Who is the Leader?
The Yorkshire Terrier breed is known for their independence, but this does not mean that this dog wants to live on its own, even could or would be happy doing so!
All dog breeds have a deep instinct to be in a pack. Long ago, dogs lived in packs and it was always clear who the leader of the pack was. When a dog does not fully understand who the leader is, this can cause great emotional stress to the dog. Each day becomes a struggle of having to test to see who is in charge.
The owner of a Yorkie, to have a well behaved dog, must lovingly show that they are the leader of the home. An owner does this in many ways. When an owner feeds the Yorkie, performs grooming needs, takes the dog for walks (and remains in control of the walk), plays with the dog (when the dog rolls over to expose their belly, they are showing that they understand their human owner is the leader), and, importantly, trains the Yorkie to obey commands...these are all ways of showing the Yorkie that the human in in charge and the dog is a loved and cherished family member.
Some owners unknowingly allow a Yorkie to be the leader. Not assuming that such a small dog would even assume that they would be leader, an owner can allow this to happen by:
- Not teaching commands
- Giving in to begging
- Not standing firm when they require the dog to listen
A Yorkie can take advantage of this...and it leads to behavioral issues. The best way to keep the home running smoothly is to establish the "order of the pack" from day 1.