June 27, 2016

How To Get Your Small Dog Stop Barking & Biting At You ….

How To Get Your Small Dog Stop Barking & Biting At You ….


How To Get Your Small Dog Stop Barking & Biting At You ….

You've probably heard the stereotype at some point that small dogs tend to be very vocal. Barking is a dog's way of communicating to humans, letting us know that he needs something (food, water, or intangible needs like affection and reassurance) or warning us of approaching intruders. Biting, when done without aggression, is usually a desperate attempt to get a person's attention. It's impossible (and unreasonable) to expect a dog to stop barking completely, but you can manage your pet's excessive barking and curb his biting habits with some basic training.

Stopping Your Dog's Excessive Barking

Know which breeds are most vocal.Some dog breeds are more vocal than others, and knowing which dogs will bark the most before you bring your dog home can help you avoid a potential headache down the line. Some notoriously vocal dog breeds include, but are not limited to:

  • Affenpinscher
  • American Eskimo Dog
  • American Water Spaniel
  • Beagle
  • Bichon Frise
  • Chihuahua
  • Chow Chow
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Dachshund
  • Maltese
  • Pomeranian
  • Some Terrier breeds


Understand why your dog is barking Barking may have been selectively bred for early on in dog breeding history. Barking is beneficial in that it alerts humans to potential dangers, and helps deter some animals from approaching. But there are many reasons why a dog may bark, and knowing why your dog is excessively barking may be useful in training him out of this undesirable behavior.


Territorial barking is probably the most common form of barking. Dogs will often bark in a seemingly aggressive manner to alert other animals, including humans, that the dog and his family live there. This behavior often extends beyond the physical home to other frequented places, such as the dog owner's car or the route the dog's owner walks with him.

  • Alarm barking is the other most common form of barking. Many dogs bark whenever a visitor or intruder approaches the house to alert the human residents of the approaching person.
  • Attention-seeking barking can be very problematic. This behavior usually develops when a dog is "rewarded" by his owners with food or attention in an attempt to assuage his barking. The dog associates the food/attention with his barking and learns to bark in order to get what he wants from his owner.
  • Greeting barking or whining are intended as a show of affection, but can become excessive and easily annoying.
  • Compulsive barking doesn't necessarily involve a catalyst. It may be a sign of separation anxiety, and it is frequently accompanied by compulsive movement, such as pacing or running in a certain pattern.
  • Social barking is very common. Many dogs bark in response to other dogs' barking, whether to warn those dogs to stay away or to attempt some kind of communication with those dogs.
  • Frustration barking occurs when a dog's mobility is restricted, and may be related to social barking.
  • Some dogs bark to indicate pain or discomfort to owners. Before attempting any training regiment to curb excessive barking, you should have your veterinarian examine your dog to ensure that he does not have any underlying medical problems.


Address territorial and alarm barking. This type of barking may not be entirely undesirable, but if it becomes excessive, it could become problematic.

  • If your dog barks excessively whenever he sees other dogs or people, try limiting his view of what goes on outside. Keep the curtains drawn, or confine your dog to a part of the house that does not face the street. Try using ambient noise around the house to block out the sound of neighborhood dogs.
  • Try exposing your dog to other dogs slowly and gradually. Exposure therapy can help desensitize your dog to the sight and sound of other animals, when done slowly and with great patience


Address greeting barking. This type of barking is intended as friendly communication. It's best to tread carefully with this type of barking, as you do not want to send the message that you are not happy to see your dog. However, there are some steps you can take to keep greeting barking to a minimum.

  • Don't make greetings a big deal. Have your dog sit and stay whenever someone comes to the door.
  • Reward your dog with treats and praise every time he greets you with a minimal amount of barking.


Address attention-seeking barking. This type of barking can be the most problematic, as it does not serve any desirable purpose for the dog's owners. It will require consistency and discipline, but over time you can curb your dog's attention-seeking barking.

  • Ignore your dog whenever he barks for no reason. This will be frustrating and may strain your patience, but it's important to sever your dog's association between barking and attention.
  • As soon as your dog stops barking to gain your attention, tell him to sit and reward him with praise and/or a treat. Eventually he will associate his cooperation with your attention, rather than associating his barking with attention.
  • Be patient and be consistent. Any deviation from this training could cause your dog to revert back to his attention-seeking behavior.


