How do you stop a small dog from barking?

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  1. TheLifeExperiment profile image58
    TheLifeExperimentposted 12 years ago

    How do you stop a small dog from barking?

    I live with a chihuahua (not my choice), and all she ever does it bark! Her real owner, who also lives with us, refuses to do anything about it. Do you know of any ways to humanely stop a dog from barking at every little thing?

  2. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image59
    Dubuquedogtrainerposted 12 years ago

    It depends on why the dog is barking. Things I recommend for all of my clients, regardless of cause are proper training (with positive reinforcement - I prefer clicker training) for mental stimulation and to build confidence and sufficient exercise (minimum of a once daily walk OFF the property - 1/4 - 1/2 mile for every 10 pounds of body weight). The way to properly "punish" barking behavior is by ignoring it - giving the dog attention, even if just yelling at the dog does nothing and only reinforces the behavior. If the dog has any anxiety-related barking I recommend a product called the Calming Face Wrap ( It is an inexpensive elastic strap that fits over the dog's muzzle and behind its neck like a neck collar. I have seen it work wonders on dogs with anxiety-related barking! Also, make sure the dog has plenty of hard chew toys like Nylabones to chew on. You can also try some interactive dog toys such as food dispensing toys like the Kyjen products, e.g., the Star Puzzle (my personal favorite) and a peanut butter stuffed Kong. Praise the dog and give it treats when quiet. "Kikopup" has a good video series on barking on Youtube that you can watch:

    Maybe I should write a hub on this since it is a common question...

  3. JayeWisdom profile image88
    JayeWisdomposted 12 years ago

    Dubuquedogtrainer gave you such a thorough answer for addressing the barking issue (plus a link to more info) that I won't try to improve on that.

    I would, however, like to ask you if perhaps you resent the dog's "real owner" more than you resent the dog's barking, but are directing your resentment toward the dog because that seems preferable to a confrontation about something else.

    You make a point of stating that it's not your choice to live with the chihuahua, but mention that the owner "...also lives with us." Perhaps this extra housemate is the relative or friend of the other part of "us"--your other housemate (spouse? partner?) , whom I presume you do want to live with, but you feel constrained to allow the third party's presence rather than upset your relationship with the second.

    I realize I may be reading something into your question that isn't there, but if I am right, I hope you'll address the main problem for your own peace of mind and happiness. Anytime one feels forced to live with a person not of their own choosing, resentment may occur. If the main issue is not confronted directly (albeit tactfully), that resentment may take over your life and spoil your relationship with the "second" party.

    If you weren't accustomed to being around a small barky dog before this one moved in, I'm sure it's probably getting on your nerves, and I hope Dubuquedogtrainer's suggestions are helpful in that respect. If my intuition was working properly when I read your full question, I also hope you'll take steps to address the underlying issue, even if it requires getting counseling to cope and be comfortable with a living arrangement you may not like.

    If, on the other hand, I was dead wrong, please accept my apology and consider me "butting out."

    Whatever the case, good luck!

  4. NetBlots profile image40
    NetBlotsposted 12 years ago

    With a chihuaha you say? I think you can kiss that idea good bye then wink hehe

    1. NetBlots profile image40
      NetBlotsposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      You could always try a bark collar too, they work WONDERS!

    2. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image59
      Dubuquedogtrainerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      If you're referring to a shock collar ("e" for electricity collar) the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, the American College of Animal Behaviorists and the vast majority of other reputable professionals advise against shock collar trai

  5. mary615 profile image83
    mary615posted 12 years ago

    Try squirting a little water from a spray bottle on the dog's nose.  The owner may not like this, though.  It worked for my and my little barker.  Now, when she barks for no reason all I have to say is "want to get squirted?" and she stops.

    1. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image59
      Dubuquedogtrainerposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      I used the squirt bottle method years ago before I knew about behavior change through positive reinforcement training. I would only need to say, "I'm going to get the squirt gun." It worked, but not the most effective way to change behavior.

  6. LiamBean profile image79
    LiamBeanposted 12 years ago

    The owner is the problem. If you live in California you can evict this person because they (the owner and his/her pet) are a nuisance. California law says an eviction over nuisance has no recourse, in other words, this is not something that can be negotiated away.

    The squirt bottle method is effective, but I only recommend it for habitual barkers.

    There is also the "bark collar" which delivers a progressive shock (up to five or six) to the dog if it barks repeatedly in the course of half an hour. The advantage here is the collar is doing the punishing and no human can be singled out by the dog as the source. This does two things; it prevents the dog from acting differently with different humans (they are smart about that) and it DOES NOT HURT the dog.

    Finally, you could just get rid of the owner.

    Too bad laws don't require the owners to go through training instead of their pets.


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