Breed of the Month

Yorkshire Terrier

bark busters

published 30th August 2017

This month’s breed is the diminutive sized dog with the heart of a lion –the Yorkshire Terrier. These little “pocket rockets” are a determined breed. They will always attempt to hold their own against any foe and always “punch above their weight” in the dog world.

The Yorkshire Terrier is part of the terrier group, bred to deal with rat infestations in the clothing mills that abounded back in 19th century Yorkshire England.

Affectionately called a Yorkie, they are extremely popular with both lovers of small dogs and those who suffer allergies to dog dander, as the Yorkie does not shed.

Whenever Bark Busters is called in to deal with an issue with this breed, it is mainly because of their barking or because of their controlling nature.

They may be small but they have BIG personalities like most of the terrier types. They don’t back down for anyone or anything and are much loved because of their determination, mistrust of strangers and a size that is manageable if you live in an apartment or villa/town house.



The Yorkshire Terrier originated in Yorkshire and parts of Lancashire in the north of England.

In the middle of the 19th century, when work was plentiful in the north of England, many workers travelled down from Scotland to seek work in the Yorkshire clothing mills, bringing with them their own canine travelling companions.

Many of these workers brought with them several different species of small terrier type dogs. It was the mixture of these dogs and the selective breeding that followed, that culminated in creating the dog we know today as the Yorkshire Terrier.


of the Yorkshire Terrier

Points of Interest of the Yorkshire Terrier

  • Fearless and tenacious for their size.
  • Very cute.
  • Average weight is 3.5 kg and 17 – 20 cm tall
  • Not the easiest breed to train-but they tend to get away with a lot, due to their size.
  • Don’t shed but do need regular grooming and clipping.
  • Hair is silky like humans
  • Controlling personality-but so cute that most humans don’t even notice it.
  • Confident personality and temperament.
  • Good family dog, but they will have their favourite family member.
  • Energetic but do not require a lot of exercise – short walk each day.
  • Energetic and athletic and always ready for fun.
  • Very protective of the family, can be aggressive and wary of strangers and other dogs.
  • Quintessential lap dog but must be on their terms.
  • Love toys and games.
  • Must be actively engaged regularly.
  • Highly intelligent, with a determined will of their own.
  • Barking issues are very high on this breed’s list of behavioural issues and not easy to fix without dedicated education and training.

The ideal Yorkshire Terrier character or "temperament/personality" is typically confident and outgoing, with an air of arrogance.

The Yorkshire Terrier is an active breed, protective, curious, and always seeking attention. They have a very stable personality and are mentally alert and emotionally secure. They are not your typical lap dog type, but quite willing to oblige when the urge takes them.

In this article, we do mention the fact that the Yorkie will select one main person in the family to bond to and this is usually not the children.

Therefore, very young children can be at risk of being snapped at and controlled by a Yorkie.

They make ideal companions for older families. In fact, many reputable breeders routinely only home them to families with children older than about 8-years-old. This is both for the comfort of the dog, and the benefit of the child as Yorkie’s are not typically tolerant of younger children.

Yorkshire Terriers are trainable as any dog, if they are not over-indulged and spoiled. If so, many Yorkie’s bark at the slightest noise. Many dog parents find them difficult to control. Although tiny, they have a giant ego and won’t toe the line unless there is a strong leader in the home.

They are a highly intelligent and agile breed and will scamper to the front door way before their owner. This can turn into a battle of wills while their human tries to grab them before letting visitors in.

Originally bred to control rats, they developed a fearless temperament which can be found in their aggressiveness to other dogs. They are always on the lookout for adventure and maybe even a bit of trouble. They love being the centre of attention surrounded by family members to cuddle.

Yorkie’s fit well into most surroundings, they travel well and are adaptable to most family situations but best suited to a family that does not have young children.



If considering this breed, you need to either possess a determined personality or a very tolerant one. The Yorkie will need management, especially when friends arrive, as they race to the door to see who is entering their den and if they approve.

They don’t need an abundance of exercise, but do love their walks. They should have regular controlled walks to help release some of their exuberance, but education and controlling their behaviour on the walks works best.

The absolute worst thing you can do with your Yorkie is to try to pick it up to control it (something that the parents of small dogs commonly do). This type of action can lead to getting bitten or dogs running away to avoid the human hands.

