Nobody wants to leave their dog sad and unhappy alone at home. But we, as dog owners, also have jobs and businesses to take care of and have to leave our houses for it.
Yorkshire Terriers, just like any other dog breed, suffers from Separation anxiety if left alone in isolation for long periods of time. It is a stressful feeling for both dogs and their owners.
As you might know that Yorkies are prone to Separation Anxiety, and even keeping Yorkie puppies alone at home for 2-4 hours can cause anxiety in them. If you leave your Yorkie alone even longer than 2-4 hours, their mental health can get deteriorate.
Separation anxiety is not just a feeling in pet dogs who are feeling alone in the absence of their owner, but also their emotional response to being left in isolation.
Some Yorkies get stressed just minutes after spending time alone while some get stressed after some hours. If you work on their mental training, this time period can increase.
But you have to go out for something or the other, isn’t it? Even if you have a family to take care of your Yorkie at home, there would be some instances where there would be no one at home.
There is nothing to worry about as Separation Anxiety in Yorkies can be treated and reduced if you work on it. “But how Daniela?”, must be your question. I am gonna help you with some working techniques which I have followed in my Dog Training Career which will help you get rid of Separation Anxiety in your Yorkie.
I am Daniela Carrera, a Yorkie owner and a professional dog trainer with experience of around 10 years and I love to help dog owners in solving various kinds of problems they face with their pet dogs. I am offering a Free Dog Obedience Course for dog lovers like you ONLY for this month. After that, it would cost $49. Don’t forget to get access to it right away while it’s FREE.
How does your Yorkie feel when he is left alone?
To better understand this, we need to consider a few things. First, your dog doesn’t have much sense of time, sense of imagination, and prediction. Their brain doesn’t function as ours do.
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They are creatures who live in the present and it is due to this reason that everything that happens in the present affects them strongly.
So when we leave, they do not have the ability to understand that it is for a limited time and this time will pass by. They just live in the present and cannot comfort themselves by any means.
Another thing to understand is that dogs are pack animals and they perceive their owners as members of the leader of the pack. Dogs have never been habitual of leaving their pack members or pack. So, they fail to understand what’s going on with them and how to deal with it.
But we as owners can deal with it and I will show you How to get rid of Yorkshire Terrier Separation Anxiety. But first, let’s discuss some symptoms so you are sure whether your dog is having Separation Anxiety or not.
What are the Symptoms of Separation Anxiety?
There can be several possible symptoms of Separation anxiety and the following ones are the most probable:
1. Excessive Barking
Continuous barking is one of the most common symptoms of Yorkie Separation anxiety. Your dog may bark for a large portion of the time when you are not at home.
The intensity of barking can be so loud and clear that your neighbors can not only listen to that barking but also get highly pissed off by that.
I highly recommend you to watch this video and you would be able to solve this Barking behavior in your Yorkies.
2. Destructive Chewing and Scratching
This is a symptom that really pisses off many Yorkie owners. Dogs are known to hard chew household items when they are in anxiety.
These items can be anything from your shoes to furniture to beds and even blankets and chair legs. They can create a complete mess of your home, though Yorkies are small in size and hence they have limited reach to household items.
Dogs chew to fight their strong emotions and to protect themselves from stress. Chewing can be used to calm separation anxiety in Yorkies, though this becomes a problem when they chew essential items of yours.
In some cases, scratching on furniture, beds, and walls is also a possible symptom of Separation anxiety.
You can calm down your Yorkie in any condition. Watch this video to learn how to use the Calming code for your dog.
3. Less control of the Bladder
When Yorkies are stressed and anxious, they lose control of their bladders and hence start urinating and pooping around the house. Their bodies let them lose themselves and hence they lose control. All the hard work done to housetrain them go in vain during this time. This is also the reason Yorkies throw up often.
If your Yorkie is urinating in front of you or while you are home, this might not be due to separation anxiety. If this happens, you can take the help of House Train any Dog to Completely House train your Yorkshire Terrier in just 7 days.
Some other Symptoms are:
- Panic Behavior
- Coprophagia (Consumption of Poop)
- Excessive Drooling
- Excessive self-licking
How to get rid of Separation anxiety in your Yorkie?
You would have to train your dog if you want him to be independent when you have gone out for work. There is no other solid way to get rid of this anxiety from them other than training your Yorkie.
The goal here is to have a confident dog that is able to handle himself well when he is alone. The most important goal is to save him from getting stressed, depressed, and destructive.
