Yes, dogs indeed bark to communicate, but it becomes a nuisance to dog owners and their neighborhoods when they bark excessively. When this happens, questions about how to make the dog stop barking excessively ensue.
We have been able to identify a few ways to adequately train small dogs to reduce the unwanted noise they create from excessive barking significantly, but, at first, you must understand what causes them to bark so much.
The reasons why small dogs bark so much are usually because of small dog syndrome (SDS) and breed temperament.
However, you must know that no training technique can totally take away dogs’ barking behavior, as it can be likened to human beings speaking, which is for a reason; to communicate.
Five Reasons Why Small Dogs Bark So Much
Leader of the Pack Instinct
All dogs are naturally pack animals, and small dogs don’t take too much time to learn about the hierarchy within the pack.
They are highly sensitive to this aspect. Small dogs are adorable, and it isn’t out of place to care for them so much.
Many dog owners care so much for their dogs, pamper them, and make sure they are always comfortable.
This treatment has a way of making the dog feel like the pack leader. You’ll notice behaviors like dictating what to eat, where to sleep, and show a dominant presence in the home.
They begin to feel the responsibility for their pet human’s security.
Small Dog Syndrome (SDS)
Small dog syndrome is most common among dogs of small sizes like Pomeranians.
SDS includes excessive yapping, jumping on strangers and other dogs, barking at anything that passes or comes close, nipping, terribly seeking attention, growling, lunging, etc.
It is believed that these attitudes are acquired as a result of over-pampering. Therefore, many dog trainers think these behavioral issues are picked up.
However, it is questionable whether small dogs show these syndromes because they need to overcompensate for their small size.
These behaviors can be blamed on dog owners for allowing small dogs to default all rules, something they would never condone in big dogs.
As you can see, this is a common excuse for small dogs barking too much.
This is the part most dog owners don’t get right. What would you expect from an adult dog you didn’t train well when it was small?
Most people feel they are small and innocent, so teaching them is unnecessary. Wrong!
Small dog owners are implored to take their pets’ training seriously and firm. Commands, eye contact, gestures, and many more have been proved effective over the years.
A well-trained dog would know what each sign means, and when ordered to stop barking, it does just that. The gravity of proper training is the same for dogs of all sizes.
In addition, dogs are motivated to oblige to commands when the training is upbeat and supportive. They feel the care, which is essential in raising small dogs.
Boredom and Loneliness
Dogs are social animals, and they feel like part of one’s family.
However, while leaving one’s dog at home while busy at work is part of owning any pet, small dogs can get anxious and stressed when alone and begin to bark.
In this case, the dog’s excessive barking cannot be attributed to poor training or being naughty but a mere show of being lonely.
Dogs always want people around them. Dog owners can manage this situation well by keeping their pets busy and amused with some mentally-engaging stimulations.
Small dog breeds like the Papillons, Dachshunds, Beagle, etc., bark more because they are naturally more aggressive. This is where proper training and routine exercise kicks in.
However, dog owners are advised to exercise their naturally aggressive dogs to relieve them of stress, hence becoming calmer and out of strength to bark excessively. This is a cheat code for dogs like this.
Seven Tips to Reduce Excessive Barking
Dogs can bark when they are startled, sense danger, or when they want to greet, which is entirely normal.
But, excessive barking due to any of the reasons mentioned above, breed temperament, small dog syndrome, etc., can be infuriating that you might want to do away with your pet.
But the good news is that it can be remedied.
First thing first, dog owners must identify the cause of the behavioral issue in the first place.
This step is critical to knowing the best technique to use. This way, it will be a head-on approach to the problem.
Here are seven ways to stop your small dog from barking too much.
While this has proven effective, you should not expect a miraculous, positive turnaround overnight, as this requires patience and dedication to have a calmer and less noisy pet.
In the long run, you can be sure to have the best result. So, let’s get down to the techniques involved herein.
Use of Anti-Stress Devices
While you are away at work, your dog may feel anxious and stressed due to being alone, consequently barking too much.
