Why Do Small Dogs Bark So Much? 5 Reasons & Solution

Have you ever caught yourself thinking: Why do small dogs bark so much?

People who have spent a lot of time around dogs may have noticed that all dogs bark, regardless of their size. However, some dogs are more vocal compared to others.

For example, a Rottweiler or German Shepherd may bark often but not nearly as frequently as Yorkshire Terriers or Chihuahuas.

The most noticeable problem with small dogs is how high-pitched their barks are. Pitch, though, is everything.

Small dog breeds are typically shorter than 18 inches and weigh less than 22 pounds. Some of them include Terriers, Chihuahuas, Corgis, Pugs, Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, etc.

Before going into why small dogs can’t seem to stop barking at every little trigger, let’s briefly explore the reasons small dogs bark more than big dogs.

Furthermore, we will discuss some valuable methods on how to stop or reduce barking.

Why Do Small Dogs Bark So Much? – Top 5 Reasons You May Not Know

Small Mixed Dog on Carpet Barking at Something

1. Little or no Training 

Pet parents don’t often invest as much time and effort as they should into training their small dog breeds, usually dismissing any aggressive behavior as inevitable.

Sadly, this lack of training can result in many behavioral problems including incessant barking, aggression, and small dog syndrome.

It can also be dangerous for your little fur baby; for instance, if it doesn’t learn to come when called upon, it could end up getting hurt or worse still, lost.

Regardless of size, however, a well-trained dog is a better companion than an ill-mannered one.

2. Excessive Pampering 

This is another reason that explains the inability of many dog owners to handle small dogs.

The root of the problem is the fact that most pet owners tend to treat their small dogs as though they’re cuddly babies or cute cats.

Whereas, it is every pet parent’s responsibility to treat their little dogs the same way they would a large dog.

For instance, if they start to bark when they want something you’re eating at the moment, ignore them. Do not oblige them with the attention they need at that moment.

The moment they stop barking, praise them for behaving properly.

The same thing goes for whatever they do without taking permission first, such as: climbing onto your bed, eating, jumping on your lap, etc.

3. Overlooked Behavior

Small Dog Barking Looking Up

Picture this: A large dog starts to growl or bark. What action does the owner take? He looks up and tries to understand the reason behind the barking. 

But when a small dog barks, it’s almost unnoticeable and may not divert your attention from what you’re doing.

This causes the little dog to become more vocal in order to get the attention it needs.

When your dog exhibits this behavior, do not ignore it as it might be alerting you of impending danger.

4. Boredom

As a dog owner, do you leave your little dog alone at home when you’re at work or on a trip?

Although this action is normal and prevalent among many pet parents, it may cause anxiety for your pooch. 

This may result in behavioral issues, with one of the symptoms being incessant barking.

Most toy dog breeds do not like to feel lonely, abandoned, or left out, and they like to be vocal about it.

Keep in mind that your pup has no intentions to misbehave in this case; rather it is simply looking for someone to play with and waiting for a response.

5. Natural Aggressiveness

Aggressive Dog with Woman on Leash Barking at Another Dog

Small dogs bark so much because some breeds are typically more aggressive than others, no matter their size.

Some of these breeds include Dachshunds, Beagles, Papillons, and Cocker spaniels.

If your small dog is extremely aggressive, don’t lose hope. Apart from proper training as well as discipline, ensure that your pooch gets as much exercise as it needs to.

Your pooch needs to go out for a run and explore its surroundings.

Being involved in a lot of physical and mental activity will leave your pup with little or no energy to bark at all when home.

Dive Deeper:
Why Do Dogs Bark At Nothing? 5 Reasons & Solution

How Do I Get My Small Dog To Stop Barking All The Time?

The next time you wonder: Why do little dogs bark so much? remember that it is simply in their nature.

Nevertheless, if you would like to see your dog change its incessant barking behavior, the ball is in your court. 

Now that we have explored the various reasons why little dogs bark so much, here are proven methods to reduce excessive barking in small dogs.

1. Ignore attention-seeking barking

White Pomeranian on Sofa Barking for Attention

Dogs have a habit of barking uncontrollably when they require the attention of their pet parents or when they need something.

They are known to bark over even the smallest things such as wanting to sit on the couch with you or lay in bed beside you.

They tend to bark for reasons as minuscule as simply wanting your undivided attention as they can be deeply clingy and attached.

Getting your pooch to stop acting up will require you to ignore all their attention-seeking barks and focus on whatever task you have at hand.

Your small dog will probably turn it into a habit when it knows that barking for your attention always works, whether it’s for an important reason or an insignificant one.

Dive Deeper:
Do Dogs Get Tired Of Barking? What You Should Know 

2. Lap time only when called 

Small dogs tend to want as much attention from their pet parents as they can get.

They can also be extremely possessive and will want to be around their pet parents even when they’re not called upon.

This behavior shows indulgence and a lack of discipline. If you do not invite your pup up, do not allow them to jump up on your lap.

Your fur baby needs to understand that it should only take such actions when you gesture as such or call out to it.

Excessive petting as well as freedom to act up may cause your little pup to result to barking in order to get lap time or anything else it might want. 

3. Warn against growling that results in barking

Close Up Little Aggressive Dog Showing Angry Teeth

Small pups are known to growl at the slightest occurrence, which is why it is important to discourage growling that may result in your dog barking at everything.

When your pooch starts to growl, it is important to command it to “stop” or “no,” before it quickly turns into a bark.

In the event that your pooch growls at a child, a visitor, or other dogs, you should give them a “time out”.

This will teach your pup that barking should not always be a last resort when it sees strangers

4. Make your territory known by setting boundaries

Small dogs have a tendency to be all over the place and often do not know boundaries.

For this reason, it is important to make your territory known to your pooch and teach it to understand boundaries.

For example, if you’d like your dog to nap in your bed, make your pup do that at your feet. Your pooch does not require a pillow on your bed.


The next time you think: Why do small dogs bark so much? remember that they communicate their feelings through barking.

They bark in order to get the attention that they need at any given time.

Ironically, some people think that the pitch of a dog’s bark is dependent on its size.

Contrary to that thought, toy dog breeds are known to have high-pitched barks.

Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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