Crate training your Yorkie gives her a safe place to hang out when she's unsupervised. She may misunderstand your intentions at first, though, and whine or cry in the crate. Ignoring the complaining will eventually put an end to it, but fortunately you can make the process a bit easier.
Ignore the whining, crying, barking, and screaming completely. Don't talk to your Yorkie, let her out of the kennel, yell at her, or interact with her in any way. Even negative attention is attention. Complaining that isn't being rewarded with attention will, with time, disappear completely.
Pick up all water and food three to five hours before bedtime. Your seven-pound terrier has a tiny bladder and if she drinks too much water or has a snack before bed, she's far more likely to need to go out in the middle of the night. By giving her enough time to digest everything she eats or drinks before bed, you can be assured she doesn't need to go out and you can ignore her complaining without guilt.
Take your Yorkie out just before you put her in her crate for bed. Give her ample opportunity to do her business and blow off a little steam.
Cover your pup's crate with a blanket. Yorkies are known for being inquisitive, social little guys and if your pooch fears she's missing out on something, she may loudly complain about it. Use a somewhat heavy blanket so she can't pull it in through the bars of her crate—but not such a heavy one that she doesn't get enough air, of course.
Provide a small bone or chew toy so your dog can entertain herself until she's ready to go to sleep. Consider playing some soft music for her as well. Classical music in particular has been shown to calm anxiety and reduce loneliness in crated dogs.
Leave her in the crate all night long. Puppies and dogs older than 6 months can easily hold it throughout the night. Younger puppies need a scheduled short potty break in the middle of the night and then they need to be promptly returned to their kennel without fanfare.
Open the crate door only when your Yorkie is calm, quiet and not freaking out. The door opening is the reward for your critter's calm behavior, so be ready to open the door quickly in the instant she stops complaining at the top of her lungs.
- Use earplugs to help you ignore the noise if you must. Typically the whining goes away within a week.
- Feed your Yorkie in her kennel to foster good feelings about being in her crate.
Since 2001, Kea Grace has published in "Dog Fancy," "Clean Run," "Front and Finish" and an international Czechoslovakian agility enthusiast magazine. Grace is the head trainer for Gimme Grace Dog Training and holds her CPDT-KA and CTDI certifications. She is a member of the APDT and is a recognized CLASS instructor. She's seeking German certification from the Goethe Institut.