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Yorkie Barking


We understand that this issue can be frustrating for many owners....However, we offer detailed information...and specific training to help you.

There are a couple of elements to a dog's bark:
  • Understanding what your Yorkie is trying to communicate to you
  • Controlling unnecessary barking
The Yorkshire Terrier is a dog of fairly high intelligence and one which aims to please its owners. This means that with some guidance, you can have a calmer and more "at peace" dog.

With some understanding of why your dog barks, an owner can then take steps to control excessive barking.

Let's discuss:
  • The types of dog barks and what they mean
  • Training to resolve barking issues
Yorkie Barking
When a Yorkie is barking, the dog believes that there is good reason. Learn what your dog is trying to say and the steps needed to help him calm down.
Types of Yorkie Barking and What Your Dog is Trying to Tell You

One must remember that a dog actually has many noises that he or she evokes, and not all are actual barking. The tone of the bark or "noise" also tells us what a Yorkie is trying to communicate. Understanding why your Yorkie barks is the first step to training your dog.

Barking in a low tone – This is a dog’s way of warning that they are perceiving a danger or a change in the environment which they feel may be a threat. A bark with a low tone, is a Yorkie trying to say “I see something new, it may be a danger”. A dog will also bark in a low tone if there is a change to its normal circumstances. Some Yorkies are very sensitive and will bark if they hear a flock of birds, wind chimes, a loud car on the street, etc.

High Pitched - This is an attention-getting behavior. A Yorkie will bark with a high tone when trying to communicate a need, such as wanting to go outside or wanting to play.

Howling - When a dog howls, this the noise of a dog communicating to another dog. Dogs can sense other dogs, even if they are not in view. 
Yorkie on front porch
Bear, 6 years old
Photo courtesy of Alexandra Goldy
Growling - This is a warning. This usually follows a low toned bark, warning of possible danger. The bark will turn into a growl if a person, animal or object (such as a car) comes too close to what your Yorkie considers to be their territory. 

A growl is a distinct type of vocalization, used to warn others to leave. If the dog's body in lowered into a pre-striking position, the growl is then saying "I may bite you if you do not leave or if I feel you may hurt me” . A dog that is growling sometimes combines this with “tooth snapping” noises. The tooth snapping is the Yorkie's way of saying “ I have teeth and I will use them if I feel that I have to!”

Whining - This is a dog’s vocalization of being in emotional distress. A Yorkie may whine when left alone, missing its owner or confined when they want to be running free. Whining can also indicate that a dog is in pain, this would be in conjunction with wanting to lay alone and not wanting to be touched. In cases of severe pain, he or she may become aggressive, as everything seems to be a threat when the dog is feeling vulnerable.

Whimpering - This is similar to whining. A puppy will usually whimper and an adult Yorkie will whine. This means that the dog is in distress. They are sad, hurting or lonely. 
Moaning - While a human may moan if they have an injury, a dog will usually have a low tone moan when they are feeling happy. A Yorkie will most often moan if they are having their tummy rubbed, having their ears touched or another spot on their body that is ticklish.

Yelping - This is quick, high pitched noise that is a clear fast indication that the Yorkie has been injured. A yelp will be much faster and higher than the high pitched, attention getting bark. A yelp from a dog is let out the instant that dog feels pain. If your Yorkie jumps and hurts their leg or steps on a thorn, you will hear a yelp. 

Many will yelp and then in just a few seconds, the most intense pain will be gone and the yelping stops. Therefore, yelps are usually loud and short. For example, dogs with luxating patellas often yelp when the leg moves the socket out of place and then do not yelp even as they walk around with a leg not properly in its socket. Owners should investigate the reason for any yelp.
Training for Yorkie Barking Issues

Do problems arise when sirens are heard? Does your puppy bark when the doorbell rings? These are common, as well as other "triggers" such as someone walking by the home...whatever your dog senses as a disturbance that is important enough to warrant verbal action from them.

The dog will use either the low toned bark of a warning or the high toned bark of getting your attention. This is called Disturbance barking. If you think that their barking disturbs you, please remember that in this case your Yorkie is barking because they are being highly disturbed! 

Most dogs will respond well to desensitization training for this issue. 

The method behind this type of dog training is to slowly ease your dog into becoming used to the element which is causing the barking.

To discuss how this training works, we will use "Barking at the doorbell" as an example. 
The goal of this training is to train your Yorkie to understand that barking = zero fun & no attention and that not barking = praise, attention, fun and treats. A dog will quickly catch on.

1. Begin by asking a friend or family member to help out.

2. At a random time, have your helper ring the doorbell, ask them to ring it 1 time, every 10 seconds until you open the door.

3. When your Yorkie barks, command your Yorkie to sit.

4. Talk in a quiet, calm tone, telling your Yorkie, "It is okay", or words to let your dog know that you are relaxed and there is no immediate danger. Only say this 1 time.

5. Whenever your Yorkie stops barking for at least 5 seconds, immediately: give great praise, pat them and offer a small yummy treat.

6. Whenever your Yorkie begins to bark, stand still beside your dog and completely ignore him. Do not pat your dog to calm them down and do not speak. Your goal is to show your Yorkie that barking behavior = zero attention, no treats, no praise and that life is just not as fun when they are barking!

7. As the doorbell is ringing every 10 seconds, as soon as your Yorkie does not bark and calmly sits (and your dog eventually will, as he or she realizes that sitting nicely = praise and a yummy treat), then you should open the door. Greet your helper in a happy, calm tone and have your helper then pat your Yorkie and offer a small treat.
You may also be interested in:  My Yorkie keeps barking at cars - A very common issue with this breed.
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