To begin with, let us make it clear that barking for a yorkie is first of all a means of communication. Dogs start barking for several reasons, namely, as a warning, due to excessive anxiety or boredom, or because of being overly nervous or excited. Dogs do not just bark to make noise or make you irritated.
Before you begin to train you Yorkshire terrier not to bark, you need to decide in which situations dog barking can be considered appropriate for you. Would you rather have your yorkie barking at strangers entering your home or approaching you? Or maybe you want your dog to start barking when he/she wants to go for a walk? Think of all the situations when your yorkie starts barking and try to identify the stimuli that led him/her to do so. If your Yorkshire terrier is barking out of boredom, make sure that he/she has something to be occupied with and provide all the necessary toys that will stimulate its brain activity. In many cases, eliminating the boredom aspect would be enough to stop frequent barking.
Here is a rough outline to discourage your yorkie from barking.
- Choose a word that you will use as a command that will force the dog to stop barking, for instance, “quiet”, “calm down”, “stop”, etc. Take a small metal container or jar and put a few coins or small stones inside, so the container makes a loud noise when shaken.
- When the yorkie starts barking, start shaking the jar, creating noise. This should attract the attention of the dog, which will cause it to stop barking. Once the dog stops barking, say your chosen command word, praise the dog and give it a treat. If you prefer, you can continue distracting the dog, making it perform a few simple commands. For example, you can get it to sit or lie down. Repeat if necessary but do not overdo it. Exercises should be short and fun.
- After you discourage your Yorkshire terrier from barking in one situation, you can move on to a different one. Do not forget to keep calm and exercise restraint during your training. Shouting or raising your voice can be interpreted as barking by your dog and contribute to further troubles with its behavior – the exact thing you are trying to correct in the first place.
Stopping your dog from excessive barking will take some time; however certain changes can be seen in as little as a week or two. If there is no improvement and your Yorkshire terrier continues to bark despite your best efforts, you will need to see a specialist.