For what they lack in size they make up for in their bark
By Catalina Barrios
Marley, my parents’ dog, is a Maltese. He is adorable and sometimes mischievous. He keeps my parents busy and makes them very happy. I love that Marley can even understand when my parents speak to him in Spanish. He runs to the nearest place to hide, which usually for him is behind a couch, when he sees my mom with a vacuum.
Something Marley does very loudly is bark!. Who would have thought a small dog like Marley would make so much noise? When he is with Kyra, my sister’s dog, an American Bulldog, he tries to bark as loud as she can.
Have you ever asked yourself why small dogs bark so much, and sometimes even louder than big dogs? Well, you’re about to find out why.
Something to consider when your dog barks so much is analyzing their behavior.
1. Asserting leadership
We may have the tendency of treating small dogs like babies, but this is not the best thing to do as they will think they are the ones in charge. Because they feel they rule your home, they will bark as loud as they can to get your attention. They also feel they are responsible for protecting your home and they will bark who gets close to you.
The last thing a dog wants is to feel she is being left out. By keeping your dog active it will reduce the intensity and loudness of their barking. Small dogs who bark all day do so because they are calling for attention; they feel lonely. This loneliness makes them feel stressed which could cause them to be destructive and aggressive. If you are going to be away for a long time, leave your dog with toys that will keep him entertained.
Every dog needs to be trained. You may think that because your dog is small, they don’t need to be trained since they are easier to pick up, scoop up, and move around. If a dog is trained, they will stop barking when you tell them to. If your small dog is not trained, don’t worry, because you can still train them as small dogs are fast learners!
When Marley, my parents’ dog, sits by the window, he barks uncontrollably when he sees other people or dogs pass by. He does this to let my parents’ know that someone “bigger” than him is outside. Next time your dog barks at the window or at the door, walk towards the window and look outside and then tell your dog to stop barking. He will see that if you are not afraid, there is no reason for him to be afraid either. It is good to reward them when they stop barking with a treat.
Small dogs need to spend time with people and other dogs. Just because they are small, that doesn’t mean they need to be alone all the time. By socializing with others, they will bark less as they will feel less scared. The more they engage with bigger dogs and people, the more comfortable they will feel around them and chances are, they will stop barking so often.
Credit: Instagram / @chusi.chi
A water bottle is your new BFF
You can train your dog to reduce their barking by using positive and negative reinforcement. Praise them when they don’t bark at a particular trigger. If you want them to stop barking, tell them to stop or squirt some water at their face. When they stop, reward him for being quiet.
Loneliness doesn’t breed silence
Don’t leave your dog alone and without any toys for a long period of time. They will get bored, feel lonely, and may turn aggressive.
Dogs are active. Set up a routine with your dog so he knows at a particular time of the day you will go for a nice walk with him.