Ever wonder what your Morkie is trying to tell you when he barks?
If he’s like most dogs, the TYPE of bark will help you figure it out. Dogs have four basic types of barks, depending on their mood and the circumstances.
And while barking is natural — it’s an important way for dogs to communicate — sometimes problems can develop. So how to deal with the different kinds of barking especially when it gets over-the-top? The underlying principle is pretty simple: reward good behaviour and ignore bad behaviour.
Four Types of Barking
1. The territorial bark: distract your Morkie as soon as he starts barking. Catch his attention with a treat or by playing. Every time the bark cycle is broken, it sends the message that “quiet” will get the most reward.
2. Nervous barking usually comes about when your Morkie is nervous, lonely or suffering from separation anxiety. Make sure your Morkie gets as much of your undivided attention as possible when you are together, and if you’re out all day, is it possible for someone to come by mid-day and take the dog out for a walk? Or, try leaving the radio on.
3. Bored or lonely barking can be controlled with lots of good exercise; being walked on a leash reinforces the natural order of things: you are the pack leader and your Morkie can relax and follow. This helps settle and calm a dog. Plus it’s a great way to burn off your dog’s excess energy, while you burn a few calories at the same time!
4. Fear barking – if your dog has been traumatized or hasn’t had enough socialization, you may suffer through his ‘fear barking’ or acting out. This is a more difficult problem to address, but it can be managed.
Desensitization to the trigger, along with more socialization with people and other dogs, will go a long way to reduce fear barking. Work with your Morkie to get him to focus on you, so that you establish communication he can rely on.
Don’t forget to praise your Morkie for those quiet, non-barking times too. If he’s barking because he sees another dog and is fearful (tail down, ears flattened, crouching position)… the best and easiest solution is to remove the source of fear – the other dog, by taking your Morkie out of the scene.
Remember: Reward the good, ignore the bad
Many people must have noticed how dogs like to bark in the early evening. Indeed, twilight has sometimes been called “Dogs’ Barking Time.” Busy town dogs bark less than country dogs, but all dogs know all about the Twilight Barking. It is their way of keeping in touch with distant friends, passing on important news, enjoying a good gossip.