How Much Exercise does a Yorkshire Terrier Need?

The Yorkshire Terrier might be a little dog, and by many it is considered to be a lap dog. But don’t be fooled, they are spirited pups, with a hunting instinct too. And they will require you to get out and moving with them, to keep them happy, healthy and just perfect.

But just how much exercise do they need, and what should you be doing…..

Yorkshire Terrier Exercise Basics

Exercising a Yorkie Puppy

The key phrase here is moderate exercise.

While your puppy is young, say up to 18 months of age, their bones are growing, and should not be put under any unnecessary strain. So moderate length walks of around 20 minutes, twice a day is ideal. With a little running, and a little play, it is perfect to keep them happy, help muscles grow, while protecting those growing bones.

No long hikes, or constant climbing of stairs for a young Yorkie!

Exercising an Adult Yorkie

Taking two walks per day is the perfect amount for an average Yorkshire Terrier, it certainly shouldn’t be less than this. Ideally one walk in the morning, and one in the evening, both around 30 minutes in length.

It is key, when going for walks, that you go at a steady pace, but not so fast that your Yorkie is breathing heavily. Remember they do have little legs, and a fast pace can be hard for them to keep up with.

And you don’t have to feel limited to 1 hour per day. The Yorkshire Terrier is more energetic than the average small breed, and longer walks, and even hikes can be good for most adult Yorkies. But realistically no more than once per week.

Cardio exercise – These 2 walks per day are just the minimum your Yorkie needs. They also need short but more intense bursts of activity, to keep them fit. Playtime, with activities such as running after a ball, for 5 or 10 minutes daily, is perfect.

Automatic dog ball launching machines are the best to play the fetch games and make your Yorkie run and have fun.

Fun exercise – Nothing will encourage your Yorkshire Terrier to do exercise more, than to make it enjoyable. Including activities like playing frisbee, tackling an agility course, or doing hide and seek can be great fun, and greatly beneficial. The latter can especially work, with the Yorkies inherent hunting instinct.

The Benefits of Properly Exercising your Yorkshire Terrier

There are so many positives to good exercise, both for your Yorkie and for you! All sorts of health issues can be avoided, and happiness come about by doing that little bit of exercise every day, as it…

  • Keeps their muscles well maintained and healthy.
  • Good for maintaining heart health.
  • Works to keep their metabolism working properly.
  • Can help ensure your Yorkie sleeps well.
  • It helps a Yorkie release the pent-up energy that may otherwise flow out in a negative way (excessive barking, destructive chewing, etc.) – this is especially true of puppies.
  • Helps with both socializing your Yorkie (with other dogs, people, places, etc.), and can be effectively used for training (such as learning to stop, start, sit, heel etc).
  • Stimulation – keeps your Yorkie from getting bored, and is good for their mental health.
  • Is great for bonding between you and your Yorkie.

Top Tips for Yorkie Exercise

  1. Here’s a big one! Use a harness. Yorkies are little, and so are their throats. It is best not to be putting any strain on their windpipe, and the best way to do this is to us a harness when walking.

2. Be alert, because your Yorkie will be! We mentioned before how they have a hunting instinct, it is one of the reasons the Yorkshire Terrier was bred in the first place. Your Yorkie will like to chase anything small that moves, whether cats, squirrels, or mice.

3. You can make adjustments. No one size fits all, and every Yorkshire Terrier has slightly different exercise needs. If your Yorkie is overly tired, panting or even limping – then lessen the amount of exercise immediately. But if they are overly barky, bouncy, or even destructive, then you can increase the amount of exercise too.

4. When going for a walk, it is good to go to an area where your Yorkie can be safely let off the leash, such as a dog park. This allows them a chance to walk free a little and explore too.

So it really isn’t too hard or demanding to exercise your pup after purchasing a Yorkshire Terrier. But it is still crucial. By doing a little walking, playing and running each day, your Yorkshire Terrier can keep healthy, both in mind and body.

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