Your goal in early training is to get your Yorkie to like you. Generally, Yorkies like people. Once you have gained your dog’s trust and love, then training becomes infinitely easier. Keep your puppy’s kindergarten positive and fun.
Puppy games are a great way to entertain your puppy and yourself, while subliminally teaching lessons in the course of having fun. Start with a game plan and a pocketful of tasty dog treats. Keep your games short so you don’t push his attention span beyond normal puppy limits or tire him out too much.
This game helps teach the come command. With two people sitting on the floor about 6 to 8 feet apart, one person holds and pets the pup while the other calls him: “Puppy, puppy, come!” in a happy voice. When the pup comes running, reward him with big hugs and give a tasty treat. Repeat the game back and forth several times—dont overdo it.
You can add a ball or toy and toss it back and forth for the puppy to retrieve. When he picks it up, praise and hug some more, give him a goodie to release the toy, then toss it back to person number two. Repeat as described.
Hide and Seek
This is another game that teaches the come exercise. Play this game outdoors in your yard or other confined safe area. When the pup is distracted, hide behind a tree or bush. Peek out to see when he discovers you are gone and comes running back to find you (trust me, he will do that). As soon as he gets close, come out, squat down with arms outstretched and call him: “Puppy, come!” This is also an excellent bonding technique and teaches the puppy to depend on you.
Where’s Your Toy?
Start by placing one of his favorite toys in plain sight. Ask your puppy “Where’s your toy?” and let him take it. Repeat several times. Then place your puppy safely outside the room and place the toy where only part of it shows. Bring him back and ask the same question. Praise highly when he finds it. Repeat several times. Finally, conceal the toy completely and let your puppy sniff it out. Trust his nose—he will find his toy. Yorkie puppies love to have fun with their people. Games are excellent teaching aids, and one of the best ways to say I love you to your puppy.
Next step: Training Overview
Reprinted from Breeders Best: Yorkshire Terrier © 2004. Permission granted by Kennel Club Books, an imprint of BowTie Press.