Chihuahuas are known for their small size, big personality and their loud bark. Keeping your Chihuahua from barking at strangers can be challenging. They have a strong watchdog instinct and a natural mistrust of strangers. It’s important to socialize your dog from an early age so they become used to new people and environments. But sometimes this natural caution rears its head in unexpected ways – like when a visitor comes to your home. It’s not uncommon for a Chihuahua to bark at visitors or even guests staying with you for extended lengths of time. They’re wary of anyone who isn’t a family member or their other dog friends, like the Pomeranian down the street. If your Chihuahua is prone to barking at visitors, here are 10 tips on how you keep your Chihuahua from barking at strangers!

Be Consistent

Consistency is key, especially when it comes to training and socializing your Chihuahua. If you’re not consistent with your approach, your Chihuahua is going to get confused and will probably end up barking at everything because they don’t know what’s expected of them. If a visitor comes over and your Chihuahua starts barking, don’t ignore your dog. If you do, they’ll think the barking was successful and keep doing it. Instead, follow your training program and be consistent with how you address the barking. If you’ve trained your Chihuahua to bark on a specific command like ‘quiet’ or ‘no bark’, use it. If you haven’t, then pick one that works for you and your Chihuahua. Every person in your home needs to use the same command to get your Chihuahua to stop barking.

Train Through Rewards

Rewards are a great way to reinforce good behavior. They can be verbal praise, a treat, or even a pat on the head. They should be something your Chihuahua enjoys so they associate the reward with their good behavior. If your Chihuahua loves a good belly rub, then they’ll definitely be more likely to stop barking when you give them a pat on the tummy. Rewards can be used in combination with verbal commands to encourage good behavior. They can also be used as a distraction when your Chihuahua is barking. If you’ve got friends over and your Chihuahua is barking, try picking up their favourite toy and getting their attention with it. When they look away from their barking behavior, reward them with their toy. If they pick up their toy again, give them another reward.

Establish Boundaries and Advance Responses

When your Chihuahua first starts barking at visitors, let them know they’ve crossed your boundaries by firmly saying “no” in a low-pitched voice. Tossing a treat on the ground in front of them as you say “no” will also help them associate the word with something positive. If your Chihuahua continues to bark, pick them up and put them in another room with the door shut for a few minutes. Let them back out when they’ve quieted down. Be sure to give your Chihuahua attention when they’ve calmed down and stopped barking. If your Chihuahua is barking when you’re not home, set up a surveillance camera or two as soon as possible. A barking dog isn’t going to stop if no one is there to correct them, so having cameras set up will allow you to communicate with your Chihuahua from afar.

Don’t Shush Your Chihuahua!

Shushing your Chihuahua is likely to make them bark more. It’s a way of communicating to them that their barking is successful, which will only encourage them to keep doing it. If you have guests over and your Chihuahua starts barking, try shushing them. If they keep barking, ignore them. If you shushed them and they got louder, they know it worked, so they’ll keep doing it. Some Chihuahuas will stop barking after they’ve been shushed a few times. But, many will start barking even louder, or keep barking longer. They’ll keep barking because they know it worked and they want attention. If you shush your Chihuahua and they keep barking, don’t give them attention. Ignore them until they’ve stopped barking, then reward them with attention.

Provide Mental Exercises

Just like we need to work out to build our physical strength, Chihuahuas need mental exercise, too. Be sure to provide plenty of toys for your Chihuahua to play with. You can also provide them with places to climb or perch so they can climb and explore their surroundings. Chihuahuas are very intelligent and curious dogs and they can get bored easily. This is especially true if you have a puppy that’s growing quickly and needs to be challenged. If they don’t get challenged by their environment, they can become bored and start to bark. Provide your Chihuahua with plenty of chew toys and toys they can explore in their environment. Keep a rotation of puzzles and toys available to challenge your Chihuahua and keep them entertained. Bored dogs are more likely to bark as a way to entertain themselves.

Take Your Chihuahua on Walks Together

Chihuahuas are very social dogs and enjoy spending time with their owners. Taking them for walks is a great way to spend time with them and bond with your Chihuahua. Walks are also an exercise routine that keeps your Chihuahua from getting bored and barking. You can walk your Chihuahua with one of your other dogs for extra bonding time and fun. Make sure to keep your walks short at first so your Chihuahua can get used to the exercise. They’re prone to developing joint issues, so you want to make sure they’re not overdoing it. If your Chihuahua has a tendency to bark while they’re leashed near other dogs, try putting a bark collar on them. This will help them learn to stop barking without punishing them.

Use a Remote Trainer or Harness With a Lead

Remote trainers and harnesses with leashes are a great way to control barking without hurting your Chihuahua. If your Chihuahua starts barking while they’re on a lead, give them a small shock or a vibration to get them to quit barking. This is a great way to correct their barking without hurting them. And, it’s a great way to give them their needed attention and exercise. Remote trainers and harnesses with leashes are a great way to control barking without hurting your Chihuahua. If your Chihuahua starts barking, give them a small shock or a vibration to get them to quit barking. This is a great way to correct their barking without hurting them. And, it’s a great way to give them their needed attention and exercise.

Invite Over Other Dogs for Company

Having the occasional dog over to your house is a great way to socialize your Chihuahua. Chihuahuas love being around other dogs and it can help them become less territorial. Be sure to follow all of your Chihuahua’s vaccination protocols before bringing another dog over. If your Chihuahua has a tendency to bark at other dogs, try bringing them over when your Chihuahua is already exercised and tired. This will help keep your Chihuahua from barking at the new dog and will let them know they’re not a threat to your Chihuahua. Having dogs over for play dates is a great way to socialize your Chihuahua and help them get used to other dogs. It can help them become less territorial, too, making them less likely to bark at other dogs. Having dogs over for play dates is a great way to socialize your Chihuahua and help them get used to other dogs.

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