All dogs bark. Barking is a way for a dog to communicate or show us their feelings. However, Yorkies bark exceptionally more than other dog breeds. Hence why you may often hear some refer to them as “yappy”. Yorkies are not aggressive by any means, they’re just territorial. However, they’re also very sensitive. So why do they bark so much?
Why do Yorkies Bark?
The short answer is: Yorkies bark to communicate and show how they’re feeling.
Although Yorkies are a smaller breed, they are very vocal. When a Yorkie is barking excessively, it’s safe to say something is affecting them. Nevertheless, they bark to express every emotion, not just the negative ones. The only problem with this is, we don’t understand what each bark means or necessarily how to depict what they need. Due to this, I’ve broken down a little list of common ways Yorkies are using their vocals to communicate with us.
Whining & Barking = They’re emotional
Whimpering & Barking = They’re distressed
Yelping & Barking = They’re in pain
Low Bark = They’re alerting you
Moaning & Barking = They’re happy
Growling & Barking = They’re warning you
Excessive, non-stop Barking = The feel threatened
How to Stop Yorkies From Barking?
As mentioned earlier, barking is a Yorkies way of communicating with us. Therefore, there’s no way to get them to stop completely without affecting them. However, you can make them bark less with some training. Simply telling a Yorkie “no” or “stop” may not be a successful tactic each time as they could perceive those commands as threats, causing more barking.
In order to properly train them to bark less, you will need to decipher when they appear to be barking the most. This can give you a better understanding of what the bark means and how to handle decreasing the action. If you cannot find any reason why they would be this vocal, there are a few things you can do regardless, to help them learn.
Balance Their Mood
Earlier I mentioned that Yorkies bark most to express themselves and show their emotions. Thus meaning, just as any human would, they can have mood swings and/or days of feeling “meh”. Similar to humans, dogs thrive off of happiness and contact, meaning lack of those could very well tamper with their mood.
To prevent this, you could start a daily interactive routine with them. Activities such as walks, playtime, cuddles, etc could not only benefit them but also decrease their barking. Dogs are companions after all and Yorkies, especially, are a very active breed so they need you! Remember: The more repressed energy they have, the more they will bark.
This method is somewhat trickier. People sometimes mistake behavioral training with commandment training. Although they are very similar, there is one detail that sets them apart. Behavioral training is essentially helping your dog understand what’s okay and what’s not okay while commandment training is just forcing them to listen instantly. While trying to reduce the amount a Yorkie barks, behavioral training is the best recommendation.
We’re not trying to demand them, we’re more-so trying to teach them that constant barking without good reason is not okay. A good way to start out with this training is to lightly reinforce better acts of expression. For example, tail wags could be used to show happiness and head tilts could be used to show concern. This is where you could get creative with which signs you’d like to teach them, as long as it’s something that can be understood mutually.
Each time they pick up on your acts, reward them with a small treat. This will let them know that they did good and should continue with what you taught them.
A big part owners tend to forget about their dogs is that they, too, can feel anxiety and depression. This may not be entirely noticeable without the barking or other emotional actions, however the feelings may still be present. If your Yorkie experiences trauma such as this, the best thing you can do is comfort them and reassure them that everything is okay.
Other options such as toys, blankets, calming scents, etc are helpful during this time as well. If those don’t help or you simply don’t have time to go through those steps, pet stores have calming treats and other calming supplies available.
We all know the excessive barking of a Yorkie can become an obnoxious sound to bear. But we have to remember that they are just communicating the way they know works best. Also, keep in mind that a dogs training and upbringing plays a huge factor in their barking habits as well, hence why understanding how to train your Yorkie is necessary. Hopefully the information in this article has helped you tremendously – Happy training!