1. Go for a Morning Walk before leaving for Work
I have used this method personally a lot of times and it really helps reduce anxiety in your dogs. I normally go on a walk with my dog for around 20-30 minutes and let my dog enjoy the time. This also allows me to Socialize my Yorkie.
I also let him complete his potty business before leaving for work so that he doesn’t create a mess in my absence.
The purpose of this step is to tire out your dog as much as possible so that he spends his maximum time sleeping when you are out for work. This helps to reduce the anxiety in your Yorkie.
Also Read: 10 Best Carriers for Yorkshire Terriers
2. Make full use of various Dog Toys
Each kind of dog toy has different kinds of use. Some are interactive while some make noises. Some chew toys while some are stuffed ones.
If you know how you can properly use these toys to keep your Yorkie occupied and busy, your dog’s half of the anxiety problems would be solved. Here are the 12 Best Toys for your Yorkie.
Let’s understand each of them one by one:
1. Interactive Noise-Producing Toys
These kind of toys that produces noise or move when touched are a great way of keeping your dog busy while you’re out. Here are some that I use personally:
They make noises when touched and there are a couple of things that I completely love about them. Firstly, they have a large variety comprising of different kinds of animals and secondly, they are super cheap. They are worth every penny.
Each time your Yorkshire Terrier will touch his nose with this toy, it will make different voices every time. This one is the best for small dog breeds like Yorkies.
2. Furbo Treat Dispensing Dog Camera
This one is a little expensive but I just love it. It helps you and your dog a lot.
You can monitor everything about your dog from wherever you are via your smartphone and when things turn ugly, you can comfort your dog by calling him out and your voice does soothe your Yorkie for sure.
Another great thing about this gadget is that it can hold up to 100 treats and it tosses the treat to your dog every time you press that button of Furbo’s mobile app.
It has a two-way audio doorway and the mobile app even alerts you when your Yorkie is barking. Isn’t it great that you can get the coverage of each and every minute straight to your mobile?
Many dog owners call this gadget as a lifesaver. I would definitely recommend this one.
3. Treat-Dispensing dog toys
These kinds of toys are pretty resourceful as they not only keep your Yorkies busy but also feed them with their favorite treats of theirs.
You can mix anything you want with the kibble and store the treats into the toy. What I would recommend for Yorkshire Terriers are:
3. Limit the area of reach
If your Yorkshire terrier has developed destructive behavioral problems like chewing and scratching when he’s anxious, the first thing you should do is limit his reach to only his ‘den’.
Yorkies that suffer from separation anxiety should not be left free to roam around and have access to the whole house. Their reach should only be confined to the place where he spends the most time. The fact that we call this limited space a ‘den’ is because pack animals like dogs feel secure and safer in their den.
This is also done to keep all the dog toys and Furbo Camera within that limited space and your dog can play with those interactive toys and keep himself busy.
I have discussed more the concept of having a defined space for your Yorkie in my Detailed Guide on Yorkie Puppy Care.
1. Get a Pet Containment or Playpen
If you do not have a place to keep your dog’s reach limited, you can get a dog containment or playpen. Iris 24″ 4-Panel Pet-containment and Excercise door would be a perfect choice for Yorkshire Terriers.
This is made of high-quality plastic and the height and area that this one provides are enough for even fully grown adult Yorkshire Terrier. You can keep all the essential items like toys and food inside this playpen.
Moreover, it also has a door that you can keep open when you are home so that Yorkie can enter and exit it freely. It is open from above so your Yorkie doesn’t feel like he is inside his crate.
2. Provide Comfort and Basic items to your Yorkie
That goes without saying and is pretty basic. If you are planning to keep your dog alone for 8 hours or more, you would need to provide him with basic essential items and some items for his comfort.
Some of those items are:
- A Quality and well-cushioned bed
- Food and Water
- Indoor Dog Potties: Since a dog never really likes to soil his own den, indoor dog potties like DoggieLawn would be pretty useful. They are disposable and washable so they really make the lives of dog owners a lot easier. Even if you have house-trained your Yorkie, keeping these disposable dog potty pads would be an intelligent decision. If you would like more options, here are the 10 Best Indoor Potty Pads for your Dog.
4. Start out Small
Leave your Yorkie alone for only five minutes at first and then increase gradually. This reduces the chances of your dog taking it as a ‘shock’ and more like a routine.
Choose an off day for this practice. You can leave your Yorkie for five minutes at first and when you return, ignore your dog and avoid showering any love.
5. Ignore your Yorkie
Don’t make a big deal when you leave for the day. All these goodbyes are of no use and will only hurt your Yorkie.
