Is your Yorkie yapping too much? Want to learn how to stop a Yorkie from barking?
At first, it might seem like nothing will get your little bundle of joy to stop barking at every sound or stranger. However, dog experts and the Yorkie community use a handful of effective tricks to train their Yorkies to stop barking and become more harmonious housemates.
Here are some of the most effective methods you can use right now to quiet down your cutie-pie.
Stop Yorkie Barking Strategy 1: Use a Shake Can
A shake can is an old-school but effective dog training method and can easily be done at home.
This technique uses audio cues to let your pooch know that barking is inappropriate. A lot of dog owners also prefer this method because it’s unobtrusive.
To start, find an empty can. It can be a soda can, a bean can, juice, etc. Anything made of thin metal. Then, fill it with lots of small, hard objects, such as coins, pebbles, or marbles.
The idea here is to give a clear and strong audio cue that it’s not appropriate to bark without doing any emotional harm.
Whenever your Yorkie barks out of turn, shake the can to make a loud and unpleasant sound and give a voice command such as “quiet” or “no.” Be firm but do not yell the command.
To round off the method, you also want to use some positive feedback. Reward your dog with a treat and some love whenever your furry friend listens to your command and stops barking.
Yorkie Barking Method 2: The Squirt Bottle Method
This method involves a little bit of negative feedback to train your dog to stop barking in a slightly intrusive manner.
First, grab a clean squirt bottle and fill it with 75% water and 25% lemon juice. Most dogs don’t like the smell of lemon juice. With a 75/25 mixture, the smell is just enough to be unpleasant but not enough to be harmful.
When your Yorkie barks in an unwanted manner, spray its face with the squirt bottle.
With time, this will help train your pup not to bark.
Take Obedience Classes With Your Yorkie
Obedience classes are often for bigger dogs with behavior problems, but small dogs and their owners can also benefit from them.
Yorkies are intelligent, so obedience classes can teach you how to use your dog’s intelligence to listen to commands.
You can also tell the instructor your pup has a barking problem. The instructor can give you some more specific commands and advice.
Obedience classes can do wonders to help stop your dog from barking and improve your relationship overall.
The Redirection Method to Stop Yorkie Barking
This method requires some above-average obedience from your Yorkie, but once the little pup is trained, this can be an effective technique you can use whenever they bark too much.
Redirection involves setting up an area in your home you will send your dog to whenever they bark excessively. This can be their bed, a playpen, a room, etc. You want to have a consistent physical area with which your Yorkie can associate.
Use a command to send them to their bed (or wherever you have chosen) whenever they bark too much.
When they listen to you, reward this good behavior.
Make Sure Your Yorkie Has Entertainment
Lots of dogs bark out of boredom or loneliness. Some also bark out of separation anxiety.
As a blanket measure, make sure your Yorkie has ample toys to play with, even when you are not around to play with them.
Frequent walks are always a good idea to get some exercise and burn some of the excess energy that is sometimes used for unwanted barking.
A playmate can sometimes help as well. If your Yorkie spends a lot of time alone, a companion pet could help keep them entertained.
Try a Humane Dog Training Collar
While dog collars have been effective for many owners, it isn’t surprising if you are apprehensive about shocking your pup.
The mild shock therapy from a shock collar can leave lasting emotional scars and sometimes have other harmful effects. However, some humane collars do not shock your pup. They use a softer negative consequence, such as a harmless spray of citronella or a vibration, to let your dog know not to bark.
Although these collars can be effective for helping your dog stop barking, it is important to note that not all barking is bad. Sometimes dogs bark to let you know they want to go outside or warn you about danger. And sometimes, they just bark out of joy.
Training collars often condition dogs to stop all kinds of barking, even the beneficial kinds. That being said, a training collar could be the right move for your pup.
Identify the Source and Desensitize Your Dog
If you notice your dog is always barking at specific things, such as the vacuum cleaner, the doorbell, or other dogs, you can try desensitization training to help them get used to those noises.
Expose your dog to the source repeatedly while using positive feedback to teach them that the source isn’t something to get worked up about.
For example, if your Yorkie is constantly barking at bigger dogs (a common occurrence), you can take your pup to the dog park, where they will be exposed to bigger dogs. Whenever they play with a bigger dog without barking, you can give them some praise and a treat to let them know they did a good job.
If the source is the doorbell, try ringing the doorbell a few times and take note of your dog’s reaction. Try to quiet any barking using voice commands and soothing your dog to let them know the doorbell is not a threat.
Create a Peaceful Home Environment
A Yorkie is much less likely to bark without lots of stimuli to initiate it. If your home environment is calm, clean, and peaceful, there are fewer triggers to initiate unwanted barking behavior from your pup.
Just like we humans are likely to be in a healthier mental and emotional state when our environment is organized and consistent, the same goes for our pets.
Become the Alpha Early
If you just got your Yorkie, one of the best things you can do is display yourself as the alpha in the relationship as soon as possible. Doing so will make your Yorkie more likely to listen to your commands.
As pack animals, dogs use body language and audio cues to determine the alpha and beta dogs. The beta dogs, in general, will follow the alpha dogs. You need to become the alpha dog if you want your Yorkie to listen to you.
To become the alpha, make sure that whenever you give a command to your pup, use strong eye contact and don’t break it until they do. After doing this for a while, your dog will start to know what certain types of eye contact mean and respond to them.
In addition, on walks, make sure you are leading your dog. I see so many owners walking their dogs where it looks like the dog is taking them for a walk, pulling their owner in every direction their heart desires.
When walking your dog, you need to be the pack leader. Don’t be forceful, but have a commanding presence. You are taking your dog for a walk, not the other way around.
Yorkshire terriers are territorial animals. Although their barking might seem excessive, they’re just being protective.
However, all that vocalness can be tough to live with.
Hopefully, this post has given you some effective tips and techniques, such as the shake can technique, obedience classes, and becoming the alpha, to stop your Yorkie from barking too much and make them much more pleasant to have in your home.