They love their family, but on their terms. They like to run the show and call all the shots.

They are one of those breeds that will have a favourite human in the household who they don’t like to let out of their sight. This usually makes someone in the household feel very special, but the reality is, the person they select is usually someone they can control.

This behaviour definitely needs to be addressed or it can manifest into separation anxiety. Meaning, that barking and destruction could occur the moment you leave them alone. You also need to be sure that there is someone you can leave them with in an emergency.

In order to establish yourself as the “Top Dog”, you will need to provide a comfortable “time-out place” if you need to go to work or out for the evening.

In reality, you can’t spend 24/7 with your dog. For this reason, we recommend that you practice some good management of your Yorkshire Terrier for those times when you are not able to keep them actively engaged or have them close by or sitting on your lap. You will need to provide some kind of entertainment for them, something that keeps them busy and engages their brain. Be sure to pick an activity that does not over-excite the brain.

If you have a busy lifestyle, then consider day care or dog walkers. Always do your own research into the right people to care for your precious pet. Also check that they hold adequate insurance and have experience in dealing with this diminutive breed.

Check out also what other breeds and the size of the breeds they might be walking at the same time.

Day care centres can solve management issues, but Yorkshire Terriers won’t always be a good fit for these facilities because of their personalities. So, do your research first and make sure that the facility you choose understands your dog’s needs.

The Right Training for Your Yorkshire Terrier

You need to be choose your type of dog training wisely. These are not an easy breed to train and they need understanding, patience and knowledge of their personality. You also need to consider the type of training that suits your particular dog’s intelligence. All dogs need consistency, direction and a reward for a job well done. This can be a treat or lavish praise. A recent study by Emory University discovered that dogs prefer praise over food/treats.


The next time you want to treat your pooch, you might want to consider giving it some kind words rather than a snack, because new research suggests that many dogs would rather get our praise than our prosciutto.

The first-of-its-kind study mixed brain-imaging data from canines with a series of behavioural experiments, and came to the conclusion that dogs really do value the relationships they have with their owners. In other words, we're not just a means to get food.

"We are trying to understand the basis of the dog-human bond and whether it's mainly about food, or about the relationship itself," said neuroscientist Gregory Berns from Emory University.

Berns' team studied 15 dogs, with each animal being monitored through almost 100 separate trials. Only two of the dogs were found to clearly prefer food over praise from their owners, with the other 13 either preferring praise or appearing to like both equally.

Bark Busters Home Dog Training believe that a highly intelligent breed, such as the Yorkshire Terrier, needs to receive regular training and mind-stimulation for their intellect.

Trainers that come to your home suits their personality and addresses the behavioural issues they commonly have in the home or while out on their walks.

Things like barking at the front door, barking at exterior sounds, snapping at other dogs or people in the household can be overcome. Barking at people or dogs while out on the walk and a refusal to come when called can be solved.

Any training undertaken needs to be consistent, kind and dog-friendly and the type of training that takes your breed of dog into consideration.

Bark Busters training works for all breeds of dogs because it focuses on ‘communication’ and how dogs talk to one another in their natural setting. It uses no harsh methods such as shock collars or prong collars which can make a dog aggressive.


of the Breed

This is a highly inquisitive breed that will be up for anything, so don’t let their tiny size fool you. They have a giant personality and they will be leading the pack if you allow them. They are capable of doing almost anything other breeds can do.

  • Great dog for anyone who wants a small, energetic companion that does not shed.
  • Lovable, lively companion, that can double as a lap dog.
  • Capable of doing anything, but not always willing to please.
  • Excellent watch dog.
  • Capable of performing tricks, highly intelligent, and competing in obedience and agility.
  • Great indoor dog that can easily live in an apartment.
  • Great family dog, but will be more attached to one family member.
  • Good travelling companion, compact and easy to transport.

Donna Ryan Bark Busters International Head Trainer


This month I have a great story to tell that involves a rescued Yorkshire Terrier that we named Chowzie. He went on to perform on stage and completed 14 performances for the Illawarra production of Gypsy the stage play in 1987.

We first encountered the Yorkshire Terrier in 1987 when my mom Sylvia Wilson (co-founder of Bark Busters) worked as manager of the RSPCA. She was asked by the local theatre group to train a Yorkshire Terrier for the stage play ‘Gypsy’. The little dog had very little to do on stage really, as its role in the play was just to be carried around throughout the whole performance. An easy role for a little dog you would think and an easy task for the trainers, Sylvia and Danny Wilson and myself.

