It can be very frustrating after a long day when you just want to sit with a cuppa and your Yorkie puppy is tearing around like the Warner Bro’s Tasmanian Devil.
Incessant jumping, barking, biting, zoomies, and overall hyper behavior can soon become long in the tooth. At some point in your Yorkie’s first years you might start asking: When will my Yorkie puppy calm down?
The truth is Yorkshire Terriers aren’t the best breed if you’re after a lap dog. They are independent, courageous go-getters, and want nothing more than to show you how playful and tenacious they can be.
Yorkshire Terrier puppies have bundles of energy. They were originally bred for catching rats in mines, and if you’ve ever seen a rat run, then you’d know you’d need a good amount of stamina to keep up!
But that’s not to say Yorkie’s don’t love a cuddle. They love to be held and can be very affectionate dogs.
If you have a Yorkie puppy that’s more about burning energy and wanting non-stop play time, then there are some things you can do to foster the a calmer and more loving dog.
Imagine if you had a burning knot of energy inside of you and there was nowhere to direct that energy. This is what it’s like for a Yorkie puppy. And the only way to have a calm dog is to burn this energy down until your little pup is wanting nothing more than to curl up with you while you have your cuppa.
I’d also recommend you read our Complete Guide to Puppy Exercise.
Here is a list of things you can do to ensure your Yorkshire Terrier is a calmer dog:
A decent walk every day is a must! At least 30-minutes is recommended. If you can manage two that’s even better. Perhaps one from yourself in the morning and one from another member of the family later on.
You can also include training into their walk, by getting them heeling, sitting, and staying. You don’t want your Yorkie taking charge of exercise time.
Teach them fetch! It’s a great way for you to sit or stand while your pup runs hard to burn off their energy. And Yorkies love to play fetch as it taps into their lineage of catching rats.
It’s vital your Yorkie puppy has a good selection of quality toys to play with. This can allow your pup to self-manage their play time and can work to burn off energy when you can’t assist them in doing so.
Find toys that aren’t just simply squeak and destroy! Look for toys that will work their minds, with puzzle work, or toys with more than one aspect to them.
Training your dog is always important, but it’s absolutely vital if you have a Yorkshire Terrier.
They love to be boss and you need to ensure they always know you’re the one in charge. They need to know when no means no. They need to know it’s not ok to jump up on you, or bite your ankles, or other unwanted behaviours.
Training a Yorky is easy, as they want the challenge and enjoy spending the time using their mind.
The three keys to good training are:
Giving positive reinforcement
By working with them everyday on their training, you can have greater control over their behaviour. Plus it also works to burn energy, as working the mind can be very energy sapping.
Having a solid routine for your puppy is a great weapon against hyper-activity. A Yorkie puppy will learn what the next part of the day entails and by sticking to a routine, they will understand when it’s time for a walk, when it’s time for a play, and when it’s time to sit and rest.
Talk with the other members of your household about how you can keep a routine for your pup.
As Yorkshire Terriers were bred for hunting rats, they have a deep primal desire to run and catch things. You can tap into this energy by training them to do a similar task.
For example, try hiding treats around the house while your Yorkie puppy sits and waits. Don’t make it too easy for them, they’re crafty enough to find the most hidden of treats!
Then when you’re ready, set them loose and let them have fun finding them all.
If your up for a challenge yourself, you can train your Yorkie to pack away their toys. Through positive reinforcement, you can have your dog taking their toys back to the toy basket.
Think of other ways you might be able to tap into their urge to hunt and catch.
When your Yorkie puppy finally calms down, soothly say their name. Or if you dare, give them a soft pet. Just be careful not to arouse their inner monster!
If you can, giving positive reinforcement to calm quiet time means they associate it with a good, loving feelings inside and won’t be too put out by curling up from time to time.
Neutering your Yorkie puppy will unlikely improve hyper-activity. This is because the process affects their hormones but not their genetic make-up.
Their personality will remain unchanged. You may, however, see some changes with their behavior. This can include the following, but is not guaranteed:
- A reduction in roaming
- Less mounting
- Lowing aggression towards people and other dogs
- A reduction of marking territory
- Territorial instincts can be dulled
Your dog will still be your dog, with all their habits and foils. And if those habits entail biting fingers, jumping up, or tearing around the house like the Tasmanian Devil, then you will find all of these behaviors are still there post neutering.
Yorkie’s will go through teething during their first year, and their adult teeth will come through and push out their baby teeth in this time. This process will occur from 4 to 8 months, and by the time they’re 8 months old, they should have all their adult teeth.
It’s important to give your Yorkie lots of safe chewing toys during this time to ensure they don’t chew everything in the house, including your favorite pair of shoes!
This process can further agitate your pup and can cause irritability, which in turn will stimulate them and make it difficult for them to find a calm place to relax.
You may want to read our post: Puppy Biting: When does it stop?
Or perhaps: Puppy Lunging: At Faces, Other Dogs, People
If you have a hyper Yorkie puppy, then it’s vital you find a plan of action to ensure you have an enjoyable pet. By following all of at least some of the above tips, you can teach them when they can be boisterous and when the time comes to be calm.
In my opinion there are no bad dogs, just dogs who haven’t found the right boundaries yet. And it’s our job as owners to give them those boundaries. It’s not always easy to teach them but a repetitive routine of walking, training and play will go a long way.
When you do succeed, they will thank you for it, as they want nothing more than to make you happy and proud of them.