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Last Updated on February 11, 2024 by Scott Lipe

Curled up in a cozy bed or confined to a cage—where should Yorkies rest their furry heads at night? The debate on whether Yorkies should sleep in a cage sparks contrasting opinions among pet owners. While some believe cages provide security and structure, others argue that it restricts the dog’s freedom and comfort. Understanding the pros and cons of this practice is crucial for responsible pet parenting.

Key Takeaways

  • Crate training can benefit Yorkies: Crate training offers a safe space for your Yorkie, aids in housebreaking, and helps them understand the need to use the bathroom outside.

  • Gradual introduction is key: Prepare your Yorkie for crate training by making the crate a positive and inviting space.

  • Use positive reinforcement: Employ techniques like treats and praise to encourage your Yorkie to view the crate positively.

  • Address concerns with patience and treat: Understand common worries about crate training and address them with patience, consistency, and the treat.

  • Prioritize comfort and safety: Ensure your Yorkie’s crate is comfortable, safe, and includes familiar items for a sense of security.

  • Combine crate training with housebreaking: Utilize the crate as a tool for housebreaking to establish a routine and reinforce good behavior.

Understanding Crate Training


Crate training is a popular dog training method that can be beneficial for Yorkies. It’s essential to grasp the fundamentals of crate training to ensure its effectiveness. By using a crate, you provide your Yorkie with their own safe and secure space where they can relax.

Yorkies are known to benefit from crate training as it helps in establishing routine and structure. When introduced properly, crates become a comforting place for Yorkies, akin to their den in the wild. This method aids in managing behavior issues such as excessive barking or chewing by giving them a designated area.


The primary purpose of crate training is to offer your Yorkie a haven where they feel protected and at ease. This technique assists greatly in potty training by utilizing the natural instinct of dogs not to soil their living quarters. Moreover, crating prevents destructive behaviors when you’re unable to supervise your furry friend.

Preparing for Crate Training

Choosing Crate

Selecting the right size crate is essential. Your furry friend should have enough room to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Avoid oversized crates as they might lead to accidents inside. Consider the size that suits your Yorkie’s dimensions best.

A crate provides more security and limits movement compared to a playpen. Playpens offer more space but may not be as effective for potty training purposes. Think about what works best for you and your pup’s needs when deciding between a crate or playpen setup.

Setting Up Crate

Create a cozy environment by placing the crate in a quiet spot at home where your Yorkie can still feel connected to the family. Add comfortable bedding and some toys inside to make it inviting for them. Ensure good airflow and maintain an optimal temperature in the area where the crate is located.

Gradually introduce your Yorkie to their new living quarters by turning it into a positive experience over time. Start with keeping the door open so they can explore freely without feeling trapped initially. Use treats and praise generously, associating the crate with rewards like chew toys or tasty snacks.

Crate Training Techniques

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is key. Reward your Yorkie with treats, praise, and rewards when they enter the crate voluntarily. Avoid using the crate as a form of punishment to prevent negative associations. Make the crate inviting by placing their favorite toys or blankets inside.

To ensure your Yorkie feels comfortable in their crate, establish positive connections. Encourage them to nap or eat in the crate with treats or meals inside. Gradually increase the time spent inside while providing positive reinforcement like verbal cues and gentle petting.

  • Use treats and praise for entering willingly
  • Create a cozy environment with familiar items
  • Avoid negative associations through punishment

Managing Bathroom Needs

Potty Schedule

Establishing a consistent potty schedule plays a crucial role in dog training success. Take your Yorkie outside regularly, especially after meals and naps, to reinforce good bathroom habits. Utilize the crate as part of their routine by crating them when not supervised.

By following a set schedule, you can anticipate when your Yorkie needs to relieve themselves and prevent accidents indoors effectively. Consistency is key in reinforcing proper potty behavior during dog training sessions.

  1. Set specific times for bathroom breaks
  2. Use the crate strategically for potty training reinforcement
  3. Maintain consistency to avoid accidents

Night-time Training

Transitioning your Yorkie into sleeping in the crate at night requires patience and gradual steps during dog training sessions. Start by placing their crate near your bed so they feel secure before moving it further away over time. Introduce comforting items like blankets or toys that have familiar scents to help soothe them while adjusting.

