If you’re asking the question: “Why do small dogs bark so much?” Dog Ownership Guide did the research, so you don’t have to and the answer is below.
Why Do Small Dogs Bark So Much?
Small dogs bark so much because they are more afraid than big dogs. Barking can be a sign of anxiety and fear, so they bark to communicate the threat to stay far away.
Reasons Small Dogs Bark So Much
Anxiety and fear aren’t the only reasons small dogs (and many big dogs) bark excessively. The following reasons will help you understand why small dogs bark so much.
Nervousness can present in one of two ways:
Some small dog owners say their dogs will bark as though they are 200 pounds and ready to attack. While others say their small dogs run and hide. Excessive barking is simply the fight response that many humans exhibit when they become nervous.
Little dogs can see they are at a disadvantage, so they use their barking to seem much tougher than their size portrays. It’s all because of their fear that their small size will end up hurting them in some way – it’s called the small dog syndrome.
Separation anxiety is a common problem for many dogs, no matter their size. We believe it needed its own section because not only are canines anxious when they are separated from their owner, but they also become depressed.
Excessive barking due to separation anxiety communicates they are not happy and that they want their owner to come back as soon as possible.
A barking dog is a talking dog. A dog’s excessive barking is a way to get someone to pay attention to them. This is why it’s common to see a barking dog calm down as soon as someone picks him/her up.
Did you know that dogs will bark in your face when they want your attention? Just like humans will get in your face when they can’t get your attention some other way.
Have you ever spoken loudly or screamed out in excitement? How about talking more than usual because you’re so excited? Well, that’s what is going on when little dogs bark a lot. They are happy and they want everyone to know it.
Small Dog Syndrome
We mentioned it above, but it deserves details. Small dog syndrome is a small dog breed’s conviction. They know they are small and they want to be bigger. They bark because their bark is LOUD, which can overtake larger dogs. Well, at least they think so.
Pack animals have a leader and then pack members. Many small breeds try to be the pack leader, and one way they do that is by barking or exhibiting aggressive behavior.
Always remember that barking is the way that dogs communicate. While many times a small dog may bark out of anxiety, fear, excitement, etc., it could also be a sign of being in pain.
Depression and Anxiety
Can dogs sense depression and anxiety in others? Yes, and that may be a reason for barking. When they sense something wrong, they bark to communicate it.
Some dog owners wonder if dogs can sense autism in humans in the same way.
What to Do About Small Dogs Barking So Much
Now that you understand the answer to the question: Why do small dogs bark so much? you can start to tackle the behavior.
Dog Trainer for Training Sessions
If you can afford it, dog trainers are the best at helping small breeds stop barking so much. Since they are dog experts, they know how to communicate and work with large and small size dogs to get them to exhibit appropriate behaviors.
DIY Dog Training for Barking
If you’d rath work with your dog’s behavior yourself, here are some training techniques to try:
When trying to change a dog’s behavior, positive reinforcement works best. This means having treats readily available as a reward.
If your dog likes to bark on walks and won’t take treats on the walk, you may be interested in reading: Dog Won’t Take Treats on Walk
Expose, Expose, Expose
Expose your pup to barking triggers and when your pup barks, say NO firmly with eye contact. You do not have to be aggressive, but stating it as you mean it works well. When your pup stop barking, give your fur baby a treat and lots of praise.
The more you expose your dog to triggers, the more opportunities you have to teach proper behavior.
Short and Productive
A training session should be short and productive. Your dog’s attention span isn’t more than a few minutes, so you’ll have to work quickly and productively. When your pup stops paying attention to you, it’s time to end that day’s training session.
Avoid Other Barkers
Dogs are social animals and pack animals. If you take your pup to the dog park, be sure there are no other compulsive barking furry friends around. It will ignite a competition on who has the loudest bark, which doesn’t help your efforts.
Training at Home
You don’t always have to take your small dog on a long walk for proper training. You can do it inside your home. For instance, if your pup barks at old noises, you can produce those loud noises and do the same thing you would do outside – eye content and firmly say NO.
The Benefits of Bark Training for Small Dogs
Bark training is obedience training. As you work on your small breed’s compulsive barking, you can work on other behavioral problems. Many of the above training techniques can be used for other issues that you’d like to eliminate.
Learn more about why small dogs bark so much by reading: Do Dogs Get Tired of Barking?