How To Train a Chihuahua To Stop Barking

Does your Chihuahua bark up a storm at every little thing they see? If so, you aren't alone. Barking is one of the most common problems reported by Chihuahua owners. While some of them may only bark when guests or family members come to the front door, others will bark at the television, vacuum cleaner, broom, radio and practically any other "foreign" object. As you can expect, this can type of behavior can become a nuisance and make life difficult for you and everyone else living in your home. Thankfully, however, even the loudest, most obnoxious Chihuahua can be trained to stop barking.

Barking Chihuahua

Barking Chihuahua

Much like housebreaking, the best time to start training a Chihuahua their barking boundaries is when they are still young. As they grow older, they will become more set in their ways and difficult to teach. If you take the time to work on basic obedience when your Chihuahua is still a puppy, they will naturally have an easier time learning what's acceptable and what's not in terms of barking. Of course not everyone has this luxury, as there are thousands of owners will full-grown Chihuahuas who are left scratching their heads trying to figure out ways to make them stop barking. Whether your Chihuahua is young, old or anywhere in between, the following utilizing the following methods should dramatically reduce their barking.

Step One - Teach The Basics

The fact is that you can't expect your Chihuahua to remain cool and quite all the time if they haven't been taught basic obedience commands. Most of the families who complain about their Chihuahua's barking haven't spent the necessary time and energy into teaching then obedience. It's all too common for people to decide that they want to own a Chihuahua simply because they are small and cute, and without realizing just how much work goes into raising one. As a result, they allow their Chihuahuas to roam the house doing as they please and barking when they want.

Unless you want them running around barking at every little thing, you must teach them basic obedience commands, such as sit, stay and come. These are critical to owning any dog, whether it's a Chihuahua or some other breed. There are several different ways to teach these commands, but it's usually best to start with a single command and working your way to the next after they learn it. For instance, teach your Chihuahua the recall command by clearly speaking a word or phrase like "come here," and give them lots of praise and a treat when they do. They key thing to remember when teaching your Chihuahua obedience is to stay positive and consistent in your training. Never scold or punish your Chihuahua if they don't immediately pick up on what you are trying to teach them. Once they learn a recall command, move on to the other commands.

Here's a list of the basic commands that Chihuahuas need to be taught:

  • Recall command, such as "come" or "back."
  • Stay
  • Sit
  • Down (optional, but helpful for Chihuahuas that jump on furniture)

Step Two - Remove Distractions

Sometimes the key to keeping a Chihuahua from barking is as simple as removing the distractions around them. When you hear them barking loudly, go see what's catching their attention to cause this behavior. Perhaps they see someone jogging outside in the road and believe they are too close to their territory. If this is the case, try closing the curtains so they won't be able to see out the window. This doesn't always work for Chihuahuas who bark based on sound alone, but it's usually a huge help in reducing the overall amount of barking done in the home.

Another common distraction that triggers Chihuahuas to bark are other dogs. If your Chihuahua is barking at the neighbor's dog when they are outside, try taking them back inside until the other dog goes away. Alternatively, you could put up a privacy fence to block your Chihuahua's visibility so they won't be able to see any other dogs or pedestrians walking by. These are just a few of the many ways to remove the distractions from your Chihuahua's living environment.

Front Door

Front Door

Step Three - The Dreaded "Front Door"

Unfortunately, there are some distractions that you won't be able to remove, such as the doorbell. When a guest or visitor comes to the front door and rings the doorbell, a rowdy Chihuahua may start barking up a storm, making it even more difficult for you to see who's at the door. In fact, this will likely be the most common trigger of your Chihuahua's barking. Even if it's just a family member who lives inside the home, a Chihuahua may still bark when they come in through the door.

So how are you supposed to teach them to calm down and relax when someone's at the door? Depending on your Chihuahua's obedience level, this may or may not be a difficult process. With that said, it's usually best to perform some training drills where someone knocks or rings the doorbell at the front door and then making the necessary adjustments based on your Chihuahua's behavior.

Here's a simple and effective training drill to stop a Chihuahua from barking at the front door:

  • Have someone come up and knock or ring the doorbell at the front door.
  • When your Chihuahua begins to bark, completely ignore them before opening the door.
  • After your Chihuahuas has stopped barking, open the door and let the guest into the house. This method works because it lets the Chihuahua know barking isn't going to affect when or how you open the door. In fact, it's not even going to catch your attention.
  • If your Chihuahua simply won't stop barking at the door, you can take a different approach by teaching them the "quite" command. This is taught like any other command by speaking it firmly to them and rewarding them with a treat when they obey.


