Everybody loves dogs! They’re man’s best friend after all. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re completely without fault. In fact, there is one thing that every dog does, and every dog owner hates. That’s right, that annoying, loud, distracting sound that comes from your Yorkie, or any other breed of dog, when they bark.
So, do Yorkies bark a lot? Why is your Yorkie barking so much? How can you make your Yorkie calm down or bark less? If you’ve got any of these questions, or any other questions related to Yorkies and how much they bark, read on! We’ll answer these questions or more below.
Do Yorkies Bark a Lot?
So, first things first. Do Yorkies actually bark a lot? It might seem like your Yorkie is barking more than other dogs you’ve owned, your friends have owned, or that you see just walking around at parks or on the street. If you feel like you’re hearing your Yorkie’s shrill little bark more than that of other dogs, you’re not imagining things!
Yorkies are quite a vocal breed of dog. This means that they do in fact bark a lot, at least in comparison to other breeds of dog. Now, this doesn’t always mean that they’re angry, scared, or uncomfortable. Yorkies have a habit of barking at anything and everything.
This can include when they’re nervous, scared, happy, want to play, hungry, or see something unfamiliar, among many other things. If ever a Yorkie needs your attention, its natural inclination will be to bark. This can get grating pretty quickly, so it’s best to try and nip it in the bud early on before it’s too late and it has already become an ingrained behavior.
How Much Do Yorkies Bark?
When we’re talking about “how much” a certain breed of dog barks, it is in comparison to other breeds. Unfortunately, in comparison to other breeds of dog, Yorkshire terriers bark a lot. Actually, it can be argued that they bark the most out of any breed of dog that is commonly owned as a household pet.
Yorkies begin their barking spree very early in life, around two or three weeks old. This is around the same time that their eyes open. The barks will start as small whimpers, alerting you that the puppy is in need of something. This could include food or water, or even attention. For this reason, extremely young Yorkie pups do not bark very much.
However, once they are a bit older, they start barking a lot more. Yorkies are notorious for being, as mentioned earlier, an extremely vocal breed. They will bark at almost anything, and sometimes it seems like they’re barking at absolutely nothing at all. This doesn’t usually start being the case until the dog is a couple of months old.
Although Yorkies start barking early and often, that doesn’t mean that you, a Yorkie owner, are doomed to a life of constant shrill barking. There are steps that you can take to train your Yorkie into barking less, leaving you with a more peaceful, quiet home.
(Want to know whether Yorkies are easy or hard to train?)
Why Do Yorkies Bark So Much?
Before we figure out what steps to take in order to stop your Yorkie from barking or train them to bark less, we need to discuss the reason that Yorkies, and that your Yorkie in particular, might be barking so much.
Below, we’ll discuss both the reasons that Yorkies bark so much in general, as well as specific reasons your Yorkie might be barking, and how to tell what your Yorkie might be barking at.
One of the reasons that Yorkies are a particularly vocal breed of dog is actually the shape of their ears. The shape of the Yorkies ear, as well as the way that it is positioned on its head, allows it to have exceptional hearing. This exceptional hearing, however, is a double-edged sword.
Unfortunately, the more that your Yorkie can hear, the more it will bark at. This is because it can perceive every tiny noise as a potential threat. Obviously, your dog thinks it needs to protect its territory, so it will bark at anything and everything it thinks may be a threat in the area, no matter the size.
This leads to a lot of barking, as there are a ton of noises near and far, small and large, quiet and loud, that your dog will want to bark at.
Although it can be very annoying at times, there is a positive to this. The sharp hearing of the Yorkie and the fact that it barks so often make it a fantastic guard dog. You’ll never have to wonder if your Yorkie is going to hear a potential intruder.
You can bet it will bark as long and as loud as needed to alert you to anything that might be harmful to you and your family.
A Territorial Breed
Another reason that Yorkshire Terriers bark so often is that they are quite a territorial breed. Despite how small they are, they see themselves as protectors and want to keep you, your home, and your family out of harm’s way.
As mentioned above, this makes them great guard dogs. However, in conjunction with their great hearing, it makes them quick to bark. Yorkies will not only hear everything around them, but can perceive a lot of those noises as a threat to them, or to you, due to their territorial nature.
How to Tell What Your Yorkie is Barking at
So, as we’ve covered, there are a ton of different reasons your Yorkie might be barking. Whether it’s hearing a strange noise, it is hungry, scared, wants to play, is tired, or is just being territorial, there are ways you can tell the reason that your Yorkshire Terrier might be especially vocal.