Gypsy Bark Busters

The first job we faced was to find the right dog for the role and we knew it had to be a Yorkshire Terrier.

The RSPCA never and I repeat, never had a Yorkshire Terrier surrendered to the Illawarra shelter in the ten years that my mom had managed that shelter. This seemed like a daunting task, but still she put the wheels in motion.

She went next door to the dog pound and told the pound manager about the breed of dog she was looking for and asked him to keep an eye out for one.

He laughed at her, telling her that he felt this was a hopeless task. He told her that he had never seen a Yorkshire Terrier brought into the pound in his 20 years.

A week later the manager of the shelter came into her office to bring her some good news. He told her that he could not believe her luck, but a Yorkshire Terrier had just been brought in and she should come and officially put her name down for it. He went on to say that he really felt that it would be reclaimed and pointed out that the pure breed dogs are not the type of dogs that people abandon.

Sylvia put her name down and waited the obligatory 14 days.

But amazingly, after 14 days, no one claimed the little dog, so she went in to purchase him. She called him Chowzie, the same name as the dog in the play.

That was the good news. The bad news was this little dog hated people and most of all hated being picked up. It was now becoming clear why no one had claimed him.

We had our work cut out for us. Mom sat with the little dog in his pen for about a half an hour, finally winning him over before attempting to place a collar and lead on him. The big work of training him to ‘like’ people and to cope with being carried around was ahead of us.

Over the next few weeks we spent time getting the staff to take turns at offering him treats while they carried him around. In no time, he began to seek people out and almost begged to be picked up.

One day one of the kennel workers told Sylvia that when they let Chowzie into the exercise yard for a run, that it took them ages to capture him again. He flatly refused to come when they called him.

Sylvia asked the girl to let him out into the exercise yard again, so she could go and start some recall training with him.

This training was the start of what Bark Busters does today and consisted of vocal corrections and lots of praise, accompanied by the appropriate body language. If you want a dog to come when it’s called, you must lower your height and use an enticing voice. You must never chase him because that only serves to make the dog run more.

After about 10 minutes, Chowzie was coming to her every time she called. For safety, she introduced a ‘stop’ command, which means; stop what you are doing and come straight back to me. All was achieved vocally and without touching or harming the dog in anyway.

That night Sylvia and Danny took Chowzie to his first rehearsal. My role in the training was going to be more involved in the stage performance, when we reached the actual on-stage training.

Unbeknown to Danny and Sylvia, one of the girls had loosened Chowzie’s collar, as she felt it was too tight. As Danny went to get Chowzie out of the back of the car outside the rehearsal hall which was near a busy highway, he slipped out of his collar and headed off in the direction of the busy road. Unfortunately, a truck was fast approaching.

Sylvia desperately called out, “Chowzie come! Chowzie come!” He ignored her and kept right on going. She then remembered the ‘stop command’ she had taught him and called out “Bah’’, (the word she had programmed him to). He immediately stopped in his tracks and came back to her. She was convinced that if she had not carried out that little bit of training that day, that Chowzie would have been killed on that busy highway.

Chowzie completed 14 performances and won everyone’s heart. We found him a loving home after the show with a lady who lived on her own and wanted a real lap dog and we knew that Chowzie had become the quintessential lap dog, that would enrich this ladies’ life.

The moral of the story is that it is vital that you train your Yorkshire Terrier to ‘come when called’ and other obedience training. It could save his/her life, just like it saved Chowzie’s life that night.

Case History

Aggressive guarding

Lucy was a 12-month-old Yorkshire Terrier that was adored by her adult family.

Lucy’s family told us that she was a well-behaved dog when she was at home. She never barked, she came when called, she loved her family and loved nothing more than spending time with them.

The only problem was they all worked long hours and they felt terrible about leaving her alone all week long. So, during one family meeting, they decided that she needed a play outlet and booked her into a nearby doggie day care centre.

Her first day there was uneventful, but the next day and subsequent days, she became a big problem for the staff and management when she started to guard any toy or water bowl in the exercise pen. She would growl and snap at any dog or human that came near. This was causing a big disruption in the centre.

