Why Do Small Dogs Bark So Much?
If you own any type of dog, no matter their breed or size, they’re bound to bark once in a while—it’s just what dogs do. If you’ve owned many breeds of dogs or are around dogs often, you may notice some dogs use their voices more than others. In particular, small dogs are often more vocal than their larger counterparts.
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Reasons Small Dogs Bark
Small dogs bark for many of the same reasons that larger dogs do. These could include:
- A lack of training around inappropriate behaviors (i.e., excessive barking or growling)
- A desire for attention
- The pack instinct to join in, if you own multiple dogs
- The temperament and habits of the dog’s breed
However, many small dog owners, in particular, have issues with excessive barking and other unwanted behaviors due to a phenomenon known as small dog syndrome. Small dog syndrome occurs because people treat small dogs differently to larger ones.
Because they pose less of a physical threat, small dogs are routinely allowed to bark excessively, growl, and jump up wherever they please without any consequences.
However, though your small dog’s lack of training may not create the threat of physical harm to you or your guests, you may find yourself annoyed by your small dog’s constant vocalizations.
Ways to Reduce Your Small Dog’s Barking
Are you tired of nonstop barking from your small dog? Excessive barking is a nuisance not only for you, but for neighbors and guests as well. Luckily, there are several ways to teach your dog that constant barking is not acceptable.
Plus, you can also learn to meet any needs your dog might be communicating with their barking.
Ignore the Behavior
Many small dogs bark because they want attention, and if this tactic worked for them in the past, they’ll only continue to do it.
If you ignore your dog–when they attempt to get your attention by barking–they’ll learn over time that this strategy no longer works. Rewarding your dog once they become quiet after barking is a great way to encourage this new habit.
Use a Bark Collar
Bark control collars are nothing like the shock collars of the past.
These completely humane and safe devices teach your dog not to bark by emitting a warning beep when they detect excessive barking, followed by a light vibration if the dog doesn’t stop. The vibration doesn’t hurt the dog but encourages them to be quiet to avoid the sensation.
Only Reward Alert Barks
When you’re working on reducing barking with your dog, it’s important to remember not to discourage all barking. If your dog barks once or twice when they hear a knock at the door or see a stranger outside the window, they’re simply alerting you to possible danger.
Reward your dog for this behavior and then soothe them by addressing the reason for their alert bark. If they continue to bark once the guest comes in or the stranger passes, ignore this behavior or discourage it with a no-shock bark collar.
Keep Your Dog Properly Exercised
In some cases, dogs bark simply to entertain themselves and release excess energy. You can help expend your dog’s energy healthily throughout the day with long walks complete with lots of interesting smells, which should leave your dog feeling content enough to lounge quietly at the end of the day.
Separate Them from Other Dogs
Many dogs have a barking fit just because another dog around them barks and their pack mentality is kicking in. This affects small dog owners more than large dog owners, as owning multiple small dogs is more common than owning multiple large dogs.
If one of your dogs instigates barking spells among the others, you can discourage this behavior by separating them from the rest of the dogs. This way, your dog will learn when they bark excessively, they become isolated from their pack.
With the right training tools in place, you can stop that noisy behavior.