When many new Morkie owners get their fluffy new puppy, they have overly high expectations of what life will be like. They expect tons of love and affection – not to be barked at a lot. Morkies aren’t guaranteed to bark frequently. But, there are plenty of cases where they bark more than owners would like. So, what is going on here and what can you do to make the situation better?
If you feel as though your Morkie is barking a lot more than they should, it is important to get to the cause of the problem. The sooner you understand why your dog is barking, the sooner you can do something about it. Generally speaking, Morkie barking tends to stem from feelings of fear or uncertainty over a situation. This could be fear of strangers, being left alone, or other stimuli that are alarming. Then some simply bark for attention.
Do Yorkies or Maltese dogs bark a lot?
The risk of any territorial barking, which is discussed more below, is fairly high because of the Yorkshire terrier genetics. The Yorkie parent could be a surprisingly good guard dog and pass that ability to their offspring. But, without the right training and correct reinforcement, this could lead to excessive barking instead.
Of course, there is a chance that your Morkie doesn’t inherit that desire to bark at threat or strangers, but instead has other issues that lead to vocalization. Both the Yorkie and Maltese are lap dogs that crave companionship, so vocalization can help them get their own way.
Territorial barking to warn off strangers.
The first type of Morkie bark to consider here is the territorial bark. This tends to occur only when dogs fear that their home and pack are under threat. This is completely fine if you have a dog trained as a guard dog who knows when to alert you to the presence of strangers. As long as there are measured response and control, this barking can serve a purpose.
The problem is that Morkies don’t always develop this level of control or understanding of the right types of strangers. They could bark incessantly at friends, delivery personnel, or anyone else that enters the home. Poor training and socialization will only lead to chaos. It is important to get barking under control and to socialize pets early on.
Fearful barking due to triggers.
Then there is barking through fear of a trigger. This can appear to be similar to the above in some situations. Barking may express fear of unknown people rather than a desire to protect you from them. Here, it is important to look at other signs of distress. Are they whimpering and shaking? Are they backing towards you for comfort? Positive reinforcement and gentle desensitization can help here. Avoid any sort of immersion therapy as this can get traumatic.
Anxiety barking in stressful situations.
On a related note to fearful barking is anxiety barking. Dog with anxiety disorders, such as separation anxiety, May voice their distress in an attempt to get your attention and to call you back into the room. This is where it pays to get to the root of the problem. Deal with the anxiety and you can deal with the barking as a knock-on effect. Be aware that Morkies do get very attached to their owners and struggle with this issue. You can learn more about this in our guide on whether Morkies can be left alone.
Barking to get attention.
Finally, there is the issue of attention. Morkies can also be demanding animals that crave love and affection at all times. One way of manifesting this is to lick your face. Again, we have a guide on excessive morkie licking here. Barking may also work in their favor. If you come running when they bark, they will assume that they have won and done the right thing.
How to stop Morkies barking so much
The best course of action for your little friend will depend on the situation. Dogs barking through fear may need lots of positive attention and reassurance while dealing with a trigger. Calming aids like sprays, compression vests, and other tools could help too. However, dogs barking for attention need to be left alone in another room to see that barking doesn’t work. Other tools could also help, such as humane anti-barking collars. Just make sure that the collar is reliable and a good fit. Don’t go for any shock collars as they can send the wrong message to these sensitive little dogs.
When should you call in the experts for help?
Most problems with Morkie barking are resolvable when you can figure out the cause and eliminate it. Treat the anxiety, correct the territorial behavior, or simply refuse to pay attention for no good reason. But, there may be times where it feels as though nothing you do seems to work. There is no reason to keep on suffering from excessive Morkie barking if you have tried your best to correct it positively. This might be the time to talk to a vet or an animal behaviorist. Vets can help with any deeper stress or anxiety issues that may lead to barking. Behaviorists can also advise on training and other tips that could prove helpful.
So why does my Morkie bark so much?
In short, while Morkies aren’t the quietest dogs in the world – thanks to their Yorkie heritage – they shouldn’t bark excessively without good reason. There is a chance that you could end up with a decent guard dog with the right training, but there is also the risk that they will bark incessantly at everyone and anything inside. Don’t put up with this behavior or any signs of anxiety barking longer than you have to. Work with your Morkie, as early as possible in their development, to show them that barking doesn’t help their situation. Also, work hard to remove any potential stress factors and to use any corrective measures positively and constructively.