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 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.
Recommend training method?

The 'Quiet' Command Method

Effective
1 Vote
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.
Recommend training method?

The Redirect Time Out Method

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1 Vote
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?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Rocky
Yorkie
6 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rocky
Yorkie
6 Years

My husband doesn’t like it when I leave my dog inside because he isn’t potty trained and sometimes he has accidents. The problem is that whenever we put him outside he won’t stop barking to come inside and it drives us nuts and we always think about giving him away but he’s our kids dog and we don’t want to crush their hearts. We are very stuck and we tried potty training him but we also think he is allergic to fleas because he bites at his skin all the time and he smells so bad everytime we bring him inside. Please help us, we would appreciate it so much!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
295 Dog owners recommended

Hello Grace, You have a couple of options here. The first is to potty training him using the "Crate Training" method from the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside The second option - and the one that sounds most realistic in your situation, is to set up an exercise pen, place a disposable grass pad on one end and a Primopad on the opposite end. Also, give your dog something to do, like a couple of favorite chew toys - such as a food-stuffed Kong, or a treat dispensing device - such as an AutoTrainer, Pet Tutor, Kong wobble, or puzzle toy. I suggest a Primopad from Primopads.com because they are not absorbent so shouldn't encourage him to pee on it like a soft bed or towel would but will still give him a place to rest with a little cushioning. They are also easy to clean so you can keep odors down. I suggest a disposable grass pad because that will encourage peeing on grass and not encourage peeing on carpets like a pee pad could. You could also train him to use a litter box but the grass pad will likely be easiest. To teach Rocky to use the grass pad, check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Exercise Pen" method. The article talks about litter box training but you can use the same steps with the grass pad. Simply substitute a grass pad for the litter box. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Disposable grass pad option: https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Patch-Disposable-Potty-Grass/dp/B005G7S6UI/ref=asc_df_B005G7S6UI/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309763115430&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=16186452506555784925&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015431&hvtargid=pla-568582223506&psc=1 More expensive, nicer option: http://www.porchpotty.com/Default.asp?gclid=Cj0KCQiAr93gBRDSARIsADvHiOqp-lRKnIf0HKsZlJIXmTtvDGiGRQ0O6FTABU7K1cL7tDWLNA5ph9AaAsEsEALw_wcB For the barking I suggest using a high-quality bark collar or Pet Convincer - which is a small canister of pressurized air. Only pick the Pet Convincer if you will use it consistently though and the barking is primarily happening when you are home - otherwise a bark collar is in order. A bark collar may sound harsh, but if you teach him the "Quiet" command before you start using one and reward him with treats when he does not bark for attention (teaching him that being quiet is the way to get your attention), then it is a much better alternative than getting rid of him. Check out the article I have linked below and follow the "Quiet" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Once he understands what "Quiet means, then when you put him outside or into the exercise pen, tell him "Quiet". If he stays quiet for a couple of minutes, return to him and sprinkle a couple of treats by his feet, then leave again. If he barks, tell him "Ah Ah" - the collar will correct him at the same time, but that way you are also teaching him to respond to your voice. The key is to tell him what he should do first (ie. Be quiet), to reward him when he does it, and for him to be consistently corrected for the barking. If you use a pet Convincer, you will have to go to him when he barks, tell him "Ah Ah" and spray a small puff of air at his side (NOT his face). Do NOT use a citronella collar. They seem gentler but they can actually be very harmful because the smell lingers with a dog for a long time - continuing to correct them for an hour or more sometimes, and dog's noses are VERY sensitive. An unscented air collar is fine but they tend to be less effective than bark collars. Look at the weigh ratings and reviews on bark collars. You will want one that says it can be used for dogs that weigh as little as your dog. https://www.petsmart.com/dog/training-and-behavior/bark-control/petsafe-elite-little-dog-bark-control-5163049.html I suggest asking your vet about the biting and licking. It might be a flea allergy since that is common - in which case I recommend using an exercise pen indoors even more so. You might want to ask your vet about a flea prevention that also repels fleas to decrease bites. If the issue continues after moving him inside, food allergies or a allergy to something else in his environment should be investigated. Food allergies are less common than flea allergies but still common in pets. Also, since there is a smell, he should probably be checked for sores and skin infections - that can cause strong odors in addition to the saliva. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
MoJo
Yorkie Terrier poodle mix
7 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
MoJo
Yorkie Terrier poodle mix
7 Years

Mojo has terrible issues with calming down especially when there are visitors or any type of noise. In addition, I cannot stop him from urinating everywhere at any time. I am working with the redirection and calming methods and it is making some impact. I fear however, with his age and the length of time he has been exhibiting this behavior, it is too late to perfect the training with the barking.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
295 Dog owners recommended

Hello Janice, I suggest teaching a "Quiet" command by follow the "Quiet" method from the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Once Mojo understands what "Quiet" means, work on his general self-control and ability to calm himself by adding a lot more structure to his life, including teaching him the "Place" command and teaching him manners in the crate. Dogs with anxiety tend to benefit from a lot of structure and boundaries. In his case, I suggest not comforting him when he is barking. Instead, tell him "Quiet" and redirect him or correct him for the barking. Since he will know the "Quiet" command, the correction is for disobedience and is clear. Next, give him something else to do like go to "Place" and stay there with a chew toy. He needs opportunities to learn how to handle his own emotions and calm down. He needs firmness, calmness, and guidance from you. He should not be too old to learn but it will take work. Check out the video below for general guidelines for calmness How to teach Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo How to teach Crate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5HTiryZN8 If there is something specific that he is barking at, you can also spend time desensitizing him to that specific thing. If the barking is general and everything, teach him "Quiet", correct disobedience when he keeps barking after being told quiet, and give him another job to do like stay on Place or stay in the crate with the door open. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpzvqN9JNUA Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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