How to Calm Down a Yorkie
Yorkie lovers, have you noticed that your Yorkie may get particularly excited? Or, you may have the opposite problem—your dog gets anxious or upset, and you don’t know what to do.
A Must-Read: How to Groom a Yorkie
If you’re in this boat, know that you’re not alone. Yorkies are known to be highly expressive emotionally, so it’s not uncommon that you need to take special steps to calm them down.
But if you’ve never worked with a Yorkie before, it can be difficult knowing just what to do. You’re going to want to be careful so as to not upset them more—but at the same time, you know you’ve got to try something.
Don’t go at it alone. If you’re in need of a way to calm down your Yorkie, we’re here to help.
Below, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to calm your pup. Keep this guide in mind as you look to keep their emotions under control.
How to Calm Down Your Yorkie: The Basics
Calming your Yorkie may take a bit of practice—on your part and on the part of your beloved pup. Doing this will take time and patience, but if you still to it, you can expect that your Yorkie will be much calmer in the long run.
With this in mind, consider the follow methods that you can utilize in order to start getting your Yorkie calmer in no time!
Reward Calm Behavior
One of the most common mistakes Yorkie owners make is rewarding the wrong kind of behavior. The truth is that Yorkies are naturally excited dogs, and it doesn’t take much to get them provoked.
When this occurs, you’re going to want to do what you can to not engage this behavior.
Unfortunately, it can be quite frustrating when your dog is acting out—and this can cause you to act in ways that make the problem worse—not better.
For instance, if you start yelling at your dog, your Yorkie may misinterpret it. Instead of them realizing that they’re being scolded, they might see it as you engaging with them.
In this light, it becomes difficult to calm them down, as they now believe you are participating and engaging in their behavior.
Over time, this will create a positive loop in which they believe they are being rewarded for acting out.
Because of this, it can be very difficult to get your dog to calm down later, as you’ll need to fundamentally alter their expectations.
So what can you do to combat this? For starters, you’re going to have to change your response to their hyper behavior.
Instead of yelling at them or chasing them around, make sure that you act calmly.
Though this may be hard at first, make sure that you’re not giving your Yorkie attention when it’s misbehaving. Instead, wait for it to calm down before finally giving it a reward.
But don’t just stop there. Make sure that when your Yorkie is calm, you use this opportunity to teach them a new command. When they are calm, for instance, teach them the word “calm.” Then, give them a reward.
Over time, your dog will begin to associate this calm behavior with treats—giving you leverage to calm them down in the future.
This proves much more effective than engaging with your dog.
Again, it will require patience on your part, but it’s a technique that pays off in the long run. By following this technique, you’ll be able to finally teach your dog how to calm down—even when it doesn’t want to.
The key to success here is being consistent. Make sure that you’re not arbitrarily enforcing your new policy. Instead, whenever your dog does manage to calm down, repeat the same pattern of saying “calm” and rewarding them with a treat.
This will help ensure that your dog learns the command quickly.
Being inconsistent with your training can actually damage your long-term chances of success, so make sure that you stay on top of it.
Through this due diligence can be tiring at first, you’ll greatly appreciate your efforts once your dog has learned to stay calm.
Practice Crate Training
We know that many people are against the idea of putting their dogs in crates. However, this can often be an effective way to keep your dogs calm—especially when you have visitors.
Here’s the deal—it’s not as bad as you think. You only have to put your dog in the crate until they calm down—and many will quite quickly.
Being in the crate can be soothing for many dogs, and it can be a signal to them that they need to be a bit calmer. Because their space is limited, they will naturally begin to calm down.
How you want to use crate training is up to you. You don’t have to do it unless you really want to, but many experts advise using crate training if you have a dog that gets particularly excited when company comes over.
By putting your dog in a crate, you can show more courtesy to your guests and get them calm enough to come out and socialize.
You don’t have to keep your dog in there for long periods—just enough to bring their mood down and get them adjusted to the new situation.
However, be sure that you’re being fair about it. You’re going to want to give your dog a treat when he is calm—the same as you would if you had waited for him to calm down.
Remember, consistency is key here. If you start sending your dog mixed signals, you can undo the work that you’re trying to do.
