How to Train a Chihuahua, Small Dog, or Teacup Breed to Stop Barking and Start Listening

Small dogs are so cute but they have a reputation for being hard to train, especially Chihuahuas. They come by that reputation honestly. Chihuahuas and many small or teacup breeds seem to be prone to barking at everything, including the wind. We’ll answer common questions about how to train a Chihuahua without using training collars … and without losing your patience.

Why Do Small Dogs Love to Bark?

Like most small breeds, Chihuahuas make up for their small stature with big personalities. Your adorable little purse dog can be aggressive and bark like a fool. To address incessant barking and learn how to train your Chihuahua, you must figure out why your pet insists on barking at every little thing.

Barking is a valuable form of communication for dogs. They can express a host of messages to fellow canines and humans. While we can’t fully understand what they are saying with their “woofs,” or, in the case of a Chihuahua, “arfs,” there are several reasons a dog barks.

To help determine the motive behind your small dog’s barking, pay attention to the situation in which she loses control. What triggers her?

Does your dog bark incessantly when she sees someone outside? This could indicate territorial barking; it’s her way of protecting what’s hers, which includes you. Attention-seeking barking is also a favorite tool for many Chihuahuas and small breeds. Considering their size and their reliance on their humans, it’s understandable why they bark to get us to pay attention. If your neighbors complain that your dog barks the entire time you’re gone, then separation anxiety is most likely the culprit. 

On your way to learning how to train a Chihuahua not to bark, you’ll find that your pet barks excessively when she’s bored. Chihuahuas are a high-energy breed and require a crazy amount of exercise and mental stimulation to burn the extra energy off. If you recognize boredom is the problem, you need to help her burn off that excess energy. Taking your pet for a longer or extra walk each day and offering interactive toys or puzzle games that keep your dog’s attention and make her focus can greatly reduce this type of barking.

How to Stop a Chihuahua From Barking?

When you ask how to stop excessive barking, you’ll find a lot of information about anti-bark collars for Chihuahuas. Before you assume that a bark collar for teacup chihuahuas is your answer there are a few things to know about bark collars and small dog breeds. First and foremost, relying on an anti-bark collar to eradicate your pet’s nuisance barking neglects the underlying issue.

If you don’t use the bark collar properly, you’re not going to have success. Bark collars, like other training devices, are not intended to be set-and-forget methods for training. The best approach to dog training is train, treat … and repeat.

In addition, anti-bark collars can injure the skin from ill-fitting collars or from wearing them for long periods. Collars can also increase fear and anxiety in your pet, leading to more undesired behaviors like aggression. While we aren’t proponents of shock collars, we aren’t against all bark collars. In fact, some bark-control collars that spray, vibrate and emit ultrasonic sounds can be very effective if you use them the right way.

What about a bark shock collar for chihuahuas? That’s a big no. BarxBuddy encourages pet owners to use a safer alternative and support #StoptheShock efforts. 

How to Train a Chihuahua to Stop Barking?

Although small dogs aren’t necessarily more difficult to train than larger breeds you must take into account their diminutive size. Commanding your dog from your height may intimidate your Chihuahua and cause him to be unresponsive to your command or defensive. Instead, when you begin your training, bring him up to your height by placing him on a safe surface or kneel down or get down on the floor so you can communicate face to face. Over time, your dog will learn to trust you and you can return to standing in an upright position. 

With that said, it’s important your Chihuahua understands you’re the alpha in the relationship. With their cute looks and adorable personalities, it’s easy for small breeds like the Chihuahua to take charge (admit it, you give in to your dog’s every whim!).  

3 quick tips for removing bark triggers

  1. If your pet’s problem is territorial barking, “cloaking” the stimuli can often be a quick solution. Close the curtains, blinds, or doors, so your pet can’t see people walking or cars passing by your home, kids playing outside, or other animals running around.
  2. To help alleviate your dog’s anxiety when you’re not home, leave behind a shirt that smells like you. To distract him, play a movie on the TV, or music on the radio, all of which can calm your pet. You may also want to have someone your pet likes to visit and spend time with her. 
  3. Ignore attention-seeking barking. Chihuahuas are quite adept at getting what they want, so ignoring her attention-seeking barking can help your pet learn that she can’t get her way all of the time. Ignoring your pet means no speaking or looking at her; otherwise, you could inadvertently reinforce the behavior, ensuring it’ll continue.

Stopping vs Reducing Barking

In the end, you really don’t want your dog to stop barking altogether. You can’t stop her from expressing herself; you can, however, let her know when you understand her messages so she’ll stop.

We highly recommend using an ultrasonic training device to interrupt your dog’s excessive barking. Then, once you get her attention, you can issue a “quiet” command and reward her with a tasty treat or something she loves. Learn how to use The BarxBuddy, and

Regardless of which type of barking you wish to reduce, you must accept that your dog will continue to bark for various reasons; it’s in her genes. Also, remember that the way you handle the situation will directly affect your pet and her future behavior. Lastly, never yell at your pet. Your dog can view yelling as you’re joining in and encourage her to bark more; it could also increase your pet’s fear and anxiety and cause her to start displaying other negative behaviors.