First of all I just want to thank you for sharing all this information here. I’m sure that it has been great help not only for me, but a lot of other people with Chihuahuas. Having said that, I have a question that’s a little more specific than just the breed as a whole. The question I wanted to ask is why does my Chihuahua bark at almost everyone he meets? It started off with just people but now I noticed him barking at other dogs as well. Even when the dogs that he is barking at are ten times his size. Is there anything we can do to stop this?
I’m glad people find something helpful here on this site. It’s the reason I created it in the first place. So thank you for your support. Now before I answer your question, let me just say that what you’re describing is not that uncommon amongst Chihuahuas. In fact I would guess that the majority of Chihuahuas have shown the behavior you’re describing to some degree at some point in their lives.
The cause for it could be due to a number of different reasons. Here are just a few off the top of my head:
- Jealous/Possessive of their owner
- Defending their territory or property from intruders
- General dislike of someone
- Overcompensation to make up for the small size
- Fearful barking to scare away intruders
Ask yourself if there is a pattern to his behavior. When does he do it the most and when does he not do it? Knowing this information will help you pinpoint the cause of the behavior.
Majority of the time though it’s happening because of one of these reasons:
1: The dog is jealous or too protective of his owner. If your Chihuahua gets to the point where he feels jealous anytime you talk to anyone, he will do everything he can to win back your attention. This would include scaring others away by barking. If this is the case then you will have to work on your dog’s behavior to get rid of jealousy driven actions. Although it might seem cute at first, the behavior can turn bad quick if the dog feels like he has to compete for your attention with others.
2: The Chihuahua feels threatened by the size of everyone around him and tries to compensate with a loud bark. Sometimes it works, sometimes it backfires. Unless there really is a threat, you shouldn’t let this behavior go on. It’s usually a sign of lack of socialization.
3: If this is a puppy that barks and chases everyone, he could be just playing. Sometimes a dog that doesn’t really know how to play with humans, but still wants to play, will bark and chase people thinking they are just playing a game. If you own a puppy that plays too aggressive or too rough, I suggest you read this page first: My Chihuahua Puppy Won’t Stop Biting.
Barking at strangers every now and then isn’t unusual for dogs. It should only become a concern if it becomes an inconvenience or a regular thing. Hope this answered your question, or at least shed some light on the topic.