Are Yorkies barkers? Despite its endearingly small size, Yorkshire Terries can be big barkers. This breed is notorious for barking as part of its active and territorial nature. Such a habit can put you in a lot of trouble, especially if you’re living in an apartment building.
On the upside, a Yorkie’s affinity for barking comes in handy as an alert dog. The pooch will bark the moment someone knocks on your door or when it hears unfamiliar noises. However, control is necessary, so your pooch won’t become a noise machine.
In this post, I discussed the steps you need to take to control your pet’s barking. Still, don’t hesitate to ask the help of a professional dog trainer if all your efforts aren’t working.
Are Yorkies barkers?
Yorkshire Terriers are vocal canines. Their outgoing disposition makes them a handful to raise and train. For first-time dog owners, this problem can be extremely frustrating. But why do Yorkies bark so much? Here are the things you should know:
🐶Yorkies have a unique ear position.
It’s difficult to mistake the perky ears of a Yorkie. It allows them to hear sounds better, which is why you’ll see your pooch becoming suddenly alert in the slightest sound. As a result, your Yorkie will bark more to scare away whatever danger there is.
Such barking is beneficial as Yorkshire Terriers are great watchdogs. However, you need to tame it with training, so your pooch won’t just bark any chance it gets.
🐶Yorkies get bored easily.
Since Yorkies have high energy levels, they can get bored easily if locked inside the house alone. They will bark to entertain themselves and to expel the extra energy. Also, excessive barking is a sign that your doggo is suffering from separation anxiety.
It’s important to keep your Yorkie busy with interactive toys when you’re not home. Ample exercise is also crucial to drain the energy of your bored doggo.
Separation anxiety, fear, or physical pain will also make your Yorkie whiny. This will be accompanied by howling and barking as a cry for help. Take note that Yorkies in pain can be aggressive when touched even when fully trained and socialized.
🐶Small dog, big personality
Never underestimate the personality of a small Yorkshire Terrier. This dog means business when faced with danger. They will bark, bare their teeth, and launch an attack if need be. Such a big personality makes them quite yappy.
Like any cause of barking, this can be corrected through proper training. You just have to be patient since Yorkies can have stubborn streaks.
🐶They want to communicate.
If the barking is directed towards you, the reason might be your Yorkie wants to communicate something. Your pet is probably hungry, bored, in pain, or wants to start playtime.
High-pitched barking is often an attention-seeking behavior. You should never give in to what your dog wants, as this will just reinforce the behavior.
What your Yorkies bark means
Like how humans speak, the tone of a dog’s bark will reveal a lot about what it wants to convey. So if your Yorkie suddenly barks, you should check for the following pitch:
- High-pitched bark. This indicates that your Yorkie wants attention. It’s also an expression of the desire to play, eat, or go out for a potty break.
- Low-pitched bark. When a Yorkie barks at a low pitch, it means that they perceive danger. They use this bark as a warning to the owner and to scare away the cause of danger.
- Howling. Howling is the way dogs communicate with each other. Domesticated canines only developed barking to communicate with humans. Overall, howling is normal, but you have to control it to avoid nuisance.
- Growling. This is a direct warning to animals and humans to stay away. Yorkies who do this often bare their teeth and are ready to attack.
- Whining. This is pretty common among puppies when they experience emotional distress. It’s also a sign that your Yorkie wants something.
- Yelping. Yelping is a classic sign that your Yorkie is injured or in pain. The reaction is often more evident when you try to touch or lift the pooch.
How to stop a Yorkie from being excessive barkers?
To fix your dog’s barking problem, the following are the steps you need to take:
✔️Know why your Yorkie is barking
First, you should understand why your dog is barking in the first place. A quick assessment of the surroundings will give you an idea about what’s triggering your pooch. For example, the presence of a stranger, another dog, or an object that your pet associated with danger could be potential triggers.
By knowing what’s behind the barking, you can apply the proper solution. It will also help you understand your Yorkie’s personality better.
✔️Teach your dog to bark on command
Teaching your Yorkie to bark on command is the best way to avoid excessive barking. It teaches your dog that there’s a time and situation for barking instead of serenading the neighbors all day long.
For this training session, you need a clicker, smelly treats, and a cue word. The cue word should be consistent and easy to recall, like ‘speak’ or ‘bark’. Once you used a cue word, you should stick to it the whole time.
Here are the basic steps of how to teach your Yorkie to bark on command:
- Mark the Yorkie’s bark. The moment your Yorkie barks say the cue word immediately (ex. ‘Speak!’). You can also use a clicker before saying the cue word to help your dog associate the bark with the audio marking.
- Reward. Once your dog barks and you say the cue word, you should follow it with a yummy treat. This will help the Yorkie associate the cue word and barking with the rewards.
