Do you need to know how to train a Yorkie to come when called?
Then you’re going to love these proven methods below!
We’ll also go over the top 3 most common dog training mistakes that you might be making.
Just keep on reading.
5 Proven Ways to Train a Yorkie to Come (Plus the Top 5 Mistakes You’re Making)
Look at that glamorous coat, adorable topknot, and expressive eyes! Yorkshire Terriers might be small, but they make up for it with their majestic appearance and temperament.
Don’t let the Yorkie’s tiny size fool you into thinking that you’re dealing with a mellow dog who doesn’t need training.
Fortunately, Yorkies aren’t the worst dogs to train.
They react well to positive reinforcement and are eager to please. You just need the right method.
Why Should You Teach Your Yorkie to Come?
From all the basic commands that all dogs should know, “come” is one of the most vital ones.
You never know when your dog will dash through your legs and escape through the front door.
Recalling can save your Yorkie’s life when they’re headed into danger.
Moreover, Yorkshire Terriers tend to pick fights with dogs twice and thrice their size.
Yorkies don’t realize that they’re small and delicate and might get hurt by large dogs when you go to the dog park.
Adventurous Yorkies also might wander when you let them off-leash.
Without a reliable recall, you might spend hours looking for your Yorkie and wondering if they’re injured.
It’s also no fun chasing after a small, agile dog that thinks you’re playing a game.
Recalling also keeps your Yorkie from going after distractions or prevents them from eating something harmful off the pavement.
How to Train Your Yorkie to Come?
“Come” is slightly tricky to master for some dogs. That’s because your dog has to abandon whatever they’re doing and run back to you.
The secret is to make coming to you more tempting and rewarding to your dog than anything else.
That’s why you need plenty of high-value training treats to create a positive association in your Yorkie’s mind.
Before you begin training, you also should find a quiet, distraction-free area where you can have your Yorkie’s full attention.
#1 The Luring Method
The luring method is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require any special training tools.
All you need is your Yorkie, some treats, a toy, and free time:
- Stand a couple of steps away from your Yorkie.
- Show your dog a treat or a toy and wait for them to take a step towards you.
- When your Yorkie moves in your direction, you praise and reward them.
- After a few repetitions, add your cue word “come” while your Yorkie is coming towards you.
- Keep practicing. You want your Yorkie to start moving in your direction when they hear “come” without seeing the treat.
- When you’ve accomplished the previous steps, you can up the ante. Add distance and distractions to prove the recall.
#2 The “Enthusiastic” Method
Yorkshire Terriers are quite affectionate towards their owners and love cuddle time.
You can use this to train your Yorkie to come:
- Get your Yorkie in the distraction-free area and wait for them to wander a few steps away from you.
- Get low to the ground so that you’re on the same level as your dog.
- Open your arms and say “Come” in an enthusiastic voice. You want your Yorkie to think that it’s cuddle time.
- When your Yorkie comes, you should praise and reward immediately with a treat.
- Wait several minutes and repeat the exercise.
- Keep practicing by adding distance and distraction.
This method also works because many toy dogs feel intimidated by a person towering above them in a serious pose.
#3 The Capture Method
If you’re having trouble luring your Yorkie to come with a treat or a toy, you can capture the behavior.
You can use a clicker or mark with a word or praise:
- Go into a low-distraction room and let your Yorkie wander around.
- Sooner or later, your Yorkie will get bored and come towards you looking for entertainment. Wait for that moment.
- When your dog steps towards you, mark the behavior with the clicker or praise. Reward immediately with a tasty treat.
- Repeat the exercise several times and start adding the verbal cue “come” when your Yorkie starts moving in your direction.
#4 The Find Me Method
Like most dogs, Yorkies love hide-and-seek, and you can use their terrier nature to train your Yorkie to come.
All you have to do is hide somewhere close and call your Yorkie to come to you.
Since your dog can’t see where you are, your Yorkie will be tempted to find and come to you.
When they do, praise your Yorkie and give them a tasty treat.
Repeat this game every day, and soon your Yorkie will connect the word “come” with tasty rewards and come to you.
#5 The Chase Method
Another fun way to train your Yorkie to come involves making your dog chase you:
- Go to your yard or another safe enclosed space since your Yorkie should be off the leash.
- Have a friend hold your Yorkie in their hands.
- Show your Yorkie a favorite toy or a tasty treat, say “come, ”and run away from your pet without looking back.
- Your friend should release the dog to follow you after a second or two.
- When your Yorkie “catches” up with you, you should praise and reward.
- Repeat the game several times a day until your Yorkie comes to you when they hear the cue word.
Common Mistakes When Teaching “Come”
If you’re having trouble teaching your Yorkie to come, you should check if you’re not making any of these common training mistakes.
1. You’ve Poisoned the Recall
Owners often poison the recall command without realizing what they’re doing.
It’s easy to do it when you use “come” for negative experiences or things your Yorkie hates.
Your Yorkie should connect “come” only with pleasant and positive things.
Never call your dog for unpleasant situations. If you’re going to the vet, have to clip your dog’s nail, or bathe them, go and get your Yorkie.
Moreover, avoid repeating “come” over and over again.
Say it once and wait for your dog to react. Otherwise, your dog will tune the repetitive word and play deaf.
If you’ve already poisoned “come,“ choose another cue word and start again.
2. You’re Rushing the Training
If your Yorkie fails to come, it might be because you’re expecting too much, too soon.
Remember that each dog learns at an individual pace, and rushing things will only ruin your progress.
In the beginning, start at a close distance and then slowly increase it.
Give your dog plenty of practice and always increase the difficulty, just a notch.
3. Your Yorkie Is Bored
Dogs don’t have a huge attention span, and they don’t like doing the same thing all day long.
Plan short sessions throughout the day to keep things interesting for your Yorkie and stimulate them to comply.
Moreover, remember to end on a positive. No one likes failure, and Yorkshire Terriers are no exception. You want your dog to look forward to the next training session!
The recall takes time to master. Don’t expect to have a solid response in a couple of days or weeks. Take things slowly and use a lot of positive reinforcement to convince your dog that it’s always better to come when called.