Why Does My Yorkie Bark So Much?
[And How To Stop It]

By kropek2021. • Updated July 1, 2021

Yorkshire Terriers are one of the cutest dog breeds to exist. Fluffy little companions, cute and adorable, always ready to play! Yorkies are intelligent beings, alert and aware of everything happening around them.

But there’s something about them that has made them infamous. If you know anything about dogs and their different nature, you know exactly what Yorkies are known for!

But before we understand why they do what they do, let’s get to know them a little better.

About Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkies are highly intelligent beings. Not only are they super cute and cuddly, but also great for companionship. With a Yorkie around, you’ll forget what feeling lonely is. 

Yorkshire Terriers come from a fierce line of dog breeds. They are loyal and protective of their human companions.

Physiologically, they can hear something far away that we can’t even try to attempt hearing. Their olfactory senses are 50 times more powerful than humans. This means they are very sensitive to sound and any changes in their environment. 
Yorkshire Terriers are energetic and quite curious. They are always ready to play, and if you own one, you know that they are always ready to bark. Yes, they bark a lot, can be pretty loud, aggressive, and make you feel very annoyed in very little time.

But there’s a lot more to their barking, so keep reading to get an insight into their life and tips to make Yorkies stop barking.

Why do Yorkies bark so much?

No one likes to waste their energy for no reason. We wouldn’t like to scream at the top of our lungs all the time, for no good reason, right? It’s tiring, irritating (even to ourselves), and honestly, a little sad!

Your pet doesn’t exactly enjoy barking either. But because there is a language barrier, we end up confusing their barks as tantrums rather than a way of communicating.

Sensitive dogs

First and foremost, you must understand that Yorkshire Terriers are highly sensitive dogs. They have ears that are shaped conveniently to be able to hear every sound far from them. Because they have such sensitive ears, even a car passing by far away on the streets catches their attention, and they may start barking.

Territorial Yorkies

This, coupled with their territorial nature, results in a barking dog that you can’t seem to get a handle on. Because Yorkies are loyal and protective, any new sound or motion they detect makes them report to their human. This is why they make excellent watch/ guard dogs.

Change in environment

You will notice that your Yorkshire Terrier starts barking when a new person or other dogs comes in, you take them to a new place, there’s any change in the environment, or something randomly new happens like a new wind chime tinkling in your house. Their sensitivity and prompt alertness are to blame.

Sometimes, your Yorkie might start barking in the middle of the night, and you might have no clue of what’s happening. Chances are, they heard something far away, sensed a dog or dogs near your house, or something else we don’t know!

Basically, your Yorkie baby is not barking because they like it! They just want to share with you what they know. And sadly, they can do it only through barking because, well, they can’t talk (at least yet).
But there’s a lot more to their barking, so keep reading to get an insight into their life and tips to make Yorkies stop barking.

What does their bark mean?

Because we can’t talk to our pets directly, we are left with no choice but to understand their body language, their tone of noises, and the way they are barking.

You must remember that not all the sounds that your pet makes are barking sounds or just different ways they like to bark. If there’s variation, then there’s communication.

With the following tips, you should be able to comprehend what your doggo is trying to tell you.

  • Low pitched tone: Simple low pitched tone in barking or any other sound from your dog is them alerting you about any possible danger or a new something in their surrounding. This could be anything from someone unknown around or a bird in the window. So, you take your call. 
  • Growling: That sound coming from their throat, generally accompanied with a death stare. Yes, it’s scary because it’s meant to scare! Your Yorkie might growl when they think their “territory” is in threat or when feeling insecure. A growl simply means “back off, leave or get ready to fight.” Along with growling, if your dog’s body is lowering, they are for sure preparing themselves to attack what’s threatening them, so beware! 
  • Teeth snapping: A territorial Yorkshire Terrier lets you know they mean business when they snap teeth. They are letting you know that they are ready to bite if you’re ready to mess with them. 
  • High pitched tone: A playful Yorkie barking, making noises in a high-pitched tone is a pet asking for your love and attention. It’s bonding time! 
  • Whining: A whining dog is a stressed dog. If your Yorkie is making a high-pitched pitiful sound, they want and need your attention. There’s a likelihood of something making them nervous or inducing pain (physical or otherwise) in them. It could also mean that they want out of the situation that they currently are in. 
  • Whimpering: Low pitched, tiny, vulnerable sounds made by Yorkie puppies are indications of needing your immediate attention. Check for any injuries or pain in your pet’s body. If nothing physical, try changing their surroundings and de-stress them. 
  • Howling: You must already know that the sounds our dog makes to communicate with us and the ones they make to communicate with other dogs are different. They howl while talking to each other. If you don’t see a dog around when your Yorkie is howling, it’s just that your pet sensed the other dog way before you even see it. 
  • Yelping: A Yelp (a high-pitched squeaky sound) is an almost definite sign that your pooch is hurt. You must act fast, check for injuries or wounds, and take care accordingly.
  • Moaning
    When a Yorkie moans, it’s generally in a low-pitched tone. It occurs typically when you’re with them, playing with them, loving and caressing them.   They do it when they are happy, want some more pets and cuddles.

