A lot of Yorkie owners know the signs — sticky terriers that follow you everywhere, scratch at the door or window when you leave, and bark non-stop until you reappear.
If so, it’s probably just a case of Yorkie separation anxiety.
Yorkies can become very closely attached to their human family members. And while this bond can be wonderful, it can also become a problem if separation anxiety leads to destructive behavior when you’re away from home. Shoe chewing, and constant whining are often the result when a dog is anxious about being home alone.
How to nip separation anxiety in the bud
For starters, try not to cure your dog’s anxiety problem by giving him even more attention because you’ll only create a vicious cycle of dependence. If your Yorkie is still a puppy, crate training is an excellent way to build independent behavior (terriers like the security of this “den”). You can also plan short trips that allow your dog to gradually adjust to being alone. If your dog seems comfortable after half-hour departures, and exhibits no anxious behavior, increase your time away.
Here are a few other tips for breaking the attachment cycle:
• Play, pet and cuddle with your Yorkie when you want, not when he asks. Interactions with your Yorkie should be on your terms, not his.
• Keep your dog busy when you’re gone. Burying toys and hiding treats where he can find and “dig” them up will help occupy him. Keeping a TV on can also provide “company” for your Yorkie.
• Remember, a tired dog is a happy dog. Your lap is cozy, but laps around the yard are more likely to leave your Yorkie ready for a nap when you’re not around.