How to Train Yorkies Not to Bark

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Yorkshire terriers, or Yorkies, are great companions. They are loving, loyal, energetic and prefer to be next to their owners almost all the time. However, Yorkies love to bark, which can be a worry and a real headache to their owners and neighbors. There are several methods to train your Yorkie not to bark, but they require patience and time to work with your dog to break this habit. The best time to train Yorkies is when they are young--around five months to one year--but even older Yorkies are capable of learning and changing their behavior. Dedicate yourself to training, be consistent and you will succeed.

Things You'll Need

  • Dog toys
  • Dog treats

Training Instructions

Take your Yorkie on regular daily walks for at least 30 minutes and play with her at home often, which will help her burn off excess energy. For example, if your Yorkie regularly barks at the doorbell and you know that your friend is coming to visit, try to tire him out beforehand with exercise.

Keep your house full of toys for your Yorkie to play with. They will keep her occupied, distracting her from barking. The best toys for Yorkies are small fluffy and plush toys; rubber toys, such as original red Kong toys, let them chew and play. A Tricky Treats ball will keep your Yorkie busy for a long time.

Teach your Yorkie the speak command to let them know when to bark. This command gives your Yorkie permission to bark when you ask. Say "speak" once or twice and when your dog has expressed a few short barks, praise her immediately, pat her and offer a small yummy treat. If your Yorkie won't bark under this command, prompt her by showing a treat or ringing the doorbell.

Teach your Yorkie the quiet command once she learns the speak command. The quiet command lets your Yorkie know it is time to stop barking. After the speak command, say the word "quiet" in a calm, stern voice once or twice. If she continues to bark, show the treat. Your dog will stop barking because she cannot sniff while barking. Reward her with a small treat, patting her and saying "good dog" right away while she is still quiet. Gradually extend the period of time that your Yorkie must be quiet.

Make sure to communicate a negative reaction to your Yorkie when she does bark inappropriately. If she barks at the doorbell, stand still beside your Yorkie. Talk in a quiet, calm tone, telling her, "It is okay," and showing her you are relaxed and there is no danger. Do not pat your dog to calm her down. Show your Yorkie that barking means no attention, no treats, no praise.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be patient and consistent with your dog and repeat the training daily for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Give your Yorkie plenty of time to learn one command before you introduce another. Over time the old behavior of barking will gradually disappear.
  • As a last resort you could try citronella collars. This is a dog collar that sprays a small amount of citronella when the dog barks. Dogs do not like this smell so it is a good deterrent.
  • Do not use physical punishment or yell at your Yorkie. Punishment will only lead to more problems and can break your relationship with your dog.

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