Training your dog, no matter what breed, is hard. While some dog breeds pick up on commands quickly, others can be a bit slower – but the right treat will help you on your way.
If you own a Yorkie, you are in luck. These tiny, adorable balls of fluff are interestingly quite intelligent. They are among the dog breeds which are able to learn and perform commands more easily than the rest. So, what’s the problem?
In one word: temper.
Yorkies can have stubborn streaks when they will not want to listen to their human companion. For this reason, it is essential to train your Yorkshire Terrier since even the smallest dog can cause harm.
How to Positively Reinforce a Yorkie’s Training?
Treats, treats, and treats – with moderation of course.
Treats reinforce the dog’s positive behavior, and they act as a tool for communication between you and your pet. By giving them a treat you are basically telling them “Good job buddy!”.
It has been suggested by trainers to use different treats for training. This will let your Yorkie know that you mean business. They will know that the special training treats will only be available IF they follow your commands and do what is asked of them.
However, due to the small stature – and tiny stomachs – it is important to really think about which treats you use during their training. The Yorkshire Terrier is NOT an active dog and overfeeding them with treats will make them gain weight.
Treats for Yorkies: Dos and Don’ts
Yorkies are small! They have small stomachs and cannot digest everything. Therefore, there are certain ingredients, and the treats containing them, that should be off-limits.
First, let’s look at some positives. Treats that include fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, and peanut butter are not only tasty but also have great nutritional value for short dog breeds.
However, there are also things you should avoid. Artificial food colorings, chemical humectants, artificial sweeteners can cause allergic reactions and stomach issues for your Yorkie. While rawhide treats are good for their teeth, unfortunately, they are a serious choking hazard for small breeds. Treats with higher fat content should also be avoided as they can lead to obesity in no time.
If you are not sure whether a food or food group is safe for your Yorkshire Terrier to consume, it is always suggested to contact your veterinarian for more information.
What are the Best Training Treats for Yorkies?
When looking at store-bought options for training treats there are numerous brands you can choose from.
Some even make special small dog breed treats – which are just smaller in size – that are perfect for Yorkies.
So, which packaged goods are excellent bite-sized treats for training?
Wellness Soft Bites Training Treats
These Wellness training treats are manufactured without artificial ingredients or preservatives. The preservatives used are all derived from natural sources. Additionally, these treats do not contain food fillers such as grains, soy, corn, etc. This combination makes sure your pet is getting the nutritional value without choking or allergy hazards.
These treats are marketed for puppies, but even adult dogs will enjoy them. The sizing is also perfect for smaller dog breeds like Yorkies. The pieces can be easily broken up, allowing you to truly shower your pet with positive reinforcement without overfeeding them.
Zuke’s Tiny Naturals Dog Treats
Zuke’s Tiny Naturals are made with natural ingredients, minimizing the possibility of allergic reactions. Therefore, the treats are safe to give to even animals on strict diets. The only problem which can arise is the protein, which can be a problem for dogs on limited protein intake diets.
Yet, the small treats are only 5 calories, which makes them perfect for smaller dog breeds. Even giving more than one to your Yorkie will not ruin its diet. These treats do not feature artificial additives or preservatives.
Wellness Core Soft Petite Treats
The petite treats are designed especially for smaller dog breeds, therefore their sizing is perfect for Yorkies. These training treats are manufactured from all-natural ingredients, without any additives or preservatives. This product is available in two flavors: turkey, pomegranate, and ginger mix, and lamb and apple mix.
These treats contain extra vitamins while leaving out harmful ingredients that may cause problems or allergies for your Yorkie. Wellness treats are manufactured in the US, so you can be sure of their quality.
Fruitables Pumpkin Dog Treats
Pumpkin is perfect for dogs. It gives them the vitamins that they need and it is also tasty. That’s why these Fruitables are perfect training treats. They are pumpkin-based which provides better vitamin and mineral intake for your puppy. While the treats come in larger sizes, they can be broken apart.
These treats feature a crunchy texture, which will help maintain dental care. Like other treats on our list, this one is also made from natural ingredients, without any additives, fillers, or preservatives.
Merrick Lil Plates Dog Treats
The Lil Plates Dog Treats are available in three distinctive flavors: Small Salmon, Bitty Beef, and Teensey Turducken – this last one is a poultry mix. The treats are made without harmful additives, preservatives, or flavors, that can be choking or allergy hazards. All three flavors are manufactured from whole ingredients.
These treats will boost your Yorkie’s immune system, thanks to the omega 3 and 6 oils and the prebiotic fiber they contain. This ensures small dog breeds can digest them without issues and makes them perfect for puppies.
“I and love and you” Training Treats
The Hearties are perfect for training. They are heart-shaped, bite-sized pieces which are manufactured with all-natural ingredients. No artificial additives or preservatives are added, however, their fat content is a bit higher – so be careful how many you give to your Yorkie.
Still, these treats are made with extra vitamins and glucosamine to support the growth and health of puppies. While they are perfect for younger dogs, you can safely give these treats to your older pets as well.
Your Yorkie Will Thank You
Yorkies are tiny and they are prone to have allergic reactions to the foods they cannot digest correctly. As their owners, it is our job to protect them and to make sure we do not give them anything harmful – even if it is an accident.
The best thing we can do is to educate ourselves. Reading the nutritional tables on the backs of doggy treats is a good start. That way we ensure the safety of our ball of fur, while also giving them tasty treats that will make them listen to us better.
The above-mentioned treats are a good starting point, that gives a solid ground for you to maneuver on. However, if you are unsure of what your Yorkie can and cannot eat be sure to ask for suggestions from your vet as well. Your Yorkie will thank you in the long run with the everyday affection you will receive from them.