Addressing Common Concerns

Crying Behavior

When Yorkies are introduced to a crate, they may cry or whine initially. It’s crucial not to give in to their cries because it can reinforce this behavior. Instead, be patient and offer reassurance without immediately letting them out of the crate. For example, you can place their favorite toys or blankets inside the crate to make it more inviting.

Another way to address crying behavior is by gradually increasing the time they spend in the crate. This helps them get accustomed to being in the confined space without feeling anxious or distressed. Remember that consistency is key when training your Yorkie—stick with a routine so they know what to expect each time they are crated.

  • Providing reassurance without giving in
  • Gradually increasing time spent in the crate
  • Consistency and routine are essential for effective training

Whining at Night

If your Yorkie whines at night while crated, ensure all their needs are met before bedtime. Take them for a potty break, provide water, and engage in playtime so they feel tired and ready for sleep. To discourage whining during the night, avoid responding directly when they cry but instead wait for moments of silence before checking on them.

It’s important not to let your Yorkie out of the crate every time they whine as this can create a habit of attention-seeking behavior during nighttime hours. By gradually extending their stay in the crate overnight while ensuring comfort and security through familiar bedding or toys, you help them associate positive experiences with sleeping inside their designated area.

  • Meeting all needs before bedtime
  • Avoiding direct engagement when Yorkies whine at night
  • Gradually extending overnight stays inside the crate

Debunking Misconceptions

Contrary to common misconceptions, crating Yorkies is not cruel if done correctly with care and consideration for their well-being. Properly sized crates offer comfort and security by providing a den-like environment where dogs feel safe and protected—a natural instinct inherited from wild ancestors who sought sheltered spaces.

Crate training actually strengthens rather than harms your bond with your Yorkshire Terrier by establishing trust through consistent routines and positive reinforcement techniques such as treats or verbal praise whenever they enter willingly into their crates—a signal that good things happen when inside this space designed especially for them.

Ensuring Comfort and Safety

Tiring Yorkie Out

Regular exercise and playtime are crucial to tire out your Yorkie before crating them. A tired dog is more likely to settle down calmly in the crate. You can also provide mental stimulation through puzzle toys, which helps exhaust your furry friend further.

Crate training offers periods of independent time for your Yorkie, promoting independence and preventing separation anxiety. Gradually increasing the duration of solo time in the crate allows your pet to adjust comfortably to being alone without feeling anxious or distressed.

Independent Time

By crating your Yorkie when unsupervised, you ensure their safety while preventing accidents or potential hazards. This practice gradually introduces them to spending time alone in a secure environment, fostering a sense of security and comfort.

Safe Unsupervised Time

Crating provides a safe space for your Yorkie when you cannot supervise them closely. It not only prevents accidents but also protects them from engaging in destructive behaviors that may harm themselves or damage property around the house.

Gradually increasing the duration of unsupervised time spent in the crate helps acclimate your Yorkshire Terrier to being alone while ensuring they remain safe and secure within their designated space.

Combining Housebreaking with Crate Training

Routine Behavior Incorporation

Integrating crate training into your Yorkie’s daily routine is crucial. Use the crate during meal times, playtime, and rest periods to associate it with positive experiences. Consistency is vital in successful crate training; ensure you stick to the schedule.

Consistency plays a significant role in establishing good behavior habits for your Yorkie. By incorporating the crate into various activities throughout the day, you help your pet understand that it is a safe space. For example, when feeding your Yorkie, place their food bowl inside the crate to create a positive association.

  • Pros:

  • Establishes a routine for your Yorkie.

  • Helps in potty training and overall behavior.

  • Cons:

  • Requires dedication and consistency from the owner.

Establishing a Schedule

Creating a structured schedule for feeding, potty breaks, exercise, and crate time is essential for effective housebreaking with crate training. Stick to this timetable diligently as it helps establish predictability which can aid in potty training efforts and overall behavioral development of your Yorkie.