Address compulsive barking. This may be a difficult behavior to train out of your dog, since he does it out of his own compulsion and not in response to any real, external factors.

  • Try changing where and how you confine your dog. Consider switching from outdoor confinement to indoor confinement, for example, or using a fenced-in area instead of a leash tether.
  • Give your dog more distractions. These can take the form of rigorous exercise, or even just more interactive toys, but having mental and physical stimulation may help reduce compulsive barking in some dogs.

Address social barking. This can be done similarly to territorial and alarm barking, but limiting your dog's exposure to outside stimuli (in this case, his ability to see and hear other dogs outside your home).


Address frustration barking. Frustration barking is not entirely unlike attention-seeking in that once your dog feels that his behavior is being "rewarded" with attention, he will continue to engage in that behavior. Once your dog becomes conditioned to the fact that you respond to his impatient barking (right before going for a walk, for example), he will need to be broken of that routine, which may take time and patience.

  • Teach your dog to sit, stay, and wait. These simple commands will help reduce or altogether eliminate frustration barking.
  • Try enrolling your dog in training classes. Obedience training can go a long way in breaking a dog of bad habits and attention-seeking behavior. Replacing negative behavior with positive, reward-based behavior can more or less reprogram how your dog views his relationship with you.


Take your dog to see a certified professional dog trainer.  It's important to research a trainer before working with him or her. Even if a trainer is certified, you should look for reviews from other dog owners and see if your dog would be a good fit.


Consider using an anti-barking collar. This should really only be viewed as a last attempt when all else has failed, as many animal experts advise against shock collars due to the potential damage they can cause to dogs. Training will, in most cases, successfully teach a dog using positive reinforcement. Anti-barking collars, however, deliver an unpleasant sensation, such as a shock or an ultrasonic sound. While anti-barking collars do work, they operate on a negative reinforcement. It's better in the long run to work with your dog through training and obedience lessons, as your dog will inevitably recognize that the collar is what delivers the "punishment," and he may revert back to undesirable behavior.



Stopping Your Dog's Biting


Understand why your dog bites. Playful mouthing, in which a dog gums a person's hand or puts his mouth around a person's hand without actually causing pain, is a normal social behavior in dogs. If your dog is nipping or biting aggressively, however, that can cause a lot of problems, and could easily become a long-term habit if it is not properly corrected.


Teach your dog to play nice. Your dog may not fully understand boundaries, and may not realize that his nipping is not gentle or playful in your eyes. Bite inhibition should be taught from an early age to prevent more serious instances of biting or nipping in the future.

  • Stop play and interaction as soon as your dog nips or bites. This will help your dog realize that he caused you discomfort.
  • Wait about 10 minutes to allow your dog to cool down after he's been riled up and nipped at you. Offer him your hand, and if he nips again, repeat the process.
  • Every time your dog is gentle with you, give him praise and offer him a treat.
  • Start slow, and work your way up to incorporating more rapid hand movement during play. This will allow your dog to gradually adjust to fast-paced play without feeling startled or aggressive.
  • If you believe your dog will bite other dogs during interactions you should consider muzzling your dog, or avoiding interactions with other dogs as much as possible.


Use toys as a substitute. If your dog is nipping at you as a form of play, he may need an alternate outlet for that energy. Try giving your dog a bone or chew toy to redirect his need to nip.

  • Encourage low- or non-contact play time. Playing fetch or tug-of-war are much less likely to elicit a nipping/biting response than wrestling, for example.
  • If your dog tends to nip at your ankles while you stand or walk around your home, try carrying a toy that you know he likes in your pocket. When he nips, stop moving, show him the toy, and encourage him to play with the toy instead. Praise him whenever he stops nipping you. Over time, you may be able to stop carrying the toy and train him by stopping whatever you were doing and standing still.


Let him know it's a problem. Try letting out a dog-like yelp whenever your dog nips you. This may communicate to him, in his own terms (so to speak), that what he is doing is causing you distress. After you yelp, ignore him for 30 to 60 seconds so that he understands you are upset.


Try using a spray bottle. While most dogs enjoy being in and around water, a quick spray of water to the face is both startling and unpleasant, and some trainers consider it an efficient way to correct bad behavior without causing any real discomfort.

  • Scold your dog and say "no" as soon as he nips.
  • Spray him with one squirt of clean water from a plant misting bottle immediately after scolding him.