Some devices on the market can alleviate this problem. Professionals call them “anti-stress devices.”
This technology uses pheromones, which mimic the ones used by vet doctors to comfort their pups, or herbal mixtures that help suppress anxiety in dogs.
Anti-stress devices are easy to use and inexpensive, and they have proved to be highly effective in reducing excessive barking in small dogs.
The Use of Commands
They are small and young, so they are very trainable in commands like looks, gestures, specific sounds, etc.
Adequate training ensures that you get an obedient dog and one that doesn’t bark excessively.
Dog owners must make some effort to ensure their dogs learn to bark on command. Of course, this is easier said than done, but these dogs will learn with persistence and little compensation.
As time wears on, they will learn to bark on command without compensation. Then, you would know you now have a well-trained dog that is calmer and less yappy.
The rule to knowing the exact technique to use in containing a small dog’s excessive barking is identifying its cause in the first place.
Desensitization means paying rapt attention the what’s causing your dog to be disgustingly noisy.
Dogs may yap loudly and steadily when they see something frightening or calling their attention. You need to understand what they bark at.
Are they barking at the coffee guy each time he comes to the door? Is it the delivery van? You must positively desensitize your dog to whatever stimulus causes them to bark.
To take the full benefits of this technique, you must bid time and patience to ensure your dog comes out well.
For instance, if your dog yaps at a delivery van that passes often, you can take note of the time it passes, and as it comes into view, you can distract or engage your dog.
When done repeatedly, they become used to the stimulus and begin to act normal.
Boredom is one of the reasons why small dogs bark excessively, so dog owners must look to alleviate this problem by wearing them out.
Exercising your small dog is a good way of tiring them out. This way, they only have little energy left to yap excessively.
Ensuring that your dog has enough physical and mental exercise reduces the likelihood of barking from boredom, loneliness, or frustration.
For example, keep them on a long walk, and have them chase something around.
You could start with a ball, like a lawn tennis ball that can bounce around. Then, when your dog chases a couple of times, there won’t be much energy left to bark excessively.
Removing of Offending Objects
There are some cases whereby dogs bark at some things they see around. For instance, your dog might bark each time it sees cats around.
You don’t have to kill the cats before your dog can stop seeing them; NO! You have to remove the visual stimulus by closing the blinds on them or shutting the doors/openings to see these cats.
Use of Spray Collar
Spray collar uses citronella smell that helps reduce excessive barking in small dogs.
Many dog trainers have recommended this type of collar to the mild shock collar, and it has proven to be more effective and safer.
How the spray collar works is simple. When your dog barks, the collar releases a liquid mist on its face to distract and discourage it from barking more.
The continuous use of a spray collar encourages your dog to bark less.
Although a spray collar may not be effective on determined barkers but can be a worthy accessory to other technique(s).
Use the Help of a Dog Expert
This feels like a last resort should nurturing your small dog become more challenging. However, there are dog experts who know what to do to ensure you have the best of dogs.
These experts use adequate and effective measures to identify the cause of excessive barking behavior, reduce it, and work with you to carry on with it.
Dog experts include dog walkers, dog whisperers, dog psychologists, dog trainers, dog handlers, dog caretakers, etc. First, you have to identify which one best suit the dog problem you have at hand.
Training sessions can be as long as one to two weeks, and some can be daily. The dog expert will be the judge of this.
Sessions are coupled with follow-up instructions and training techniques to continue at home on your own.
This ensures training continuity unless you want to leave your dog with the trainer.
We have shown you seven effective, tried, and trusted ways to alleviate or reduce disturbing barking in your small dogs.
But which choice of technique you make hinges on the dog’s temperament, the cause of the barking, and of course, how deep your pocket is.
Small dogs are tender and prone to behavioral issues like this, which explains why you must be persistent and compassionate about the training.
Harsh treatments like shock collars, spanking, punishment, and yelling are unacceptable because they only do more damage than good.
Excessive barking is a cause for concern, but you must treat this concern with care. We hope this article has been able to help you realize how to have a quiet, good dog.