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Yorkie Training: How Yorkie Training Has Evolved

Oct 30, 2007
When you look down at your Yorkie puppy peacefully sleeping in its little bed, it's hard to think that in just two to three months it may grow up. And although its behaviors may be cute at the moment, stuff like jumping up and putting his front paws you, this will be far less enjoyable when your dog is all grown up. Don't think that just because a Yorkshire Terrier is so little in size, it can't be annoying if untrained! Far from it!

Your best bet is to start training your Yorkie puppy from day one so that he can learn proper manners as he grows into an adult. Puppies that are not trained in this manner end up learning all of the wrong stuff and their owners wonder why they cannot seem to get their dogs to behave as they age.

Many years ago, when dog training methods used more punishment, such as using harsh methods to train puppies, dog trainers typically required all puppy trainees to be a minimum of six months old. The reason was partly due to the fact that such physical correction protocols used could not be done with dogs that were too small or too young.

What is ironic about dog training in the old days is that by the time most Yorkie puppies are six months old they are big enough and mentally stubborn enough to ignore commands and are altogether tough to train. In a nutshell, that meant you'd be starting with a dog that already had its mind made up!

Evolution To Better Training Methods

Over the last 20 years or so, the dog training profession has embraced more friendly and loving training tactics for their puppy clients. Most trainers now start training Yorkie puppies that are as young as 8 to 10 weeks old. They are typically enrolled in socialization classes and puppy kindergarten, called "Puppy One" at our local dog training facility.

Positive training is now the preferred method instead of the old-school methods of negative reinforcement. Yorkshire Terrier puppies are taught to walk politely on the leash. They learn the basic commands of sit, stay, lie down, and come. In addition to these simple instructions, other useful techniques are learned by puppies such as how to relax, give and take their paw, and polite greeting. All of this is reinforced with positive acts (food, praise, etc) for desired behaviors.

Yorkie Owners Are More Involved With Training

Another interesting aspect of raising Yorkie over the last couple of years is that more and more dog owners have taken it upon themselves to train their puppies. Folks don't offload this task to a stranger but instead participate in it themselves, which is a very good trend.

This is partly due to the fact that so many dog training publications and manuals have been written. Modern dog training programs are based more and more on scientific principles and psychological studies of animal behavior and temperament. For example, Yorkie owners have learned highly effective, positive reinforcement training programs such as clicker training and luring. We at Ultimate-Yorkie.com are working on a home training course based on these positive methods.

Clicker training involves the use of a small mechanism that makes a clicking sound when pressed. When a Yorkshire Terrier hears the sound it will associate the click with whatever reward you give him. This tells the animal that something good is coming and he should repeat whatever behavior or action you have been teaching him. You can make a click with your mouth, so no equipment is required.

Luring training is simply using food such as a dog treat, or even a toy, to induce the dog to display a specific behavior in order to follow the lure in hopes of getting the reward. I call it an "ethical bribe" and it is one of the single most effective motivations for training your Yorkie!
About the Author
Michelle Arthur is a Yorkie lover and trainer. For more expert Yorkie training , advice, tips and videos, visit Ultimate-Yorkie.com.
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