How Much Exercise Does a Yorkie Need? Like most people, you may not know much about your Yorkies exercise requirements after adoption. This toy breed is without a doubt adorable for its small cuddly size. However, she is big in personality. Not forgetting that she is feisty and very curious with an athletic build.
A Must-Read: How to Groom a Yorkie
The Yorkshires were trained to be working dogs for hunting rats. This remains that they have very high energy levels despite the fact that they weigh only 7lbs. To maintain good health, the dog needs to be indulged in several exercises. Yorkies can run for precisely 46 kilometers per hour which is quite impressive for such a small dog.
When you exercise your Yorkshire every day, these are the benefits that they will get;
- Exercises are great for your dog’s heart health
- It helps the dog to maintain strength in the muscles
- The dog will be able to release any pent up energy that if not used up may be directed to the wrong thing. Like barking and destructive chewing.
- It improves the metabolism of your dog
- It helps the dog to have great nightly sleep
- Exercising helps the dog to improve stimulation towards the sight, smell, and sound motion. Hence, the dog feels rejuvenated and alert.
Types of Exercises Yorkies Need
Yorkshires are highly energetic pets. If not engaged in enough physical and mental exercise, may end up having behavioral problems. This includes destructive chewing or baking too often. Besides the guard dogs that are allowed to naturally bark, there is a certain level of barking that could be a nuisance.
However, when you engage your dog in daily exercise, she will release all that pent up energy. Hence, maintaining the body healthy in all aspects. The good is that, when your dog engages in exercises, she also gets the chance to interact with people and other dogs too. Hence, she gets to build on her socialization skills and health state at the same time.
The main categories of exercises that a dog can engage in include:
- Moderate exercises
- The High-intensity short bursts and
- Mental stimulation
That being the case, below we will discuss the above-mentioned categories of exercises for dogs. More to that, we will discuss how these exercises are of help to your pooch.
Yorkie walking; this is the most basic moderate exercise that you can engage your dog in. you can take your Yorkie for a walk at a pace that is comfortable for them. Make sure they are not panting. To make the walks fun, you can walk on a lead or just free exploring. The walk should be at least 30 minutes long.
Ideally, it’s better to take at least two walks per day if that’s possible. These two walks could, however, be split into two. One in the early morning and the other in the evening. But this doesn’t mean that walking your dog once is not okay.
Dogs work best with routines. Therefore, it’s better if you take your Yorkie for a walk during the same period every day. Also, it’s best if you walk your Yorkie before leaving her at home. This will help to burn off any excess destructive energy.
If your Yorkie is lead puller makes sure that you use a harness when you take her out for a walk. Otherwise, if you use a collar tie, you risk your Yorkie developing a condition known as a collapsed trachea.
Yorkies are naturally very agile dogs. Therefore, this is not the type that will be sitting on the couch all day long. Yorkies will react very rapidly if left without any exercises to focus on. Therefore, there are a couple of high-intensity games that your Yorkie can engage in. Some of them include;
Flirt Poles; a flirt pole is an excellent game for the Yorkies. Ideally, a flirt pole is more of a bigger version of a cat toy. Only that it has a stick and a rope often looking like a bungee type cord. The flirt pole comes with a toy or a lure attached at the ends.
All you have to do is to move the toy in circles or even in different directions. This is a very interesting way for the dog to pay as in so many ways it looks like chasing a rat. Some people will use laser pointers to play this gem with their Yorkies.
I don’t like this option much as the dog will never be able to catch whatever she is chasing. At the end of the day, your dog has no achievement to celebrate. Also, it can lead to a very obsessive behavior which I don’t find okay.
The Frisbee Toss; basically, any dog can chase and at the end catch a ball that you throw at them. However, when it comes to the Frisbee toss, the dog requires a little more skill, timing as well as coordination. You will love how cute the Yorkies look when playing this game. Not forgetting that they are spectacular jumpers.
All you have to do is roll the Frisbee on the ground towards your dog. The dog will by instinct want to grab the Frisbee in the mouth. Once your dog gets what’s going on, try tossing the Frisbee at a very low level towards your dog.
If you feel the dog is ready to get on the next level of this game, toss the disc higher and further each time. This game is the ideal energy burner. Actually, you might be amazed at how good your dog is at acrobatics.
Fetch and Catch; this is another simple way of helping your Yorkshire to burn up all the pent up energy. Generally, Yorkies are crazy about balls and toys. Therefore, you will be surprised how she can play this for hours on end.