The owner of the facility rang the family and was threatening to ban her completely. This worried her family, as then it would be back to leaving her alone all day. If they could not get this issue fixed, that was all that was available to them.

Bark Busters was called in to address her behaviour.

We started Lucy’s training in the home as we knew that the root of the problem lay there. It was easy to see what was behind her behaviour at the centre. She was in complete control of her family at home and everyone avoided her when she had a toy, was eating, drinking or just anywhere there was an item she felt should be hers.

This was a complete surprise but it was something they now had to face; she was not perfect.

We explained that the behavioural issues that she had at home, were all part of the issues she had at the day care. She needed education at home and it had to come from her family. They all adored her, but they were way too tolerant of her antics. If they wanted to change her behaviour at the centre, they needed to educate her at home, letting her know what was right and what was wrong.

Lucy was a great student and she caught on to the “resource guarding” training very quickly. The family took a bit longer while they identified what she did at home that needed addressing.

We helped them through the process by first helping them create a list of do’s and don’ts. Then we set about showing them how to address them in a way that Lucy would understand.

Once her bad behaviour had ceased at home (with the owner’s approval), we arranged a meeting with the doggie day care management to explain how to address her behaviour at the centre. In no time Lucy was their favourite guest.

Footnote: Many humans will tolerate behaviour at home because they feel it harms no one. They do not see how allowing their dog to get away with behaving badly in the home, can be detrimental to their well-being psychologically.

A dog that has no leadership or direction is going to feel vulnerable and will want to act out.

All dogs, regardless of their breed or mixed heritage, need education and leadership to keep them healthy and happy.

Yorkshire Terrier


Everyday Illnesses and Injuries

Your Yorkshire Terrier’s health concerns will change over the course of their life. A puppy might be more prone to a leg fracture while they’re still developing, a 2-year-old Yorkie may be more likely to show signs of dental disease, and a senior Yorkie is far more likely to develop arthritis as they age. Yorkshire Terriers also have personality and physical traits that may make them more prone to certain conditions—a bold Yorkie that leaps off the couch or porch to run around the yard may be more prone to rupturing their knee ligament.

If you are ever concerned about your dog’s health, your local veterinarian is a great resource—no matter how small the question.

At any stage of life, here are some of the most common injuries and illnesses you should be aware of when bringing home a Yorkshire Terrier:

  • Allergies
  • Dental Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Eye Problems
  • Diabetes
  • Luxating patella
  • Masses

Genetic Health Concerns

Like many popular breeds, the Yorkshire Terrier has its fair share of hereditary based issues, like luxating patella. Most reputable breeders now have their breeding stock checked and scored for these hereditary ailments by a vet. You can request proof that the puppy you are purchasing comes from parents that have been checked for these issues.

Because many other health issues are also hereditary, you should do some research on the ancestry of your puppy and any health issues of that particular breed.

Many rescue organisations also check for common-ailments before making them available for adoption.

Yorkshire Terrier


If you feel you can train your own dog, you need to be mindful, that any type of training you wish to undertake, you need patience, direction and know-how.

We speak to many dog parents who wish they had done more research before selecting a training regime, as many people don’t research the methods available to them and start their dogs on the wrong track.

Just focusing on obedience training for example, is not always the answer, especially if you have behavioural issues. A dog with behavioural issues will need expertise and know-how or a dog’s behaviour can worsen.

We speak to many people who tell us that they started a training regime, only to find that this made their dog’s behaviour worse and compacted the issues or they were told that their dog was beyond help.

There is no dog beyond help!

For example:

When a young puppy comes to live with humans, it has come from a strong cohesive family group, a pack if you like.

Their mother has educated her puppies in the way of the dog. She is not teaching them the way of the human or how humans think and react because that will come from their new human family.

Bark Busters believes that dogs are predisposed and hard-wired at birth to want to belong to a social group that has a strong leader at its core. It’s what makes them feel secure, safe in their environment, and less anxious, knowing that their needs are going to be met.

There are several different types of dog training available, such as treat training or clicker training as well as other types that use force or pain.

Bark Busters training employs ‘communication’, praise and body language, aimed at emulating the way dogs naturally communicate. We speak to dogs in a way they understand and they respond quickly. We train in the home and we teach owners how to ‘train their dog’s brain’ and to look for comprehension, cooperation and understanding from their dog. Why in home? Because this is where most problems occur, where a dog is most comfortable and able to focus.

