Any dog lover knows that at some point, your dog is going to bark. Those of us that own small dogs may believe their reputation of barking a little bit more often and being a bit yappy. But why do small dogs bark so much? It can be quite frustrating when your dog is barking all day and all night. We are going to go through all the reasons why as well as some methods to help minimize this.
Although not every small dog barks a lot, a lot of owners find it a common trait in their behavior. You may wonder why do small dogs bark more than big dogs? Each dog is unique, and therefore their reasons for barking, are different. From little dog syndrome to anxiety, there are multiple causes for your pup’s yapping. Therefore, the treatment will be different in each case
Why Do Small Dogs Bark So Much?
Here are some of the main reasons that little dogs bark so much.
Lack of Training
It may be surprising but small dogs are often trained considerably less than large dogs. The reason for this is that small dogs are more manageable when they are bad, so owners may let little things slide until they become big things. Without learning terms such as ‘sit’ or ‘no’, they are not going to calm down or stop barking when told. Even just making sure your dog knows the word no is enough to begin controlling their barking. But without any prior training knowledge, your small dog will not understand boundaries and will continue to yap up a storm.
Compensation for Being Small
Little dog syndrome is a term to describe the behavior of many small dogs. They often feel threatened and vulnerable because of their size, so will try to appear louder and more aggressive to feel protected. This is seen commonly in social situations, especially interactions with larger dog breeds. The barking is often accompanied by a pose to try to make themselves seem larger, and their hackles raised and teeth bared.
Regardless of size, there are some breeds that simply bark more or are generally more vocal. Pomeranians and Chihuahuas are two such breeds. Sometimes these breeds have been deliberately selectively bred to have a louder bark, or to bark more frequently. Such as for the ratting dog the Jack Russell Terrier. Other times it may be that this behavior has been accidentally bred into the breed, or is a result of another trait. Such as the high-energy breed the Yorkshire Terrier, who may use barking as an outlet for their energy.
Many different dog breeds can suffer from separation anxiety. The ways this can manifest vary from destructive behavior such as tearing at furniture or carpets. Or vocal communications to express their emotions or to try to call someone back. It is a more common sign of separation anxiety in small breeds to see them barking, yapping, or howling. They are likely to express other symptoms alongside the barking, such as urinating inside or shaking as well.
How to Stop Your Dog From Excessive Barking?
There are a few different methods you can consider to stop your dog from barking.
- Ignore: Sometimes your small dog may be yapping to try to gain your attention. By ignoring them, you are not encouraging this behavior and they will realize that this will not gain your attention
- Exercise: Just because you own a little dog doesn’t mean that they don’t have high energy needs. Make sure you are walking your dog enough and using lots of toys to play with them and tire them out
- Distract: Sometimes your dog may be barking because of boredom. You can play with your dog, teach them tricks, or give them affection to distract them
- Train them: Use positive reinforcement to train them new tricks. Not only will you get an obedient dog who you can tell no to when they yap excessively. But you can also engage them and use up their energy through training. Some owners consider humane dog bark collars to prevent barking and train them to stop.
- Aiding separation anxiety: Treat the problem, not the symptom. Help your dog feel calmer with essential oils, crate training, and gradually increasing periods of being left on their own
Yappy Dog Breeds – FAQ
It could be due to anxiety, high energy levels, or a lack of training. However, there are many different reasons your dog may be barking. To identify the cause, note when your dog is barking. Is it socially, or when they meet a new dog? In which case it could be little dog syndrome. However, if it is during play, it could be excitement. Note the situation and you can find the cause.
Firstly you need to identify the cause, then you can find the right treatment. For example, if your dog barks a lot and doesn’t listen to you, it may be worth training them more. On the other hand, if they bark whenever you leave the room, this may be due to separation anxiety. In which case you will need to treat the direct cause.
Some small breed dogs that don’t bark a lot include:
– French Bulldog
– Shih Tzu
– Italian Greyhound
However, every dog is different so it cannot be guaranteed that dogs of these breeds won’t bark. It is best to visit a breeder and ask about the parents to gauge the likeliness of your new friend barking.
Smaller dogs in general do bark more frequently. This is often assumed to be because of a higher level of vulnerability and separation anxiety. However, there are many large breeds of dog that bark frequently as well as feel vulnerable and anxiety too. Just because you own a small dog does not mean they will bark frequently. Likewise, a large dog may bark very often. Check the breed of dog you are considering or own, and then evaluate the individual. As there are always anomalies.
This is very much an opinion based upon the image of a small, aggressive, yappy dog. Many small dogs are loyal, cuddly, and very intelligent. Every dog has their pros and cons, it’s just a shame that small dogs have been targeted with this label. If you think they are annoying, give them a chance to get to know you, you might be surprised.
So why do small dogs bark so much? As opposed to larger dogs they often feel more vulnerable and anxious. However, every dog and breed is different, so be sure to identify your dog’s cause before implementing a treatment.