If your Yorkie is making a high-pitched, more drawn-out whining noise instead of a more traditional bark, this is an indicator of an emotional problem. Your Yorkie might be lonely, nervous, or scared, and wants you to know that so you can comfort it.
Whining can also be an indicator of pain. If your Yorkie is in pain, it will become more irritable, and less receptive to you touching it. This is a good way to know if your dog’s distress is emotional or physical. Either way, it should be taken care of as fast as possible.
A whimper is an even higher-pitched, weaker version of a whine. This usually comes from Yorkie puppies, and means they are in some sort of distress. Most likely, they are hungry, nervous, tired, or scared. However, it’s important to check out every whimper, as you want to make sure that your Yorkie isn’t suffering from physical discomfort, and that it doesn’t need a trip to the veterinarian.
If your Yorkie yelps, this is most likely a response to having been hurt. A yelp is a high-pitched, almost shrieking noise that dogs let out when they are hurt.
Although the yelp itself is quick, and usually not followed by very much whimpering or other barking noises, it is important to check your Yorkie for any injuries and make sure it isn’t seriously hurt.
A Yorkie will let out a low-tone moaning noise when it is happy or comfortable. This noise can often be heard coming from Yorkies that are being petted, scratched behind the ears or on the belly, or just generally content being around their owners. This noise shouldn’t be too loud or abrasive and is a welcome sign that your Yorkie is happy, so pay it no mind!
Low Tone Barking
If your Yorkie is letting loose a more traditional bark in a lower tone, this could be a sign that your dog wants to alert you of something. They may see something that is unfamiliar and want to bring it to your attention. Likewise, they may see something they perceive as a threat and want to protect themselves, their owner, and their territory from that threat.
In any event, low tone barking is a sign that something in your Yorkie’s immediate environment has changed. It wants to alert you to this fact, so it lets out a traditional, lower tone bark, similar to what you’d hear from other breeds.
If your Yorkie is growling a lot rather than barking, it is serving as a warning. It is important to know what your Yorkie is growling at, as it will tell you what, or who, is being warned, and what they’re being warned of.
Whatever the growl is targeted at, it is a threat. This is especially true if the Yorkie’s body is in a lowered position. This is indicating that it’s preparing to bite. Whether this is targeted at you, another dog, or another person, watch out and back up!
Now, Yorkies aren’t a particularly aggressive breed, but they are territorial. The most common reason that Yorkie would growl and threaten to bite is that it feels there is a perceived threat to itself or its territory. Simply backing away and telling others to back away should allow you to avoid a bite. After all, that’s what the growl is for.
How to Stop a Yorkie From Barking
It is important to note that just because your Yorkie is barking, that doesn’t mean it needs to stop. Not all barking is bad barking. Try to distinguish the reasons between your Yorkie’s barks, and see if they are necessary, or if you can try to train that behavior out of them.
The main goal should be to tone down the constant, unnecessary barking that a lot of Yorkshire Terriers tend to do. It is important to try and train this out of them while they are still young, as the older the dog gets, the harder it will be to train old behavior out of them. I think there’s a saying about something like that…
Anyway, let’s take a look at the different ways that you can stop your Yorkie from incessantly barking, and create a quieter, more peaceful home.
Become the Pack Leader
Firstly, it is very important to become your Yorkshire Terrier’s “pack leader.” This means to become a figure that your dog respects and listens to. This is not about creating fear, or scaring your dog into listening to you through shouting, or, god forbid, physically harming your dog. That is never, and I mean NEVER advisable.
To become the pack leader, you will need your dog to follow the commands you give to it. The Yorkie needs to follow your lead and not the other way around! For instance, on a walk, make sure that you’re the one controlling the direction you and your Yorkie are headed in.
Another example would be controlling the time of day that your dog eats at, or telling it to “sit” before giving it a treat. This control allows you to raise a more disciplined, healthier, more cooperative dog. This will help with training out unnecessary barking, sure, but it will also help in every other aspect of your pet ownership.
The Bark Collar
The Bark Collar is a type of collar that gives a reaction when it is stimulated by the sound or motion of your dog barking. This might be a small shock, a spray, a sound, or a vibration of some kind.
This method of training is effective. After all, it is simple. The Yorkie will begin to associate barking with the unpleasant sensation and start doing it less as to avoid that sensation. On the surface, it is quite effective.
However, it isn’t without its faults and is not a perfect method. There are a few reasons that some owners reportedly aren’t in love with bark collars.
Firstly, some see them as being fairly inhumane. This applies more to the shocking variants of the collars, rather than the ones that emit a sound, spray, or vibration.