We believe that hands should only be used to pet and praise the dog and that no dog should ever fear being touched by their owner’s hands.

Treats might be one way to make the experience a pleasant one and might achieve that goal, but many dogs either come and take the treat and run off or they don’t care because they are not hungry and their human’s requests are ignored.

Many tell us that they love what we do and are pleased that it does not need to involve the use of treats as they hate the thought of having to carry a pocket-full of treats.

Either way, the treats have their limitations and that type of training does not offer the complete answer for all dogs. Some doggie parents are sick and tired of carrying pockets full of treats in order to get their dog to comply with their wishes.

They prefer to be able to utter a few simple commands and have their dog stop in its tracks, return to them and actually love them for who they are, not what they are holding in their hand.

Bark Busters training is the right fit for an energetic breed like the Yorkshire Terrier.

Bark Busters dog training explains how to communicate with your dog in their language. Dogs can’t speak English -- dogs only speak dog language. Bark Busters training is based on trust, respect and forming a strong bond between a dog and human. By using voice tones and body language, you will have a well-trained dog in no time. Most pet parents see amazing results after the first lesson.

Come When Called

When we identify issues with recall or a dog that refuses to return when requested, we invariably see situations where the human has sent the wrong messages to their dog.

The most common mistake is when people call their dog using only their name. They generally demand that their dog return, using harsh voice commands, which frighten the dog or they try to grab their dog’s collar or tackle their dog out of frustration.

If you want your dog to “come” when called, negative reinforcement will not work. You have to reassure your dog that it won’t be punished when it does finally arrive. Your dog must feel that it can approach you without fear or concern that you will hurt or harm it when it does.

It is probably not your intention to scare the dog, but is an unforeseen consequence of harsh tones and a lack of understanding of how your dog comprehends your actions.

What we have described above is indicative of how humans discipline children and this we find is common with dog parents. They will either try to reason with their dog or threaten their dog and neither of these approaches work.

When calling your dog, it must first want to be with you, then it must want to stay with you. How you react when your dog approaches will depend on whether they want to stay and spend time.

It is very important to keep the invitation to approach you appealing, in a high-pitched enticing voice, and lower your height. Don’t forget to offer lots of praise when they arrive.

Don’t reach out or try to grab their collar, or try to hold onto them, because this will cause your dog to try and avoid your hands and just want to escape.

Never chase your dog. That will only cause your dog to run away. It is better to run or move backwards, lower your height, or even lay down.

Your dog must be treated as if it’s just done the most amazing thing when it comes to you and if it receives the appropriate reward of praise and kindness, it will always want to repeat that exercise.

Common Behavioural Issues


As we have pointed out, we get lots of calls from the parents of Yorkshire Terriers, as they are prone to barking and controlling their family. They are high on the list of breeds that are barkers and control biters.

They have to know everything that is going on and control the whole household. They want to choose who enters the den and what they do while they are there.

Generally, their size creates more tolerance from their family, but some doggie parents reach their wits end and cannot take it anymore.

Barking in the car, barking at people on bikes, and barking at passers-by, is high on the list of behavioural issues that Bark Busters training addresses with this breed.

Dogs do not have great discerning abilities. They see something whizzing past or hear a noise outside their home and it concerns them. The Yorkie barks to let anyone nearby know this is their territory and that they need to be on their way.

How to Stop Barking at Passers By

You can try limiting your dog’s exposure to windows and limit their access to front door areas, where there is more likelihood of them wanting to protect that area. Things like doggie doors or crates (dens) can assist you to control the barking.

Barking issues should always be addressed when they happen and preferably when your dog is not in an adrenalised state.

To address barking, you must catch your dog in the act and let them know, via communication that what they are doing is wrong.

You should never try to address any behaviour after the fact or try to punish your dog with smacks or threatening behaviour. This will only lead to other unwanted behaviour such as biting or aggression.

How to Stop Barking on the Walk

If you have adequately addressed barking issues indoors with success, you should be able to then transition that control outside. The big difference now will be the fact that your Yorkie will be on a lead and possibly feeling braver since you are along. Dogs also have a natural response known as ‘flight or fight’. When a dog is on a lead, it has no ‘flight’ option. We will qualify that by also saying that we have never seen a Yorkshire Terrier ever run away from a fight.

