Yorkshire Terriers, or “Yorkies” as they’re often known, are one of the most popular breeds of dog in the world. Mainly a pristine lap dog, Yorkies are notorious for their big personalities and majestic appearance.
Therefore, it’s hardly surprising that they’re top of the list for dog lovers who want a small breed with an affectionate and protective temperament. However, what does the territorial and intelligent nature of a Yorkie mean when it comes to training and disciplining them?
This guide will take an in-depth look at some of the best methods of training a Yorkshire Terrier, including all the information you need to know about dealing with house training, crate training, and barking.
We’ll also look to answer some of the frequently asked questions related to Yorkie training.
Before we take a closer look at the challenges of training a Yorkshire Terrier and some of the most effective methods of overcoming them, it’s worth taking a quick look at the history of the breed.
Yorkies were originally a large terrier dog from Scotland, before making their way down to Yorkshire during England’s Industrial Revolution via Scottish miners, weavers, and factory workers.
It’s believed that the Yorkshire Terrier was initially known as the Clydesdale Terrier, and was bred from crosses between dogs such as the Tan Toy Terrier and Skye Terrier.
Challenges Of Training A Yorkie
When looking into getting a Yorkie, you’ll be warned that they’re notoriously difficult to house train and potty train. While this isn’t all that unusual for a small breed, Yorkies really are one of the most challenging breeds to discipline.
Many experts believe this is partly due to their issues with separation anxiety, but it’s also important to acknowledge that Yorkshire Terriers have small bladders, so they require a longer training period than the vast majority of other dogs.
Yorkies are also well-known for being a “yappy” dog, meaning they like to bark and investigate anything that’s unfamiliar to them.
Therefore, for Yorkies living as pets, it’s vital to provide them with consistent training from an early age in order to prevent this behavior developing into a problem.
As mentioned above, Yorkies are difficult to house train, so it’s important to focus on training them as early as you can. One of the most effective methods many owners use is to let their Yorkie outside often at regular intervals (every 10 or 15 minutes).
You can then slowly start to extend this to every couple of hours, until your pooch gets to grips with house training.
Another popular method is to attach a small bell or a similar device to the bottom of your door that leads outside. Your Yorkie can then paw or nudge into the bell to signal that they need to go outside.
What’s more, a well-trained Yorkie can give a number of other signals to alert you that they need to go out.
Some of the most common include sitting next to you and staring at you, scratching at your arm, and standing next to a door that leads outside.
If you typically spend extended periods of time out of your home, it’s essential to crate train your Yorkie. This is mainly due to their struggles with separation anxiety and the increased likelihood of having an accident because of this.
By training your Yorkie to stay in an enclosed space such as a crate, they’ll feel considerably more comfortable and secure when left alone. Just make sure that the crate is one they’re familiar with and have already gotten used to.
The best way to get them familiar and comfortable with a crate is to keep them in it when you’re still at home. For example, start off with leaving the door open while they’re in the crate so they can explore the space without feeling trapped.
Then, leave them in the crate for short periods of 10-15 minutes with the door shut to see whether they’re comfortable enough to settle down and sleep.
If so, you can gradually increase the duration you leave them in the crate, until you feel comfortable enough to leave them unsupervised while you’re out of the house.
Dealing With Barking
Yorkies are considered by many as excellent watchdogs due to their heightened senses. While this is certainly not a bad thing, it does mean that they’ll often bark at every new sight and sound that they’re unfamiliar with.
The best way to stamp this out is to strongly discourage them at an early age before it becomes an established habit of their behavior.
So, if your Yorkie is barking because they’re scared by a particular situation, pick them up, comfort them, and gently tell them to be quiet.
If your pooch stops barking when you comfort them or use the command “quiet”, reward them with their favorite treat. This positive reinforcement should make it easier to get them to stop barking in future situations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Yorkies Be Aggressive?
While Yorkies aren’t generally an aggressive breed, it’s worth keeping in mind that they’ll learn to bite during puppyhood just like any breed.
With this in mind, it’s important to encourage them to avoid biting as soon as they arrive in your home. Try and make sure playtime doesn’t involve any kind of biting as this can lead your pooch to think that it’s an acceptable practice.
Should You Punish A Yorkie?
While it may seem only right to punish bad behavior such as excessive barking or naughty biting, punishment isn’t always effective for dogs. In fact, in some situations, it can make the problem even worse.
How Do I Stop My Yorkie From Peeing In The House?
When your Yorkie goes outside for a pee or poop, reward them with either a tasty treat or an enthusiastic “good boy”. This reinforces to them that going outside is the correct behavior.
On the other hand, if you see your Yorkie relieving themself inside the house, give them a firm “NO” and immediately take them outside.
Do Male And Female Yorkies Behave Differently?
Both male and female Yorkies are affectionate, intelligent, and full of energy, so there isn’t too much to separate them in terms of temperament.
One thing to keep in mind is that female Yorkies are known to be more upfront in order to get their own way.
Do Yorkies Get Attached To One Person In Particular?
While this doesn’t always happen, it’s not unusual for a Yorkshire Terrier to become attached to one person more than anyone else. This is often the person who provides most or all of the care. If you hold this position, it can be considerably easier to train your Yorkie.
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