Manners & Treats
No one buys a Yorkie, so they can leave it at home… By their sheer size and design, Yorkies were made to be portable. (They aren’t called “pocket pooches for nothing!) Now, you just have to make sure that your little, portable bundle of joy is not a holy terror when he leaves the house…
From day one, I would encourage you to set strict boundaries with your furry friend. I know the little one is absolutely adorable and could get a way with murder, but you don’t want a spoiled, won’t listen to ANYONE pocket piranha in a few months… Trust Me. Here’s How:
I start training my Yorkies, very early on. From the time they can walk/run, they can learn about housebreaking and manners. Some say, that is too soon, but I have had good experience with this method. I ONLY teach when I know the puppy is hungry. This way I know I have his undivided attention, by way of treats, through his belly. When I am training I ONLY use real pieces of bacon. (And who doesn’t love bacon?) I will work with the pup for about 10 minutes on the basic commands. Once I sense the pup is tired, distracted or bored. I stop the training, but I make sure and do so on a “high note.” Meaning, end training when the pup has done something good or right. The last bit of advice is to maintain a consistent schedule and routine. Take 10 minutes out of EVERY day, at the same time of day to learn something new or reaffirm something already learned. Dogs are like children– structure, boundaries, and encouragement are key.
But sometimes misbehaving is just part of growing up. When I have a puppy or an adult that is just not listening after countless tries and scoldings. I employ the “Bad Dog Spatula Method.” Spatulas are curved and create a loud suction sound when popped against the floor. I use this method only after nothing else works; including “Time Outs.” I place the dog in time out, in a separate crate away from everyone else.
The Spatula Method is very simple, when a dog exhibits the undesirable behavior, just pop around the dog a few times-but NOT the dog. The popping noise generated from the suction, is usually enough to scare him straight. Be aware, from that day forward, all spatulas will be deemed evil and must be destroyed in the dog’s eyes, just an FYI. Should you happen to leave the “evil spatula” out after cooking, and it accessible to your canine friend, he WILL chew it up to assert his dominance. Some commands I teach are: Come, Sit, Stay, Down, Woobie (bed), Manners (warning, you are misbehaving); Raise the Roof (Standing on 2 legs)
I use a lot of positive reenforcement in the form of treats. I vary the treats depending on what information I am trying to convey. When it comes to training for obedience and manners, as mentioned I ONLY use real pieces of bacon. When training for other things such as going potty in the correct place, I use any variety of treats at your local pet store. The one thing I would stress, “is nothing is for free.” Do not give your new pup a treat just because, he must earn it. If you are looking to maintain his weight, then I would limit his treats and ONLY stick with those that are protein based and not grain.