How Long Can You Leave a Yorkshire Terrier?

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It is expected you will have to leave your Yorkie Terrier as you go to your workplace, go shopping, or visit places where Yorkshire Terriers are not allowed. However, the duration you leave your Yorkie alone can impact its characteristics. So, how long can you leave a Yorkshire Terrier without causing separation anxiety?

How Long Can You Leave a Yorkshire Terrier?

Adult Yorkshire Terriers can be left alone for 4-6 hours a day. Yorkshire Terrier puppies that are less than 18 months old can be left alone for 2-3 hours a day. On the other hand, senior Yorkies can stay alone for 2-6 hours a day depending on their overall health condition.

In general, the duration you can leave a Yorkshire Terrier alone will depend on whether it’s used to being left alone, the age of the Yorkie, and whether there are some toys the Yorkie can play with when left alone.

Since a Yorkshire Terrier is an affectionate breed, leaving it alone for long can cause stress and depression. Fortunately, the stress might reduce as the Yorkie gets used to staying alone.

What Can Happen to My Yorkie if I Leave It Alone for Too Long?

If you are leaving your Yorkshire Terrier at home and start noticing a weight loss, it is time to evaluate the duration you leave it alone. Leaving your Yorkie longer than it should be can cause stress leading to appetite changes.

Over time, this stress and lack of appetite will manifest in weight loss. There is an average for your Yorkie like the breed Teacup Yorkshire Terrier has an ideal weight of three pounds. If you continue leaving your Yorkie longer than it should be, it might lose interest. The Yorkie may no longer want to play with its favorite toys or get excited to go for a walk with you.

Although many Yorkshire Terriers will fall asleep when you leave them alone, they might start sleeping even after you come back. However, it is advisable to first try changing the food you are feeding your Yorkie before concluding the weight loss and change in sleep patterns result from being left alone for long.

How Can I Know My Yorkie Is Suffering From Separation Anxiety?

Every Yorkshire Terrier will have different behavior depending on its age and the level of training. However, almost all Yorkies tend to be destructive when they start suffering from separation anxiety as a result of being left alone for long.

Some of the common signs of destructive behavior due to separation anxiety include scratching at or near the doors or chewing different items such as clothes and furniture. Even if your adult Yorkshire Terriers know how to pee or poop outside, they might start having bathroom accidents.

The Yorkie might even start to bark when you are leaving the house. In most cases, the barking will be frantic and high-pitched like the Yorkie is crying for help. This kind of barking can be attributed to the Yorkie’s understanding that you’re leaving and it will be left alone bored.

A yorkshire terrier alone in the woods

How Can I Train My Yorkshire Terrier to Be Left Alone?

Regardless of the age or the health condition of the Yorkshire Terrier, it might develop some stress if you leave it at home without any prior training. If you plan to leave your Yorkshire Terrier for more than the advisable 6 hours maximum, the following tips can help prevent separation anxiety.

  • Train your Yorkie to play with interactive toys to reduce excessive interest and dependency on you
  • Prepare your Yorkshire Terrier on the things you do before leaving the house, such as taking a jacket, backpack, keys, or having several in and out of the house movements before leaving
  • Limit Yorkies’ access to certain places such as the balcony, master bedroom, the kitchen, or the bathroom for safety purposes
  • Be calm and composed before leaving the house, so you don’t cause anxiety and stress to your Yorkie even before leaving
  • Since your Yorkshire Terrier will have stayed indoors for several hours, consider taking it out for a walk so it can stretch its legs
  • Avoid giving your Yorkshire Terrier treats every time you come back home to prevent developing a habit that can cause stress when you don’t come with the treats

Related Questions

Can I Leave My Yorkshire Terrier Overnight?

Yes, you can leave your Yorkshire Terrier overnight while working a night shift. However, you need to leave enough water and food. Typically, Yorkshire Terriers are not nocturnal animals, and they will fall asleep at night.

Is It Guaranteed a Yorkshire Terrier Will Develop Stress When Left Alone?

No, it is not guaranteed a Yorkshire Terrier will develop stress when you leave it alone. The stress develops if the Yorkie is still young, is left alone for too long, or it’s not used to being left alone.

Final Thoughts

A Yorkshire Terrier is a social breed, and leaving it alone might cause stress and behavioral changes. In some cases, the stress might lead to loss of appetite, loss of interest, and change in sleeping patterns. Regardless of the age, it is advisable to leave your Yorkie for 6 hours maximum.