How to Train a Yorkshire Terrier

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The Yorkshire Terrier is the perfect dog breed for anyone who wants to add a little personality and fun into their life. However, training this breed seems to be a difficult process for many dog owners. It all comes down to learning how to train a Yorkshire Terrier properly.

How to Train a Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers are among the top intelligent dog breeds globally. Let’s cover training your Yorkies in a way they can learn all the basic training steps in order such as:

  • How to sit
  • How to lay down
  • How to stay
  • How to come when called
Training a Yorkshire Terrier

Training Your Yorkshire Terrier to Sit

Teaching your Yorkshire Terrier how to sit is a fun and easy thing to do. All it takes are some treats, patience (don’t rush), and maybe even some nice verbal praise. The basic training steps include:

  1. Let your Yorkie smell the treat to get its attention. Make sure that they are looking at you before moving on with step two.
  2. Raise the treat over their head and guide them into a sitting position. As they are following the treat, their rear should naturally begin to tuck under.
  3. Give praise as soon as all four of his feet touch the ground at once, and your dog is in a full sit. Repeat these steps multiple times for several days until your Yorkie has mastered this trick.

Training Your Yorkshire to Lay Down

One of the most common questions you’ll get from a Yorkie owner is, “how do I teach my dog to lay down?” Well, here are some helpful tips for training your pup.

  1. Have a treat in hand. Let them sniff the treat for this trick to be most effective. If they are not looking at the treat yet, do not move on with step two.
  2. Hold the treat straight out in front of their nose and guide them into a lying position, make sure the treat is premium quality and doesn’t lead them to sneezing.
  3. Give praise immediately all four feet touch the ground simultaneously. Repeat these steps a couple of times for several days until your Yorkie masters this trick.
Yorkshire Terrier being trained

Training Your Yorkshire to Stay

One of the essential things for Yorkies is to learn how they can stay. Teaching your pup this skill will help keep them safe and give you peace of mind when out or on walks. These steps are:

  1. Hold a treat in front of its nose once your dog has mastered both sit and lay tricks.
  2. Keep holding it until they hold their sit position. Once they do, say “stay” and slowly begin to walk backward.
  3. Continue walking backward until your Yorkie breaks from the stay command. As soon as he does – give a solid adverse reaction such as tapping them on the nose or saying something like “no”.
  4. Repeat this for several days until your Yorkie gets the picture.

Training Your Yorkshire to Come When Called

Teaching your Yorkshire terrier how to respond when called is one of the most important tricks you can teach a dog. This skill can help in emergencies and will be useful for everyday life as well. You can start by:

  1. Pairing the command word with a treat in their nose.
  2. Give them the verbal cue of “come.” while stepping backward. They will follow the smell of the treat and come towards you.
  3. Give them the treat and praise when they cover a distance of about five feet away from you. Repeat these steps multiple times each day for several days until your Yorkie gets it.

This useful clip on how to train your Yorkshire Terrier will give you more knowledge to use for your pup.


Things to Consider When Training Your Yorkie

There are many intelligent dog breeds. However, the Yorkshire Terrier is ranked 34th in terms of the most intelligent. This is because they have a fantastic ability to comprehend human emotions alongside communicating effectively with their owners.

Early Impression

If you’re looking to purchase a Yorkshire terrier, your first impression matters. Forming a good impression from the very beginning will prevent negative habits. This instills trainability for different skills as well.


Consistency is another crucial factor when it comes to training your Yorkie. You should always have a plan and stick to it, even if you’re having a bad day. Your Yorkie will be able to sense any inconsistency in the process, and they will take advantage of this vulnerability.


Training a new trick can be frustrating for you and your Yorkie. Never lose your patience because it will only make the training process more complicated than it needs to be.

Yorkshire Terrier being trained on a field of grass

Positive Reinforcement

Always remember that positive reinforcement is vital. It will help if you restrain from yelling or hitting your Yorkie during training. Instead, use treats as positive reinforcement. They will be eager to learn if they know that it will benefit them in the future.


It would be best if you always had treats on hand. Treats are a great motivator, and you can use them to teach your Yorkie all of their basic commands such as “sit” or “lay down.” They also help with housebreaking.

Eliminate Distractions

When you’re trying to teach your Yorkie a new command, you must eliminate any distractions around them. Distractions such as loud noises or other dogs will only make the training process more complex than it needs to be.

Repeat Commands and Actions

It is beneficial if you repeat every action and command several times until they get it. This is one of the most important aspects of training your Yorkie. Repetition can be very frustrating at times, although they will get it eventually if you are patient.

Connecting the dots

It’s essential to connect the dots between a command and its action. For example, you should pair “sit” with an action of actually making them sit. This helps train your Yorkie how these two correlate, which will make it easier for them in the end.


The training process can be frustrating at times; however, it is rewarding when your dog finally gets the hang of it. Like all other things in life, patience is critical. It would help if you don’t get frustrated during these early stages because it makes things worse for everyone involved.