socialized enough, it is not uncommon for a Chihuahua to feel out of depth whenever meeting new people and other pets. It could easily get scared and uncomfortable being in new places. It could even treat every single stranger as a threat to it just because they are unfamiliar.
Because of this, it wouldn’t anymore be surprising if it resorts to barking as a defense mechanism and to warn off what it feels is a potential danger at every corner.
Your Chihuahua is channeling its anxiety
Chihuahuas may be bold and confident on their own but they thrive in companionship. They don’t do well being away from their fur parents even for a short time.
They tend to easily get lonely and depressed. They even develop separation anxiety with how attached they are to their fur parents.
The stressful situation of separation usually leads to misbehaviors among Chihuahuas. One of these includes problematic barking.
Your Chihuahua is feeling territorial
There is such a thing as territorial barking. Chihuahuas exhibit this when they feel that an unwanted stranger trespass their property.
Chihuahuas are highly territorial canines. They take ownership seriously. Whether it is their favorite corner or their bowl of food, Chihuahuas would never hesitate to give you a high-pitched bark as a warning not to come too close.
When a Chihuahua starts warning you off, it would be best if you’d think carefully about your next move. Even small teeth like those of the Chihuahuas could bring pain and damage if you are not careful.
Your Chihuahua is detecting danger and feeling protective
Chihuahuas have unparalleled loyalty to their owners. This is one of the reasons why most Chihuahuas often shadow their owners. No Chihuahua would want their fur parents to be endangered especially under their watch.
It’s a good thing that Chihuahuas have keen senses that exceed those that humans have. Combined with their natural instinct, they could act as their fur parents’ personal alarm system against those that may cause them harm.
They could warn you against trespassers. They could warn you against potential danger. The Chihuahuas bark significantly factors into this.
Your Chihuahua is sick
Your Chihuahua may be telling you that it is not feeling well when it barks. This is a normal scenario among dogs. Since they cannot talk like people, they tend to communicate in that manner.
Your Chihuahua would likely cry, whine, or bark when in pain. If you observe this together with the loss of appetite and your Chihuahua acting restless or erratic, then these may be the signals you need to immediately bring your pooch to the vet.
Your Chihuahua is mimic barking
This happens when your Chihuahua barks in response to a bark it heard from another nearby dog. It mimics the bark even if it doesn’t know what triggered it. Then other dogs who would hear your Chihuahua’s bark would start barking also until the sound becomes a chorus.
This is a usual occurrence that you might have witnessed already before. It is quite instinctual to dogs as a whole and this ‘vocalization’ is also a way of interaction among canines.
Admittedly, although this could be interesting sometimes, it could be bothersome especially if occurs frequently.
Your Chihuahua is excited and happy
The Chihuahuas bark doesn’t always have a negative connotation. It is natural for them to do such to express their feelings even these are excitement and happiness.
Thus, you may want to give them a leeway if they bark excessively combined with tail wagging when greeting you after you come home from work at the end of the day or when they see you holding yummy treats ready. This is just their way to tell you that they are happy to see you or they are excited to sample those dog treats you are holding!
This is a normal response and you should even be happy that your Chihuahua is feeling that way because it means that your fur baby treasures you.
Advantages of the Chihuahua Bark
The bark of a Chihuahua is usually associated with something negative. But little did many know that it also has its advantages.
For one, it signifies what your fur baby feels about you. Especially coupled with a wagging tail after you go home at the end of the day, it is quite pleasing to know that your Chihuahua is excited to see you. Perhaps, many could even relate that it helps release stress and makes you feel better than ever after a long day at work.
Chihuahuas bark could also alert you that there is something wrong with your pooch especially if it is not normally a barker. This could easily tell you know if it is in danger or you need to seek assistance from a professional.
Without the Chihuahua’s ability to bark, you might not know that it is unwell and need medical help until it’s too late.
The Chihuahua’s bark is also a means of warning off potential danger and alerting you of them. This dog breed is naturally alert and curious. It is rare that something significant would get past it without it noticing.
Chihuahuas are bold and confident. They don’t cower and are fearless in dealing even with strangers and other animals that are larger than they are. These traits are exactly the reason why they make good watchdogs.
They do not have any issues alerting you of any intruders. It is unlikely also that somebody could approach you stealthily with it around. Because of this, you know that you are safe with your Chihuahua by your side.
What You Shouldn’t Do When Your Chihuahua Barks Constantly
A Chihuahua’s bark could only be cute up to a point. But when it starts to get constant and uncontrollable, it could also be infuriation. This is most especially if you have nearby neighbors or you are working from home.