- Integrate a hand signal. Aside from the verbal cue word, you can also associate a hand signal to the bark command. For example, you’ll open your hand with the palm facing the dog. And then, you’ll close your four fingers to envelop the thumb four times in a row.
- Repeat consistently. Once your Yorkie starts to learn the command, do it consistently. Unlike handshake or roll-over tricks, barking is quite instinctive among dogs. You’d need to reinforce the training as much as you can to control nuisance barking.
Take note that Yorkies will take more time than other breeds to learn to bark on command. Barking is second nature to this dog, and controlling it requires a great deal of patience.
✔️Coffee can method
Aside from training, you can also combat nuisance barking by using the coffee can method. You just have to fill a coffee can, or any can for that matter, with coins. When your dog barks without command, you’ll shake the can to disrupt the behavior.
Over time, your dog will learn that the sound of the clattering coins is a cue to stop barking. This method will come in handy while walking your pooch or training it at home.
✔️Spray bottle method
If the coffee can method doesn’t seem to work on your stubborn Yorkie, you can try the spray bottle method instead. With this method, you only need a bottle filled with drinking water.
If your dog barks non-stop, you can spray water to its face. Just make sure that you’re holding the spray bottle a foot away. The water mist shouldn’t irritate your dog as agitated Yorkies bark more.
Over time, your dog will associate the spray bottle with the unpleasant feeling of being sprayed on. Your dog will soon stop barking just by the spraying gesture of your hand.
Take note that this method may or may not work for Yorkies. Trial and error is the key here.
✔️Desensitize your dog
Desensitization is a crucial aspect of training, whether it’s controlling nuisance barking, lunging, and aggression. You have to make your Yorkie used to various stimuli so that it won’t over-react.
With desensitization, you’re going to expose your dog to the stimulus slowly. The goal is to get your Yorkie accustomed to the lowest level of the stimuli through repeated exposure and rewarding. Over time, you can increase the intensity of the stimuli and repeat the reward system.
For example, if your Yorkie barks non-stop on the sounds resembling your doorbell, you have to perform desensitization. You can play doorbell sounds at home then shake the coffee can with coins to disrupt barking. If your Yorkie ceased barking, you should reward it with a delicious treat.
You can perform this same process on other triggers in case you’re keen to keep your Yorkie a watchdog.
✔️Address separation anxiety
Aside from the training drills you need to do, it’s also important to address the separation anxiety of your canine.
Taking your dog to walks around the neighborhood will also help drain its energy. By the time you exit the door for work, your Yorkie will be fast asleep. It will deprive your pet of the energy to bark while you’re away.
Aside from that, you should also leave the pooch with interactive toys to pass the time. Any method that will keep your dog’s mind away from launching into a banshee.
✔️Consider bark collars
Another option you can consider is bark collars. There are divided opinions about this, but it could help if your Yorkie won’t yield to any training.
Basically, bark collars have microphones that detect prolonged barking. Once the barking reaches a certain threshold, the collar will emit a static charge. This will irritate the Yorkie, which will then stop the noisy behavior.
However, you have to ensure that the collar is suitable for small breeds. Also, avoid very high static charges as this will cause injuries to your dog.
Aside from that, bark collars should always be paired with training. The good thing is that this collar is equipped with sound warnings. Once your dog recognizes the sound, it will know that a static shock will follow. With training, your Yorkie will stop barking once it hears the warning sound.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why do Yorkies cry?
A: Yorkies often whine when they experience emotional distress. This could happen if you leave them alone at home or if you don’t let them sleep on your bed at night. Such behavior should never be tolerated, as it just becomes worse over time. The key here is training your dog as early as possible.
Q: How do you stop a Yorkie from barking?
A: Training is the only permanent solution to resolve a Yorkie’s excessive barking. You should use positive reinforcement to correct your pet’s behavior. Never resort to violence, as this would only make things worse with your dog’s barking.
Q: Why does my Yorkie bark at strangers?
A: Yorkshire Terriers that are not properly socialized will act harshly toward strangers. This will lead to barking and even lunging in some cases. You have to correct this behavior right away to prevent causing trouble and injuries to other people.
Q: Do Yorkies ever mellow down?
A: Yorkies will usually start to calm down once they reach the age of two. However, some will have a stretch of yappiness for most of their adult life. Despite that, you should keep training your dog to combat any negative behavior associated with barking.
Q: Why is my Yorkie so moody?
A: Moodiness can be due to sudden changes in the environment. If your Yorkie is acting grumpy, it’s best to assess the surroundings. Are there any triggers causing the mood swing? Is your pet threatened or scared? The answer to this will give you a better understanding of your dog’s behavior.
Are Yorkies barkers? Yes, they love barking and howling, but there’s a way to correct it. Above, I discussed some methods that will help you correct the unwanted behavior. Just remember that violence should never be the solution.
In case your efforts aren’t working, you can always ask the help of a professional. This way, your Yorkie will receive the proper training it needs.