Yorkshire Terrier Blog

Yorkie Crate Training 101: Making It a Fun Fortress

If you’re dealing with Yorkie crate training, and you don’t know how to start, then this guide will help you. We will provide you with practical tips and insights to create a cozy, safe haven for your beloved Yorkie.

Training a Yorkie to be comfortable in a crate is a prudent step that ensures the safety and comfort of your furry companion, especially when you can’t supervise them directly. It also serves as a cozy retreat for them to relax and feel secure. However, the journey of crate training might come with its set of challenges, and having a well-rounded understanding can significantly smooth the process.

yorkie crate training

Why is Yorkie Crate Training Important?

As a new Yorkie parent, there’s a to-do list waiting for you, with crate training sitting right at the top. Now, you might wonder, “Why is it so crucial?”

First off, let’s get one thing straight – crate training is not about having a convenient place to “store” your pup when you’re out or too busy. It’s about creating a personal, safe haven for your Yorkie. Imagine having a rough day and retreating to your cozy room. That’s what a crate is for your Yorkie—a personal retreat.

Yorkie Crate Training: Safety Comes First

Your little Yorkie is curious, full of energy, and ready to explore every nook and cranny. While that’s fun for him/her, it can also lead to trouble. From chewing on electrical cords to getting into foods that are a no-no, the list of potential dangers is long. A crate provides a safe space where your Yorkie can chill out and stay out of trouble, especially when you can’t keep a watchful eye on them.

Potty Training Pal

A crate can be your best buddy when it comes to potty training. Dogs naturally avoid soiling their den, and a crate taps into this instinct. With a proper crate routine, your Yorkie will learn to hold it in until it’s potty time, making the potty training process a breeze.

Travel Buddy

Planning a road trip? Or maybe a visit to the vet? A crate-trained Yorkie means a less stressful journey for both of you. Your Yorkie gets to travel in a familiar, comfy spot, and you get peace of mind knowing they’re safe and secure.

Crates Reduce Separation Anxiety in Yorkies

Yorkies are known for their loyalty and love for human companionship. But hey, you can’t be home 24/7. Crate training helps reduce separation anxiety by providing your Yorkie with a secure and familiar environment when you’re away.

A Helping Hand in Behavior Training

Let’s face it, even the best of us need some time out to cool off and reflect. The same goes for your Yorkie. A crate can act as a chill zone where your Yorkie can take a breather and calm down if things get a tad too exciting or overwhelming.

yorkie crate training

How To Crate Train Your Yorkie: A Step-By-Step Guide

If the idea of a traditional crate doesn’t quite sit well with you or your fur baby, there’s a cozy alternative you might dig – using a Yorkie bed instead of a crate! 

1. Pick a Suitable Yorkie Bed

Start by choosing a snug Yorkie bed. Look for one with raised edges or a nesting design that can mimic the enclosed feel of a crate. It’s like a plush, comfy nest that your Yorkie can call home!

2. Choose a Specific Area

Place the bed in a designated area where you’d like your Yorkie to chill out. It could be a quiet corner away from the household hustle, yet within sight so they don’t feel isolated.

3. Make It Inviting

Deck out the bed with soft blankets, a couple of their favorite toys, and maybe even a piece of your clothing to provide comfort. The goal is to make it a place your Yorkie loves to retreat to. Dogs love to feel their owner’s scent so putting your piece of clothing onto the bed will give them a feeling of safety.

4. Mealtime Near The Bed

Just like with a crate, start serving meals near the bed to create positive associations. Over time, your Yorkie will start viewing the bed as their personal spot for pleasure.

5. Practice Stay and Settle Commands

Work on stay and settle commands to help your Yorkie understand this is their spot to relax. Reward calm behavior with treats and praise to reinforce the idea.

6. Keep the Bed in a Safe Zone

Ensure the surrounding area is puppy-proofed – no chewing hazards or any other dangers lurking around. Safety first, always!

7. Overnight Adjustments

For overnight stays, place the bed close to you initially to provide comfort. As your Yorkie gets accustomed, you can gradually move the bed to your preferred spot.

8. Patience and Positivity During Your Yorkie Crate Training

Transitioning to using a bed as a crate alternative might take some time, and that’s okay! Shower your Yorkie with praises, love, and maybe an extra treat or two when they settle in their bed.

yorkie crate

How Long Should a Yorkie Be In a Crate?

When it comes to crating your Yorkie, the duration can be a bit of a hot topic. Now, every pup is unique with their own set of needs. 

However, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind. The age of your Yorkie plays a big part in determining how long they can comfortably stay in a crate. For instance, puppies have tiny bladders and boundless energy, so they can’t be cooped up for too long. 

Generally, a rule of thumb is an hour in the crate for every month of age, up to a maximum of 4 hours. So, if your pup is 3 months old, a 3-hour crate time should be the max.

Yorkie Crate Training: Adult Pooches

Now, adult Yorkies have more bladder control and can stay in a crate for longer periods if needed. However, remember, no dog should be left in a crate all day long. It’s just not fair to them. A stretch of 5 to 6 hours is about the max for adult Yorkies. Anything beyond that and you’re venturing into the “not cool” territory.

Also, the purpose of the crate comes into play. If it’s bedtime or you’re heading out for a while, crating is fine. But if it’s just to keep them out of the way, maybe it’s time to rethink the strategy. Yorkies are social animals, and they crave interaction and engagement. Long hours in a crate without breaks can lead to anxiety, boredom, and even depression.

It’s not just about the length of time in the crate, but also what’s happening when they’re not in there. Are they getting enough exercise, mental stimulation, and love? Ensure your Yorkie has a well-rounded life with plenty of playtime, walks, and cuddles outside the crate.

A happy, tired Yorkie is more likely to rest peacefully in their crate without a fuss. The crate should be a positive space, not a place of isolation. So, balance is key to ensure your Yorkie’s crating experience is a positive one!

My Yorkie Is Crying in The Crate. What Should I Do?

The heart-wrenching sound of your Yorkie crying in the crate is definitely not what you want to see. It tugs at the heartstrings, doesn’t it? Now, before you rush over to let them out, take a breath. It’s essential to understand what’s going on and how to approach the situation without reinforcing any negative behavior.

First up, it’s important to figure out why your Yorkie is crying. Are they in need of a bathroom break? Are they hungry or thirsty? Or is it just a call for attention? Maybe they’re feeling a bit anxious? Identifying the cause can help you address it effectively.

If it’s a potty alert, take them out to do their business and then back in the crate they go. If they’re crying for attention, you’ll need to play it cool. It’s tough, but don’t let them out while they are crying, wait for a lull in the whining, even if it’s just for a moment before you open that crate door. You want to avoid teaching them that crying equals freedom.

Read Also: Top 10 Yorkie Accessories for a Stylish and Comfortable Pup

Check whether it’s Yorkie anxiety

Now, if it’s anxiety that’s the troublemaker, it’s time to up your crate training game. Make sure that the crate is a heavenly spot. A comfy bed, some safe Yorkie toys, and even an item of your clothing can help make the crate feel more comforting. You might also want to check the crate location. Is it too isolated? Your Yorkie might feel better if their crate is in a quiet, but family-oriented area.

Consistency and patience are your pals in Yorkie crate training. Stay firm but gentle in your approach. You might also consider consulting with a professional dog trainer if the crying continues. They can offer personalized advice and training techniques to help ease your Yorkie’s distress.

Remember, every pup is unique, so what works wonders for one Yorkie might not work for another. It’s all about understanding your little furball and creating a crate environment that feels safe, comfy, and homey to them. 

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