Training Your Yorkshire Terrier: Tips and Techniques

Training Your Yorkshire Terrier: Tips and Techniques

Are you struggling to train your Yorkshire Terrier? Look no further! In this article, we will provide you with essential tips and techniques to help you effectively train your beloved Yorkshire Terrier. Whether you are a first-time owner or have had Yorkshire Terriers before, our expert advice will guide you through the training process. From basic commands to housebreaking, we have got you covered. Read on to discover the best practices and expert insights to ensure a well-behaved and obedient Yorkshire Terrier.

Understanding the Yorkshire Terrier Breed

History of the Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier, often referred to as Yorkie, is a small breed that originated in the 19th century in Yorkshire, England. Initially, they were bred for the purpose of catching rats in clothing mills. The breed was developed by crossing various terrier breeds, including the Skye Terrier and the Maltese, resulting in a charming and feisty companion.

Characteristics and Traits

Yorkshire Terriers are known for their small size and elegant appearance. They have a silky, long coat that requires regular grooming to keep it in pristine condition. Yorkies are highly energetic and intelligent dogs. Despite their small stature, they have a courageous and confident personality, often displaying a fearless attitude. They are also known for their loyalty and affection towards their owners, making them wonderful companions.

Common Health Issues

Like all dog breeds, Yorkshire Terriers have some specific health concerns that owners should be aware of. Some common health issues seen in Yorkies include:

  1. Luxating Patella: This condition occurs when the kneecap slips out of its normal position, causing pain and lameness in the affected leg. Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent this condition.

  2. Collapsed Trachea: Yorkies are prone to having a weak trachea, which can result in a chronic cough and breathing difficulties. Using a harness instead of a collar for walks can help alleviate pressure on the trachea.

  3. Dental Problems: Yorkies often suffer from dental issues such as tooth decay and gum disease. Regular dental care, including brushing their teeth and providing dental treats, can help maintain good oral health.

  4. Liver Shunt: Some Yorkshire Terriers may be born with a liver shunt, a condition where blood bypasses the liver, leading to poor liver function. Symptoms include stunted growth, seizures, and urinary problems. Early detection and appropriate treatment are crucial for managing this condition.

  5. Eye Problems: Yorkies are prone to various eye conditions, such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy. Regular eye examinations by a veterinarian can help identify and address these issues.

By understanding the Yorkshire Terrier breed, its history, characteristics, and common health issues, you can better care for and train your beloved Yorkie. Remember to provide them with regular exercise, mental stimulation, and proper veterinary care to ensure they lead a happy and healthy life.

Preparing for Training

Creating a Positive Training Environment

Creating a positive training environment is essential when it comes to training your Yorkshire Terrier. Dogs, including Yorkshire Terriers, thrive in a calm and positive atmosphere. Here are some tips to help you create a positive training environment:

  • Choose a quiet and distraction-free area in your home for training sessions. This will help your Yorkshire Terrier focus on the training exercises without being easily distracted.
  • Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and rewards. Rewarding your Yorkshire Terrier for good behavior will encourage them to repeat those behaviors in the future.
  • Avoid using punishment or harsh training methods. Positive reinforcement is proven to be more effective and helps build a stronger bond between you and your Yorkshire Terrier.
  • Be patient and consistent with your training. Dogs learn at different paces, so it’s important to give your Yorkshire Terrier time to understand and master each command or trick.

Gathering the Necessary Supplies

Before you start training your Yorkshire Terrier, it’s important to gather the necessary supplies. Having the right tools will help make the training process smoother and more effective. Here are some supplies you may need:

  • Treats: Use small, soft, and tasty treats as rewards during training sessions. Make sure to choose treats that are specifically made for dogs and are easy to break into smaller pieces.
  • Clicker: A clicker can be a useful tool for training your Yorkshire Terrier. The clicking sound helps mark the desired behavior and signals to your dog that they have done something right.
  • Leash and collar: A leash and collar are essential for teaching your Yorkshire Terrier basic commands like "sit" and "stay." Choose a lightweight and comfortable leash and collar that fits your dog properly.
  • Training pads: Training pads can be useful for potty training your Yorkshire Terrier, especially if you live in an apartment or don’t have easy access to outdoor space. Place the training pads in a designated area for your dog to use.
  • Toys: Incorporating toys into your training sessions can make them more engaging and fun for your Yorkshire Terrier. Use toys as rewards or distractions during training exercises.

Establishing a Routine

Establishing a routine is crucial when it comes to training your Yorkshire Terrier. Dogs thrive on routine and consistency, so it’s important to set a regular training schedule. Here are some tips for establishing a training routine:

  • Set aside dedicated time for training sessions each day. Consistency is key, so try to stick to the same time every day to train your Yorkshire Terrier.
  • Keep training sessions short and focused. Dogs have short attention spans, so aim for 10-15 minute sessions and break them up throughout the day if needed.
  • Be consistent with commands and cues. Use the same words and gestures each time you want your Yorkshire Terrier to perform a specific behavior.
  • Incorporate training into your daily activities. For example, you can practice commands during walks or incorporate training exercises into playtime.

