How to Train a Yorkshire Terrier to Not Bark

Medium
4-8 Weeks
General

Introduction

Yorkshire Terriers are little dogs with huge personalities. With those huge personalities come a fierce territorial bark. Any time your phone rings, someone speaks or knocks on your door, or your doorbell chimes, your Yorkshire Terrier will likely bark. Outside noises aren’t even required for barking for some Yorkies.

When your Yorkie barks at you he is trying to communicate something. Many times dogs vocalize a potential danger or their fears. When your little guy barks, it might simply be because compared to the world and the wealth of noises around him, he is tiny. But he also wants to make sure you are safe as well. Training him not to bark will start by making him feel safe when he hears common noises and other times he typically barks. 

Defining Tasks

Helping your Yorkshire Terrier feel secure is key in training him to stop barking. When he feels secure and understands common noises he may hear, such as the phone or the doorbell ringing, don't always require incessant barking, he won't bark as much as he does now. At first, you will need to pay attention to when your Yorkshire Terrier barks, and then teach him a command so he understands when it’s time to stop barking. Repetition and rewards will be key as you teach him to stop barking or to not bark during certain occasions. Give this lots of time as your dog mixes his safety and security with natural instincts to bark and the redirection you are training him. This is a training opportunity that will work really well for a puppy but will be more difficult for an adult Yorkshire terrier who has spent much of his life barking whenever he wishes.

Getting Started

Plan on replicating events when your Yorkie barks most often such as a knock at the door. If you have clicker trained your Terrier in the past, have your clicker and treats handy for opportunities when he barks and needs redirection. Even without clicker training, be sure always to have lots of tasty treats to reward as he learns new behaviors. Training your Yorkshire Terrier not to bark will become more about catching him in the act and redirecting his behavior, so you don’t necessarily need scheduled training times.

The 'Quiet' Command Method

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Step
1
Set your limits
Decide when it’s okay for your Yorkshire Terrier to bark and for how long you will allow him to bark. For instance, if the doorbell rings or he hears a noise and you would like him to bark to let you know something is happening but you don’t want him to bark incessantly, set your limit for expectations of time he’s allowed to bark or number barks before you use the command to quiet him.
Step
2
Bark
Do something to get your Yorkie to bark. Knock on something or have someone ring your doorbell or make a noise that word incite him to bark.
Step
3
At limit
Dogs are very good at understanding time and routine. This is why he sits in the window or at the door when it’s time for you to come home or why he always goes to his bowl at the same time every day. He understands things happen at this time. Once he has reached the barking limit, and that needs to be the same each time, say he gets 10 seconds of barking or four barks, give him a command to quiet.
Step
4
Redirect
Because he will not be familiar with this command, you'll need to get his attention and entice him to be quiet. Stand in front of him and hold the treat. This will typically calm and quiet a Yorkie down.
Step
5
Treat
Say the command ‘quiet’ again and give him the treat.
Step
6
Practice
Practice this with your Yorkie several times. Any time he barks, wait until he reaches the limit you have set, then give him the command, redirect his actions, and reward him. With lots of practice, your Yorkshire Terrier should recognize the 'quiet' command as a command to stop barking. Some Yorkies will even stop barking once they've hit their number of barks or time limit because it's become habit.
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The Redirect Time Out Method

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Step
1
Set up
Set up an area for redirection. This can be a bed or a mat your Yorkie will be expected to go to in the event he needs to stop barking. Set up a situation that would normally cause your Yorkshire Terrier to bark. Make this action happen, such as a loud noise or the ringing of your doorbell to get your dog excited.
Step
2
Noise
Make some noise that will get your dog to bark. As soon as your little guy starts barking, immediately redirect him. Point to his bed or mat and tell him to go there. He may be running to the front door if the doorbell rang, barking the whole way. In this instance, pick him up and put him on the mat.
Step
3
Encourage
Encourage your Yorkie to stay on the mat by giving him a treat or a chew treat or toy.
Step
4
Stay
If you have not taught the ‘stay’ command, be sure to do so with your Yorkie. Ask him to stay while you handle whatever the noise was, such as a visitor at the door.
Step
5
Give command
Give a command like ‘no barking.’
Step
6
Challenge
Continue to work with your Yorkie challenging him to go to his mat or bed as a redirection anytime he starts to bark.
Step
7
Reward
Always reward him for making good choices.
Step
8
Practice
Anytime your dog barks, redirect him with his time out spot like his bed, ask him to stay, and give the 'no barking' command. With a distraction like a treat or toy, he will begin to associate the words ‘no barking’ with being quiet in his bed or on his mat
Recommend training method?

The Security Method

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Step
1
Build scenario
Create random situations that might make your Yorkie bark.
Step
2
Build security
Your dog might be barking because he feels it is his job to protect you and the home. He also might be frightened himself and will bark to alert you of a security concern.
Step
3
Barking
When he starts barking, pick him up and assure him with a soft voice he is okay. Pet him and snuggle with him. This may not stop the barking, but calm him and make him feel secure.
Step
4
Command
Teach your dog a 'quiet' command. Anytime you hold him, ask him to be quiet. As he calms, he will automatically quieten.
Step
5
Quiet
As you continue to say this command to be quiet and he settles down, give him a treat as a reward. Anytime he barks, build his confidence and security, ask him to quiet, and give him a treat once he’s stopped barking. With time, he will learn to stop barking by the command you use or when you hold him.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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