The Yorkshire terrier, also known as a Yorkie, is a small, furry breed of dog that is popular for those who only want a handful of a dog. Yorkies are big on personality, though, and it is not uncommon for them to bark up a storm.
It can be annoying when they bark, so understanding why they do it in the first place can be helpful. From there, you can worry about implementing the training needed to get them to stop barking so much.
Why Do Yorkies Bark So Much?
So the question becomes, “Why do Yorkies bark a lot?” The breed itself is known for having a big voice, but that isn’t a universal thing. It is entirely possible to have a Yorkie that is quiet and minds its own business.
If yours is more of a barker, knowing why they do so can help. Yorkies are naturally intelligent and cute, but they are also somewhat sensitive as well. They are vocal because that is how they express themselves, or something has caught their attention. Despite their size, they are naturally hunters and guardians, so they have inherited those protective traits.
Because their bark is high-pitched and quite loud, it can be a lot to deal with. They are also more naturally sensitive dogs, meaning they can get wound up and begin barking with little to no notice.
There is also the “small dog syndrome” to consider. It is oftentimes the smallest dogs that have the most barking to do. They yap a lot, though they don’t usually back it up. This is common with many smaller breeds.
How to Stop a Yorkie From Barking?
Now that you know the answer to, “Do Yorkies bark a lot?” you can work on correcting the behavior. A little barking here or there is fine, but too much of it can be a lot to deal with. Thankfully, teaching them to not bark is relatively easy.
You Are the Alpha
First and foremost, you need to be the leader. That doesn’t mean being physically dominant or intimidating, it just means that you have to be able to issue the stern commands that will get your Yorkie to listen.
Your Yorkie also needs to follow the commands that you issue. Doing so on the second, third, or fourth time is not effective. It has to listen the first time around if your training is to be effective in any real way.
Failing to establish that you are the alpha will lead to issues further on down the line. It will also make it a lot more difficult for you to issue commands and to get the pup to listen to you at any point. The authority will be gone.
Redirect Their Attention
One of the best ways of training your Yorkie not to bark is to redirect its attention. This is when the “quiet” command would be effective. The idea is that you get the dog to stop barking and focus its attention on you/the command.
Some people use a coffee can to do so. Fill a coffee can with coins or something that will create a loud noise when shaken. When they bark, shake the can. It should be enough to stop them from barking and direct their attention to you.
When they pause, you can implement the “quiet” command. Give them a treat soon after. They will then associate that the command is telling them to stop barking and that a positive response will come if they do so. Praise them when they follow the right command and give them plenty of treats.
Though this is a negative reinforcement, it is a different type. Some dog owners think that yelling or even physically hitting a dog is an effective form of training. All it is doing is scaring the dog and making it afraid of you.
The spray bottle is a little different, though. When dogs bark and get sprayed by the bottle, they will associate the negative consequence with barking. It doesn’t take much, just a quick spray to get the message across.
When you spray them and they stop barking, wait a few seconds and give them a treat. Remember, you are trying to instill in them that being quiet is the desired response. They will then associate the barking with the spray bottle, but the act of stopping the barking as being a positive thing. It takes time and consistency, but it can make for an effective means of training. Given how vocal the Yorkie can be, sometimes you need to cut it off before it can really get going.
Yorkies pack a lot of barking into a small body. Part of it has to do with being a small breed of dog, but it also has to do with the fact that it is their only way to communicate. They are trying to tell you something, and they will do so loudly.
If you think your Yorkie is barking a bit much for your taste, there are a few ways to curb that behavior. Before long, they will naturally bark a lot less, leaving your home a lot more peaceful than it used to be.