Using obedience, with commands such as “sit” or “down” while on a walk, only serves to make your dog feel more vulnerable.

When your dog is barking at people or other dogs on the walk, you could try a flick of the lead to indicate to the dog that you are not pleased with his behaviour versus the approaching person or dog.

This might sound like a silly thing to say, but many dogs will increase their aggression if they feel that their human is backing them up. This stems from the human’s inability to correctly relay their feelings to the dog. Remember, your dog does not speak your language, it speaks dog!

You must have effective control in the home first, before you try to control your dog’s behaviour when on the walk.

Selecting the Right Puppy

Puppy Selection

There are many places to acquire a puppy, but the right breeding and temperament are vitally important if you want a hassle-free dog.

First check out the local Breed Specific Rescues, animal welfare shelters, Humane Society, SPCA and RSPCA’s as they have many great dogs looking for homes, who through no fault of their own, have ended up at a rescue or animal shelter.

You won’t know their breeding, but these organisations test their dogs for temperament and soundness and we fully support all the great work they do for animal welfare.

You will also be doing a good deed by giving a needy dog or puppy a forever home. Did you know that approximately 1.4 million companion animals are euthanised each year? When you are at the shelter, try to avoid selecting the fearful or over-zealous puppy, but at the same time, consider that the dog might just be traumatized by their surroundings.

Animal Welfare and Rescues do amazing work in trying to save dogs and match breeds to the right owners.

Many of our Bark Busters trainers volunteer their services at local shelters and rescues to assist in rehabilitating dogs.

If you do choose to go to a breeder, then try to view both parents to determine the puppies’ personality and to observe any behavioural issues they might have.

View the interaction of the pups with each other and their reaction to visitors, as that will tell you a lot about their personality and temperament. Avoid the bullies or assertive types if you want a dog that is going to have an easy-going personality.

Here are some guidelines for selecting a puppy. Choose one that:

  • Displays no aggression or fear
  • Does not bite your fingers
  • Sits calmly in your arms
  • Does not bark at you or any external noises
  • Does not try to run away from you
  • Looks healthy, has clear eyes and a glossy coat
  • Suits your personality and lifestyle
  • Can be easily housetrained (pet shop puppies or puppy farm puppies are not easily toilet trained, see Toilet Training this article)
  • Matches your family’s energy levels

Select the Right Puppy-One that Suits Your Lifestyle

If you do choose to go to a breeder, then try to view both parents to determine the puppies’ personality and to observe any behavioural issues they might have.

View the interaction of the pups with each other and their reaction to visitors, as that will tell you a lot about their personality and temperament. Avoid the bullies or assertive types if you want a dog that is going to have an easy-going personality.

Tips for Bringing a New Puppy Home

  • Do not bring a puppy home before it has reached 8 weeks of age. Any earlier and they will miss out on much needed bonding with other pups and their mother.
  • Bring your puppy home early in the day, allowing time for your puppy to settle into its new home.
  • Try and bring some bedding with the scent of the mother dog, scent of other litter mates, or a familiar scent.
  • Be sure that you know where your puppy will sleep and introduce your puppy to this area during meal times.
  • If you have to lock your puppy up, make sure you address any barking, while hidden close by, without returning to the puppy. This will only encourage more barking. Puppies do better if they know you are there nearby and have not deserted them.
  • Make sure you have the same diet your puppy was being fed on. Any diet change must be a gradual one.
  • Ensure that you puppy proof your house and place all electrical cables and poisonous chemicals etc. out of harm’s way.
  • Make sure you provide lots of bathroom breaks.
  • Take your puppy to the bathroom at least 4 times per day: after sleeping, eating, drinking and any exuberant exercise.

Toilet Training

Without a doubt, toilet training a puppy has its challenges and can try your patience. You need to be observant and begin as soon as the puppy is home with you. Bark Busters will make sure the process is not stressful for you or your puppy!

When puppies are first born, they relieve themselves in their den but their mother is there to clean them. Therefore, there is no scent of urine or feces where the puppies eat, sleep and play. As they get slightly older, they learn to imitate the mother when she goes outside. This way the puppy becomes conditioned to never eliminate in their dens. If you are crate training, you will find that puppies will avoid toileting in their crate at all cost!

