A Guide to Leaving Yorkies Alone (The Truth And What You Need To Know)

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Yorkshire Terriers (endearingly referred to as Yorkies) are affectionate and loving little dogs who adore their people and desire company. Unfortunately, in today’s times, sometimes leaving Yorkies alone is unavoidable, as tricky as it may seem.

Don’t become stressed over this. There are a few things you can do to make it easier for both you and your Yorkie.

Yorkies can be left alone, provided they possess the proper training and tools to cope with this. Some Yorkies will be more accepting than others, though, and you need to consider the individual in terms of personality, age, and health. 

Many people say that Yorkies cannot be left alone, that they will suffer from separation anxiety which can lead to behavioral issues.

It may be true for some Yorkies, especially older dogs who are not used to being alone, but this cannot be said for all Yorkies.

As the owner, it is up to you to provide your pup with the training and tools he needs to make his alone time relaxing and even fun.

Issues You May Face When LeavingYorkies Alone

Some Yorkies become stressed when left alone. It can lead to behavioral problems such as destructiveness, aggression, and even self-harm.

If your dog suffers from any extreme anxiety or behavioral issues,it would be wise to call on the assistance of a professional dog trainer or behavioralist to help you.

In some cases, the idea of leaving their Yorkie alone might be more stressful to the owner than the dog. Be realistic and explore the idea that you may be overreacting and that he might be just fine. You won’t know until you try. 

For How Long Can You Leave A Yorkie Alone?

A well-trained, emotionally secure, and well-balanced Yorkie should be okay alone for an entire working day.

If they feel safe and you have ensured that all their needs are provided in terms of water, food, shelter, stimulation, and comfort, they will be able to relax and keep themselves occupied while you are away.

What To Do If You Need To Leave Your Yorkie Alone

If you are very concerned about leaving your Yorkie alone, there are a few things you can do to prepare (your dog and yourself) for the event. 

Train Your Yorkie To Be Left Alone

The earlier you start with training, the better, and if you are fortunate enough to get your Yorkie as a puppy, you will have the opportunity to begin from a young age.

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If you adopt an older Yorkie, there is no need to worry. It is never too late to teach an old dog new tricks.

Training Your Yorkie 

When training with your puppy or adult Yorkie, start with baby steps and perform the exercise often and in short increments.

Always be patient, kind, and considerate; your goal is to raise an independent and emotionally balanced dog and not one with abandonment issues. 

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See below a few guidelines to use when preparing your dog for alone time. The following methods can be used for both young and older dogs, and you can adapt them accordingly as your dog becomes more secure. 

Designate An Area

Set out an area where the dog will be left alone for short periods while you are home to supervise. A room can be closed off using a toddler or pet gate, for example, or you can build a playpen inside the house or outside if you have a garden. 

It’s vital in the early stages of the training that you can still hear your dog and that you can take a quick look to see how he is doing. 

Start Small For Leaving Yorkies Alone

In the beginning, leave them alone in their area for a few minutes, once or twice a day, and gradually lengthen the time. They will soon learn that being alone isn’t terrible and that you will always return for them. 

Supply Entertainment For Leaving Yorkies Alone

Leave a few toys to keep them entertained. Age-appropriate chew toys and puzzle games will help keep them occupied. Have a look online or speak to your local vet store to see what different toys are available. 

Yorkshire terrier is playing with a toy on the bed

Leaving Yorkies Alone? Meet Their Needs

Ensure that there is always fresh water available. Supply food at feeding times. Beware that you don’t overfeed your dog to provide comfort. If your dog will spend time outside (when the weather is suitable), ensure he has shelter and a comfortable place to relax and take a nap.

Potty Training For Leaving Yorkies Alone

Make sure there is a spot for them to do their business. If they need to go, especially as puppies, they will not hold it in for very long.

Laying down some absorbent floor sheets will (hopefully) prevent them from going potty on your living room carpet. If you are giving them access to a garden, you can train them to go outside.

Keep It Calm

If you overstimulate your dog before leaving and then again when you return, you will create a habitual behavior of over-excitement or anxiety every time you go out or arrive home.

You want your dog to see this as a regular occurrence, and you don’t want to encourage a hysterical emotional response. 

Special Precautions For Leaving Yorkies Alone

Consider age and health. Until puppies are about a year old, they require more care and attention than adults. They need to be fed up to four times a day, and they crave affection and contact with their owners. 

Don’t leave a small puppy alone for more than three hours in total per day. Equally, dogs with poor health or severe medical conditions will need special care. 

The Last Step To Leaving Yorkies Alone

Decide where you want Yorkie to stay while you’re away. You may choose to give them the run of the house.

If they tend to be a little on the destructive side, you will want to keep them out of the bedroom where they will find and (utilizing chewing) customize your favorite pair of shoes (utilizing chewing).

Some Yorkies prefer to be left outside, provided the weather is suitable, and they have shelter.

Some people crate their animals. For a short period, this is acceptable. Some dogs feel safe in their crates and spend time in them by choice if they are left open.

It is unwise and unkind to leave them confined to a crate with little space to move for the entire day. 

Minders And Monitors

Try to visit your dog during the day. If you are unable, you could ask a neighbor or friend to pop in. Alternatively, there are pet services that could pay a regular visit to your dog to see how they are faring. 

If you would like to monitor your Yorkie remotely while you’re away, you could invest in a pet monitor, such as a pet camera. 

Some have 2-way interaction options where you can speak to your dog, other applications also include alarms to alert you if your dog is barking, and the fancy ones can even dispense them a treat. 

General Guidelines To Leaving Your Yorkie Alone

Perform a risk assessment of the area where you intend to leave your baby while you are out.

  • Ensure any hazardous objects or poisons are out of their reach. 
  • If they like to chew on things, keep precious items locked away, and provide appropriate toys.
  • Check all windows, perimeter gates, and fences for any spots where they may escape. They can squeeze through surprisingly small spaces. 
  • Make sure they have food, water, shelter, and a comfortable place to take a nap.
  • If you have a swimming pool, ensure it remains covered with a solid pool cover, a pool net will not keep your Yorkie safe in the event of him falling in. 

Conclusion

It is okay to leave your Yorkie alone. Some Yorkies (and their owners) may take a little longer to adapt.

Still, suppose you handle the situation systematically and mindfully and take the correct steps to ensure their comfort and safety. In that case, there is no reason the experience can’t be painless and stress-free for both of you.

Sources

A little yorkie sitting on a floatie in a pool.
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