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Do Chihuahuas Bark A Lot? [Why Are They Considered Yappy?]

If you are contemplating the Chihuahua breed, it’s important to know what you are signing up to before you go ahead. Chihuahuas are notorious for certain behaviors, barking is one of them.

So, do Chihuahuas bark a lot? Chihuahuas are prominent barkers. While different Chihuahuas will have different personalities and characters, most Chihuahuas will be loud and yappy; liking to be heard. This is usually due to excitement, feeling threatened, or being bored. Thankfully you can train and encourage a Chihuahua to bark less with specific measures and training.

Any breed of dog you opt for will be special to you, regardless of some of their shortcomings. Whether or not barking is going to be an issue for you and your family is ultimately a decision you will need to make.

There is something to be said about the inherent temperaments of certain dogs and Chihuahuas are no exception to the rule. While, again, there are a lot of individual differences that come into play, you should expect that chihuahuas will make a lot of noise.

Let us now take a closer look at this breed of dog and their own unique barking behaviors.

What Personality Do Chihuahuas Have?

Although there are many misconceptions that come from relying too much of “breed expectations,” there are some that have some truth to them. For example, chihuahuas and their barking habits. Chihuahuas really live up to their expectations as a loud and yappy dog who likes to be heard.

Before we get into their renowned barking habits, it’s not fair to make this breed out to be bad dogs. Just like with any pet, chihuahuas have benefits and setbacks that need to be considered before you know if you are ready to take on the breed.

There are no dogs that are inherently “bad,” but some people do find certain traits less desirable than others. Consider what is expected of a chihuahua before you go ahead and bring one into your family.

Chihuahuas have a lot of energy. They a funny and quirky, and many people find their frantic behaviors and boundless joy entertaining. They are very loyal and lazy as well – a great idea for someone without space for a giant yard or the physical means to take the dog on excessive walks.

Like with many other dogs that shine in terms of loyalty, these pets tend to direct their affections towards a select group of people. Meaning the dogs are less enthused with strangers and more prone to expressing themselves against unfamiliar people are unexpected surprises.

Please keep in mind that these temperaments are not guaranteed. No matter what the trait is, there is always a chance that your pet may go against the grain. With proper training, a lot of “problematic” behaviors associated with the breed are often not a problem.

How Often Do Chihuahuas Bark?

Chihuahuas and Barking

This is a rather hard estimate to gauge. They won’t necessarily bark non-stop, but they will do it quite a lot. You will find that they will be barking more or less depending on a number of factors which

which we will outline below.

However, it is important to remember that chihuahuas barking a lot is a generalization of the breed as an average.

Each individual dog will have their own personalities. Some will bark more often than others, some will be more energetic, other more laid back and so on.

Nonetheless, there are commonalities and often recurring factors and causes. Let us now explore the main ones below.

Why Are Chihuahuas So Yappy?

A yappy chihuahua is just trying to communicate with you. This breed is especially prone to barking, but this doesn’t mean that they bark for no reason whatsoever. There are several things that may encourage bouts of barking in the tiny canine.

  • Excited: This is not something unique to any dog breed. Many dogs will express their job and excitement with a bit of barking. Wrinkling a bag of known dog treats or returning home may get your pet super excited. Just as humans will sometimes exclaim with joy – dogs do too. They are expressive creatures and barking happens to be one of the ways they express themselves.
  • Threatened: They don’t just need to express themselves when they feel excited. When a dog feels as though their territory is in danger, it is rather likely that they will turn to barking in order to let their feelings be known. Chihuahuas are known to be very loyal and territorial, meaning they do not like to see strangers creeping in on their territory. As anyone who owns a small dog will tell you, most of them really have no idea just how tiny they actually are. Chihuahuas especially are known for scaring much larger dogs just with their sheer amount of confidence with their barking. Knowing how they are in these respects, it shouldn’t be a surprise when they start to get yappy at the presence of a stranger to them or when they see someone approaching your home. In many cases, they may even start barking at family members who they are fully aware of -they just don’t like the surprise. Who can blame them? When they are this small, what other methods do they really have of trying to stand their ground (they are not naturally intimidating)?

It is not just the presence of a threat that may cause some barking. The absence of security may also do the same thing.