By following these tips and techniques for preparing for training, creating a positive training environment, gathering the necessary supplies, and establishing a routine, you’ll be well-equipped to train your Yorkshire Terrier effectively and build a strong bond with your furry companion.

Basic Training Techniques


Housebreaking is an essential part of training your Yorkshire Terrier. It involves teaching them appropriate bathroom behaviors and ensuring they understand where and when it is appropriate to relieve themselves. Here are some tips to help you housebreak your Yorkshire Terrier:

  • Establish a routine: Create a consistent schedule for taking your Yorkshire Terrier outside to eliminate. Take them out first thing in the morning, after meals, before bedtime, and regularly throughout the day.
  • Choose a designated elimination area: Designate a specific spot in your yard where you want your Yorkshire Terrier to go potty. Take them to this area each time and use a consistent command or cue to encourage them to go.
  • Reward and praise: When your Yorkshire Terrier successfully eliminates in the designated area, immediately reward them with praise, treats, or a favorite toy. This positive reinforcement will help them understand that they have done something right.

Teaching Commands (Sit, Stay, Come)

Teaching your Yorkshire Terrier basic commands like sit, stay, and come is crucial for their safety and well-being. Here’s how you can train them on these commands:

  • Sit: Hold a treat close to your Yorkshire Terrier’s nose and slowly move it upward. As their head follows the treat, their bottom will naturally lower into a sitting position. Once they are fully seated, say the command "sit" and immediately reward them with the treat and praise.
  • Stay: Start by asking your Yorkshire Terrier to sit. Once they are sitting, show them your palm like a stop sign and say "stay" in a firm but calm voice. Take a step back and wait for a few seconds, then return to them, reward them, and praise them for staying in place.
  • Come: Begin by putting a leash on your Yorkshire Terrier and getting down to their level. Say their name followed by the command "come" with a happy and encouraging tone. Gently pull on the leash to guide them towards you. When they reach you, reward them with treats and praise.

Using Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is an effective and humane training technique that involves rewarding your Yorkshire Terrier for good behavior. Here’s how you can use positive reinforcement to train them:

  • Treats: Use small, tasty treats as a reward for desired behavior. Whenever your Yorkshire Terrier follows a command or exhibits good behavior, immediately give them a treat and praise them.
  • Verbal praise: Along with treats, use verbal praise such as "good job" or "well done" to reinforce positive behavior. Yorkshire Terriers thrive on their owner’s approval and will be motivated to repeat the behavior that earns them praise.
  • Play and affection: Yorkshire Terriers also respond well to play and affection as a form of positive reinforcement. Engage in interactive play sessions or give them extra cuddles and petting when they exhibit good behavior.

By using these basic training techniques, including housebreaking, teaching commands, and utilizing positive reinforcement, you can effectively train your Yorkshire Terrier and establish a strong bond with them. Remember to be patient, consistent, and always reward their efforts to encourage their learning and development.

Advanced Training Tips

Teaching Tricks and Agility

Once your Yorkshire Terrier has mastered basic obedience commands, you can take their training to the next level by teaching them tricks and agility exercises. Not only will this provide mental stimulation for your furry friend, but it will also strengthen the bond between you and your Yorkshire Terrier. Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Start with simple tricks: Begin with basic tricks such as "sit pretty" or "shake hands" before moving on to more complex ones. This allows your Yorkshire Terrier to build confidence and understand the training process.
  • Use positive reinforcement: Reward your Yorkshire Terrier with treats, praise, and playtime whenever they successfully perform a trick. This positive reinforcement will motivate them to continue learning and trying new things.
  • Be patient and consistent: Advanced training requires time and patience. Break down each trick into smaller steps and practice them regularly. Consistency is key to ensuring that your Yorkshire Terrier understands what is expected of them.
  • Introduce agility exercises: Agility training is a fantastic way to keep your Yorkshire Terrier physically active and mentally stimulated. Set up a mini agility course in your backyard or attend agility classes specifically designed for small breeds. This will enhance your Yorkshire Terrier’s coordination, speed, and overall fitness.

Socializing Your Yorkshire Terrier

Socialization is an essential aspect of training for any dog, including Yorkshire Terriers. Proper socialization helps your Yorkshire Terrier become well-rounded, confident, and comfortable in various situations. Here are some tips to help you socialize your Yorkshire Terrier:

  • Expose them to different environments: Gradually introduce your Yorkshire Terrier to new environments, such as parks, busy streets, or pet-friendly stores. This exposure will help them become accustomed to various sights, sounds, and smells, reducing the likelihood of fear or anxiety in unfamiliar situations.
  • Introduce them to other dogs and people: Organize playdates with well-behaved dogs or attend supervised dog socialization classes. Allow your Yorkshire Terrier to interact with friendly dogs and people of different ages, sizes, and backgrounds. This will help them learn appropriate social behavior and develop good manners when meeting new friends.
  • Reward positive interactions: Whenever your Yorkshire Terrier displays calm and friendly behavior towards other dogs or people, reward them with treats and praise. Positive reinforcement will reinforce their good social skills and encourage them to continue behaving well in the future.
  • Be patient and take it slow: Some Yorkshire Terriers may be naturally more reserved or cautious. Respect their individual temperament and progress at their own pace. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of socialization sessions, always prioritizing your Yorkshire Terrier’s comfort and well-being.

