How to fix this:
You may wonder how you are supposed to teach commands when your Yorkshire Terrier won't listen to you in the first place, however this can be done. When first learning a command, a puppy or dog is motivated by the reward that is given for doing a good job. Once a dog learns how to do something, reward is no longer needed because the particular action becomes an automated response to a spoken word; Muscle memory kicks in and a dog listens due to it being an instinctive action.
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Extra Tips for Stubborn Yorkies
Some Yorkshire Terriers have been inadvertently taught to not listen for such a long time (via confusion over who is the leader) that they are downright defiant. The dog may never listen, may growl when picked up (some will be as sweet as pie once in a while and moody
and growling at other times; this is because the dog is deciding when he wants to be touched), may nudge people away or even nip at children.
In these sorts of more extreme cases, stricter training will need to be incorporated until the Yorkie is not only listening well, but also has his behavior under control.
Additional strategies include:
1) Humans are always in a physically superior position.
This reaffirms the Alpha/Beta hierarchy that must be taught. This essentially means that all humans should be physically above the dog at all times. Here are some rules:
- Never sit on the floor with your Yorkie. If you are brushing the coat, cleaning the teeth or doing some sort of grooming task, you can kneel or place him on a table while you stand.
- If you are sitting on a sofa or chair, your puppy or dog must remain on the floor and not be allowed onto the furniture with you.
- The puppy or dog is not allowed on anyone's bed; he must rest and sleep in his own bed. Do be sure that your Yorkie has a quality canine dog bed that is located in a safe and comfortable spot.
2) Social isolation
- This is reserved for Yorkies that are not listening but are also displaying signs of aggression including growling and nipping. It can also work for problems with jumping up repeatedly or even for incessant barking.
Please note that this is social isolation and not physical isolation; since placing a misbehaving puppy into an out-of-the-way area far from where he feels safe or putting him into a small claustrophobic crate can cause quite a bit of stress and can cause even worse behavior. For biting
, growling, hyper jumping and the like, you may need to place him in his area (all dogs should have a small gated off area for when they are home alone - this should have a bed, toys, water and all needed items for comfort and safety).
If he is simply not listening but without aggressive behavior, the goal will be to ignore him to such an extent that he wonders and worries that he may have crossed the line and is being excluded from his pack.
During this time-out period, there should be zero interaction including any sort of eye contact. You may even need to limit what is said between you and other humans so that this is not misconstrued as communication with the dog. This is most effective if the duration is 5 minutes passed the time when the Yorkie actually notices that he is being ignored. Some may play with a toy and not even be aware that anything changed for a good 20 minutes… and others will take note almost immediately.