By following a consistent schedule every day, you are providing stability and predictability for your furry friend. This routine not only assists in housebreaking but also aids in preventing accidents around the house by ensuring timely potty breaks based on their feeding times.

  1. Feed your Yorkie at specific times each day.
  2. Take them out for bathroom breaks after meals.
  3. Allocate dedicated playtime sessions outside of the crate.
  4. Ensure regular nap or rest periods inside the crate.

Advantages of Crate Training for Yorkies

Benefits Recap

Crate training offers various advantages for both you and your Yorkie. It helps in promoting good behavior by giving them a designated space to relax. This method also aids in potty training, as dogs naturally avoid soiling their living area.

A crate can serve as a safe haven for your Yorkie, reducing anxiety by providing them with a secure environment. When trained properly, your furry friend will willingly retreat to their crate when seeking comfort or solitude.

Safe Travel

Utilizing crates for travel ensures the safety of your Yorkie during car rides. By securing the crate in the vehicle and ensuring proper ventilation, you create a secure space where your pet can travel comfortably without distractions.

Before embarking on long journeys, it’s crucial to familiarize your Yorkie with the crate to make them feel at ease during travel. This practice not only keeps them safe but also reduces stress associated with being in an unfamiliar environment.

Ensuring Safety at Home

When away from home, crating your Yorkie is essential to prevent accidents or injuries that may occur when they are unsupervised. By confining them safely within their crate, you eliminate potential hazards such as toxic substances or sharp objects that could harm your pet.

Using the crate strategically allows you to control your dog’s movements and keep them out of areas where they might get into trouble. It acts as a protective barrier between curious pets and household items that pose risks if chewed or ingested.

Transitioning Out of the Crate

Transitioning out of crate training is an important step once your furry friend is fully trained and trustworthy. It’s essential to gradually phase out the use of the crate. Start by leaving the door open during supervised periods, allowing your Yorkie to come and go as they please. Keep a close eye on their behavior during this time.

Monitor how your Yorkie behaves when given more freedom around the house. If they continue to exhibit good behavior and are comfortable without the crate, you can slowly reduce its usage. This gradual process helps them adjust to being outside of the crate while ensuring they still feel safe and secure in their environment.

If crating doesn’t align with your lifestyle or if your Yorkie prefers other options, there are alternatives available. Playpens, baby gates, or designated safe areas can be used instead of a crate for containment purposes. These alternatives provide a secure space for your Yorkie while offering more room than a traditional crate setup would offer.

Closing Thoughts

You’ve learned the ins and outs of crate training for your Yorkie. From understanding the basics to addressing concerns and reaping the benefits, you’re well-equipped to start this journey. Remember, it’s all about patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Your furry friend will thank you for providing a safe haven that doubles as their den.

Now, it’s time to put your newfound knowledge into action. Start crate training your Yorkie with confidence and watch as they adapt and thrive in their cozy space. Embrace the process, stay committed, and soon you’ll both enjoy the many advantages that come with effective crate training. Your pup’s comfort and well-being are worth every effort you put in!

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I leave my Yorkie in a cage overnight?

Leaving your Yorkie in a crate overnight can be beneficial for their safety and comfort. Make sure the crate is appropriately sized, comfortable, and located near you to ease any anxiety.

Can crate training help with housebreaking my Yorkie?

Yes, crate training can aid in housebreaking your Yorkie as dogs naturally avoid soiling their living space. Utilize the crate as a tool to establish a routine for potty breaks and reinforce positive behavior.

Is it cruel to make my Yorkie sleep in a cage?

Crate training done correctly is not cruel; it provides security akin to den-like environments for dogs. When introduced positively with rewards and proper sizing, most dogs find crates comforting rather than punishing.

How long should I keep my Yorkie in a crate during the day?

The general guideline is that adult dogs like Yorkies can stay in a crate for about 4-6 hours at once. Puppies have smaller bladders so they may need more frequent breaks—consider enlisting help if you’re away longer periods.

What if my Yorkie doesn’t like being in a cage?

If your Yorkie seems uncomfortable or anxious around the crate, start by making it an inviting space with treats and toys inside. Gradually increase time spent inside while offering positive reinforcement to create positive associations with the crate.