Leaving your Yorkie home alone is something you never want to do, but often have to. This article focuses on how Yorkies cope with being left alone, how long is too long, and some neat little tricks to keep your Yorkie happy and calm while alone.
Adult Yorkies over 18 months old can be left alone for around 4-6 hours at a time. Senior Yorkies (over 8 years old) should not be left alone for more than 3-4 hours at a time. And for puppies, it’s even less at around 1-3 hours.
Can Yorkies Be Left Home Alone?
Of course, to some extent, Yorkies can be left home alone. But it goes without saying that no Yorkie actually enjoys being left alone.
Yorkies are highly social and love being around their owners as much as possible. So while they generally can be left alone, it doesn’t mean they cope very well with it. Frequently being left alone can lead to a range of behavioral issues.
How Long Can Yorkies Be Left Alone?
So how long is too long? Let’s discuss the appropriate length of time that Yorkies can be left alone. In general, how long they can stay alone depends on their age.
- Puppy Yorkies (1-2 hours) – Shouldn’t be left home alone at all until at least 2-3 months old. After this only 1 or 2 hours is appropriate.
- Adult Yorkies (4-6 hours) – Adults can be left from 4-6 hours. But keep in mind all Yorkies will have their own tolerance, handling time alone better than others.
- Senior Yorkies (up to 4 hours) – Seniors over 8 years old start becoming more dependant and less tolerable of being left alone, so they shouldn’t be left for more than 4 hours at a time.
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Why Yorkies Shouldn’t Be Left Alone Too Long
While we might think our little furballs are okay when left alone, unfortunately, that’s not always the case, and over time and handful of serious issues can arise.
Being left alone can result in many behavioral and mental issues including stress, anxiety, destructive behavior, aloofness, and disobedience.
Although it’s not guaranteed that any of these will happen, the chances are quite high if a Yorkie is left home alone frequently. And once these issues set in, they can be particularly hard to overcome.
Find Out Your Yorkie’s Tolerance…
It’s important to state that all Yorkies are different, and each will have their own tolerance.
It’s true that some Yorkies will in fact be perfectly fine being left alone for long periods of time, while others may panic relatively quickly.
For this reason, it’s important to observe your Yorkie carefully every time you arrive home. Look for signs of distress, destruction, or overly anxious behavior… It’s worth using this to find out your Yorkie’s tolerance and stick within it.
Signs Your Yorkie Isn’t Coping Well Alone
If you come home to find your Yorkie acting strangely then it’s a good indication that you were gone too long.
Signs to look out for that indicate your Yorkie was alone for too long:
- Destructive behavior and signs of damage/scratching/shredding items
- Overly frantic and anxious body language
- Excessive barking and yapping before or on your arrival
- Constant potty mistakes despite going before you leave
- Other unusual behavior or disobedience after your arrive
Contrary to these signs, if your Yorkie was fine and completely content then you may come home to find no destruction and a Yorkie that’s happy but calm, or perhaps even sleeping still!
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6 Tips To Keep a Yorkie Happy While Alone
Thankfully, there is a range of tips and tricks to keep your Yorkie happy and calm while they are left alone. Check them out below.
1. Exercise before you leave
Be sure to exercise your Yorkie before leaving them alone. This will set them up to nap and sleep for most of the time while you are out.
There’s nothing worse than leaving a dog alone when they still have all of their energy… So be sure to tire them out as much as possible.
2. Hire a dog sitter
Depending on how long you are gone, getting a dog sitter may be the best option. Nothing beats having company, and dog sitting is becoming widely available all over the country.
A quick Google search will bring up reputable services near you. Of course, you can see reviews of the potential dog sitters and see all prices up front. While this is an extra cost, it’s no doubt the best way to keep your Yorkie happy when alone (for those longer periods).
3. Leave a comforter
One way to keep your Yorkie calm is to leave them a comforter with your scent on it. The perfect item is an old sweater or t-shirt (unwashed).
By popping this in their bed before you leave, your smell will remain strong which will help keep your Yorkie reassured. This is an amazing trick and really does work, but this may not be appropriate for Yorkies that shred things!
4. Leave the radio or TV on
It’s true that leaving the radio or TV on for our dogs helps them. It isn’t because our dogs love the sound of the local radio host’s voice! But it’s more to do with drowning out outside noises.
Noises coming from outside can spook and keep our dogs on edge. Whether it’s people, traffic, building works or even other animals, they are all potential triggers preventing your Yorkie from resting peacefully.
5. Provide puzzle toys
Puzzle toys similar to slow feeders work well to keep our pooches occupied while alone. Not only does it actively give them something to do, but it provides valuable mental stimulation, leaving them tired and satisfied…
The classic KONG toy stuffed with peanut butter (and frozen) works amazingly, so too does the Star Mark Bob-A-Lot. They are essentially slow feeders, but are tried and tested to keep dogs occupied for up to an hour!
6. Make them a dedicated space
This may sound a little ambiguous, but it’s a tip a friend taught me and it’s definitely underrated and not talked about enough.
Creating a dedicated space (ideally their crate) that your Yorkie associates with being calm, content, and resting can work wonders.
Putting a little effort up front to positively associate a specific space of the house with resting, being happy, and safe can help your Yorkie relax the moment you are out.
In most cases, this involves making their crate “a happy place”. To do this, you can spend a few weeks giving your Yorkie plenty of toys, praise, and treats while in and around their crate or bed. After some time, your Yorkie will naturally gravitate towards this area when they want to feel comfortable…
Can Yorkies be left alone?
Yes, Yorkies can be left home alone but not all day. Yorkies are very social and generally prefer having company. It’s not advised to leave Yorkies home alone for the entire day
How long can Yorkies be left alone?
Adult Yorkies can be left home alone for around 4-6 hours. Senior Yorkies should not be left alone for more than 4 hours and puppies should not be left alone until 3 months old, and then only 1-3 hours is appropriate.
Can I leave an 8 week old Yorkie alone?
No, Yorkie puppies at 8 weeks old should not be left alone. They will need constant company. Leaving puppies this young alone can cause unwanted behavior and mental problems.
How do I know if I’m leaving my Yorkie alone for too long?
If your Yorkie spends too much time alone, you’ll notice a handful of signs including anxious behavior when you arrive, destruction in the home, disobedience, urination, or excessive barking and yapping.
How long can yorkie puppies be left alone?
Yorkie puppies under 1-year-old should not be left alone for more than a few hours at a time. Really young puppies, like those at 8 weeks old, shouldn’t be left alone at all until they are 12 weeks old and comfortable in their new home.