How to Train a Yorkshire Terrier to do Tricks

Medium
4-12 Weeks
Fun

Introduction

Your Yorkshire Terrier is a fluffy, tiny ball of energy. She loves to be the center of attention so teaching her how to do fun and exciting tricks will give her the means to attract attention from members of your family, guests, and anyone you see along your walks together. 

Yorkshire Terriers are intelligent and playful. If you choose fun tricks to teach your Yorkie, she will likely obey as long as the rewards are enticing and of high-value. You can teach her how to do all kinds of cute things from stand on her hind legs to spinning around or rolling over. Small dogs are great at drawing attention with tricks they can do with their light body weight. Train your Yorkie to be the cutest dog on the block, starting with basic obedience commands and then moving on to fun tricks.

Defining Tasks

Your Yorkie will need to have those basic obedience commands down first. Once she has the basics understood and can do them without pause, it will be time to move on to the fun tricks. You can choose from a variety of tricks for your Yorkie. As you compile your list of good circus tricks, place them in order from easiest to most difficult. Start with the easiest and build on those with the harder tricks as she learns more and more. Remember your little purse dog is intelligent but can tire or bore easily. You’ll have to make her rewards for training well worth her time. Be sure to always give her a treat for doing these fun tricks, even after she has them down like her own one-dog performance, otherwise, she might just stop performing. 

Getting Started

Because your Yorkie is interested in the stakes at hand, she's going to require some delicious treats to learn a new trick. She's also going to want to have fun, so keep your energy high during your training sessions. Her attention span might not be incredibly long, so be sure as you keep these training sessions fairly short yet often enough for her to continue to learn. 

The Basic Commands Method

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Step
1
Know the basics
Make sure your Yorkie knows basic commands. The best way to train her the basics is with a training clicker and incredibly high-value treats such as cheese or meat. Your basic obedience commands are going to be 'sit', 'stay', 'down', 'come', and how to properly walk on a leash or 'heel'.
Step
2
Sit
Use a treat to encourage your Yorkie to sit. You're going to hold it up over her head and just move it slowly behind her head until her chin and nose point up and she's almost forced into a sitting position before she falls over. As soon as she sits, click that training clicker and give her a treat. Be sure to repeat this a lot.
Step
3
Down
Ask your Yorkie to sit, click and treat for hitting this position, then encourage her to lie down by holding a treat out and then moving it towards the floor and away from her body. When she's in a 'down' position, click that training clicker and give her a tasty treat.
Step
4
Leash training
Your little pup is going to need to be trained how to walk while attached to a leash. To do this with a clicker and treats, take your little girl for a walk and click and treat while she behaves on the leash and stays with you. As long as she is not distracted and not pulling on the leash, she should be rewarded for positive behavior.
Step
5
Stay and release
Once your Yorkie understands 'sit' and 'down' you can teach her to 'stay' and 'come' or 'release'. Put her in a 'sit' or 'down' position and give her the click and treat reward. Take a few steps away and say the word "stay". As long as she stays even for a moment, click and reward. Very quickly use another command such as 'come' or 'release' and encourage her to come to you by offering a treat. When she does, click and treat.
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The Fun Tricks Method

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Step
1
Kiss
Your Yorkie puppy loves to lick your face. Any time she licks your face, say the words 'give me a kiss' and give a treat every time she licks your face. Over time, 'give me a kiss' becomes a fun trick your Yorkie can do with anyone.
Step
2
Beg
Have your Yorkie sit and then give her a treat for obeying that command. Once she is sitting, hold a treat just over her head and ask her to 'beg' or to 'say please'. Raise the treat up, encouraging her to lift her front legs up into a begging position. Once she successful, give her the treat. Repeat this several times and she will know how to beg or say please.
Step
3
Speak
Have your Yorkie sit in front of you and show her a treat. When she sees the treat, hide it in your hands and don't let her see it or have it. Be patient and eventually, she will bark. As soon as she barks, say the word "speak" and give her the treat. Repeat this several times so she associates the command 'speak' with her barking.
Step
4
Roll over
Have your Yorkie lie down and then give her a treat. Teach her to roll over by holding the treat on one side of her and moving it slowly to the other side. As her nose follows the treat her little body should follow as well. As soon as she rolls over, say the command "roll over" and "good girl", then give her the treat. This requires lots of practice and repetition.
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5
High five
Have your Yorkie sit and then sit in front of her. Show her a treat and ask her to give you 'five'. Once you ask her to give you five or to give you a 'high five', lift up one of her paws and touch it to your hand. Then give her the treat. After lots of practice, you should be able to just ask her to give you five without lifting her paw for her and have her touch her paw to your hand. Be sure to practice this a lot and reward every time she gives you a high-five.
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The Advanced Tricks Method

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Dance
Once your Yorkie knows basic commands and a couple of fun tricks, she might be enticed to learn some more advanced tricks, such as dancing. Put her in a sitting position and have her beg. Then hold a treat over her head and slowly move the treat in a circle, encouraging her to hop on her back legs in a circle as well. You can give this a command such "spin" or "dance". Be sure to practice a lot and give her treats as she's learning.
Step
2
Hide
Have your Yorkie sit and give her a treat for being a good girl. Take a second treat and hold it up near the side of her nose. You can even give her nose a little tickle. This should make her want to swipe the side of her nose with her paw. As she does this action use the command "hide" and give her a treat. Practice several times using the new command and rewarding her each time she hits it.
Step
3
Wave 'hello'
Before you teach the advanced waving commands, be sure your Yorkie can give you her paw first. Have her sit and hold your hand out as if you're asking for her to give you her paw. When she holds her paw out to shake yours, pull your hand back towards you and say the word "wave" and offer her treat. Repeat this several times using the new command to wave.
Step
4
Twirling
Much like the 'dance' or 'spin' command, you're going to have your Yorkie sit and then get into a 'beg' position. Only this time, hold the treat up a little higher so she's standing upright and have her twirl in one direction and then in the opposite direction by holding the treat over her head and moving it into a circle and the direction you would like her to go. Do this twice, once for each direction and then give her the treat. Practice with the command "twirl" and be sure to reward often.
Step
5
Play dead
Have your Yorkie lie down and offer her a treat for obeying that command. Very gently, roll her to one side and use the command "play dead". Some owners like to pretend to shoot their dogs with their fingers and have this as the command to use. As soon as she's on her side give her a treat and a "good girl" and then practice again. The repetition of the command or the action with her lying down and rolling to her side is the connection she needs to make, so be sure to reward often as she's practicing.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

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