11 Reasons Why Yorkies Bark So Much (+ What To Do)

If you’re planning on getting a Yorkie, asking this question sooner rather than later may be best. If you’ve already got a Yorkie, well, you may be wondering how to make them stop without turning into Cruella de Vil. 

Yorkies really do seem to bark much more than any other dog breed, which is surprising considering their size and their inability to do much about their reason for barking. 

There are a variety of reasons why Yorkies bark so much. Yorkies are bold, alert, and territorial animals that may bark at possible intruders or other animals they perceive as a threat. Yorkies also bark to communicate their needs, like asking for food or attention. Other reasons for their yappiness include excitement and fear. 

Yorkies are dogs with a lot on their mind and even more to say. If you’re looking at getting a Yorkie, you may need to plan ahead for their obedience training to make sure you put an end to their constant yapping before it becomes unbearable. 

This article lists the top 11 reasons why Yorkies bark so much and what to do to stop it.

Barking yorkshire terrier

11 Reasons Why Yorkies Bark So Much

1. They’re Asking for Something

There’s a good chance Yorkies don’t know we can’t understand their language. I like to think that’s why they bark so much, especially when they try to ask for something like food or attention. 

Barking may be a Yorkie’s way of begging or simply a way to remind you they’re around and waiting for a snack.

If your Yorkie is feeling playful, it may also turn to barking to try to get you to join them in some good-natured shenanigans or a game of fetch. 

2. To Let You Know They Want to Go Outside

Dogs are intelligent animals, and Yorkies are even more so. They know in order to go outside, they’ll need to get their human’s attention. 

Your pet may have learned always to do its business outside and has chosen to use barking to let you know when the need arises.

If your pup is scratching at a door and yapping loudly, it’s their way of asking you to use your size and helpful opposable thumbs to turn the doorknob and let them through. After all, how else must they ask to be allowed outside?

3. Because They’re Happy When You Come Home

Yorkies become part of your family in every sense of the word. They see you as their protector and provider and love you as much as a dog can love a human.

It’s no surprise your Yorkie may bark a lot when you get home after a long day at work or even a short trip to the grocery store. 

Not only are they excitable creatures, but they love being over the top and outgoing. If your Yorkie is barking a lot when you get home, it may simply be a sign of excitement and happiness. 

Even though the sound may annoy your neighbors for a while, picking your pet up and showering them with attention should put an end to the vocalizations. 

4. They Probably Believe They Can Communicate With Us

If you’ve owned a Yorkie, you should know they will bark at pretty much anything. 

Many owners get frustrated, believing their dogs are barking simply to annoy them.

However, taking into account a Yorkie’s friendly, inquisitive nature, there’s an equally good chance they may be trying to tell you something

Whether they’re scolding you for being away for too long or even telling you all about the squirrel in the tree outside of their favorite window, their attempts at communication shouldn’t be seen as negative behavior if adequately addressed and responded to.

5. To Mark Their Territory

Most dogs are territorial animals, but Yorkies really do take the cake.

Not only will they bark at any stranger who even gets near your home, but they’ll give any other animals, whether birds, cats, or dogs, similar treatment. 

Despite their minuscule size, they have the courage and attitude to rival even the biggest breeds in the world, so don’t be surprised if your pup tells everyone who’s boss with as loud a string of barks as it can manage. 

6. It Forms Part of Their Social Skills

Yorkies are likely to start barking at other dogs or cats if they want to play, are feeling annoyed, or simply want to interact with their canine peers. 

Unfortunately, continuous barking to try to get other animals to play can become pretty annoying to humans. 

Yorkies may even turn to chewing on their friends’ ears and tails just to get them to join their game. Be thankful we aren’t subject to the same treatment!

Yorkshire terrier sitting on the grass of a beautiful garden

7. They Bark When They’re Excited 

It’s normal for dogs to bark when they’re excited, but with Yorkies, it’s something else entirely, and most of the time, they won’t stop until you get tired and annoyed.

Thankfully there are ways to curb your Yorkie’s random barking, all of which are covered in the list below.

8. They Bark When Meeting Friends 

Meeting old friends can be exciting and joyous for Yorkies of any age and temperament.

Since they are a very vocal breed, they may express their joy through high-pitched yaps and woofs when reunited with their favorite humans or animal friends. 

Yorkies have pretty good memories, so even if they haven’t seen someone in months, there’s a good chance they remember who they are and what sort of emotions they felt when they last interacted. 

Some other behavioral signs that your Yorkie is simply excited to see an old friend may include running, jumping, and lots and lots of licking.

9. When You’re Cooking Their Favorite Dishes

Alright, alright, all you sticklers for the rules may not have this problem, but those of us who sometimes give our Yorkies a sliver of chicken or a sliced up piece of steak know that as soon as we start cooking, our pets are going to realize their favorite dishes are being prepared. 

This may not happen for all Yorkies, but mine sure does bark up a storm as soon as she smells even a hint of chicken. 

