How Long Can You Leave a Yorkshire Terrier?

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A yorkie poo is a crossbreed between a miniature poodle and a yorkshire terrier. It is expected you will have to leave your Yorkie terrier as you go to your workplace, go shopping, or visit places where Yorkie Poos are not allowed. 

However, the duration you leave your Yorkie alone can impact its characteristics. So, how long can you leave a Yorkie without causing separation anxiety?

How Long Can You Leave a Yorkshire Terrier?

Adult Yorkie Poos can be left alone for 4-6 hours a day. Yorkie Poo puppies that are less than 18 months old can be left alone for 2-3 hours a day. On the other hand, senior dogs 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 Yorkie 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.

Running yorkshire terrier holding a ball on its mouth

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

Yorkie Poos are loving, intelligent, and affectionate dogs that can recognize their owners and want to spend time with them. Leaving them alone tends to break this bond and can cause the following behavioral and physical changes. 

Weight Change

Like other dogs, Yorkie Poos have a strong appetite, and they are prone to overfeeding and obesity if you don’t control the amount of food you give them. Like humans, a disturbed and depressed dog tends to lose its appetite. Leaving your Yorkie Poo for too long will cause this stress and make it lose its appetite. 

Over time, the lack of appetite might make the dog lose weight. If you are leaving your Yorkie at home and start noticing weight loss, it is time to evaluate the duration you leave it alone. However, lack of appetite might also result from other issues, such as giving the dog the same food every time.

You can determine whether the loss of appetite results from stress by trying to give the dog different dog foods, especially the ones it loves most. You can also contact your vet to help you determine whether the dog has an underlying health condition.

Loss of Interest 

Yorkie Poos are energetic dogs and will play around to burn calories and release pent-up energy. Their affectionate nature also makes them jovial when around you, and they might even try to jump on you when standing or lick your hands and face if you are seated.

If you continue leaving your Yorkie for extended periods 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. 

Again, the loss of interest might result from an underlying health issue, and it is advisable to seek the help of vets to check on its well-being or dog psychology specialists to determine the reasons behind the behavioral problems. 

Change in Sleeping Patterns

When you leave your Yorkie home alone for long periods without toys to keep it busy, it might suffer from boredom and fall asleep. In most cases, the Yorkie Poo will settle in one corner of the room and lick its tail and legs until it falls asleep. 

Over time, this will develop into a pattern and a complete change in sleeping habits. You can tell that your Yorkie Poo suffers from anxiety and emotional difficulties if it sleeps for more than 8 to 10 hours a day or falls asleep shortly after you return home.

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

Every Yorkie will have different behavior depending on its age and the level of training. However, almost all dogs tend to be destructive when they start suffering from separation anxiety as a result of being left home alone for long hours. 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 start to bark when you are leaving the house. In most cases, the barking of a depressed dog is frantic and high-pitched like it is crying for help. 
  • The dog might become unsettled and restless when you are almost leaving the house. The restlessness can be attributed to the Yorkie’s understanding that you’re leaving and it will be left home alone bored.

How Can I Train My Yorkie to Be Left Home Alone?

Regardless of the age or the health condition of the Yorkie, it might develop some stress if you leave it at home without any prior training. 

If you leave alone and have long working hours, it is not advisable to leave your Yorkie for more than 6 hours maximum, they can develop separation anxiety, and the following tips can help prevent it.

Train the Dog to Play With Interactive Toys 

One of the best ways to relieve your Yorkie Poo of boredom when you leave it home alone is to provide it with interactive toys such as puzzles that can keep it busy. Since Yorkie Poos are intelligent dogs, they love challenges and will take their time to try and solve the puzzles.

For instance, the dog might spend hours trying to access treats from a treat dispensing toy, thinking less of you. The interactive toys also help in mental stimulation, improving the dog’s mental condition. 

However, it is advisable to keep the toys away from the dog when you are back so the dog doesn’t become used to the puzzles and lose interest. You can also keep the dog attached and interested in the toy by adding different treats.

Prepare Your Yorkie Poo Before Leaving 

Even if your Yorkie Poo is playing in the backyard, it knows you are around and will occasionally come to you. If it doesn’t find you, the dog’s anxiety might set in and might start searching for you while making high-pitched barks.

If you prepare your dog before leaving, it knows you have left, and turns to the toys or even goes to sleep. It’s therefore advisable to prepare your Yorkie on the things you do before leaving the house.

For instance, you can form a daily routine of taking a jacket, backpack, keys, or having several in and out of the house movements before leaving the dog home alone. Once the dog sees you doing these things, it will understand you are leaving, and being left alone won’t become a big deal.

A yorkshire terrier alone in the woods

Engage the Dog in Intense Exercises

In most cases, the Yorkie Poo will want you around so you can play together and help expend excess energy. For instance, if you usually take the dog for a long walk or jog in the evening, it might feel anxious as it waits for that time.

However, if you wake up early in the morning and take it for jogging, it will burn calories and feel exhausted, and you might want to take a nap. Early morning exercises also mean the Yorkie doesn’t expect evening exercises, preventing excitement. Typically, this gives you room to leave the dog and run errands. 

Be Calm and Composed

Many dog owners make the mistake of entertaining their dogs before leaving. This increases the chances of the Yorkie being anxious if you engage it shortly before leaving. For instance, allowing the dog to play around you or lick you shortly before leaving creates a stronger bond, which might cause anxiety when you leave.

It’s therefore advisable to be calm and composed before leaving the house.  Failing to give it the attention turns its interest on other things such as toys, minimizing the emotional effect of your absence. 

Create a Positive Habit

Although you can occasionally bring treats when you return, 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.

Additionally, limit your Yorkie from accessing certain places such as the balcony, master bedroom, the kitchen, or the bathroom for dog’s safety purposes. If possible, leave the Yorkie inside a spacious crate. 

Spacious crates create a certain sense of safety and security for your dog. They also help to prevent possible accidents even if the dog develops destructive behaviors when left home alone.

Invest in a Pet Camera

If you have to leave your pet for an extended period, the dog is young or shows signs of separation anxiety, invest in a baby monitor or pet camera. Although the specifications of these cameras vary widely across brands and models, most cameras have a monitor that allows the dog to see you.

As the name suggests, there is also a camera that features night vision capability allowing you to see your pet and capture high-quality video footage even at night. These cameras can allow you to monitor your pet through the mobile app during the lunch break or even interact with the dog remotely. Advanced models might even allow you to dispense treats remotely.

Take the Dog to a Dog Daycare

If your Yorkie has an underlying health condition and needs constant care, it’s not advisable to leave it alone at home. Instead, you can take it to a dog daycare. The Yorkie might find other friendly dogs to play games with, such as the golden retriever, German Shepherd, and the labrador. 

You can also leave it with a family member or hire a dog sitter if there is no daycare facility around you or the Yorkie has complications.  

Related Questions

Can I Leave My Yorkie Puppies Overnight?

Yes, you can practice leaving your Yorkie alone overnight while working a night shift. However, you will need to leave your yorkie poo with free access to water and food. Typically, Yorkshire Terriers are not nocturnal animals, and they will fall asleep at night. 

Is It Guaranteed a Yorkie Will Develop Stress When Left Alone?

No, it is not guaranteed a Yorkie will develop stress when you leave it alone. The stress develops if it’s a Yorkie puppy, the dog is left alone at home for a long period, or it’s not used to being left alone at home. The Yorkie home and loneliness attributes might also vary with the place of origin.

Final Thoughts

A Yorkie is a social breed, and leaving it alone at home 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.