Crate training your Yorkshire terrier is neither punishment nor cruel. The crates provide the Yorkies with a safe place to retreat to and curl up, adjust to new surroundings, sleep, a place to escape confusion, and give the dog a sense of security when left home alone. To many Yorkies, a crate is their own indoor house. For a Yorkie owner, confining their puppy to a crate is a great housetraining aid that gives them peace of mind when sleeping or away. The owner knows their puppy cannot destroy or chew anything such as the furniture, form destructive habits, hurt itself, or end up in a dangerous situation, which could injure the Yorkie puppy. It also helps to speed up housebreaking the puppy. You should never use a crate for punishment or as a replacement for human companionship but as a place for your Yorkshire terrier to feel safe and secure.
A wire dog crate provides your Yorkie with maximum security, ventilation, and portability. Many fold down or collapse so they are easy to store and their openness makes them easy to clean. Purchase a crate that is large enough for your Yorkie puppy to turn around, stand up, lie down and stretch out when fully grown or approximately one and a half times the size of an adult Yorkshire terrier. If the crate is too large, your puppy may pick one corner to use as a toilet area and sleep in the other corner. There are crate partitions available that you move as the puppy grows. Put some washable, soft bedding in the bottom of the crate to make it comfortable and warm. Never punish your puppy if it eliminates in its crate as accidents do happen occasionally. Remember that young puppies have very small bladder capacities. Never put your puppy in the crate with a dog collar on, as there is always a possibility of it catching on the cage and choking or trapping your pet.
Your Yorkie puppy should rest or sleep in its crate from the start and will naturally begin to seek safety and security there when he wants to be alone or is sleepy. Put the crate in an area such as the kitchen, family room, or bedroom, where the puppy is not completely isolated from the family. When introducing the puppy to its new crate or 'home', take it slowly and never force your Yorkie into it, as this could frighten the dog. Instead, try either tossing a treat or toy into the crate to get the puppy used to going inside or try coaxing it with bits of food. The puppy may be hesitant at first but keep encouraging him and be sure to make a fuss and praise him when he does go into the crate. It will not be long before your Yorkie puppy is comfortable walking in and out. Next, start putting your Yorkie puppy into the crate for a very short length of time and leave the room. Slowly increase the length of time but be sure to give him a few safe toys to play with and water. Keep your puppy crated all night and do not feed or give them water late in the evening. Some people move the crate to their bedroom at night, so the puppy is not lonely and they hear him if he needs to go out. If your puppy starts getting restless or whimpering during the night, take him outside to go potty.