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Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Scott Allen

Are Yorkies OK To Be Left Alone? Surprising Truths!

By: Scott Allen – November 9th, 2023.

Are Yorkies OK To Be Left Alone?

As a proud Yorkie parent myself, I can tell you there’s so much to love about these little bundles of joy.

They’re charming, feisty, and oh-so-fluffy!

But the question that tends to pop up pretty often is – can our petite pals handle being alone?

Well, after vast research and many personal experiences, let me put your heart at ease – Yorkies are definitely tougher than they look.

In this article, we’ll walk through some handy tips and pearls of wisdom to ensure your furry friend remains comfortable when he or she needs to have some alone time.

Because yes, even dogs need their ‘me’ time!

So shall we paw-ceed?

Key Takeaways

  • Yorkies can be left alone, contrary to the myth that they can’t handle solitude. Factors such as age, health, and training levels affect how a Yorkie feels about being alone.
  • Training your Yorkie to be comfortable with alone time is importantStart with short periods of time and gradually increase their alone time while providing a safe space and toys for entertainment.
  • To meet your Yorkie’s needs while they are alone, provide them with toys for entertainment, keep background noise to calm them, and ensure their potty training routine is maintained. Recognize signs of distress such as excessive barking, bathroom accidents, and destructive behavior when left alone.
  • Guidelines vary depending on age: puppies should not be left alone for more than 2-3 hours at a time, while adult Yorkies can handle longer periods but still need regular breaks throughout the day.

Can a Yorkie Be Left Alone?

Can a Yorkie Be Left Alone?

Yorkies can absolutely be left alone, contrary to the myth that they cannot handle solitude.

Debunking the myth that Yorkies can’t be left alone

Yorkies are not always sad when alone. This is a myth. Some people think that Yorkies get very upset if left by themselves. But this is not true for all Yorkies. Many factors affect how a Yorkie feels about being alone.

These include their age, mood, and training levels. A well-trained adult Yorkie might feel ok being alone for some time in the day.

Factors to consider before leaving a Yorkie alone

Thinking about leaving your Yorkie alone needs some thought. There are many things to keep in mind.

  1. The age of your Yorkie is very important. Puppies should not be left alone for more than two to three hours at a time.
  2. A yorkie’s health also matters when making this decision. Dogs with poor health or severe medical conditions need special care.
  3. Keep check on how your Yorkie acts when left alone. Pay close attention if the Yorkie shows any signs of stress or fear.
  4. Figure out if your Yorkie can hold it in while you’re gone, as puppies have little bladders and can’t hold it in for long periods.
  5. Your dog’s character could impact how well he handles being alone. Some dogs are more social and may feel sad when left alone for too long.
  6. Lastly, consider the amount of time you’ll be away from home daily as regularly leaving a Yorkie alone for 12-14 hours can result in issues.

Preparing Your Yorkie for Alone Time

Preparing Your Yorkie for Alone Time

Train your Yorkie to be comfortable with being left alone and gradually increase their alone time, while designating a safe area for them to stay in.

Training them to be left alone

Training my Yorkie to be alone was a major step I had to take. This process is not hard but it needs time, care, and patience. Below are the steps I found helpful:

  1. Start with short periods of time: I started by leaving my Yorkie alone for five minutes, then returning. It helps them know that you’ll always come back.
  2. Slowly add more time: Once they can handle short gaps without stress, I added more time. Ten minutes becomes half an hour, then one hour and so on.
  3. Use a safe place: A cozy crate or small room works well here. This keeps them safe when no one is around.
  4. Leave toys for play: To keep my Yorkie busy while alone, I left fun toys out. This helped reduce any chance of loneliness.
  5. Maintain calm when leaving and coming back: A big goodbye can cause stress. I kept quiet when leaving and coming back home.
  6. Don’t react to whining right away: If your Yorkie cries as soon as you leave, wait before going back in to check on them.

Designating a safe area for them

Creating a safe area for your Yorkie is an important part of preparing them to be left alone. Dogs prefer smaller, enclosed spaces reminiscent of their ancestral dens, so finding a quiet and comfortable area can help your Yorkie feel secure.

Whether it’s a crate or a specific room in the house, having this designated space will provide them with a protected environment and reduce anxiety. Make sure the area has their favorite toys, food, water, and natural light by opening the blinds.

This will help them feel more at ease during their alone time.