Chihuahuas, along with many other dogs, are known to suffer from separation anxiety. This means that when their owners try to leave, they become so distressed over the situation, they will call out to them over and over.

This is something that is almost always expected of puppies, but with time and training, they should grow out of it.

  • Bored: Sure, chihuahuas don’t need to be constantly entertained with long walks and excessive physical activity. They do, however, need to release a lot of vent up energy. They need a lot of mental stimulation just to keep satisfied. They love being the center of attention and constantly being loved or played with. Even if they don’t need a lot of space to run around, having a little place in the living room to chase a ball for a bit is something that they desperately need. What happens when their mental stimulation isn’t enough? They engage in something called boredom barking. They will literally whine and bark just because they are bored.
  • Taught Behavior: There is also something to be said about animals that like to be the center of attention and how their owners deal with it. When your pet is the light of your life, it is often difficult to step away from them when they are exhibiting signs of distress. When you see a poor little pet crying for you, it is tempting to pick them up or go and try to attend to their needs. What does this teach the dog? Every time they cry, they will get your attention. So, when they want you, all they need to do is cry! This is the root of a lot of behavior problems with pets in general.

How Do You Get A Chihuahua To Stop Barking?

Getting a chihuahua to stop barking is not a feasible option – but there are steps you can take to limit excessive barking and make your life a little bit easier.

Consider the following tips to reduce excessive barking in chihuahuas:

  • Do NOT encourage their cries for attention. If you continue to rush to your dog every time it cries out for attention you will condition them to cry for you.
  • Offer them enough entertainment. You should educate yourself in a way where you know how to entertain your dog. Offer them toys that provide plenty of mental stimulation (like the excellent Kong toy that you can get for a great price on Amazon). Fill it with healthy treats and it will keep them entertained and distract them for hours. Be sure to give them access to enough space so that they have something to do when you are not around.
  • Socialize your pet. Getting your pet used to being around novel things is a great way for you to teach them that they don’t need to be scared of every new thing they encounter. Taking them on walks, introducing them to other pets, and having them meet other people is a great way to get them used to being social. Just make sure not to overdo it.
  • Address any problems with your vet. This barking may also be a sign that they are suffering or are experiencing pain or others problems. These tiny canines already have relatively small bodies, so it should be expected that their barks are naturally high pitched. It may be a bit harder to recognize a painful yelp from a regular bark. Excessive barking may be indicative of a medical problem that should be addressed by your vet.
  • Consider a training regime. You can do this yourself or you can take them to training classes and hire specialist help.There are lot of books you can get which offer a practical way to get started and offer fast results.
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Zak George's Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love
Zak George's Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love
George, Zak (Author); English (Publication Language); 240 Pages - 06/07/2016 (Publication Date) - Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed (Publisher)
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Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days
Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days
McMillan, Brandon (Author); English (Publication Language); 336 Pages - 10/02/2018 (Publication Date) - HarperOne (Publisher)
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Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement
Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement
Workman Publishing; Kay, Larry (Author); English (Publication Language); 304 Pages - 09/25/2012 (Publication Date) - Workman Publishing Company (Publisher)
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Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps: Everything You Need to Know to Raise the Perfect Dog
Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps: Everything You Need to Know to Raise the Perfect Dog
Zoom Room Dog Training (Author); English (Publication Language); 178 Pages - 04/02/2019 (Publication Date) - Rockridge Press (Publisher)

In Summary

Chihuahuas are notorious for barking a lot. They do so for many reasons but no matter what the cause, this is how they are trying to communicate with you. It’s important that you never get angry with them. It’s also important that you do not inadvertently fuel this behavior with how you respond and react when they do start to yap.

Whether you like it or not, managing a Chihuahuas barking is important and you should set the ground rules as early on as possible following adoption. This will give you the best chances of success.

Better still, it is most successful when done in the early stages of their life, during their puppy years. You’ll find if you effectively train them then, you’ll have much less issues with barking later down the line.

Thankfully, there are some practical and affordable solutions to prevent and reduce barking. Keeping them active and their minds busy are great tactics; especially if you routinely get visitors or live in an area where people are consistently walking past your home.

Either way, if you want to get a Chihuahua but are concerned with their barking, do not let this deter you. They are great dogs, excellent companions and there are things that you can do. It will of course, take time, consistency and determination, but then again, this is all part of owning a dog.