Named after the Mexican state of Chihuahua, these dogs are widely regarded as the smallest of the dog breeds. Like most modern-day dogs, Chihuahuas have a history shrouded in mystery.
Chihuahuas are also known to be quite yappy dogs and if you’ve been around them, you’re probably aware of why they are known for that.
So in answer to your question “Do Chihauahas bark a lot?” …yes, they do, but why?
In this article, we will be looking at why Chihuahuas bark a lot, what causes it, and how you can minimize it!
History Of The Chihuahua
The general acceptance by historians when it comes to this small breed is that they were discovered in the Mexican state they were named after, some time in the late 1800s.
Mexican merchants would sell them to border tourists, and that’s how a lot of Chihuahuas ended up in the US. They were referred to as “Mexico dog”, “Texas dog” and “Chihuahua dog” but only the latter name stayed with them.
However, there is a lot of debate about Chihuahuas and where they came from before this period.
One of the most plausible debates and theories is that Chihuahuas are descendants of the Techichi, a now extinct breed of dog that originated from pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures and civilizations, as well as Native American tribes.
The Techichi was roughly twice the size of the Chihuahua, but they share a lot of the same characteristics. Besides the size difference, the other biggest difference between the Chihuahua and the Techichi is that the Techichi was mute, making no sound.
This is just a theory though. No one knows for sure if the Chihuahuas really do descend from the Techichi, but it is one of the most plausible theories as to where they come from.
So Why Do Chihuahuas Bark So Much?
Chihuahuas are very high-energy dogs and they need to expel that energy during the day, or it builds up. This is one reason why they might bark so much.
Chihuahuas are known to be very territorial and protective dogs. Despite their size, they often seem to act like they are the same size as a Rotweiller. If they see another dog or another human and perceive them as a threat, they will bark incessantly.
They can perceive anything else to be a threat for the most minimal of reasons, even just getting too close to them or you could be enough to set them off.
Another big reason they bark so much is because of separation anxiety. Chihuahuas are well known for getting separation anxiety. They usually get very attached to their owner, both out of love and because of their size, their owner serves as a good defense for them.
Because they are so small and weak, they don’t have very many useful defense mechanisms, so barking is usually their best tactic for warding off things they find threatening. If you’re away for too long, they start to feel scared and defenseless, so they respond by barking.
Some Chihuahuas get such bad separation anxiety from their humans that they can’t ever be out of sight from them. As soon as the human leaves, the Chihuahua will start to bark immediately and this can be a problem.
Can You Minimize The Amount Barking?
Luckily, there are ways you can minimize the amount your chihuahua barks, but you have to be patient in this process. Chihuahuas bark out of necessity, and just because we think they are barking at nothing sometimes, doesn’t mean that’s the actual case.
The first step you need to take when trying to minimize the barking is to recognize why they are barking. Do they bark as soon as you leave the room? Do they bark when they see other dogs, even if the other dogs are minding their business?
Do they find something within your home a bit threatening? Once you get to the root of what is making them bark, you can begin to combat it.
Once the recognition is made, you can start checking to make sure you aren’t rewarding them for their behavior. Like all dogs, Chihuahuas can be trained and their behavior can be adjusted. When they bark, avoid giving them treats and try to minimize how much attention you’re giving them.
It will be hard to just ignore them, but over time, they will learn that barking won’t get them anywhere and they’ll either try other (less annoying) tactics, or they’ll simply stop barking so much.
It is important though to remember sometimes they are barking for a reason. You need to learn to differentiate between when the barking should be ignored and when you should take action.
As mentioned previously in this article, if your Chihuahua isn’t getting enough exercise, it will bark to compensate and let that energy out. Make sure you’re taking them for regular, once or twice a day walks and play with them when you’re at home!
If you’re really stumped on why they are barking so much, you can take them to a canine trainer or a behavioral specialist and they should be able to help you get to the root cause of why your dog is barking so much.
Chihuahuas are well known for barking a great deal more than other dogs do, which can be quite overbearing and even frustrating at the best of times.
It is important to remember that when you have a Chihuahua as a pet, you will have times when their barking might get to you. Although they are very small, they are very high maintenance!
But don’t lose faith! As long as you make sure they are getting plenty of exercise and you’re paying attention to what they are actually barking at, you can deal with it without much stress.
Barking is a natural defense mechanism of the Chihuahua, so you just need to help them understand that they are safe and protected. Once they know that, they will start to relax!