Dealing with Behavioral Issues

While Yorkshire Terriers are generally well-behaved dogs, they may occasionally exhibit behavioral issues that require attention and training. Here are some tips to help you address and manage common behavioral issues in Yorkshire Terriers:

  • Identify the root cause: Understanding the underlying cause of a behavioral problem is crucial for effective training. Whether it’s separation anxiety, excessive barking, or potty training difficulties, try to identify the triggers or factors contributing to the issue.
  • Seek professional help if needed: If you’re struggling to address a specific behavioral problem, it may be beneficial to consult a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide expert guidance and develop a tailored training plan for your Yorkshire Terrier.
  • Consistency and positive reinforcement: Consistency is key when dealing with behavioral issues. Establish clear rules and boundaries for your Yorkshire Terrier, and ensure that all family members follow them consistently. Use positive reinforcement techniques to reward desired behaviors and redirect or ignore unwanted behaviors.
  • Provide mental and physical stimulation: Many behavioral issues in Yorkshire Terriers stem from boredom or lack of exercise. Make sure your Yorkshire Terrier receives plenty of mental and physical stimulation through interactive toys, puzzle games, regular walks, and playtime sessions.
  • Never punish or yell: Avoid using punishment-based training methods or yelling at your Yorkshire Terrier. This can create fear and anxiety, worsening the behavioral problem and damaging the trust between you and your furry companion.

By following these advanced training tips, teaching tricks and agility, socializing your Yorkshire Terrier, and effectively dealing with behavioral issues will become more manageable and enjoyable for both you and your beloved pet. Remember to be patient, consistent, and always prioritize positive reinforcement to ensure a happy and well-behaved Yorkshire Terrier.

Special Considerations for Yorkshire Terrier Training

Training a Yorkshire Terrier Puppy

When it comes to training a Yorkshire Terrier puppy, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. First and foremost, it’s crucial to start training as early as possible. Yorkshire Terriers are intelligent and eager to please, so early training can help establish good habits and prevent behavioral issues down the line.

One key aspect of training a Yorkshire Terrier puppy is socialization. These dogs can be prone to shyness or fearfulness if not properly socialized from a young age. Introduce your puppy to a variety of people, animals, and environments to help them become confident and well-adjusted adults.

Additionally, Yorkshire Terriers are known for their small size, which means they may be more prone to accidents or injuries. Take extra care during training sessions to ensure their safety and avoid any activities that could put them at risk.

Training an Adult Yorkshire Terrier

Training an adult Yorkshire Terrier may require a slightly different approach compared to training a puppy. Adult dogs may already have established behaviors or bad habits that need to be addressed. Consistency and patience are key when working with an adult Yorkshire Terrier.

Start by assessing any existing behavioral issues and identify the root causes. Whether it’s excessive barking, separation anxiety, or leash pulling, understanding the underlying reasons will help in developing an effective training plan.

Positive reinforcement techniques work well with adult Yorkshire Terriers. Use treats, praise, and rewards to encourage desired behaviors and discourage unwanted ones. Remember to be consistent in your training efforts and provide plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep your adult Yorkshire Terrier engaged and motivated.

Training a Yorkshire Terrier with Special Needs

Some Yorkshire Terriers may have special needs that require extra attention during training. This could include physical disabilities, health conditions, or even emotional trauma. It’s essential to consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer who has experience working with dogs with special needs.

For Yorkshire Terriers with physical disabilities, consider adapting training techniques to accommodate their limitations. For example, if your dog has difficulty hearing, incorporate hand signals or visual cues into the training process. Be patient and understanding, as it may take more time for them to grasp certain commands or tasks.

When dealing with emotional trauma, such as rescue dogs with a troubled past, it’s important to approach training with gentleness and compassion. Building trust and establishing a positive association with training sessions can help the dog overcome their fears or anxieties.

In conclusion, training a Yorkshire Terrier requires careful consideration of their age, individual needs, and any special circumstances. Whether you are working with a puppy, an adult dog, or one with special needs, patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key elements in ensuring successful training outcomes.

In conclusion, training your Yorkshire Terrier can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for both you and your furry friend. By following the tips and techniques discussed in this article, you can establish a strong bond with your Yorkshire Terrier and ensure they are well-behaved and obedient. Remember to be patient, consistent, and positive throughout the training process. With time and effort, your Yorkshire Terrier will become a well-trained and well-behaved companion that brings joy and happiness to your life. So, start implementing these training tips today and watch as your Yorkshire Terrier becomes the best-behaved dog in the neighborhood!