What is the most important command every dog must know?
Most people will say the “come” command.
It is one of the seven basic commands every dog should know, and arguably the most important of all.
The good thing is that it is also the easiest command to teach. Most dogs come when they hear their name anyway.
Of course, that’s only when they feel like it. You need to teach your Yorkie to come even when it is occupied with something far more interesting.
But even that is still easier than other commands.
Keep reading to learn how to train a Yorkie to come. Follow the step-by-step instructions below and your pup will be obeying your command in no time!
- 1 How To Train A Yorkie To Come?
- 1.1 Step 1: Use A Long Leash
- 1.2 Step 2: Without The Leash
- 1.3 Step 3: Training A Reluctant Yorkie
- 1.4 Step 4: Keep Testing Your Yorkie
- 1.5 Additional Yorkie Training Tips
- 2 Training A Yorkie To Come: Conclusion
How To Train A Yorkie To Come?
As mentioned, the “come” command is extremely important in dog obedience training. It can help you prevent your Yorkie from wandering too far on its walks. It can also prevent the destruction of your furniture!
Also known as the ‘recall’ command, the “come” command is quite easy. Most dogs usually come anyway when called by their names. It is best to train your dog to come along with other obedience commands like “sit”, “stay”, “heel”, and the rest of the 7 basic commands.
Here are the steps to teach your puppy to come when called.
Step 1: Use A Long Leash
In the beginning, you need a way to let your Yorkie know it is supposed to return to you when it hears the word “come”. A leash allows you to give a quick tug to indicate what you want. You might want to learn how to leash train a Yorkie puppy first, so that it is used to being on a leash.
- Puppy harness (this article will help you find a good harness)
- Long leash
- Healthy training treats (this article lists some good treats)
What To Do
- Hook the line to your Yorkshire terrier’s harness.
- Take your puppy out to the yard. Let it explore the other end of the yard while you move away.
- Hold the other end of the leash in your hand.
- Say the puppy’s name and say “come”.
- If it doesn’t come to you immediately, tug on the line. You may have to do this multiple times until your pup understands that it is supposed to come to you right away, not in its own sweet time. Remember: a well-trained puppy will come to you right away on a brisk trot.
- Praise your puppy lavishly when it comes to you. You may also treat it.
- Repeat this training exercise frequently.
In the beginning, most puppies will come to you quickly when called. However, as time goes by, they get distracted by things to explore in the yard. As you continue the exercise frequently, your puppy might even get bored. Therefore, frequent practice is a must.
You also have to wean your Yorkie off treats. It should respond to your command even if you do not treat it.
It may be necessary to keep the leash because as soon as it shows inattention, you need to tug on the line to remind it of its duty. Try to spend at least 4 days practicing this command.
Remember to keep each session short. Limit exercises like this one to about 10 to 15 minutes. Any more than that and your Yorkie will stop learning. This breed has a short attention span.
After the 4th day, your puppy should get the idea that you mean business when you call. You might want to continue the sessions 2-3 times a week afterward to reinforce the “come” command.
Step 2: Without The Leash
Once your Yorkie comes when called while on the leash, it is time to start practicing this command without the leash.
- A small object such as a ball. You may also use a noisy object. It should be slightly unpleasant to your puppy.
What To Do
- While training your puppy to come without a leash, you can use a small object to throw at the puppy when you say “come”, but it keeps looking at something else.
- The idea is not to hurt the puppy but to get its attention and make it remember what it is supposed to do.
- Make sure your little Yorkie does not see you throwing the object. Otherwise, it might feel threatened.
- If possible, get other family members or friends on board to do the throwing. That way, you won’t be the guilty party.
- If your pet ends up running to other people (stationed in four different corners of the yard), ask them to mildly threaten the puppy. The idea is to get your dog to believe that the best and safest place for it is by your side. Your Yorkie will soon understand that the person it chooses offers no protection.
After a few repetitions, your Yorkshire terrier puppy will learn that doing what you ask every time is the best way to go.
Step 3: Training A Reluctant Yorkie
This step is for a puppy that is slow or reluctant to follow the “come” command. If your Yorkie is learning well, you can skip this step.
- Lone line
What to do
- If your puppy is reluctant or slow to come when called, then you need to use a soft tone and a lot more coaxing.
- Train it on a long line but keep the line slack. When your pup hesitates, clap your hands or pat your legs while cajoling with a soft tone.
- If your puppy continues to be reluctant, turn and walk away. It will start trotting to catch up with you. When it does, face it and make it sit or heel. Scratch it’s back – or whatever else your pup likes.
