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Barking at Night

When a Yorkie Puppy is Barking All Night

Or Crying and Whining

Overview

There's nothing that can zap the fun out of having a new puppy than when the pup is up all night barking. crying or whining. It's similar to hearing a baby cry for hours on end... you feel very bad, and you do everything you can to try to stop it, but at the same time it can be extraordinarily wearing. 

If your Yorkie puppy is waking you up all night long, you'll find yourself sleep deprived and probably a bit grouchy in the morning, which doesn't lend well to starting the next day off in a good way.

So, for the sake of both your Yorkie and you, we'll look at some helpful tips to stop a puppy from being vocal at night.

Reasons Why a Puppy Barks at Night

Brand new puppies - It's very common for brand new puppies to cry for the first couple of weeks due to missing their former home. In essence, the pup has been taken away from everything that he knew; most importantly the dam and his littermates. So, while getting a puppy is a fun and exciting time for you, it can be a very stressful time for the pup. 

All puppies - Until a Yorkie learns to sleep for the night (and he will, don't worry) there are many elements that can wake a pup up or cause him to have trouble settling down. 
  • Bathroom needs - While this is here at the top of the list, it is by no means the only reason. In fact, most puppies that are not fully housebroken will not bark or alert owners to bathroom needs because they have not been trained to do so. 
Even so, most owners believe this is the reason and therefore are not successful in stopping the crying or barking.

A trip outside, whether or not the pup pees or poos, will often just temporarily stop the barking due to the change of activity. And when the owner goes back to bed, the puppy will start up again since his more basic needs are not being met. 
  • Feeling too confined - It's a shame that small crates are not just taken off of the market. There is really no need at all for a crate other than the type that is used for traveling on an airplane or when you need to crate an ill dog to bring him to the vet.
You won't want to crate a Yorkie at night since this can really exacerbate barking and crying. Small crates are very confining which can make a puppy or dog feel claustrophobic, 'trapped' and afraid. It increases stress and certainly does not lend to sleeping peacefully. There are other, more appropriate methods. 
  • Insecurity - It can take a puppy quite some time to be used to his surroundings enough to feel safe and secure. Up until that time, if he is not given tools to help him feel safe, he is not equipped to handle these sometimes overwhelming feelings. 
  • To gain attention - This is a really big one and is very connected to all of the other reasons for barking at night. When barking or crying leads to a human coming to the rescue, no matter the original cause, it temporarily offers relief. 
And since the goal is to teach the pup to sleep through the night quietly, running to him is only a short term solution. 

How to Stop a Yorkie Puppy From Barking, Crying and/or Whining at Night

Taking into account all of the above reasons why a Yorkshire Terrier puppy may bark or whine all night long, there are definitely steps you can take to stop this and help him relax. It is important to note that choosing just one tip will produce little to no results. It is when you implement all methods that you then have all possible causes covered. And this is what will resolve the issue. 
1) Have the right set up.  This is crucial and should be the first thing that you attend to. The best set up for a new puppy (or a Yorkie of any age, really) is to:

Have an indoor portable canine playpen. 

There are several reasons why:
  • You can easily move it from room to room as needed
  • It keeps all of a pup's needed essential in one easy-to-access area
  • It can offer the perfect sized 'den'. It is larger and more airy than a crate, but is offers a sense of protection. Dogs, particularly those that are not used to new environment or those that have trouble when left home alone, do best when they are in a designated area. 
  • The right sized playpen keeps the pup confined to one area to limit both house training accidents and any destructive chewing.
Within the playpen, have a bed. 

A proper bed will also play a role in offering a feeling of security. If offers a warm, comfortable cushioning from the floor (on which both the cold and vibrations can be unsettling for a pup). A quality bolster bed will aid in offer that feeling of having a safe 'den'. 
2) Offer the right tools. It's really best to think of toys as tools, since these should not be purchased arbitrarily, but instead each should be carefully chosen to meet a certain need. 

There are several types that a Yorkie puppy should have to meet various needs that result barking at night.

For attention seeking and boredom - Until a Yorkie syncs his schedule with his humans and enjoys a good night's rest, he may keep waking up and pretty much instantly become bored. Instead of barking out to have you come running, wouldn't it be nice if he was able to keep himself occupied for a bit instead? 

This can be accomplished (and again with implementing all methods) by having a few select toys that will hold his interest. Those that make noises or speak work very well for these instances. 

For hunger and/or water needs - Always leave cool, fresh water for your pup. And in regard to food, small toy breeds like the Yorkshire Terrier often need to eat small amounts quite frequently. In fact, if they do not blood sugar levels can quickly drop (hypoglycemia). For this, be sure to leave a small amount of food in a properly sized bowl.

For older pups, treat release toys work fantastic; however, if you have a brand new Yorkie puppy most likely he will be a bit too small to work these types of toys. 

For comfort - Being alone at night, even if a pup is in the same room with his humans, can be scary. A pup is used to hearing heartbeats and feeling the warmth of his mother and siblings. 

Very fortunately, you can offer him something very similar to this.  There are companion toys that emit a soothing heartbeat, are made of super soft, cuddly materials and can also emit a comforting warmth (optional). These are so fantastic, they can literally change the whole dynamic for a Yorkie. It helps dogs at night and when home alone to combat separation anxiety
3) Assess temperature.  If your Yorkie has a cozy bed and your house is kept at a comfortable temperature, he is probably feeling okay in regard to temperature. However, do assess if his spot is too close to a heating vent, AC unit or if there are any drafts in the winter.
4) Know when to go to your pup and when to use all of your will-power to refrain. 

In regard to bathroom needs, every owner has rushed to a crying pup at night, believing that it was an important step in housebreaking. And this is not to say that it's not; the thing is that it is not about 75% of the time.

If your Yorkie urinated and had a bowel movement in the evening before you put him in his spot for the night, at the very most, he may need to pee. If you do believe that there is a valid reason for taking him out for this, by all means do so. However, take care to make it clear that this is a serious time and not one for play.

Keep lights as low as possible and while it may be hard to fight the urge, do not pat your Yorkie or speak very much. Middle of the night bathrooms trips should be short and to the point, with the pup being rewarded for doing the deed, but then placed right back in his spot afterwards. 

Within his playpen, you will have toys, food & water and his bed. In all remaining spaces, have pee pads. Since a pup rarely soils his own belongings, if he needs to go to the bathroom and you do not respond to that call, he will most likely do so on the pads. 

Teaching a puppy to self-soothe is an important stepWith his set up complete and with all his needs met, feel confident that you do not need to respond to each bark, whine or cry at night. It may seem cruel to ignore a pup. However, if you have him in a pen, on a cozy bed, in a warm room, with toys to keep him busy, food and water, and a companion toy, you can feel good that he has all that he requires.

By staying back and allowing him to learn to seek out what he needs (and again, it's all very close to him), you are teaching him a valuable lesson. And only in this way, will he stop barking or crying and learn to settle himself down to go to sleep

How Long it Takes Teach a Puppy to Stop Barking or Crying at Night

For the most part, this is really dependent on you. The more you go to a barking puppy, the more he will bark. You will essentially be teaching him that barking brings you to him. And the more you go to a crying puppy, the more he will cry. You will be teaching him that any and all wants are to be provided directly by you.

If you follow this advice and both give him the tools to self soothe and allow him to do so, barking and crying often ends after a 2 week period. 

While you may lose quite a bit of sleep over this short time, it is well worth it in the end since the alternative is barking at night, essentially without end. 
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