Does your Yorkie bark too much? Many owners are concerned, as Yorkies seem to bark at any noise. Compared to other breeds, it seems that the Yorkie barks a lot.
As it turns out, the Yorkie is barking for a reason that he thinks is valid; it is your job to learn what he is trying to say and help him to calm down.
There are steps that you can take that call help to alleviate the barking problem; The Humane Society offers some tips for stopping dog barking that might be applied to Yorkies as well.
- Don’t yell at your dog
- Keep training positive
- Be consistent
- Remove the motivation
- Teach him the “quiet” command
Understand His Barking
Barking is a way that the Yorkie communicates. By learning the types of barking, you can take steps to stop it.
- Low tone bark- He is perceiving a danger or threat, such as noise on the street, birds flying together or a loud car that is passing by.
- High pitched- He is trying to get your attention. Your Yorkie may want to go outside or play with you.
- Howling- You may not hear it, but your dog may be communicating with another dog outside.
- Growling – This may signify danger and be a warning. It can be combined with a low tone bark.
- Whining – The dog has emotional distress, pain, etc.
- Yelping – A dog will make a high pitched noise to indicate an injury.
Training for Desensitizing
Although the barking disturbs you, your Yorkie barks because he is being disturbed.
You will want your dog to know that barking will get him no attention; not barking will get him attention plus treats.
- When he barks at a noise, such as a doorbell, gently say “quiet.” Do not yell at him.
- When he is quiet, pat him on the head once and give him a small treat.
- If he starts barking again, stay by him, giving no attention until he stops. Then give him a treat.
Whenever he stops barking he should be given praise and a treat. That way he will begin to associate the treats with quiet. Rewarding and giving him praise is a type of positive reinforcement.
You can tickle or hug him – anything that is something that the dog likes. The goal here is to teach him that barking will get him no attention, while quiet is the way to be, with praise and treats.
Other Ways to Control the Bark
Give your Yorkie plenty of exercise. Brisk walks outside will tire him and make him less prone to bark. Separation anxiety is one thing that can cause your dog to bark.
If you work and have to leave him home for long periods of time, have a pet sitter or dog walker come in to keep him entertained and active.
According to the Nest, establish a routine, so your dog knows when to expect you home; often barking is just a way to relieve the frustration of being alone.
When you are home, a calm and consistent environment is the best way to control the barking.
Have a range of toys available for your dog if you are not home. That way his entertainment is not centered around his barking.
New and exciting toys will keep him occupied while you are gone, so you should refresh the collection every once in a while with new and exciting discoveries.
Know What Can Make It Worse
Confusion is often a cause of barking; that is why you should not yell at your dog to get it to stop.
Your little Yorkie does not know it is doing something wrong; from the dog’s point, he is only communicating or warning.
Shock collars are inhumane; do not use them on your dog. Yelling and punishment will not work to bring about a positive resolution to barking.
Draw Attention Away From the Disturbance
When your Yorkie is barking due to outside noises, draw attention away from the source.
Having him focus on your and the home inside will divert him from paying attention to what is outside that is disturbing him.
Your dog can learn things that will keep him from barking, like sitting, lying down, and to be quiet, as well as to speak to you.
He then focuses on you, rather than on the outside source of annoyance that leads to his barking.
Socialization training often helps when it comes to your Yorkie barking at outside noises. Take him for a walk around the neighborhood and let him meet and get to know the sounds and sights of the environment around your home.
Make sure he is on a leash as you chat with neighbors. His stress level will decrease with this familiarity.
If he starts barking, quietly say no, ask him to sit, and when he is quiet, give him praise or a treat.
Barking is normal for a Yorkie, but excessive barking is an annoyance that can be helped with the right training and a calm attitude on your part.
After all, he is just communicating. It is up to your to teach him when to do it appropriately.