wikiHow to Stop a Small Dog from Barking at You

This article is for those people who don't own a small dog but their neighbor does and that dog will not stop barking at you because it sincerely and passionately hates you. The advice provided here will not work immediately and does not guarantee results.


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    Mentally prepare yourself for the job. Why? Because if you start out disliking the dog this process will either take longer or fail. Dogs can pick up on the fact you don't like them. Start out by looking at the dog when it is barking at you and say: "Dog...You don't know it yet but we are going to be friends". The dog will probably bark louder at you. One thing to note here is that during this whole process do not lock the dog in the eye. That is a challenge to them. Look at them, but not directly in the eyes. Be very wary of a dog that is curling its lips back and showing its teeth. The training will take longer for a dog that is as aggressive as that and it may fail. No method is foolproof.
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    Do not scream " Shut Up!","Git!", or throw things at the dog. If this has happened, add one week to the training process for every time it has happened. Yelling, or throwing things at a dog and especially a Dachshund will only make them more angry.
    • In their mind you have just became the schoolyard bully who needs to be taken care of in short order. Dachshunds meet force with force. They don't care that you are ten times bigger than they are because they were originally bred to go down holes and kill fierce creatures that were bigger then they are.
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    Talk to your neighbor and tell them that you are trying the gentle method of getting their dog to stop barking at you. Ask the neighbor if it is alright to give their dog treats. Some dogs are on controlled diets because of food allergies or health conditions.
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    Tell your family members what you are doing and why. They need to be doing the same thing you are doing, otherwise this will not work. It may be too tempting for them to stand there and bark back at the dog. A smart dog will sense correctly that you are mocking them. Other dogs will just bark more.
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    At first, try to bribe the dog with food. If the dog hates you, it's not going to allow you to get close and it will interpret your actions as hostile. If you leave the food lying there the dog may eat it and still hate you anyway. An uncommonly smart dog will ignore any food offered from you even if it has NOT been trained to do that.. Don't be discouraged. If you are determined to try the food method, make sure that your scent is on it.
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    During the training period, always have your hands in the dog's sight, if possible. Avoid having anything in your hand that the dog will see as a weapon. Always keep in mind that you are trying to slowly build trust. Go about your normal business like you don't have a care in the world.
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    Most dogs have a strong sense of what is theirs and what is not. Observe where the dog goes potty. Find which spot it uses the most. Make sure the dog is not present and will not be around for an hour or so. Take some fresh dirt from a clean spot and make sure that the scent from your hands and feet is on the dirt. Put a small pile of it right into the dog's potty area. Then go hide and watch what happens when the dog discovers it. If the dog barks at the dirt, it's a bad sign. If it acts as if it's happy, that is an exceptionally good sign. You may have to repeat this a couple of times. Use this method when your other attempts have failed.
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    Try not to laugh at the dog. During the training the dog may do something that will cause you to laugh. Dogs (and many other animals) interpret any showing of teeth as a sign of aggression. Stay relaxed and stoic.
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    After placing the dirt, do not make any moves toward the dog. Let it come to you. If it approaches you and is not barking, make NO moves toward it. It is still trying to decide if you are good or bad.
    • Your first move towards it should not be hasty and any wrong move you make will set the process back. If you think you can touch the dog, let it smell THE BACK of your fingers. Be prepared to pull your hand away quickly.
    • Don't look the dog in the eyes. Talk to the dog gently and say its name and watch its general body posture. If the dog accepts smelling your hand, very slowly and carefully stroke its back just a couple of times. Don't overdo it. Then you go back to your normal activities. If the dog stays with you, ignore it unless it comes up to you for attention again.
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    Once the dog has allowed you to touch it, continue on with what you normally do. The dog may still occasionally bark at you but continue to ignore it. After a few days, you should notice that it's wanting more and more attention from you. It's now time to seal the deal. Start giving the dog some treats. This will seal its friendship with you. The treats will help if there is a setback. Let's say you accidentally step on the dogs foot. Bring those treats out and give them to the dog to show that you mean it no harm.
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    Once the dog is friends with you, the method of telling the dog to stop barking at them is far easier. In full sight of the dog, treat them as if you are really happy to see them. Have them set down. Make sure they have dog treats. Call the dog over and have that family member give them treats. If the dog breaks into ecstasy you have won especially if that dog is a finicky eater.
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    This step is the hardest one. Try NOT to fall in love with the dog. Tell yourself that this was only to get it to stop barking at you without the neighbors getting angry at you. It's your neighbors dog not yours. Of course if the neighbor wants to sell/give you the dog then by all means ignore this step. In fact if this advice has worked for you you may very well one day find yourself adding your own tips to this article while a sleeping happy dog is curled around your neck as you type on a laptop in your favorite chair.
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    Remember that this process takes time. There will be several times during the training that you want to give up thinking that it does not work.Don't give up. With some dogs you will have to be as stubborn as a Dachshund for it to work. Once the process is done you will find that you have a small dog that would cheerfully give up it's own life to save yours.


  • Don't underestimate or overestimate the intelligence of a dog. Don't think that they are all stupid and don't think that they understand full sentences.
  • No matter how much the dog barks at you IGNORE it. Go about your business like the dog does not exist.
  • Make no attempt to pet the dog at first. Make no attempt at just about anything. You may however talk to the dog in a friendly manner when it first sees you for the day. It will bark at you but you tell it that it's a good dog. This throws them off balance and gets them confused about the idea they have that you are a bad person. If you see their head drop slightly and their tail take on a slight friendly wag you are making good progress.
  • Get on the internet and research the habits of the breed of dog you are dealing with. If the dog is a mixed breed this will be more difficult. You'll have to find info on each breed the dog is and then make a guess as to which breed the dog acts like. Find out the likes and the dislikes of the breed and adapt your methods as need. The American Kennel Club is a good Start.


  • Always remember that the dog belongs to your neighbor NOT YOU. You'll find that it's hard not to offer advice on the dogs day to day life. It's OK to offer it when it concerns something they may not know about the dog or if it's in trouble of any kind.
  • If you own a dog that a neighbor is trying to befriend you should at first question why the neighbor is doing it. Only allow it to happen when you are completely satisfied that nothing bad will happen.
  • DO NOT put yourself in a position to be bitten. A common mistake most people make is to not realize just how fast some small dogs can bite. Usually it's just a blur of motion that you have no time to react to. It also emboldens some dogs to bite you again.
  • The dog, especially if it's a Dachshund, may fall in love with you so much that it gets it in it's little head that you WILL be it's new owner. They will pursue that goal like they pursued game in Germany many years ago. If you are a person who did not like small dogs before you will feel more guilty than others in turning them away. You will find that you have developed an admiration of the breed and may have fallen in love yourself with the dog that hated you.
  • As stated above let your neighbor know what you are attempting to do with their dog. They should appreciate the fact that you are using the most gentle means possible. Sometimes There will be unintended consequences. A close look at the upper screen on the picture at the right will reveal a dachshund shaped hole. The befriended dog leaped through the screen to go see her new friend. Not good because there is a six foot drop. The dog was not hurt and was very proud of herself. Had a camera been close by the expression on it's face was priceless.

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Categories: Dog Obedience