How long can a Yorkie stay home alone?
Many of have a job and spend many hours away from home. We get fears and doubts “Can I leave my Yorkie at home alone?” “How many hours can I leave my dog at home without me?” I bet that you’ve heard that Yorkies can’t stay alone for a long period of time. They easily become depressed and suffer from separation anxiety. Sometimes Yorkies become nervous, but nervousness is an individual behaviour and not a characteristic of the breed. So, are you wondering how long can a Yorkie stay home alone? In general, the number of hours that a dog can stay home alone will depend on many factors, such as the character of the dog, if it is used to being alone or not.
Yorkshire Terriers can’t stay alone for the long period of time. Adult Yorkies (over 18 months) can be left alone 4-6 hours a day, while puppies (up to 18 months) can be left alone no longer than 2-3 hours a day!
Remember at all times that our Yorkshire Terriers are social animals like us. Both species, dog and human, have evolved into social groups. That is why it’s common to see some dogs that don’t tolerate the fact of being isolated, locked up at home or waiting alone for extended periods.
It is normal that in the first few times you leave your Yorkie alone he is confused, lost, and even scared. But, that does not take away the desire to go out for a while. Good thing is, your dog can learn to stay alone.
The age of the dog is key to being able to leave it at home alone several hours in a row. A dog older than one year can stand hours of solitude at home better than puppies. However, you should not abuse it.
Sometimes Yorkies get so stressed that they’ll bark all the time, do damage, scratch doors, bite furniture, and leave their drool all over the house. This is the price you pay for leaving them alone… Worse than that, being left alone for a long period of time can change your dog’s character.
How long can a Yorkie pup be left alone at home?
Puppies require more care and attention in all areas of life. Yorkie puppies should not be left alone at home for a longer than 2-3 hours period. If your puppy is already quite grown and knows how to pee outside without problems, you can leave it up to 5 hours maximum. Not only because of peeing or pooping, but also because of separation anxiety. Yorkie puppies are very affectionate and dependant on you, so they undergo a lot of stress when left alone.
And overall it’s not right to leave a very young puppy many hours alone at home. He just have been recently separated from his mother and now you are the only person that he can rely on. Now, you are his mother and his only love. If it happens that you have to leave him, try to visit every 4 hours or tell a family member to do so. If you really want, you will find a solution!
What happens if I leave my dog alone at home 8 hours or more?
A Yorkshire Terrier that habitually spends periods of more than 8 hours alone at home can develop behaviour problems, stress, anxiety, or depression.
Probably depression is one the most serious problems among Yorkies. If you leave your yorkie alone for a long periods of time you should watch carefully if he has any behavioral changes. Signs that your Yorkie might have a depression:
- Changes in sleeping habits: your yorkie might sleep all the time when you leave him alone. That’s exactly what my Yorkie does. It’s completely normal, because he probably feels bored. There is nothing to do without you and it’s the best time to rest before you come back. However, if your dog still sleeps when you come back it can be a sign of depression.
- Appetite changes: your yorkie might start eating less or not eating at all. Try to change the food or give some treats before making any conclusions.
- Weight loss: this is more a consequence of appetite changes. If your dog doesn’t eat or eat less he will start to lose weight. Yorkies are small and it’s pretty hard to spot any changes in weight.
- Loss of interest: if your Yorkie Terrier is no longer excited to go for a walk and don’t want to play with his favorite toy it can be a sign of depression.
Even if you see any of these signs it’s not necessarily a depression. However, I would still suggest you visiting your vet.
My own example
I have a yorkie who is 5 years old and I should say that he is really spoiled! I never leave him home alone for a longer period than 3-5 hours!
I work from home, so this is how I can allow myself to be always together. However, the main reason why I don’t leave him alone is because he becomes really depressed. I know that it could be the consequence of not training him to be alone. When I leave him alone, he sleeps and doesn’t go anywhere. Literally, anywhere! He doesn’t go to drink, he doesn’t go to eat and I’m not even talking about playing…
What if I must leave my dog alone at home for 8 hours (or more) every day?
I know that you are busy and I know that you have a job. It’s impossible to be at home everytime and it’s illogical to be at home only because of your dog. Everyone must be responsible for their decisions and be realistic with their lifestyle.
However, if you are a super busy person or you always work a thousand hours a day outside the house, maybe you should re-think your idea of having a dog. Or maybe you can take your Yorkie with you?
I won’t tell you to never have a dog, but maybe you should wait until you have more availability and time for it. Wait until you find your love, or when you have kids.
By the way, check my article about yorkies and kids.
If you know that you’ll have to leave your Yorkie alone for a longer period of time, you can prepare for it in advance. What I usually do, I have a really long walk right before leaving and I do this for two main reasons:
1) I know that my dog is fine without peeing & pooping.
2) He stays more calm while I’m away.
In addition to this, I leave all his favorite toys and something to chew. Also, I make sure that he has something to eat and drink. If you do all these steps, I think your Yorkie should be fine.
How to train my Yorkie so he can be alone at home?
Being a little more objective, at some point, our Yorkie will be left alone at home because we work or have activities outside the house and we cannot include it in them.
The objective of learning to leave our dog alone is to reduce the level of anxiety that this may cause, both positively and negatively.
That is, we will prevent our dog from doing damage or behave in a bad way.
We must teach our puppies to remain calm, to recognize that there will be times when they should be left alone at home.
How do you do it?
It is simple: we just have to teach our dogs certain situations that lead him to understand the process of staying alone, following practices that must be constant.
Here I leave you some small tips that will be helpful. At least they have served me.
- Try to act in a neutral, unhurried, and calm way before leaving home and after returning. Controlling the way you go out and get home can help your puppy get peace of mind before these events.
- Make sure it has its personal space well defined, there should be its bed and some toys, but more than anything, that place should provide a sense of tranquility so it can rest and relax in that space.
- There are areas within the house that need to be delimited, for safety and well-being of you and your Yorkie, such as: the bathroom, the kitchen, your room, and the balcony. Make sure to limit its access before leaving.
- Prepare interactive toys for it before you leave, so it doesn’t feel bored.
- Accustom your puppy to the stimuli that represent you leaving. The keys, bag, backpack, sweater, jacket, and more than a thousand movements which can indicate your dog that you are about to leave the house.
- Last but not least, reduce his dependency to you.