But no matter how annoying could the bark of your Chihuahua be, it is still important to restrain yourself and know what you shouldn’t do.
For instance, when your Chihuahua starts to get into a ‘barking spree’ it would not help that you would also channel your frustration to your dog. This would just aggravate the situation and make it bark a lot more.
It wouldn’t bring you anywhere when you also yell at your dog. This would just encourage it especially if it is after your attention.
The fact that you notice it when it barks is an encouragement enough for your pooch that it will get noticed if it barks some more. This will just make more demands and hold you hostage with its bark until the situation gets worse.
Lastly, never resort to violence when dealing with a barking Chihuahua. Inciting fear to it is not the best way forward because you will just cause more damage not only physically but also mentally.
Stopping Chihuahuas Excessive Barking
While Chihuahuas’ bark could really be exasperating at times, it gives comfort that there are ways in how you could help manage this.
Give your Chihuahua enough exercises
There is no better way to exhaust the excess energy of a Chihuahua and to give it the mental stimulation that it needs than a good exercise. Like with other dogs, fur parents should make it a point to do it daily.
A fully adult Chihuahua that is of standard size would need at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. This doesn’t need to be in one go and could be divided into two sessions so as to not overtire your pooch. This could be critical because over exhaustion could impact its health negatively.
While regular walks around the neighborhood would be nice, fur parents should also add some other activities with it. A game of tug of war would be a good start. You could also engage it in a game of fetch if it is trained enough. Just make sure that you are doing it in a safe place if outside. There should not be nearby big dogs or other predators.
Chihuahuas tend to wander out of curiosity and the last thing you want is for it to run away after getting distracted by a nearby sound or smell. With its size, it is like looking for a needle in a haystack especially in a crowd.
Another way to provide entertainment and mind stimulation to a Chihuahua is to give it interactive toys to play with. A small ball would be a good toy to play with even indoors.
But of course, nothing could still replace yourself playing with your pooch. This is a good bonding experience that without a doubt your Chihuahua would cherish and would treat as priceless.
Do train your Chihuahua
Obedience training is very important not just for a Chihuahua but for all dog breeds alike. This would not only instill discipline in a pooch but would also help you control it, especially during critical circumstances. This would also be critical in stopping bad behaviors from prospering especially incessant barking.
Chihuahuas are very smart pooch. They would love nothing more than to please their fur parents. However, they are very confident and can be independent thinkers as well. The latter could pose a challenge during the training process.
If you want to have a higher probability rate of success, it is vital that you start training it at a young age. Establish yourself as a pack leader on the foremost so your Chihuahua would not be mistaken that it is in charge and possibly have the idea to push you around.
Start small. Begin with simple commands that could help you on the day to day basis such as come, stop, sit down, stay, rollover, and no. Repetitively doing this in a clear and firm manner.
With consistency, you’ll find that your Chihuahua would learn the commands in no time.
It would also help if you will keep the training time short. Ten to fifteen minutes per session is usually ideal and you could have two sessions per day. Doing this would ensure that you are retaining your Chihuahua’s focus and it is in the task at hand.
Chihuahuas have a short attention span. It could easily be distracted by a sound or a smell so it pays to do the training session somewhere with less distraction.
Motivate your Chihuahua through a reward-based approach during training. Give it healthy treats, belly rubs, and praises for every desired outcome achieved. Definitely, never even consider a negative reinforcement approach.
Intimidation would never work for a Chihuahua. It will not be motivated if you instill fear in it.
With how sensitive this dog breed is, it could even be possible that you will break its spirit and turn it against you. It is not unlikely that it would also develop aggression. Such would only pose as another problem later on.
When your Chihuahua masters the obedience training, it would be easy for you to stop the dog’s bark even with just one command.
If your Chihuahua is prone to separation anxiety, you may want to introduce it to crate training. This would help it find refuge whenever it feels insecure, scared, or even anxious, rather than have it resort to misbehaviors.
Contrary to what many believe, a crate is not necessarily bad. This doesn’t mean prison to any dogs. This could also mean a safe place for them to go to whenever they get overwhelmed by the happenings around them. Because of this, they tend to veer away from being loud and destructive behaviors which could include non-stop barking.
However, you need to employ the right training approach for this to be effective. Otherwise, it could just cause your fur baby to be more anxious than it already is.
You can start by finding the appropriate crate. It shouldn’t be too small that your Chihuahua would feel restricted. It should still be able to move around even inside the crate.
It’s a good thing that nowadays, looking for a perfect crate will not anymore be a problem. There are so many choices now available in the market and all you have to do is find the one with the right specification just for your pet.