Knowing when your puppy is likely to relieve themselves by reading their body language is the key to success.

There are mainly six times a day when a puppy should be taken outside for up to 20 minutes to toilet:

  • Before going to bed for the night.
  • As soon as he wakes up.
  • After a nap during the day.
  • After eating.
  • After exuberant play.
  • After an outing.

Have you ever taken your puppy outside for a walk only to find him relieving himself as soon as he gets back indoors? To avoid this, walk the puppy directly to the area you have designated him to toilet. Stand still and stay with him, so the puppy no longer shows interest in you. Do not sit down as this will only encourage the pup to jump on you and forget what he is out there for. Praise him if he performs. NEVER scold or rub his nose in any mistakes as this will teach your puppy to move out of sight or wait until you are not watching!

Your puppy does not possess human logic, but will begin to form good habits through structured routines. Positive reinforcement when he does the right thing in the right place is the best and quickest toilet training method.

Crate Training

One of a dog’s basic needs is for shelter, its own space or den. We know that many dogs live indoors with their human family and so they have shelter from the extremes of heat or cold, or from wet weather. Having your dog living indoors also means that they are part of your family unit and addresses their fundamental need to be part of a pack.

However, very often dogs need a little extra in terms of shelter. At the very least, most dogs like to have their own bed where they can retire to and know that they won’t be disturbed. Some dogs appreciate something more than this; they like a small dark space to go to where they feel safe. This is where a crate can be useful and fills a dog’s need to have its own den. It also assists in the management of young dogs who are destructive or fearful of storms and fireworks etc.

By providing a crate, making it comfortable and cosy inside, and covering it with a blanket, you are giving your dog a dedicated small space. This is a space just for your dog, where he can feel safe and he doesn't have to share it with a human.

How to select the right crate for your dog

Many dogs love a crate and will naturally seek it out. You will need to source one that is small enough to be cosy, but large enough for them to stand and turn around. If your dog’s precious toys are also in the crate, then this only adds to the feeling of security. Some dogs may be unsure at first so choose somewhere to set up the crate in the house that is accessible but not too busy, and leave the door open so that your dog can enter and exit as often as he wishes. Every time he enters, you can introduce a phrase such as ‘go to your bed’, and praise / reward him once he is in. Allow him to come out, and repeat the exercise until he is confident and comfortable about this new ‘den’. You could try to introduce the crate at feeding times and feed your dog in the crate. This will help to create a positive association with the crate and it will let your dog know that he can eat undisturbed by other pets or children.

Only when your dog is happy to enter and remain in the crate, can you start to close the door for short periods. You should never close the door if your dog is getting stressed. He needs to feel comfortable with the crate first. You can close the door for short times when you are eating or, especially if introducing a crate to a puppy, whenever he is having a nap during the day. Gently place him in the crate and close the door. Your dog will soon become confident that he is safe and that you will be available to release him when he is ready. You can gradually increase the length of time to wait before releasing him.

It is worth remembering, however, that not all dogs like crates. You need to stick to your training plan whilst your dog becomes accustomed to the crate, but if your dog panics he could harm himself. Open the door and let him out and go back to having the crate door open for a while longer. We don’t recommend forcing your dog into a crate that he is clearly uncomfortable with…some dogs may never take to it.

Never leave a dog unattended in a crate for long or extended hours, this is unfair and could lead to barking or toileting issues.

Properly managed, crates can assist with toilet training and dogs love them if they are covered and initially left open as they are den like.

Your Yorkshire Terrier Has

Four Basic Needs


Select the right diet for your dog, one that fulfills all of your dog’s nutritional needs. You will need a diet that can provide all of the energy that an active Yorkie requires to keep it’s coat gleaming and in good health - do your own research on what diet is best for your dog. Some veterinarians will recommend an all raw diet while others want you to stay with grain-free foods.


Your dog needs a place to call its own, a bed of its own or a place where it can feel safe such as a den-like crate that is warm and cosy.


You want to establish yourself as the “Leader of the pack” so the dog doesn’t feel he needs to be. Your dog’s sense of security will come from you. You need to make sure you provide education and guidance for your dog, based on patience, understanding and communication.


A bored dog is a mischievous dog. Your dog needs to be entertained to reduce boredom. Toys and activities are essential to keeping your dog stimulated and busy and to ensure that your dog is less destructive. Bored dogs will get in trouble! Rotate your dog’s toys so he doesn’t get bored.