Gradually increasing alone time

Gradually increasing alone time is important for Yorkies. It helps them get used to being by themselves without getting anxious or upset. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  1. Start with short periods: Begin by leaving your Yorkie alone for just 10 or 15 minutes. This gives them a chance to practice being on their own without feeling overwhelmed.
  2. Increase the time gradually: As your Yorkie becomes more comfortable, you can start extending the duration of their alone time. Add a few minutes each day or every few days until they can handle being alone for longer stretches.
  3. Use a canine playpen or gate off an area: Creating a safe space for your Yorkie while they’re alone can help them feel secure. Set up a playpen or use gates to restrict their access to certain areas of the house.
  4. Provide toys and entertainment: Leaving toys and puzzles for your Yorkie to play with can keep them occupied and help distract them from being alone.
  5. Practice positive reinforcement: Reward your Yorkie with treats and praise when they handle being alone well. This will help reinforce positive behavior and make them associate alone time with good things.

Meeting Your Yorkie’s Needs While Alone

To meet your Yorkie’s needs while they are alone, provide them with toys for entertainment, keep background noise to calm them, and ensure their potty training routine is maintained.

Providing entertainment with toys

Toys are a great way to keep your Yorkie entertained when they’re left alone. Here are some ideas:

  • Give them playthings that can keep their minds and bodies active. Puzzle toys or interactive treat dispensers can provide mental stimulation.
  • Get them chew toys that are specifically designed for small breeds like Yorkies. These toys can help with teething and also satisfy their natural chewing instincts.
  • Consider leaving behind durable stuffed animals or plush toys that they can cuddle with. This can provide comfort and make them feel less lonely.
  • Rotate their toys regularly to keep things interesting. Introduce new toys every now and then to prevent boredom.
  • If your Yorkie enjoys fetching, leave some soft balls or squeaky toys for them to play with.

Keeping them calm with background noise

When your Yorkie is left alone, providing background noise can help keep them calm and relaxed. Interactive toys that make noise, such as squeaky toys or puzzle toys with hidden treats, can provide entertainment and stimulation for your dog while you’re away.

The sound of the toy can also serve as a distraction from any outside noises that might cause anxiety or stress for your Yorkie. Additionally, leaving on a radio or TV at low volume can create a comforting atmosphere and mimic the sounds of human activity in the house.

This background noise can help ease any feelings of loneliness and make your Yorkie feel more secure while they are alone.

Ensuring their potty training routine is maintained

Maintaining a potty training routine is crucial for meeting your Yorkie’s needs while they are left alone. Housebreaking a Yorkshire Terrier puppy requires consistency and patience.

It’s important to establish a schedule for taking them outside for potty breaks and reward their progress when they successfully go outside. Even if your Yorkie is an adult with a stronger bladder, it’s still recommended to regularly take them outside to prevent accidents in the house.

Following a potty training schedule can help you achieve the goal of housebreaking your Yorkie in just 5 days.

Signs That Your Yorkie Is Not Doing Well Alone

Excessive barking, bathroom accidents, and destructive behavior are all signs that your Yorkie may not be doing well when left alone. Discover how to address these issues and ensure your pup’s happiness and wellbeing while you’re away.

Read on for helpful tips and solutions.

Excessive barking

Excessive barking in Yorkies can be a sign that they are not doing well when left alone. When I leave my Yorkie alone, I always pay attention to his barking because it could mean he’s feeling lonely, stressed, or anxious.

Whining and howling are common forms of excessive barking when a Yorkie is separated from its owner. If your Yorkie’s barking sounds high-pitched, frantic, or more excessive than usual, it could be a sign of separation anxiety.

Pay close attention to any signs of excessive barking along with destructive chewing or panicked behavior when leaving your Yorkie alone—they might be struggling with being on their own.

Bathroom accidents

One of the common issues faced by Yorkie owners is bathroom accidents when I leave them alone at home. Yorkies may have accidents in the house as a symptom of separation anxiety. They might urinate, defecate, or bark excessively when left alone.

This can be especially true for older Yorkies who may have difficulty with housebreaking and continue to have accidents in the house. To avoid this, I make sure to provide regular bathroom breaks for my Yorkie to prevent accidents from happening inside the house.

Destructive behavior

When Yorkies experience separation anxiety, they may exhibit destructive behavior. This can include excessive barkingchewing on items around the house, and pacing anxiously. They may also scratch at doors and windows in an attempt to escape or find their owner.

It’s important to understand that these behaviors are not out of spite or disobedience, but rather a response to feeling anxious and distressed when left alone. By recognizing these signs and addressing their separation anxiety through training and other strategies, we can help prevent our Yorkies from engaging in destructive behavior when they are home alone.

Remember, dogs with separation anxiety often resort to destructive behaviors as a way to cope with their fears and anxieties when left alone. It’s crucial for us as dog lovers to be patient and understanding while finding ways to manage their anxiety effectively.