The crate training of your Chihuahua need not be hastened. It takes time. To be successful though, you could start by associating it with everything desirable for your pooch. Make it as comfortable as possible and let it get acclimated to it first. Never lock it up in a crate until it is ready. Instead, keep the crate open.
Your Chihuahua could be resistant to your efforts at first. This is not unusual and you need to be patient. But never ever force your Chihuahuas to enter the inside the crate. Doing otherwise could send a different impression to it.
When successfully conditioned your Chihuahua to take a crate as its safe place, it would less likely to get anxious in different types of situations. It would also not be prone to whine and bark as you fulfill your normal routine even away from home.
Introduce your Chihuahua to socialization training
Socialization training is also important for a Chihuahua. When your pooch is sufficiently socialized, it is easier to get along with and it will not be susceptible to aggression without cause. It will not treat every person and animal it meets as enemies, and it can become a well-rounded dog.
Providing socialization training to a Chihuahua is not normally hard work. The goal is just to make it as comfortable as possible to different people and places so it won’t easily get caught off-guard when it is removed from its comfort zone.
One way to achieve it is by walking it through different streets during its daily exercises. The more crowded, the better so it could realize that not all people outside its human family immediately mean danger.
You could let your Chihuahua mingle with people and animals it meets along the way. Guide it through the process and help facilitate a safe environment for your fur baby as you do so.
You should not let people just touch it if your Chihuahua is not comfortable. You could easily determine this by being attuned to its body language.
If you are not sure that you can provide socialization training to your Chihuahua, then there are also doggy kindergartens out there that would help you out with the task.
A well-socialized dog wouldn’t be prone to barking at anything at anyone even without reason. So fur parents may consider this as a way forward.
Rule out any medical issues
Since barking could also be a way for Chihuahuas to tell you that it is not feeling perfectly okay, you might want to bring it to the vet for a regular visit. This could proactively address any emerging illnesses if your Chihuahua has symptoms and prevent them from escalating.
Chihuahuas commonly suffer from Patellar Luxation, Hypoglycemia, Heart Murmur, and even Hip Dysplasia.
While there is no guarantee what illnesses will hit your Chihuahua, it is still best to be prepared. Bringing it to the veterinarian would also help manage the Chihuahuas bark if it is due to a health condition bothering it.
Avoid giving your pup the wrong impression
There are times when the reason behind the incessant barking of a Chihuahua is the bad habits that developed starting when it was young. Admittedly, being a small dog that it is, the tendency is to coddle it and give it everything it wants. As a result, it thinks it rules and what it says goes.
Fur parents should refrain from tolerating the bad behaviors of their Chihuahuas. Instead, they should be corrected for them to know right from wrong. In that way, the wrongdoings wouldn’t be repeated as they mature.
For instance, a Chihuahua may whine and bark because it wants some treats or your attention. Giving them these would lead them to believe that they will be provided whatever they want when they do this. Thus, you are enabling the bad behavior.
What you can do is ignore them until they behave. When they do, you can go ahead and reward them.
Despite the Barking, Will Chihuahuas Make Great Pets?
Even with their incessant barking, there is no doubt that Chihuahuas would make great family pets. They have the making of a good companion dog being naturally loyal and devoted to their favorite humans.
Their affection has no end which makes Chihuahuas among the sweetest dog breeds you’ll ever meet. There is no questioning their dedication to their owners because no matter where their fur parents go, you’ll never see them far behind if it is up to them.
Their attachment to their parent knows no bounds. It borders to clinginess that you need to let them go through crate training combined with other measures if you don’t want them to develop separation anxiety when you are not around.
The same thing is the reason why Chihuahuas are not outdoor dogs. They don’t do well living separately with their fur parents even with only the door separating them. They thrive on having companions and they love giving this in return.
The tendency of a Chihuahua to cling to its owner makes it also not a good choice of dog for those people who are frequently not at home.
It’s a good thing, however, that Chihuahuas are travel-friendly with their size. They are easy to carry and some teacup Chihuahuas could even fit inside your purse. They wouldn’t pose issues for those accommodations that are normally with
While larger dogs would require their fur parents to have a spacious home with a backyard, Chihuahuas wouldn’t mind living in a small apartment. They don’t have much need for a space being the small dogs that they are.
In fact, looking through their eyes, it is not unlikely that a small apartment is already a large mansion to them as long as they can freely roam around. A much bigger home could even be a liability considering that Chihuahuas love to wander as they satisfy their curiosity about the slightest smell or movement.
