It is important to instill good behavior in your Morkie puppy the day you take her home. This is a very intelligent, albeit hyperactive, dog breed. A Morkie, or Maltese-Yorkie mix dog, is eager to please, and will benefit greatly from puppy behavior training. My Morkie, Mila, quickly learned the basic commands, like “sit” and “down”, and she was a breeze to potty train. Here are some Morkie puppy behavior training tips I used with Mila, which might be helpful with your dog, as well.
1. Use positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement uses treats and praise to reward your Morkie puppy for good behavior. Immediately upon bringing Mila home, I brought her to the yard and told her to “go potty”. I kept repeating this command until she went potty, then praised her behavior and rewarded her with a treat (within three seconds, since puppies have short attention spans).
2. Teach puppy sign language while training. While Mila understands the basic commands, they are much more effective when I use gestures, or “puppy sign language”, to reinforce these commands. You can even make up your own sign language for your dog. For example, I point my finger at Mila and lower it toward the ground when I am telling her to sit. When she sees this, I usually don’t even have to verbally command her to sit down.
3. Repeat your command and use your puppy’s name. I have found that it is much more effective to use Mila’s name when giving her a command. I first give her the command, then I say her name to get her attention. Remember, dogs have short attention spans. Then, I repeat the command. “Sit, Mila. Sit.”
4. Use repetition and keep a routine. The only way to teach your Morkie puppy is to continually repeat the behavior training process. Keep training sessions to ten minutes or less, since dogs can lose interest quickly. Also, routines are great for dogs; they will quickly learn what to expect during the day, and when. Mila always knows when it is bedtime, and heads to her kennel after the last potty break of the day.
5. Have lots of patience with your Morkie. It can be frustrating when a puppy doesn’t seem to understand what you want, but they can pick up on your frustrations. So, keep behavior training sessions short and be patient–Mila eventually learns what we are trying to teach her, and your puppy will, too.
More from Tonya:
How to care for your Morkie dog
Is a Morkie puppy the right pet for you?
Morkie puppy potty training tips