How Long Can a Yorkie Be Left Alone?

Yorkies can be left alone for a few hours, with guidelines varying depending on their age.

Guidelines for different age groups

Getting the balance right when leaving Yorkies alone is crucial. Let’s discuss guidelines for different age groups in an easy-to-understand format.

Age Group Hours They Can Be Left Alone
Puppies (Under 1 Year Old) Yorkie puppies need constant care and attention. They should not be left alone for more than four hours a day.
Adults (1.5 Years and Above) Adult Yorkies that have matured to at least a year and a half can be left alone between four to six hours daily. Remember, each Yorkie has its own threshold for being alone; their tolerance may vary.
Seniors Senior Yorkies, too, can be left alone for about the same time as adult Yorkies. However, their age and health must be considered when determining their alone time.


The above guidelines should give you an idea of what is appropriate for Yorkies at various stages of their lives. Always remember, while some alone time is fine, excessive periods can lead to separation anxiety.

Accommodating for longer workdays

When it comes to accommodating longer workdays as a Yorkie owner, it’s important to keep in mind that adult Yorkies can be left alone for four to six hours a day. This means that if you have a regular 8-hour workday, your Yorkie should be able to handle being alone for most of the day.

However, it’s still crucial to provide them with everything they need during this time, such as food, water, toys for entertainment, and a designated safe area. If you find yourself needing to leave your Yorkie alone for even longer periods of time, considering options like bringing them to work or enlisting the help of family or pet sitters can ensure their well-being and happiness while you’re away.

What To Do When You Need to Leave Your Yorkie Alone

When you need to leave your Yorkie alone, consider enlisting help from family or pet sitters, visiting during the day, or even considering doggie daycare.

Enlisting help from family or pet sitters

Enlisting help from family or pet sitters can be a great solution when you need to leave your Yorkie alone. Here are some ways they can assist:

  1. Family members: If you have family members who arrive home earlier than you do, they can take care of your Yorkie’s needs. They can play with them, take them for walks, and give them the attention they need.
  2. Older children: If you have older children in the house, they can also help with your Yorkie. They can spend time with them, feed them, and make sure they’re comfortable while you’re away.
  3. Pet sitters: Hiring a pet sitter is another option. They can come to your home and provide companionship for your Yorkie during the day. They can also ensure that your Yorkie’s routine is maintained, including feeding and potty breaks.

Visiting during the day

If you need to leave your Yorkie alone during the day, there are a few things you can do to make sure they’re okay. One option is to have someone visit your Yorkie while you’re away.

This could be a family member or friend who can check in on them, let them out for potty breaks, and provide some companionship. Another option is doggie daycare, where your pup can spend the day playing with other dogs and getting lots of attention.

Both of these options can help alleviate any loneliness or boredom your Yorkie may feel when left by themselves for long periods of time.

Considering doggie daycare

If you can’t be home with your Yorkie during the day, doggie daycare can be a great option. It’s a place where your furry friend can socialize and interact with other dogs while you’re away.

Doggie daycare centers provide a safe and supervised environment for Yorkies to play and have fun. This way, they won’t feel lonely or bored while you’re at work or running errands.

If doggie daycare isn’t feasible for you, hiring a pet sitter or bringing your Yorkie with you when you go out are also good alternatives to ensure they get the attention they need.

Creative Solutions for Long Workdays

Bringing your Yorkie to work or creating a hybrid schedule can provide creative solutions for long workdays.

Bringing your dog to work

Bringing your dog to work can be a great solution for long workdays. Not only does it provide companionship, but research has shown that having dogs in the workplace can also decrease employee turnover and reduce stress levels.

However, it’s important to note that the legality of bringing dogs to work may vary depending on company policies and regulations. So before bringing your furry friend to the office, make sure to check if it’s allowed and what guidelines need to be followed.

If permitted, enjoy the benefits of having your canine companion by your side throughout the day!

Creating a hybrid schedule

I believe that creating a hybrid schedule can be a great solution for dog lovers who work long hours. A hybrid schedule allows for flexibility and work-life balance, which is crucial in ensuring that our furry friends receive the care and attention they need.

With a hybrid schedule, you have more control over your work hours and can manage your time more efficiently. It’s important to remember that building a successful hybrid workplace may require some experimentation and adaptation to find what works best for both you and your pup.

But with careful planning and organization, you can create a schedule that allows you to fulfill your work responsibilities while still giving your beloved dog the time and attention they deserve.

Keeping Your Yorkie Happy and Healthy While Alone

To keep your Yorkie happy and healthy while alone, spend extra time with them in the morning, provide food and water, leave their favorite toys, crate train them if necessary, and open the blinds for natural light.