And if you dare mention food while she’s around, she won’t stop barking until you’ve given her a piece. Or two. 

10. When They’re Going For a Walk or Drive

I don’t know about your Yorkies, but mine gets worked up whenever it looks like we may be going to the park or for a walk. 

I barely remove her harness and leash from the cupboard, and there she is, barking like a drug-filled maniac. 

Yorkies are not only highly active, but they usually have loads of pent-up energy, which is let out through one main outlet: barking while jumping and running around like crazy [Source].

11. Because They’re Upset

Believe it or not, but Yorkies can be upset and even throw tantrums.

Once they get worked up enough, there’s no limit to their anger, and they may let you know precisely how annoyed they are through a series of disapproving barks. 

Although a Yorkie’s barking may seem cute at first, it can very quickly become annoying. If you have nearby neighbors, their constant vocalizations may cause complaints, and not knowing how to make it stop could leave you overwhelmed and frustrated. 

The following list offers the top tips for getting your Yorkie to stop barking.

How Can I Stop My Yorkie From Barking So Much?

Yorkies are small dogs with big attitudes. If you’re trying to get your pet to stop barking at nothing, you’re going to need just as much patience and ingenuity as they have personality.

Hopefully, this guide helps.

  1. Squirt your Yorkie with water when it barks: Yes, this method was typically reserved for cats, but when used sparingly, it can quickly help your pet understand that barking at their reflection in the window is not acceptable.
  1. Pick your Yorkie up when it barks: The sensation of being lifted in the air, along with your presence and touch, may be enough to snap them out of their barking trance. Follow up by looking your pup in the eyes and firmly saying “no,” or “quiet.” Do not break eye contact first. Once your Yorkie stops barking and looks away, you can put them back on the ground.
  1. Keep your pet’s environment interesting: Many Yorkies bark due to loneliness, boredom, or separation anxiety. Providing your pet with various fun, stimulating toys can prevent any barking caused by these factors. 
  1. Walk your Yorkie regularly: Regular socialization and new sights and sounds can help your pet get used to new animals and people, possibly helping reduce its tendency to bark at every living thing it sees.
  1. Distract your Yorkie: If it begins to bark, either tell it to sit or give it a toy to take its mind off the object of its yapping. This works incredibly effectively with puppies and could help reinforce the idea that not barking results in a treat or reward once they grow older. Another great way is to fill a soda can with coins and shake it every time your pet starts barking, which will quickly redirect their attention [Source]
  1. Take your Yorkie to an obedience class: Not only will this help you understand how to train your pet, but they can learn some pretty cool tricks along the way. 
  1. Get another dog to keep your Yorkie company: If your pet is barking because of loneliness, boredom, or separation anxiety, getting a second Yorkie or dog could help end their upset barking.
  1. Teach your dog routine: Believe it or not, all dogs, including Yorkies, are very aware of daily routines. They eat at a specific time, play at a particular time, and nap during specific hours of the day. If your Yorkie barks in excitement, teach them that they must become quiet after, for example, ten seconds of barking. This can be taught at an obedience school and usually uses “quiet” as a command. 
  1. Address the cause: Find out exactly why your Yorkie is barking and choose to combat that specific situation or event. If your pup barks at strangers walking past your street, close the curtains on that side of the house. If it chases and barks at birds, teach it to understand the command “no” and obey when you give it. 
  1. Prove yourself as the alpha: Dogs are pack animals that look to a leader, or alpha, for guidance and commands. Establishing yourself as the alpha can make it easier to teach your Yorkie tricks and behavioral skills that help reduce barking. The best way to do so is by establishing your authority by not giving in to your dog’s demands or tantrums. Authority training at a kennel or puppy school may also be a good option. 

Never use cruel or abusive ways to stop your dog from barking. Shock collars, smacking, and shouting may seem like an easy way to get your dog to listen to you, but it may only worsen the problem and cause them to bark even more. 

Cruel punishments will also make them unresponsive to future training, and in the case of a shock collar, a Yorkie may be too small to handle the electric current and could be hurt or frightened by its effects. 


Yorkies are naturally loud, outgoing animals. They love communicating with their owners and making their happiness, excitement, and unhappiness known in as vocal a way as possible. Unfortunately, this can be very annoying for Yorkie owners and their neighbors. 

One of the best ways to deal with your Yorkie’s excessive barking is to understand and address all the possible causes. Obedience training and distraction also work really well, and the points on this list can give you the best starting point for getting your Yorkie to bark only when necessary and not at every bird, cat, or child it sees. 

Brigitte Cave

Bridgitte grew up on a farm and eventually spent 5 years on Mahe Island in the Seychelles during her teen years. Her time living on a farm was spent mostly around animals including dogs, cats, cows, horses, and all sorts of fowl (chickens, ducks, and geese included). You can find out more about Bridgitte at https://mercurypets.com/our-writers/ Bridgitte is a keen horse rider and has competed in many showjumping competitions. She loves writing about pretty much all animals, and particularly dogs, cats, small mammals, horses and reptiles.

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