Just ignore your dog as if nothing is gonna happen. Most probably, he will come to know that you are about to leave. Control your emotions and don’t look into his eyes. You have to send him a message that this is a daily routine and there’s no big deal.
The same goes for when you return to your home. Avoid showering any love or petting your dog. Do not look into his eyes and do your work.
When your Yorkie settles and calms down, maybe after 20 minutes or so, then you can go and love him and offer him some of his favorite treats. Any good behavior must be rewarded.
6. Arrange play sessions in the morning
This step is for those who wake up early or have some time in the morning. You can play interactive games like Go and Fetch, Frisbee, and Hide and Seek with your dog in the morning.
This tires out your dog completely and he spends most of his time during the day sleeping. You do not need hours to play with your Yorkie.
Yorkshire Terriers are a small breed of dogs and will need not more than 20-30 minutes of playing session to get exhausted.
Also Read: How to Take care of my Yorkie’s Hair?
7. Remove the Significance of Cues
All dogs get to know well before their owners are about to leave them. This is due to the ‘cues’ that they tend to pick up.
You wear your new top, jeans or pants, you tie your laces, you use perfumes, car keys, bags. There are a lot of things that tell your Yorkie well before your departure.
You can remove the significance of these cues by tieing your shoes on a Sunday and then going to the kitchen to make your lunch. Then, you can wear your washed new clothes and go to your room and start reading any book or watching T.V.
These activities would confuse your dog and he will relate this to the fact that not always these ‘cues’ mean that his owner is gonna leave.
8. Calming Music and Supplements
There are several calming music videos for dogs suffering from separation anxiety on Youtube. You can get help from them as well.
There are calming supplements available for dogs as well. But they work well in a mixture with the other steps I mentioned above.
The one I have personally used in the past is Zesty Paws Calming Bites which contains a blend of ingredients that help in soothing your dog’s mental health. It contains natural relaxants like L-Theanine, hemp oil, and Thiamine.
9. Work on his Mental Stimulation
90% of dog owners only try to train their pet dogs physically. Dogs think using their brain. Their brain is much less developed as compared to humans but there is far more potential to grow.
Did you know that you can train your dog’s brain and activate his brain cells to Unleash a “Hidden Intelligence” inside him? Chances are, you won’t.
If you want to get help in solving various behavioral problems in your Yorkie like Separation anxiety, training his brain helps a lot. I have made my dog 20 times Smarter, Intelligent and Obedient by working on his mental stimulation.
I would highly recommend Brain Training For Dogs, a training program that helps you Unleash the Hidden Intelligence in your dog using brain games and puzzles in just 21 days. You would get shocked by the results of this program on my friend’s dog Heidi.
What Should you do before Leaving your Yorkie Home Alone?
As we are now done with the possible ways to reduce or get rid of separation anxiety in Yorkies completely, let’s discuss what you can do as a Yorkie owner before going for the day and after returning home.
Here are some activities to perform before going out:
- Ignore your dog. There is no need for goodbyes and kisses or hugs. Just take your car keys and bag and go out.
- Take your dog out for a morning walk for 15-20 minutes. If you have more time in the morning or you wake up earlier, you can also play games for additional 15-20 minutes.
- Make sure your dog is done with his food and potty business in your presence.
- Ensure that all the toys and other essential items are there in the Yorkie containment area.
- Do not re-enter your house just to soothe your Yorkie. Trust the method and aim for long-term improvement.
Also Read: How much do Yorkies cost?
What Should you do after your Return?
It is natural to love and soothe your dog as soon as you return home. It is difficult to keep someone you love away from you for long.
But you need to control your emotions and avoid kissing or hugging your Yorkie as soon as you arrive. This can ruin your past efforts in dealing with Separation anxiety in your Yorkie.
We do not want to make a big deal of your arrival. An excited voice and emotional feelings send a message to your Yorkie that he was correct when he was worrying so much for you. Instead, we want him to feel that this is no big deal and it is a part of his daily routine.
When you enter the house, do not go directly to your Yorkie. Let him wag his tail and look towards you.
After around 3-5 minutes, you can open the door of the playpen and say hello. Let your Yorkie calm down first.
I know how difficult it is to leave your dog alone when you can see his eyes glaring at you with a ray of hope. This is a stressful feeling for both you and the Yorkie.
But there are a lot of ways to help reduce this stress and anxiety, as I already mentioned above. There are some tips and activities you need to perform and a method you got to trust.
I can vouch for the methods I have shared and if you follow them patiently and consistently, you will definitely observe positive results. If at any time you feel lost or feel like you need expert advice on your Yorkie’s behavior, I would recommend you to try The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan, the world’s best Online dog training program.