Secondly, some owners report that their dogs become more aggressive while using a bark collar. This is due to them associating certain noises, feelings, pitches, scents, etc., with a negative feeling like fear or anxiety. This can, although it is rare, lead to sensations that are similar to those from the collar making the dog extra aggressive.
Lastly, this method is very hands-off. That may seem attractive at first, as it’s less work for you. However, you will be unable to directly control what things you’re stopping the Yorkie from barking at.
Since, as we discussed earlier, not all kinds of barking are bad, this can stifle important barks, such as a dog telling you it needs to eat, needs to go outside, or is alerting you to danger.
Another way of training barking out of your Yorkie is to attempt to desensitize the dog to whatever it is barking at. In order for this method of training to be effective, you’ll first need to identify whatever it is that the dog feels the need to bark at so often.
Let’s say, for the sake of an example, that it is the sound of a car driving by that’s driving your dog nuts. At some point during the day, recruit a friend or family member to loudly (but safely) drive by your home in order to elicit a reaction out of your dog.
Once your Yorkie starts its barking fit, sternly and confidently tell them to sit. After you are able to get it to sit, comfort it in a more quiet, calming tone tell the dog that everything is okay, give it some pets, and wait for it to return to its normal state.
Each time the Yorkie is quiet for 5-10 seconds, shower it with praise, a few pets, or even a small treat! This positive reinforcement will help cement the training you work so hard for.
Repeat this process as many times as you need, until your Yorkie stops barking at the sound of the car. This can be used for many other things such as knocking, doorbells, or other noises that set your Yorkie off.
The only downsides to this are that you need another person, and that it has to be repeated a great number of times for each individual noise or stimulant that sets your dog off. If you have the time, this is a great training strategy.
Barking at Night
If your Yorkie is barking a lot at night, it is hard to know what it might be barking at. Nevertheless, this is probably the most annoying barking of all, as it stops you from catching that much-needed sleep.
Luckily, there is a pretty solid way of making your Yorkie a little bit quieter once the sun goes down, and it’s simpler than you might think!
Giving your pup some evening exercise is a great way to stop them from barking at night. This is because, if your Yorkie is tired out, it is more likely to fall asleep than it is to keep you up with barking.
A good bit of running, a long walk, or just a solid amount of playtime in the evening can significantly reduce the amount of barking you hear at night, and also the amount of time you spend with the pillows over your ears!
The Coffee Can
This technique can be quite effective, although it itself is pretty noisy. Fill a coffee can with coins (or get another loud, obnoxious item) and keep it on you whenever your Yorkie is likely to bark. Once the dog begins its barking fit, start shaking the coffee can, or making a ton of noise with whatever item you picked.
This should distract your Yorkie. Once it stops barking to look up at you, give it a stern, confident “sit” command. If it stops barking and sits, give it a small treat! Simply repeat this process until it associates not barking with positive reinforcement.
The Spray Bottle
If you’re looking for some negative reinforcement that is completely harmless, a spray bottle could work. This technique is extremely simple, and has similar effects to the bark collar, but requires a little extra legwork because you have to be there with your Yorkie.
Simply fill a spray bottle with water and spray your pup when it begins barking at something you think is unnecessary. Don’t spray too much, one or two should do the trick. Eventually, the dog will start associating the negative feeling of being sprayed with the bottle with barking, and stop barking when it doesn’t think it’s totally necessary.
Want To Train Your Yorkie With Peace Of Mind?
If you haven’t trained your Yorkie properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!
And in most cases it’s still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your Yorkie completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.
And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!
So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!
(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)
So, there are many reasons that your Yorkie might be barking and just as many ways of training your pup to bark a little bit less. Whether you’re looking into owning a Yorkie, or are a seasoned Yorkie owner, these tips are good for anyone looking to get their little man’s best friend to be a little quieter.
So if your Yorkshire Terrier is barking, whimpering, whining, or growling, use one of the techniques above to get it to tone it down! Whether the spray bottle, the bark collar, desensitization, or any other technique works for you, make sure you try them all out and see which one your Yorkie responds to the most!
The most important thing is not only that your pup is trained, and trained well, but that it is comfortable with the way you are doing it. Be stern and confident, but be calm and quiet when called for. Shower your Yorkie with praise and love, and maybe even a few treats, when it gets things right, as positive reinforcement is more effective than negative reinforcement.
Finally, whatever is making your Yorkie bark, make sure you’re patient! I know it might seem like a lot of work and a lot of patience, but in the end, it’s worth it. After all, there’s a reason you got a Yorkie in the first place. It’s worth every second having the cutest dog on the planet!