- Since your Yorkie is slow to come when called, you need to break the bad associations it may have about the “come” command. The key is to make your pet feel that there is a profit to be gained when coming to you. You can use tasty treats, praise, etc.
- Furthermore, you may want to increase the duration of the training session but stop as soon as you or your pet start showing signs of irritability. It is important to keep the training very positive. Remember that most puppies don’t get irritable; it is us dog owners that lose patience.
Step 4: Keep Testing Your Yorkie
What to do
- You also need to practice the “come” command at various times other than the dedicated training sessions.
- For example, call your puppy from across the yard while it is playing with the kids or any other time when it is occupied with something.
- A well-trained puppy should drop everything and come to you.
- The one exception to this rule is when you have just offered your Yorkie a juicy new bone. Expecting it to drop the bone and come to you is really too much! Your pup might even suspect that you want to snatch the bone from it. If it refuses to come at this time, then make an exception and don’t fault it, if it comes when called at other times.
It is a good idea to practice the “come” command with other basic obedience commands like “heel”, “stay”, “Sit”, and more. Practice regularly and stay consistent.
Remember to treat your Yorkie like a teacher would a second-grader when she or he is learning to read: continuous practice is a must. Without it, your pup will forget what it has learned. At the very least, it might forget that it is expected to obey you every time, whether it feels up to it or not.
Additional Yorkie Training Tips
Yorkies have a reputation for being hard to train and there is some truth to that. But only if you train them the wrong way.
Yorkshire terriers are intelligent and learn quickly, but their stubbornness and short attention span can get in the way. The following tips will help overcome those obstacles and train your Yorkie puppy the right way.
Keep Training Sessions Short
We already mentioned this above, but this is one of two keys to successfully training Yorkshire terriers. You can overcome their short attention spans by limiting training sessions to no more than 10 or 15 minutes.
This is the other key to overcoming the short attention span. When training your Yorkie, try to limit distractions as much as possible. That means removing toys or other interesting objects, along with anything else that might distract your pup.
Of course, some training sessions require distractions, for example the later stages of training your Yorkie to come when called.
In the early stages, you want to minimize distractions, but later on, you want to introduce them to test your puppy. It should come when called, even if there is something else interesting going on.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Just like human, Yorkies learn more effectively when they know there’s going to be a reward at the end. They became more responsive and are much more likely to display positive behavior in reward-based training.
However, when using treats as reward reinforcement to motivate your puppy, be careful not to overfeed it and only give it healthy treats. Also, rewards do not always have to be treats. Effusive praise and attention are also huge rewards for an attention-seeking breed like the Yorkshire terrier.
Never Punish Your Puppy
When your Yorkies does something wrong, it is important not to scold or punish your dog. IT will not understand what is going on and you will likely only cause it to repeat whatever it did wrong.
It is better to simply ignore your puppy. Yorkies crave attention and if you withhold that, it will quickly learn not to do that thing again. Then when you get back to training and it does something good, reward it. It will see the difference and learn what it is supposed to.
Don’t Use “Come” To Call Your Pup To Do Something It Hates
One perfect example of an activity many Yorkies hate is taking a bath. If you use the “come” command to call your Yorkie for a bath it will associate having come when called with this activity it detests. That will make it less likely to come when called in the future.
If you can’t corral your pup for its bath any other way, your could use the “come” command, but not take your pup for a bath right away. Instead, reward it and play with it for a while. Once enough time has lapsed that the “come” command is forgotten, snatch your pup p and take it to the dreaded bathtub.
Another easy trick is to simply have bath time after you get home from a walk. Your Yorkie will still be attached to its leash and you can easily guide it to the bathroom.
Be Excited When Calling “Come”
If your dog is reluctant to come when called, try calling it with a lot of excitement in your voice. That is infectious to Yorkies and it will almost certainly come to see what the excitement is about.
When it comes reward it and praise it effusively. Pretty soon, it will learn to come even when you give the command in a normal tone of voice.
Play Hide And Seek
Another trick you can use to get a reluctant puppy to come is to hide somewhere. Yorkies can’t resist a good game of hide and seek. Then when your pup comes and finds you reward it. This will help reinforce that it should come when it hears the command.
Training A Yorkie To Come: Conclusion
Every dog should know the “come” command and respond to it every time you call. It is arguably the most important of all the dog commands.
Teaching the “come” command is relatively easy compared to many other commands. That said, it still takes time and patience. Make sure you never lose your temper and stick with it. Eventually your puppy will learn to come every time you call it.