Barking is normal behavior for most dogs and chihuahuas are more prone to bark than many other breeds.
Barking may be beneficial at certain times, such as to warn you when a stranger enters your property or home.
However, when the barking becomes excessive, your dog may frighten people and may even become so excited that the barking progresses to biting. At the very least, it can be highly annoying.
With a little bit of patience, some tasty treats, and some simple training techniques, you can teach your dog not to bark excessively at passing people or animals.
How to Stop Your Dog from Barking
If you are allowing your dog to go outside untended in a fenced yard or pen, you will need to discontinue this practice. In order to stop your dog from barking, you will need to gain control of your dog and your dog’s behavior. Also it’s not safe for small dogs like chihuahuas to be outside alone, even in fenced yards.
The best way to stop your dog from barking is to teach your dog to come when called and to focus his attention on you when you command and then build on this to bring your dog back to you when he starts barking.
Start the process of teaching your dog not to bark continuously by training your dog to come to you on command and to focus his attention on you in a calm and relaxed atmosphere.
How to Teach Your Dog to Come on Command
I shared the steps in my newsletter and I just wrote an article about how to teach your dog to come on command.
Using the “Come” Command to Stop Your Dog from Barking
Now that your dog is coming to you consistently as soon as you call him and is focusing intently on you once reaching you, you and your dog are ready to move onto the next step in the process.
Up until now, you have been practicing your “come here” command only under the most favorable conditions when your dog is calm, relaxed, and not distracted.
Now, it is time to start implementing these procedures in “real life” situations that are likely to cause your dog to start barking. Always remember to stay safe and err on the side of caution in these situations. Dogs in an overexcited state can become unpredictable and even aggressive under the right circumstances.
Never push your dog to these extremes. If your dog is not listening to you and you cannot control your dog’s behavior with verbal commands, it is best to remove your dog from the situation before it escalates and refocus your attention on basic training techniques for a bit longer.
Try enlisting the aid of a friend to help you. Have your friend perform an act that is likely to make your dog start barking. Jogging or walking past your home might work or approaching your property from the street. You know your dog’s triggers, so you will be able to figure out an appropriate activity.
When performing this exercise, make certain your dog is on a leash so that if he does not respond to you, you will still have adequate control. When your dog begins to bark, calmly give him the “come here” command. When your dog responds and returns to you, place a treat directly in front of your face so that your dog is looking you directly in the eye, and then give the treat as a reward.
Continue this exercise until your dog responds consistently to your command. When trained in this fashion, your dog will still bark when it is appropriate, such as to warn you if a stranger approaches, but you will be able to command him to stop barking once you have been alerted.
What to Do if Your Dog is Not Responding To Your “Come” Command and Continues to Bark
If your dog will not respond to your “come here” command, he is not fully prepared to move on to this stage of the training process. Return to the basics in a calm, relaxed atmosphere and continue to work with your dog until he is comfortably and consistently following your command. Once your dog is responding consistently to you in a situation with no distractions, try again in a barking situation.
Soon, you will start to notice that when your dog begins to bark, he will actually glance toward you to see if you have noticed. Once he has your attention, you will easily be able to redirect your dog’s attention and stop your dog from barking.
Though this woman in the video below teaches how to get your dog to stop barking in a different manner than I do, her techniques and teaching skill are excellent. Watch for a different take on training your dog this skill:
Do you have this problem with your dog? How have you handled it? Share in the comments!