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Last Updated on November 8, 2023 by Scott Allen

How Easy Is It to Train a Yorkshire Terrier?

How Easy Is It to Train a Yorkshire Terrier?

Yorkshire Terriers, affectionately known as Yorkies, are a breed that captures hearts with their diminutive size and vivacious personality.

Training a Yorkie, like any dog, requires patience, consistency, and an understanding of the breed’s characteristics.

In this article, we will explore the ease of training a Yorkshire Terrier, what methods work best, and how to overcome common training challenges.

Understanding the Yorkie’s Learning Style

Yorkies are intelligent and eager to please, which can make them responsive to training. However, they also have a strong-willed and independent streak that can sometimes be mistaken for stubbornness.

Key Traits Affecting Yorkie Trainability

  1. Intelligence: Yorkies are smart, which can make them quick learners.
  2. Attention Span: They can be easily distracted, so short training sessions work best.
  3. Sensitivity: Yorkies respond well to positive reinforcement but can shut down if treated harshly.

Basic Training for Yorkshire Terriers

Starting with basic commands is crucial for any dog’s training. For Yorkies, this foundation sets the stage for more advanced training and helps establish a bond between the dog and owner.

Table 1: Basic Commands and Training Tips

Command Training Tip Expected Outcome
Sit Use treats to guide the Yorkie into a sitting position. A Yorkie that sits on command.
Stay Gradually increase the time and distance you ask your Yorkie to stay. A Yorkie that remains in place until released.
Come Use a happy tone and treats to encourage coming when called. A Yorkie that returns to you reliably.

Socialization and Its Impact on Training

Socialization is introducing your Yorkie to a variety of people, animals, and situations. It is a critical component of training that can affect how well your Yorkie adapts to new experiences and obeys commands.

List of Socialization Activities:

  • Puppy Classes: A controlled environment where your Yorkie can interact with other dogs.
  • Public Outings: Taking your Yorkie to pet-friendly stores or parks.
  • Home Introductions: Inviting guests over to meet your Yorkie.

Advanced Training Techniques

As Yorkies master basic commands, owners can move on to more advanced training. This includes tricks, agility training, and therapy dog training, which can be both mentally stimulating and rewarding for your Yorkie.

Table 2: Advanced Training and Benefits

Training Type Benefit Example
Trick Training Mental stimulation and bonding. Teaching a Yorkie to ‘spin’ or ‘play dead’.
Agility Training Physical exercise and discipline. Navigating an agility course with jumps and tunnels.
Therapy Dog Training Social contribution and purpose. Visiting hospitals or care homes as a certified therapy dog.

House Training Your Yorkie

House training is often the first hurdle for new Yorkie owners. Due to their small bladder, Yorkies need frequent trips outside, and consistency is key to success.

List of House Training Tips:

  • Frequent Breaks: Take your Yorkie out every 2-3 hours and after meals or naps.
  • Crate Training: Use a crate to help regulate your Yorkie’s bathroom habits.
  • Accident Management: Clean up accidents thoroughly to remove scents that might attract your Yorkie back to the same spot.

Overcoming Training Challenges

Yorkies can present specific challenges in training, such as a propensity for barking and a sometimes stubborn disposition. Understanding these challenges is the first step in overcoming them.

Table 3: Training Challenges and Solutions

Challenge Solution Explanation
Excessive Barking Teach a ‘quiet’ command. Use treats and praise to reward quiet behavior.
Stubbornness Use positive reinforcement. Encourage cooperation with treats and affection.
Separation Anxiety Gradual desensitization. Slowly acclimate your Yorkie to being alone for short periods.

The Role of Consistency in Training

Consistency is the cornerstone of effective training. This means setting clear rules and sticking to them, so your Yorkie understands what is expected.

  • Routine: Keep a regular schedule for feeding, walks, and bathroom breaks.
  • Commands: Use the same words and gestures each time you give a command.
  • Reinforcement: Consistently reward good behavior and correct bad behavior in the same manner.

The Importance of Patience in Training a Yorkie

Patience is perhaps the most important quality in training any dog, including Yorkies. They can sense frustration, which can make them less likely to cooperate.

Strategies for Patient Training

  1. Short Sessions: Keep training sessions short to match the Yorkie’s attention span.
  2. Positive Attitude: Approach training with a positive and encouraging demeanor.
  3. Progressive Challenges: Gradually increase the difficulty of tasks to keep your Yorkie engaged without causing frustration.


Training a Yorkshire Terrier can be a rewarding experience that strengthens the bond between pet and owner. While Yorkies are capable learners, the ease of training one will depend on the individual dog’s personality, the consistency of the training, and the patience of the owner.


  1. American Kennel Club. (n.d.). Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed Information. AKC
  2. Coren, S. (1994). The Intelligence of Dogs. Bantam Books.
  3. Dunbar, I. (2004). Before and After Getting Your Puppy. New World Library.
  4. Pryor, K. (1999). Don’t Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training. Bantam Books.


  • American Kennel Club. (n.d.). Yorkshire Terrier.
  • Coren, S. (1994). The Intelligence of Dogs.
  • Dunbar, I. (2004). Before and After Getting Your Puppy.
  • Pryor, K. (1999). Don’t Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training.