A little dog, in some cases, will bark more than their larger brothers and sisters. No matter what, dogs are meant to be our companions. They crave and enjoy any amount of attention we give them, whether its good attention or negative attention. Believe it or not, we train our little dogs on how to act.
What are 5 ways to stop your little dog from barking?
- Figure out why your little dog is barking
- Give your little dog some exercise
- Give your dog the silent treatment
- Teach your dog to speak
- Use a bark control device
We love them because they are there for us no matter if we are having a good day or a bad day, they don’t judge us and they generally always want to be around. Our little dogs can even improve our quality of life simply by having them around.
While little dogs are great companions, are small enough to cuddle and can sit comfortably on your lap, their relentless barking can become quite frustrating. There are many ways to get your little dog to stop barking, here we will reveal the top five ways to stop your little dog from barking.
#1 Figure Out Why Your Little Dog Is Barking
Dogs bark for several different reasons:
- Boredom and loneliness
- Socializing and Communication
- Greeting or Territorial
- Fear or Alarm
Getting to the root of the barking itself is an essential step in getting your little dog to stop barking. If he is bored or lonely, and just needs some attention, give him a pet, play with him or take him outside.
Maybe he is trying to communicate something to you or another pet. He may also be doing it to alert you of something that’s going on.
Your little dog may also bark to greet people or to warn them to stay away. Alternatively, he could be scared of new people or alerting possible intruders.
Tips, Tricks, and Training
- Be patient: Losing your temper, yelling at your dog, or physically punishing your little dog will only exacerbate the issue and work against all that you are trying to accomplish. Keep your cool, stay focused and remain patient.
- Be consistent: You will have to try one thing at a time and stick with it. Consistency is key, and the barking will not cease overnight. Practice makes perfect.
- Be positive: Use positive language and a positive tone when training your dog. Dogs can sense negativity, anger, and frustration. Remaining upbeat while training works wonders in the long run.
#2 Give Your Little Dog Some Exercise
One of the first things to consider is whether your little dog has had exercise. This is physical and mental exercise. An exercised dog turns into a dog who will be well-rested, calmer and in a better mood. He will be so well-rested from running around that he won’t have the time to sit around barking your ear off.
Exercise doesn’t have to just be taking a walk or a run. You can play fetch, wrestle, or even let your dog out to go run around the backyard. Get a routine down. Set a schedule to walk your dog a couple of times a day; morning and night. Get their blood pumping. Your dog will be so excited and thankful, he may end up taking you for a walk.
Honestly, what is the worst that can happen by going for a walk? Exercise is proven to uplift everyone’s spirits. Everyone can benefit from a good walk, some fresh air, and a stretch!
Options for mental exercise include interactive toys that your dog can play with. Items that keep him mentally engaged. Teach him a trick like shaking hands, get him a new toy. This link (Cesars Way) to Cesar Milan’s 6 Ways To Challenge Your Dog’s Mind is a great jumping-off point.
#3 Giving Your Dog The Silent Treatment
This one may be a bit harder for people who love to cuddle and love on their little dogs. But, drastic times call for drastic measures. The Humane Society actually recommends this training regimen for a little dog:
- When you put your dog in his crate or in a gated room, turn your back and ignore him.
- Once he stops barking, turn around, praise him, and give him a treat.
- As he catches on that being quiet gets him a treat, lengthen the amount of time he must remain quiet before being rewarded.
If you are reading this, chances are you have reached your limit when it comes to your dogs’ barking. No one likes to be the receiver of the silent treatment, especially dogs, they crave your undivided love, attention, and affection.
#4 Teach Your Dog to Speak
Teaching your dog when to speak is a great tool in training him when it’s ok to bark and when he should be quiet. This technique can be compared to a reverse psychology tactic.
When your little dog starts barking, tell him to speak and put a treat in front of his nose, let him smell it and when he stops barking long enough to take a whiff of the treat, give him the treat. You should continue doing this until your dog learns to speak on command.
After he successfully learns to speak (bark) on command, turn it around and tell him to speak, when he does tell him to be quiet. Once you tell him to be quiet, put a treat in front of his nose to sniff. Once he stops barking, give him the treat. Each time you give your dog the command to be quiet and he stops barking, give him a treat!
# 5 Bark Control Device
Some of the bark control devices can seem a bit inhumane. We won’t cover those. But there are a few others that just might do the trick for little dogs that are emotional barkers.
- A Citronella Spray Collar: These collars spray a little bit of citronella into your dog’s face when he barks. The collars are safe, gentle and non-toxic. There are collars that come with or without remote control for training purposes, like this (Amazon)
- Stress-Reducing Collar: Like a firm hug, the stress-reducing collar can help small dogs feel more secure. This can eliminate nervous and fear-based barking. Pet Life has an entire list of the best stress reducing collars to check out here (Pet Life Today).
- The Thunder Jacket or Thunder Shirt: The name of this anxiety-reducing tool gift from the Gods is hilarious but it does exactly what it says. Similar to the stress-reducing collar but a full-body hug that makes your dog feel safe and secure. You can find them online at Chewy.com here (Chewy).
- No Shock Anti Bark Collar: These collars use sound and vibration to deter your little dog from barking. There is nothing that sprays or shocks your pet. They are perfect for smaller breeds of dogs. Amazon has them in a variety of sizes and colors here (Amazon).
- Spray Bottle: The old time tested and trusted option. Get a standard spray bottle, fill it up with water and send a small, gentle spritz of water your dog’s way when he’s being dramatic. This is non-toxic and can be a helpful tool. Of course, it may end up making more of a mess than anything, depending on how much your dog tends to bark.