It’s not hard to understand why Yorkies are such a popular pet, one look at these adorable and affectionate little dogs and many people are smitten. With a playful and cuddly nature training a Yorkie is an enjoyable experience but not without its frustrations. So how would we recommend you start your Yorkshire Terriers training?
Yorkie Temperament and Attitudes
It does require plenty of time to train your Yorkie and while playful and affectionate they have a strong brave streak running through them especially when faced with bigger dogs, cars or anything that may appear threatening. Originally Yorkshire terriers were bred for catching rats so they are often prone undesirable behavior like digging, chewing and chasing.
Remember that obedience training is also for your Yorkies safety, with such a strong and inquisitive personality they can get themselves into dangerous situations.
The Basics of Training a Yorkshire Terrier
Once you have got your puppy home it’s time to start training, the earlier you begin training your Yorkie the better. It’s important not to punish your puppy in these early weeks, good behavior should be rewarded but under no circumstances should you hit, smack or shout at your Yorkie.
- Step 1 – Exercise regularly. Exercise will help make your training sessions much easier. Despite being small dogs they do need plenty of time outdoors running around and if your Yorkie has too much spare energy you will find it difficult to hold their attention for long.
- Step 2 – Short but frequent sessions. Like any child, a Yorkshire terrier puppy can get distracted very easily and once they are bored it can be difficult to make any progress. Keep your training sessions to only 5 to 10 minutes at first, get the maximum amount of training done while you have their attention.
- Step 3 – Basics first! While amusing tricks may look good it’s vital to get the basic commands learned as early as possible. When you are training a Yorkshire terrier you want to teach the commands “sit”, “stay” and “down”. These essential commands will help with both the safety of your Yorkie and the safety of your couches!
- Step 4 – Clicker Training. Dog clicker training is a technique that uses a small plastic “clicker” that can be heard over long distances. Getting your Yorkie to link the click with a reward can be an effective way of training a Yorkie to do more advanced commands very quickly.
- Step 5 – Rewards. Punishment should only be used very sparingly when training a Yorkshire Terrier and never while they are young. Because Yorkies can be stubborn towards bigger threats (such as a large human!) too much punishment can produce an aggressive Yorkie. Positive reinforcement is always the best method, get a bag of treats and reward good behavior appropriately. Yorkies love physical petting so a good cuddle will work wonders.
Training a Yorkie properly will require plenty of effort and needs to be done over a long period of time, so you will require some patience. However the rewards of an obedient Yorkie will outweigh this a hundred times! Make sure you are the “Alpha Dog” in the pack at all times, Yorkies love to cuddle up and even squash themselves into a space in the couch or in your bed but you do need to be in control of this behavior or you may find your authority slipping as they get older.