9 Responses to “How To Train a Chihuahua To Stop Barking”

  1. David says:

    I am not a dog hater, friends have dogs and can tolerate quite a bit.

    However the flat downstairs has a Chihuahua and it barks at anything.

    Thankfully it does not do it at night because if it did I would be taking it further with the Owner no problems. There has already being a complaint about barking in the flats early in the morning but it wasn’t me and unfortunately it was before this tenant moved in.

    I do suffer from Anxiety and on my days off work and weekends it does wind me up quite a bit. I am very respectful of neighbors and always shall be. But this dog drives me insane.

    Maybe the owner does not realize the loudness and annoyance but I am sure to complain sooner or later but do not want to offend or upset her.

    Maybe I will speak to her daughter the next time I see her.

  2. Karen says:

    I have had my 9 wk. old chi for 2 days and have yet to hear her bark. Been sifting around for ideas on how to train because I know once she starts I will have to get on it right away. One thing I do know is, do not play aggressively with the puppy, (of any breed). It seems to hard wire them to overreact to alot of social situations with other dogs and people.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I have a chi, shes about 2 years old. I was wrong in spoiling her and are now trying t teach her to stop barking at everyone. I am also trying to get her to stop crying and throwing a hissy fit everytime i leave the room. i have been teaching her the basic demands like stay, sit, down, but she forgets sometimes…. How do i get her to stop whining and not to bark at friends and family?

  4. jojo says:

    So far, so good. My two Chis don’t bark at the bell anymore, but they still bark when someone enters the house. Still, I’m glad at the progress they made today!

  5. trollforpup says:

    my dog actualy obeyed me…i feel WAY more relieved

    • COCO says:

      Chihuahua in general are born to be one thing, your most loyal and devoted companion. I know that if I hooked him up to a chain all day he would shake and probably have a heart attack..

      My main problem with him is he thinks her is a 100lb pit bull trapped in 10lb body. He approaches dogs who are showing their teeth with saliva swirling out of his mouth. HE HAS NO FEAR.

      I moved from a single family home to an apartment building full of dogs big and small. He has no idea why all thee dogs are in his yard I guess.

      It is frustrating because I cannot stop and talk to anyone with out him barking. The funny thing is once he knows who you are, he is just a big ball of love who loves to play.

      Years ago I had a retriever. I used a milk jug with pennies. it worked great on him, 2 weeks later no more barking. I used it on coco and he stood and shook and would not come ear me all da. He is so sensitive.

      He does all the basics sit, heel, rollover etc. Even when someone stop s to talk, I will tell him to sit. He sits just fine while barking and barking and tail just a wagging like it’s a joke.

      so good luck everyone!

      He is 7 years old and I took him off my daughter’s hands ne she went to culinary school and was

  6. TonyM says:

    Hopefully, the new wave of knowledge that seems to be sweeping through the pet world is to, on one hand start treating dogs right (stop chaining up i the yard all day, etc) and stop treating them like human babies.

    Unfortunately, I just don’t think it’s ever going to sink in with a lot of Chi owners. My neighbors love their Chihuahua, completely agree with Cesar Milan on training and treating their Chi like a dog (no jumping on people or the furniture, etc.), and yet in practice let the dog do whatever he wants. Guess what? I feel like I’m living next door to someone with a car that has a faulty hair-trigger car alarm that goes off 40 times a day and won’t fix it. Too few Chi owners care about training their pup.

    • Anne says:

      I disagree Tom. You can’t just chain your dog outdoor and leave them. Dogs are social animals and need to be around others (dogs, people etc). If you keep them chained up all day or in the yard all day with little contact they are likely to develop serious illness like cancer or other issues — it is a form of neglect. Also as a chihuahua owner I know how difficult but loving they can be. You can never keep a chihuahua outside all day because not only are they sensitive to cold, they are sensitive small changes in the environment. Also chihuahuas love their person, they love to cuddle or be beside their person(or people) all the time or at very least always know where they are. Plus they aren’t easy to train (or when they are its hard to get them to listen) and worse to get them to stop barking (I’ve tried everything) and they don’t like to listen to you. So before you start judging, know what you are talking about

      • Kelly says:

        Perhaps you should take time to fully read the post before YOU start judging, Anne. He clearly said to STOP chaining dogs up outside all day. Sheesh.

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