Why do some dogs bark a lot? Some are just chatty

  • A Yorkshire terrier fetches a tennis ball. Yorkies are known as a vocal breed, but veterinarians can advise owners on how to curb excessive barking.

    A Yorkshire terrier fetches a tennis ball. Yorkies are known as a vocal breed, but veterinarians can advise owners on how to curb excessive barking. PATRICK KUNZER | Staff Photographer, 2010

 
Updated 7/2/2019 6:46 AM

"Why do dogs sometimes bark a lot? I have a Yorkie!" commented a young patron from the Grayslake Area Public Library.

The dog days are coming soon -- the summer swelter that ancient Romans believed swept in savage storms, mad dogs and bad luck.

 

Today's dog days are packed with fun activities that invite dog owners and their four-pawed friends, such as White Sox baseball games, Libertyville's Dog Days of Summer, the PAWS Chicago beach party and the Chicago Hot Dog fest -- pet dogs welcome.

It is the littlest dogs that seem to have the most to say -- big dog attitude packed in little dog bodies. Many little dog breeds seem invested in stating their claim and yapping the last word. There are many reasons why dogs bark, and at the head of the pack is that some breeds are just chatty.

Dogs bark when playing, when calling attention to loud and high-pitched sounds such as sirens and out of curiosity. Fear and loneliness can fuel excessive barking. Positive reinforcement can nip negative behaviors before they become serious. Veterinarians can offer advice tailored to the breed and the situation.

Yorkies, formally Yorkshire Terriers, are one of those breeds. Terrier breeds such as Yorkies were bred to hunt rats. Victorian ladies adopted these pint-size companions and the breed became very popular. The spunky Yorkie is affectionate and lovable, and because they weigh under 10 pounds, extremely desirable for people in smaller houses and apartments. Another plus is that they are hypoallergenic. A veterinarian at Vernon Hills Animal Hospital brushed aside the barking as purely a Yorkie thing. According to the American Kennel Club, Yorkies rank 10th among America's most popular dog breeds. As dogs continue to win over owners and earn household member status, there is no doubt that the little Yorkie will edge up the list.

Vets report the most vocal dogs are miniature schnauzers, dachshunds and German shepherds. Little dogs are just letting you know they need your love. The bigger barking dogs are bred to protect, and they will sound the alarm if things do not seem right.

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