Chihuahuas would make a fitting pet whether you are single or with your own family. They make great playmates to your kids but utmost care is required in handling them.
The small stature of a Chihuahua makes them very fragile. It is unlikely that they have a chance to survive a high fall so small kids should be told not to carelessly lift them.
It is worth noting that toddlers may not get the gist of this so supervision of their guardian is required. Ideally, Chihuahuas are best companions for children above 8-years old, and vice versa.
There is no doubt that Chihuahuas are one of the best dogs you’ll ever find. They are highly energetic but don’t have that overdrive that will render you over exhausted.
Despite their playful attitude, they are the best at giving comfort. They know when to just keep you company when you are feeling blue.
Feeling the need to go for an adventure? Chihuahuas are also up to the task. They will have no hesitations to push themselves to keep up during your adventures even if they have to work overtime on their pace because their steps are relatively shorter than yours.
The thing is, for their fur parents they will never be afraid to go over the top.
Chihuahuas are pretty low maintenance too. You need to only give them at least once a week brushing to remove the debris and dirt that got stuck in their coat.
Bathing is an occasional event for Chihuahuas although they have other grooming requirements that need to be met more frequently like with other dogs. It would also be great for them to be seen by a professional groomer every once in a while, but they can also live without it.
The best thing about Chihuahuas is that they live relatively long in terms of dog years. Their average life expectancy is about 15 years old with many Chihuahuas even growing older.
Getting Your Own Chihuahua
Will it cost much?
If you want to embrace the challenge of raising a Chihuahua, then know that this dog breed has a starting price of USD800 sourced from a licensed breeder. The price could go up depending on the pedigree and another unique characteristic of the Chihuahua puppy.
For instance, Teacup Chihuahuas are known to be among those rare types of Chihuahuas. Thus, it would cost somewhere between USD1500 to USD5000. It would be an additional cost if it will come from a champion line.
Where should you get one?
Given that the price of a good-quality Chihuahua does not come cheap, it just makes sense not to waste your money and buy from backyard breeders or puppy mills. They may sell Chihuahuas at a lower price than those licensed breeders but this may cost you more in the future given that the quality of the Chihuahuas they sell are not guaranteed.
They may come in poor health with underlying health conditions. They may also have bad temperaments inherited from their parents. These wouldn’t give you a great experience as a fur parent of a Chihuahua.
Licensed and responsible breeders won’t give you the same experience. They have strict breeding programs in place to ensure that you are getting the best Chihuahua companion you could ever want.
Can I get one from Shelters?
If you do not a lot of money, then a doggy shelter would be a good idea also.
It is quite unfortunate but even if Chihuahuas are one of the most adorable dog breeds out there, there are still those that are left abandoned in shelters. You will make one happy if you can give one a home. The added bonus is that it could mean a lot less cost to you.
It is indisputable that Chihuahuas are among those dog breeds with a relatively loud bark. While this could be a source of annoyance to some, this could also be considered as one of its endearing traits particularly since it also has its advantages.
Nevertheless, if you are included in those people that find the loud bark of a Chihuahua bothersome, know that there are ways in order for your to curb this. With how intelligent a Chihuahua is, and with its ever-present ability to please its fur parents, know that it would follow your lead especially if you use the right approach.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How would you get a Chihuahua to quit barking?
A: There are many ways to stop a Chihuahua from barking. However, your approach could be more effective when you know what attributes to this behavior.
It is important though to know that intimidation and violence are not the answer. Among the effective ways known to work include providing your Chihuahua with sufficient exercises, appropriate training, and socialization that would help curb any of its unfitting behaviors.
Why do Chihuahuas bark at nothing?
A: Chihuahuas bark to communicate. It may seem to you that it is barking at nothing, but really, it may be trying to communicate something to you. You just need to be observant and figure out what that may be.
There are also times when Chihuahuas bark out of boredom. If your Chihuahua is like this, then it is possible that it is not receiving the right amount of exercise it needs. You may want to supplement its exercise with some other activities, if not toys, to ensure that it is always entertained and its mind stimulated.
Will my Chihuahua ever stop barking?
A: Chihuahuas would stop barking eventually. However, if you don’t want a repeat, then might as well understand what your pooch is trying to tell you. Is it not feeling well? Is it scared? Did anything trigger its incessant barking?
Knowing all these could help address the problem your Chihuahua may have.
Why are Chihuahuas so annoying?
A: Chihuahuas are adorable. They could be annoying when they do misbehave but their behavior is not a hopeless case. With patience and perseverance from their fur parents, it’s not impossible to correct any misbehaviors they may have.