Small dogs have a reputation as noisy little troublemakers. But are Chihuahuas yappy? And what can you do to control their yapping?
Let’s take a look.
Why do Chihuahuas yap?
Barking or yapping is normal. It’s what dogs do. Chihuahuas, like any other dog, will bark or yap when they want or need to.
However, Chihuahuas are known for being exceptionally yappy. These smart dogs have sassy personalities; and one of the ways they express their cheekiness is by yapping incessantly when they want something or when they feel threatened, neglected, or displeased.
Unfortunately, your Chihuahua’s yapping can get you in trouble with your neighbors. These tiny dogs can get very loud and shrill. As a responsible dog owner, you’ll need to figure out why your Chihuahua yaps like there’s no tomorrow and try to control the behavior.
Why does your little guy yap? There are plenty of reasons.
First, barking or yapping is how dogs communicate. If your Chihuahua is yapping, he’s trying to tell you something. Maybe he needs food or water. Perhaps he wants to go potty, or he just wants to get your attention.
Chihuahuas also yap when they sense an intruder—either a stranger or an unfamiliar animal—encroaching on their territory. They yap or bark to try and scare the intruder away.
These are acceptable types of barking. You wouldn’t want to discourage your Chihuahua from trying to tell you that he needs a potty break outside or that someone is sneaking into your property.
But sometimes, Chihuahuas bark or yap because they’re bored. This is unacceptable behavior. Like destructive chewing and urinating inside the house, excessive barking is a sign that your pup isn’t getting enough stimulation or is suffering from separation anxiety.
Why is yapping bad?
While barking or yapping is a normal way for dogs to communicate, too much of it is problematic. There are also times when a Chihuahua’s yapping is inappropriate or disruptive. In fact, excessive barking or yapping is one of the most common behavioral issues in Chihuahuas.
Does your Chihuahua bark up a storm at neighbors, guests, delivery persons, and postal workers? Does he yap at passing cars, pedestrians, and inanimate objects when you’re out on a walk? Does he bark at other animals?
Any barking or yapping that interferes with your life, disturbs your neighbors and creates a stressful situation is a nuisance. This is where you need to draw the line.
Furthermore, there are places where there are laws and ordinances on excessive barking or loud noises. If your Chihuahua yaps incessantly, your neighbors could file a formal complaint with the city council. If they find that your pooch is indeed being a nuisance, you may be required to keep your pet indoors or even to let go of your dog.
You are responsible for ensuring that your dog’s yapping does not disturb anyone. Luckily, even though Chihuahuas do have a reputation for being yappy little monsters, you can train them to yap less.
How to control your Chihuahua’s yapping
- According to HuffPost, some owners think that because they have a small dog, they don’t have to train it as thoroughly as they would a larger dog. This is a misconception. All dogs benefit from proper training and early socialization.
- Sometimes, your Chihuahua will bark for attention. Ignore him. Don’t look at him, touch him, or talk to him until he has stopped barking. If you respond, he will learn that barking will get him what he wants.
- Don’t yell at your Chihuahua for barking. Not only does this feed his need for attention, but it also leads him to think that you’re barking along with him.
- Use a rewards-based approach. When he refrains from barking in a situation in which he would normally bark, praise him, pet him, or give him a treat. Eventually, he will learn to associate staying silent with rewards.
- Chihuahuas tend to have “small dog syndrome,” acting like they’re the leader of the pack. Training your pet will be much easier if you establish your dominance early on. Don’t let him jump on you and always eat before he eats.
- You can also curb his endless yapping by teaching him how to bark on command. Have someone create a stimulus like ringing the doorbell. When your dog barks at this, say “speak” or “bark” and give him a treat. Repeat the process until he associates the command word with the act of barking.
- Teach him how to stay quiet. Create a situation in which he would normally bark. Have someone knock at the door or ring the doorbell. When your dog barks at the stimulus, acknowledge it and look at your dog. When he stops barking, give him the treat.
- Once you’ve done this a few times, add the command word “hush” or “quiet” as he barks. Repeat the process with the stimulus, command word, and treat until he gets it.
Are Chihuahuas yappy? The short answer is “yes.” But don’t let this discourage you from getting a Chihuahua. With a bit of patience and focus, you can train your pint-sized pooch to limit his yapping for peace and quiet in your home.