For this reason, make sure that no matter how you get your dog calm, you give it a reward for its good behavior.
Over time, you may even be able to stop using crate training. The goal, then, would be to use it as a short-term solution to teach your dog long-term lessons.
If you’re not opposed to crate training, it can have one more crucial benefit. You may find that your dog is quite rowdy when you’re not home—and this can be quite damaging.
If this is the case, you may want to put your dog in a crate when you’re not home.
Make sure, however, that the crate is large enough to give them access to food and water. And, of course, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not gone for too long.
Again, the goal here would be to use this as a short-term teaching method. You don’t want to rely on this as a long-term thing, as it can start to affect your dog’s quality of life.
Instead, use it until your dog is calm enough to not destroy property while you are gone.
You may find that your dog likes its crate. If this is the case, consider leaving the door open so that it can go in and out of it at will. For many dogs, this will be incentive enough to lay in their crate during the day, though they won’t be restricted to doing so.
This provides a more humane option to keeping your Yorkie in check even when you’re not at home.
Spend Time with Them
The next thing that you can do is quite crucial. Remember that your Yorkie is a hyper dog. This breed is very family-friendly and craves attention.
And if they’re not getting any, it’s likely that they’re going to start acting out.
For this reason, make sure that you’ve set enough time in the day aside so that you can play with your dog.
Go for walks, play, and do other activities that allow them to burn off their excess energy.
Additionally, by fulfilling their social needs, you’ll be able to make sure that they’re in a better mood mentally. This will help prevent them from acting out in the need for attention.
The good news is that there are multiple ways that you can start spending time with your dog so as to keep them calmer throughout the day. If you’re looking for ways to make this even more effective, consider the following tips:
Go Out in the Mornings
This is especially important if you know that you’re going to be gone for an extended period of the day.
Make sure that you’re waking up early enough that you can spend some time with your pup before heading out for work.
This will give your dog the chance it needs to bond with you and feel secure before you leave. In this way, you can leave them feeling better, giving them the support they need to be calmer throughout the day.
For this reason, it’s important that you help your dog get up and active in the mornings.
You may choose to also burn some extra energy by going for a walk together. This will help keep your dog in line while you’re not at home.
Without doing something together in the mornings, you may find that your dog is more hyper throughout the day. This is because they haven’t gotten the attention they needed from you in the morning.
But going out isn’t the only way that you can start to help get your dog calmer. You can also do this by buying toys.
Make sure that you’re buying toys that are appropriate for Yorkies—such as small squeaky toys—so that they can have fun while staying safe.
By playing with them throughout the day or in the evening, you can make sure that they feel better before bedtime.
What’s more, by using their toys and building familiarity with them, you’ll give them something to do when you’re gone.
For instance, instead of trying to chew your belongings, they may turn to their toy during the day when they feel bored or lonely.
Finally, make sure that you’re giving your Yorkie enough quality time. Yes, this means giving them all those kisses and cuddles that they’ve been craving.
Remember that your Yorkie is always wanting your attention.
They’re not going to be annoyed if you decide to carry them around or give them a little extra sugar on the side.
For this reason, you may want to consider having them sit in your lap as you watch TV or do other actions together with you.
Just be careful to remember that if you’re putting your dog in a high place that you make sure they don’t jump down.
Because Yorkies can have weak joints, jumping from high places can cause undue stress.
Because of this, make sure that you’ve always got your eyes on them to ensure that they’re staying safe.
In this way, you can fill the emotional void that can often cause them to act out and be too hyper. Remember, you’ll want to space this loving out throughout the day so that your dog feels taken care of.
You may choose to do this in the morning when you get home, and before you go to bed. This will help ensure that your dog feels loved and stays on its best behavior.
The Bottom Line
Taking care of a Yorkie can seem a bit daunting. Because this breed of dogs can be especially hyper, you may feel that you don’t have enough time on your hands to deal with them.
The truth, however, is that with a little TLC, you can start to make them feel right at home.
And, through your loving support, you can help make sure that your dog stays calm throughout the day.
By following this guide, you can learn practical methods to help your dog calm down when it’s hyper—as well as prevent it from getting too riled up. In this way, you can have a better relationship with your dog.