You can make things a little interesting by using an Automatic ball launcher so that she can play the game by herself whenever you are not there. The good thing about Yorkie is that they are highly intelligent so they will learn very quickly.
Stair sprints; if you have stairs in your home, this is also a great way to burn off energy in your Yorkshire. While at the bottom of the straits, you could throw a ball at the top of the staircase and say, Go! Let the Yorkie rush up the stairs as fast as they can. However, to avoid any injuries, allow them to return down the stairs at a moderate pace.
Backyard agility; you could also try out some agility courses in your backyard. Take some items from around the house that you can use to build your own agility set up. Some of this backyard agility may include; jumping through hoops, hurdle jumps, tunnels and much more. This gives you so much room for creativity.
Tug of war; terriers never cease to surprise. Believe it or not, tug of war is a favorite among the terriers. In the tug of war, you can make your Yorkie to crutch and pull back so that they can burn off any excess energy. One thing you need to do is to ensure that this is a controlled game. Train them to release when you need them to.
Dog sports; you could also involve your Yorkie in dog sports. You and your Yorkie can participate in serious competition for fun. Aside from agility exercises, there are many other dog sports that are ideal for the Terriers. For instance; terrier racing is a great dog sport where you can have the dog run through tunnels and locate rats.
The only difference is that the rates are in safe cages so the dog doesn’t get to them anyway. There is so much creative freedom with dog sports. Always feel free to try out something new with your favorite terrier.
Self-moving Toys; in the market today, there are so many toys that either rattle, shake and roll all on their own. Such are great self-moving toys for your terrier. That is because such movements are ideal as the natural instant of the Yorkshire which is to chase and prey. This will involve so much energy hence leaving your dog feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.
Self-playing Toys; you may not always be there to play with your dog. Therefore, there is a high chance that your Yorkie may lack the chance to exercise as much as she needs. That is why the self-playing toys are a very good choice too.
With these toys, your Yorkie will pay even when at home alone or when you are fully occupied with a tight schedule. This way, your dog will get to involve in both mental and physical stimulation even without your intervention.
All dogs and especially terriers need an outlet for their minds. And when they are not given the right channel to engage their minds, they end up finding their own ways to challenge their minds. The problem here is that the ways that the dogs come up with are all destructive. Such include; digging, escaping, excessive barking, among other destructive behaviors.
In that case, below are some of the ways that you can provide your Yorkshire with mental enrichment and stimulation.
Puzzle Toys; are ideal toys for Yorkshires especially. That is because they help to test the problem-solving abilities of the Yorkshire. At the same time to challenge their minds. Yorkies are naturally very intelligent therefore, you need to give them toys that are a little more challenging.
Nose games; Yorkies have a very keen nose. Therefore, you can consider playing nose or scent games with the pet. Such games help to boost their mental stimulation altogether.
Chewing toys; to stimulate your Yorkie’s mind you can give her some chew toys. That is because chewing is one of the easiest ways to keep her fully occupied. More to that, when chewing, the body will produce endorphins that in the end helps the dog to relax. That is because most dogs tend to hold their stress in the jaws.
You need to understand that Yorkies will never stop, if they get the chance, they will keep on going even when they are required to stop. And for that reason, there is a high possibility that you may end up overworking the dog. For that reason, you need to be aware of the sign of an overworked dog. This way you will be able to know when the exercises are too much and you need to stop.
Signs of an Over-exercised Dog
When it comes to dog exercises, it’s not always a one size fits all. The amount of exercise each dog depends on a lot of things. Meaning that every dog breed has very diverse exercise requirements from the other.
You can consider using a dog exercise calculator if you are not sure how much exercise your dog needs. Over-exercising your dog may leave her with a lot of injuries and at times you may end up stressing her entire body system.
- Your dog will be extremely thirsty
- You will notice that she has confusion and lack of focus
- Stiffness and sore muscles
- Lagging behind when at normal times she leads the way
- Panting excessively
- Limping, lameness, and reluctance to exercises
As we have seen from this article, Yorkies are highly energetic dogs. Also, they have a high level of intelligence. For that reason, Yorkies need adequate exercise as well as mental stimulation. This ensures that your Yorkie remains healthy. At the same time, it helps to reduce the chances of boredom that in the end may lead to destructive behavior in the Yorkie.
All in all, you need to watch out and alternate well between the moderate exercises, the high intensity, and the mental stimulation exercises. When you cater fully for these three types of exercise, you will have a happy, well behaved Yorkie. Trust me, you will love what exercising can do for your dog.