10 (Real Life Tips) On How to Train Yorkies? – Doing it Right

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Are you excited to welcome your first teacup Yorkshire Terrier but scared that they won’t obey you? Does having a toy dog sound convenient for your apartment situation, but you’re still intimidated by their reputation? You’re not the only one.

Yorkshire Terries are popular for many reasons. They’re small, so they’re easy to carry and have in small houses or apartments. Their lively and curious nature makes them the most fun to have around.

In addition, they’re hypoallergenic, which makes them excellent companions for people who are allergic to dogs but still love them. The fact that Teacup Yorkies don’t shed much makes them very attractive to new owners. Also, they’re kind of watchdogs since they descended from working dogs themselves.

That being said, they have a big-dog personality, which makes training them, especially house training, a challenge that takes time and patience. Yet, they’re still trainable, and their behavior can be altered to your favor. So, if you’re interested in knowing more about training a Yorkie, keep on reading.

Are Yorkies Hard to Train?

Despite their small size, Yorkshire Terriers were originally hunters that descended from Paisley, Clydesdale, and Skye Terriers. These strong-willed dogs are highly intelligent and courageous to the point that they’re probably unaware that they’re small dogs like shih tzu, which means they come with an attitude, and that’s why it’s best to start training them early.

Also, Yorkshire Terriers have small bladders, just like any small dog breeds. Thus, potty training a Yorkie puppy may take more time than a big dog. That being said, they’re still trainable, and it’s all worth it in the end.

A girl is walking with a dog in the park. Yorkshire Terrier

How Long Does It Take to Train a Yorkie?

It differs from one Yorkie to another and depends on many factors. For example, what training method did you use? What kind of reinforcement did you employ? Were you consistent, or did you change things up too much?

However, Yorkshire Terriers are notorious for taking longer than another small breed to train. If you start around the ideal time, which is when they’re 6 to 8 months, it could take you somewhere between 6 months and a year.

How Do You House Train a Yorkie?

House training dogs or Yorkshire Terriers, in particular, consists of doing many training techniques and being consistent and patient.

1. Crate Training

Crates may sound like a bad word to new dog owners, and we understand. Putting your new puppy in an enclosed space doesn’t sound good without context.

However, crates get your dog into house training quickly because it plays on your dog‘s instinct to have their own quiet, relaxed shelter.

The point of crates is to prevent puppies from wandering freely and doing their business everywhere. Since dogs wouldn’t want to sit in their own waste, they will learn to control their bladder and tell you themselves when they want to pee or Yorkie poo.

In order for this training technique to work, you have to pick the right crate size. It should be large enough for them to stand up, sit, lie down, and turn around. However, a crate that’s too large may teach your Yorkie that it’s okay to eliminate in one corner and rest in another.

Pay attention to your pup, especially when they’re at the beginning of crate training so that you can catch them before any accidents happen. Each time an accident happens in an area, it’s more likely to happen again.

Once your dog is inside the crate, use positive reinforcement, whether it’s praise or a treat, to make crate time more enjoyable and relaxing. Make sure not to leave your pup alone for too long. A few hours for a Yorkie pup are enough, while an adult dog can handle more. Monitor your Yorkie to know exactly how long.

Remember to be patient because, according to the American Kennel Club, crate dog training can take at least six months.

2. Pad Training

If you want your puppy to potty outside, getting puppy pads may sound counterproductive. However, they play an important role in training your Yorkie to do their business in a designated area, as opposed to all over the place. Pee pads also come in handy with apartment dwellers, which make up the majority of Yorkshire Terrier owners.

Some pet owners don’t have access to a backyard, the weather gets too cold outside for their Yorkie puppy, or they want a potty spot for nighttime. In these cases, a disposable or washable puppy pad is their friend.

Place the pads in an accessible area and carry your pup there once they show signs that they’ll have a bowel movement, such as sniffing around or circling. Once you place them on the pee pad, use a housebreaking command word that you will stick to, such as “potty train“.

Once they do their business, praise and reward them with a treat, and they will get excited enough to want to repeat that because positive reinforcement is much more efficient than negative when it comes to modifying a dog‘s behavior.

3. Regular Potty Breaks

No matter what else you do, if you don’t take your dog out on enough potty breaks, you’re asking too much of them. A Yorkie puppy doesn’t have much on their small bladder or bowel muscles. They will develop as they grow, but you should still prepare to take them out frequently.

The maximum that puppies can hold their bladder depends on their age. According to the Humane Society of the United States, they can hold it for one more hour every time they grow one month older. So, your 3-month old puppy can hold it for a maximum of 3 hours, and a 4-month old will hold it for 4.