Games to Play

What are the right games, you might ask?

Don't play any games that involve the use of your hands. This only encourages biting.

"Tug of War" is okay and playing ball is good, provided your dog is not the type that gets fixated on the ball and refuses to stop playing when requested. Hide and seek is a great game too. These are games where you hide things from your dog: toys or a tennis ball or treats and then encourage them to find them. You can increase the degree of difficulty as your dog gets better at the game.

Start out where your dog sees you hide the item, then repeat over and over, ‘Find or Seek’ are good commands for this exercise.

Remember to give a lot of praise when they find it. These types of games are more calming for your Yorkie, than those type of games that encourage your dog to become over-excited or teaches them to bark or bite hands.

Child’s Play

Yorkshire Terriers are not typically tolerant of young children so they need to be controlled when around babies or toddlers or they might nip at them. They are highly intelligent and do learn quickly, so spend time educating them as to what is good and what is not. If you are patient and understanding of their capabilities, you will be able to enjoy many great times as a family with your dog. Never leave any dog alone with children regardless of the breed, size or personality.

Interactive Play

Bark Busters has the ultimate toy for all dogs that provides dogs with several options. It’s an interactive puzzle toy that delivers a treat. It’s a chew toy that they can carry around and take to their bed. They can’t rip it apart like many “stuffed” toys. It’s a workout toy, that they flip over with their nose and scratch at with their paws. It will possibly be your dog’s favourite toy. The GameChanger® comes in four vibrant colours and will give your dog hours of fun and mental stimulation.

Lost Dog


Helps Reunite You and Your Dog

There is nothing more upsetting than losing your dog – the trauma is unbearable. To help lost dogs and their humans become reunited, we have created the WaggTagg™ by Bark Busters.

This pet identification tag is free to all Bark Busters clients and this brightly coloured tag cannot be missed by the finder. The finder simply needs to scan the tag, which sends a text message directly to the dog owner and several other nominated people. One of your contacts could be your vet for cases where your dog might have a medical condition. The tag will not reveal any sensitive information to the finder because it protects the dog owner’s privacy.

No renewal fees

Once your dog is registered in the WaggTagg™ data base, it is there forever and you won’t pay any renewal fees. No “chip” reader necessary!

Dogs are reunited quickly with their family

We have several success stories where dogs were reunited with their owners before their owners knew that their dog was missing.


Many dog owners and walking enthusiasts are constantly searching for the ‘’holy grail’ of the ultimate dog walking equipment. With this in mind, the Directors of Bark Busters -- Sylvia and Danny Wilson -- set about designing what they believe to be the best walking harness available. They have tested hundreds of walking devices over the years and have found that none of these came close to being the ‘holy grail’ of walking devices.

WaggWalker® Take the lead and get tails wagging

Although they will readily admit that their harness is not for every dog, they are finding that 95% of dogs that use the WaggWalker harness, report that it is a Game Changer and works towards stopping dogs pulling on the lead.

The harness uses ‘operant conditioning’ via sound to communicate to the dog (the sound the chain makes when it is clicked and released quickly) that it is out of the desired walking position.

The harness comes in 6 sizes and is suitable for dogs 6 months and older.

Yorkshire Terriers and

Dog Parks

With today's dog owners having such busy lifestyles, more and more dog owners are turning to dog parks as a way of socialising and exercising their dogs. While this is great fun for most dogs and dog owners, not every dog will do well in this environment.

Yorkshire Terriers like to take on all comers and want to be the boss of the park, which can cause issues. They are high energy and can be quite controlling. This can lead to fights.

If you are determined you want to take your dog to a dog park, it is best to research a park where they match the size of the dogs.

Any fight where a Yorkie is involved is going to have a bad outcome, as they will usually be the smallest dog in the fight. Their risk of serious, life threatening injuries are high.

Because the dogs at dog parks have no prior relationship and are in a highly adrenalised state in a highly stressed environment, fights invariably break out.

The best way to prevent this behaviuor is to be sure you have strong voice control over your dog in low, medium and high level distraction environments before attempting to visit a dog park. Try visiting the dog park in off peak hours and practice gaining focus from your dog before you allow him to run off and play.

All dogs do better in a dog park environment if they are over 12 months of age.

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