Toy dog breeds such as toy poodles and pugs are popular companion dogs, as their small size makes them easy to handle. They are excellent for elderly people or for those who live in apartment buildings. Unfortunately, toy breeds typically have high-pitched, shrill barks. Properly train your toy breed to not bark excessively, while remembering that a dog's bark is its voice and some barking is to be expected.
Ignore your toy breed puppy when it is barking unnecessarily. This will prevent your dog from learning that by barking it will get your attention. Do not scold your dog, as that is still giving it your attention in response to barking. However, be aware of when your dog is simply trying to tell you that it is hungry or needs to go to the bathroom.2
Maintain an adequate feeding schedule and take your dog for regular bathroom breaks in order to prevent it from repeatedly having to bark to remind you.3
Make sure that your dog is getting plenty of exercise. Even though toy breeds may not require the activity larger breeds do, they may bark if they have a lot of pent up energy.4
Provide your dog with items of diversion. It may be barking because it is bored. Toys, bones, or even another dog can help.5
Do not leave your dog alone for long periods at a time. Toy breeds like affection and to be near their companion. Being left alone can result in emotional distress, which can lead to excessive barking.6
Use a consistent and gentle form of obedience training if the barking persists or in "trigger" situations. When the dog is barking at a cat or at someone knocking at the door, approach the dog (do not call the dog) and in a normal voice say, "quiet." Then squirt it lightly in the face using a water bottle. You can also tell it to sit, to further establish control. Toy breeds often like to bark at strangers and this form of negative reinforcement can be used in those situations.7
Follow proper obedience with positive reinforcement. Give your dog love or a treat. You can also let the dog know you have a treat in your hand while you are telling it "quiet," but don't let it have the treat until it has done so.