What to do about it?

Now that you know what your Yorkshire Terrier is trying to tell you, you will be able to get to the root of all the barking.

But just understanding the problem isn’t going to help; you need to take actions to mitigate the issue at hand.

Because many have asked me the question, ” How to stop Yorkies from barking?”, I took the liberty to create a list of methods and tips I use in my training program, which has helped me considerably in training Yorkies.
Before I begin, I would like to remind you that barking, in general, is not the problem. It’s the untimely, consistent noise that bothers us. So, when you work with your Yorkie, focus on what’s unnecessary and not natural! Barking is essential for your dog to communicate, so make sure you study your dog first. 

  • Desensitization: Now, this is one of the most popular methods to treat the “bark till the streets wake up” syndrome, and for a good reason. Desensitization can work like magic, given you do it with care and consistency.
    Desensitization is the process of slowly and steadily making your dog comfortable around things or people that makes them bark. You see, barking is majorly the result of feeling threatened and insecure. To desensitize your pup, follow these steps.

    • Decide the stimulus: Decide on what you want to desensitize your Yorkie from—a doorbell, the windchime, a person, anything at all. Here we will take up the example of a person; let’s call her Bella.
    • Stimulate: Let Bella come in sight of your dog. This should result in them barking. Once they start, give a command to your dog to stay in their place. Along with it, go near and pet once or twice. Talk in a calming voice and tell them it’s okay. Remember, do it only once.
    • Repeat: If they don’t stop barking, take a break and try again after a while. Move ahead to the next step only after that.
    • Reinforce: Once your Yorkie stops barking and continues to do so for more than 5 seconds, reinforce this behavior with a treat, petting, or a hug. Do not overdo it. But make it long enough for them to understand what resulted in this gesture of yours. 
    • Ignore: Don’t worry, not asking any dog owners to be rude to their dogs. It’s just a part of the training.
      When you reinforce in the step earlier, there will still be times when they bark. At such times, you must not insist, yell or attend to them. Instead, stand right beside your pet and ignore them completely. This is a way of conveying to them that their barking is unnecessary and will not be given any attention to.
    • Bond: Once your dog starts to get the hint, starts keeping quiet, and stays calm when Bella is in their sight, try to extend their limits. Let Bella come close to your pet a little by little, and repeat steps 1 through 5 whenever necessary. In just a little while, Bella should be able to pet, cuddle and bond with your lovely pup. 
  • Bark collar: Some people choose to cope with the barking issue with the help of barking collars. If you decide to go with this option, make sure you get a shock-free collar that uses sound and vibration to train your dog. 
  • White noise and Music: You can use music, and white noise sounds to calm your dog in the night and help them sleep better. 
  • Socialize: Yorkshire Terriers can be socialized and prove to be great conversation starters too! You should get them out and meet people to help reduce their anxiety and stress in new surroundings and create a more comforting feeling when they meet new faces. 
  • Time-out: Another way of training is to give your dog a time out whenever they bark unnecessarily or relentlessly. You can create an enclosed space for them to be put in and bring them out after 3-4 minutes of time-out. 
  • Exercise: Like any other dog, Yorkies need to exercise. A good workout routine will help them get tired, leaving no energy to bark and help them sleep soundly. 
  • Distractions out: Close the blinds, doors, or windows that allow your Yorkie to be distracted when you need quiet time. Open spaces mean more stimulus, meaning more barks from your little player. 
  • Crate: Try using a crate for your dog when they start barking or in general. A crate gives a sense of security and might help them calm their anxiety and even sleep better at night. 
  • Toys: Indulge your Yorkie in toys and accessories that will entertain and distract them from other stimuli. The more engrossed they get, the less they will bark. 

Conclusion

All things said the final word is ‘yes,’ Yorkies are barkers. But there’s a lot you can do about it, so keep calm.

You will be able to manage your Yorkshire Terrier better by understanding their body language, behavior, and different signs as given above.

Throughout your journey of finding the right solution for this problem, make sure you are patient and assertive with your pet.

In the end, it’s a relationship you’re trying to manage. So, giving it time is inevitable. Stay put. Keep trying. Results will come.