The best way to go about Yorkie potty training your Yorkie puppy is to establish a schedule. The most popular and successful method is the 15-minute rule, which states that you should take your puppy outside first thing in the morning. Then, take them 15 minutes after waking up, eating, playing, and before sleep.

Remember not to rush your dog. It takes no less than 15 minutes for a bowel movement to happen. So, if you take your dog to the designated area only 5 minutes after eating, they won’t eliminate, and you may mistake for not needing to do so. Then, they’ll eliminate in the wrong area, and the housebreaking will fail.

Also, sticking to one designated area is essential in Yorkshire terrier training. Taking them to a different spot each time may confuse them. In addition, the chosen spot should be easily accessible at all times and a little far from foot traffic. Puppies heavily depend on routine and consistency when you train them; remember that.

Finally, try to incorporate clicker training in your routine by using a clicker to mark the good behavior that you’ll reward them for.

How Do You Teach Yorkie Tricks?

Yorkshire terrier waiting for play

Yorkie Puppy training is to do tricks is the most fun activity that you can do with such a small dog. Nothing beats hanging out with your friends and family and having your little dog show off the tricks that you taught them. So, make sure to keep these tips in mind.

1. Eliminate Distractions

Your Yorkie puppy has a pretty short attention span. So, do your puppy training in a quiet area that’s free of distractions, such as loud noise, children, toy breed, food, and so on. Also, if you’re training one dog, keep them away from “separation anxiety” from other pets at home because they tend to distract each other.

Sometimes, training Yorkies is recommended to be indoors because they may want to abandon the training each time an external distractor appears.

2. Get a Lightweight Harness

If you were training larger dogs, we would suggest using a neck collar. However, a Yorkshire Terrier puppy is a 7-pound dog at most, and their necks are pretty tiny, so neck collars would definitely hurt them.

Instead of the typical collar, get a lightweight harness that puts you in control but leaves enough room for their necks to breathe.

3. Start With the Basics

It takes no scientist to realize that jumping into teaching your dog how to play dead is too advanced. So, start with the basic commands that you would expect any trained dog breed to know, such as sit, down, stand, and release.

Basic commands are important in helping your dog become more obedient and less rebellious. If they master obedience training, you can upgrade to all the dog circus tricks.

4. Use Command Words

The most important part of teaching your dog a trick is to pick a simple, direct, and short command word and stick to it. For example, you don’t need more than the word “sit” as a sit command. Remember the commands that worked because these are the ones that you’ll repeat each time.

Keep in mind that it’s better to wait for your dog to obey the command once you say it than to repeat it over and over again; patience will bring you the best results and will actually reduce the time of training.

5. Use Your Hands

While command words and voice tones are important, your hands can make all the difference because dogs are visual learners, just like children. So, hold a treat and make use of your hand motion to grab your dog‘s attention and show them what to do.

For example, when you train your dog to sit, raise the treat above their head so that they’d be closer to a seated position. Also, if you’re teaching your Yorkie the “stay” command, raise an open palm to be perpendicular to the floor. Catering to the different senses of your Yorkie will definitely make them learn quickly.

6. Incorporate Negative Markers

Everything that you train your Yorkie to do will succeed through trial and error. Your Yorkie wants to please and bond with you, but they will make mistakes. What’s important is that you use negative markers to let them know when they’re on bad behavior, just like you use treats and praise when they do a good job.

The easiest negative markers to use are “uh uh” or “no”. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t follow them by punishment and that they’re just a way to tell your dog when they’re wrong.

7. Keep It Short and Sweet

As we’ve said before, Yorkies don’t have the longest attention span. So, forcing them to sit through long training sessions will not be as fruitful as some might think. In fact, it may lead to bad behavior, like toddlers throwing tantrums.

Instead, keep the training sessions short and sweet. In addition, use the commands in daily interactions to solidify them and reward your Yorkie with a treat for each successful trick until it becomes a part of them.


Final Thoughts

Have you enjoyed the tutorial? Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and share the article with other Yorkie owners if you found it useful.

I personally find this topic important to read about because many people love to own Yorkies because of their small size. While they’re cute, most owners don’t know how to train them. They give up easily, and that’s how dogs end up in shelters.

When it comes to potty pad training a Yorkie, you can use crates anywhere suitable and pads inside as safe potty spots, along with scheduled potty breaks that you must take because it’s just a small dog in the end.

If you want to train a Yorkie to do tricks, start gradually, and use commands and hand motions. Plus, it’s better to reward your dog with praise and a treat than to punish them when they make a mistake. Also, try to remove any distractions from the environment and keep the training brief.

So, just be patient with your Yorkie and have realistic expectations. Remember to have fun!

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