Spending extra time with them in the morning

In the morning, I make sure to spend some extra time with my Yorkie before I leave for the day. This helps keep them happy and healthy while they’re alone at home. We go for a short walk together or play with their favorite toys.

It’s important to give them a little extra attention and affection, as it sets a positive tone for their day. Plus, it gives me a chance to bond with my furry friend before we have to part ways.

By starting off the morning on a positive note, I can help alleviate any potential loneliness or separation distress that my Yorkie may feel when left alone later in the day.

Providing food and water

When I leave my Yorkie alone, it’s important to make sure they have everything they need to stay happy and healthy. Here are some ways I ensure they are well-fed and hydrated:

  1. Hydration is key: Yorkies need between 1/2 and 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day to avoid dehydration. To prevent this, I make sure there is always fresh water available for my pup.
  2. Water dispensing bowls: Bowls that dispense food and water as needed can be a great solution for keeping your Yorkie hydrated while you’re away. They allow your dog to access water whenever they feel thirsty.
  3. Self-dispensing water fountain: Another option is a self-dispensing water fountain specially designed for dogs. These fountains provide a continuous flow of fresh water, enticing your Yorkie to drink more throughout the day.
  4. Quality food: Along with water, it’s important to provide your Yorkie with high-quality food that meets their nutritional needs. This helps keep them satisfied and energized while you’re not there.

Leaving favorite toys

Leaving favorite toys is an important way to keep your Yorkie happy and healthy while they are alone. Here are some reasons why leaving favorite toys can be beneficial for your Yorkie:

  1. Toys provide entertainment: Favorite toys can keep your Yorkie occupied and entertained while you are away. They can help prevent boredom and provide mental stimulation.
  2. Comfort objects: Favorite toys can also serve as comfort objects for your Yorkie. The familiar scent and feel of their beloved toy can offer a sense of security and reduce anxiety.
  3. Interactive play: Choose toys that encourage interactive play, such as puzzle toys or treat-release toys. These types of toys can keep your Yorkie engaged and mentally stimulated while you are not around.
  4. Boredom prevention: Leaving favorite toys gives your Yorkie something to do while they are alone, which helps prevent boredom. Boredom can lead to destructive behavior, so having their favorite toys available can help redirect their energy in a positive way.

Crate training

Crate training is an important aspect of keeping your Yorkie happy and healthy when they are alone. It involves teaching them to feel comfortable and secure in a crate or enclosed space while you’re away.

The purpose of crate training is to provide a safe haven for your dog when you can’t be there with them. It helps with potty training by teaching them to hold their bladder until you let them out.

Crate training also prevents destructive behavior because it keeps your Yorkie from getting into things they shouldn’t. Remember, crates should never be used as a form of punishment, but rather as a positive space for your dog.

Opening the blinds for natural light

I love opening the blinds and letting natural light into the room for my Yorkie when I have to leave them alone. It’s amazing how much of a difference it can make in their mood during my workday.

The sunlight streaming in through the window not only brightens up the room, but it also lifts their spirits. Natural light has been shown to improve mood, boost energy levels, and reduce stress for both humans and pets.

So, by giving my Yorkie this simple pleasure of seeing outside and enjoying the brightness of daylight, I know I’m helping them feel happier and more content while they’re on their own.


In conclusion, Yorkies can be left alone for a reasonable amount of time if they are well-trained and emotionally secure. It’s important to gradually increase their alone timeprovide entertainment with toys, and maintain their potty training routine.

While some Yorkies may experience separation anxiety, with proper preparation and care, they can handle being left alone without becoming depressed. Remember that every dog is different, so it’s essential to consider your specific Yorkie’s needs and make adjustments accordingly.


1. Can Yorkies be left alone for long periods of time?

Yorkies are generally not recommended to be left alone for long periods of time as they are social dogs and may experience separation anxiety.

2. How long can a Yorkie be left alone?

Ideally, a Yorkie should not be left alone for more than 4-6 hours at a time to ensure their well-being and prevent behavioral issues.

3. What can happen if I leave my Yorkie alone too often?

If a Yorkie is frequently left alone, they may develop separation anxiety, exhibit destructive behavior, or become excessively dependent on their owners.

4. Are there any alternatives to leaving my Yorkie alone all day?

Alternatives to leaving your Yorkie alone all day include hiring a dog sitter or taking them to doggy daycare where they can interact with other dogs and receive attention.

5. Can I train my Yorkie to handle being left alone better?

Yes, you can help your Yorkie handle being left alone by gradually increasing the duration of absences, providing them with engaging toys or puzzles, and creating a safe and comfortable environment for them in your absence.