The number 1 question a new Yorkie owner always asks is this. Are Yorkies easy to potty train? To that effect, we’re going to use this article to tell you all about Yorkie potty training. We’ll let you know when to start, the most popular techniques, and warn you about the most common pitfalls.
After that, we’ll finish up with some frequently asked questions and you should have all that you need to potty train your Yorkie like a pro!
Without further ado, let’s begin Yorkie Potty Training 101!
Are Yorkies Easy To Potty Train?
The answer is a little yes and a little no. These dogs have their own personalities and this is, of course, a big part of why they are so special. That said, Yorkies are smart and with patience and consistency, you can often teach them well and quickly.
At What Age Are Yorkies Potty Trained?
The best time to begin potty training your Yorkie is between 6 – 8 months of age. Attempting to potty train them before that is quite difficult, as they are little balls of energy that only want to play, play, play! That said, the earlier the better so that they don’t have time to develop any bad habits on their own
How To Potty Train A Yorkie – Crate Training So They Learn To Wait To Potty
Crate training your Yorkie is a good idea for two reasons. First off, it helps to teach your dog not to pee in the house, but rather to wait for you to take them out. Secondly, if your Yorkie likes to be naughty and chew things when you aren’t watching them, then you have a place to put them so that you may safely run errands.
We should note, that if your Yorkie is a puppy, you’re going to need to take them outside quite often. A Yorkie pup has a small bladder and not a lot of control, so as a general rule for every month of age your Yorkie can ‘hold it’ for about an hour. Thus a 3-month-old Yorkie needs to go out every 3 hours.
They also need to go 15 – 20 minutes after every meal.
This is important to know since during the first few months of overnight crating you will need to take them out of the crate, take them outside, and then put them back in.
That said, let’s get to what you will need and how you should go about crate training your terrier.
What You Are Going To Need For Crate Training
First off, you are going to need your crate enclosure. You can purchase ready-made crates, which consist of a wire framework of 4 walls with a gate in the front, or if you have children and have some leftover ‘baby gates’ you can zip-tie them together to create an enclosure that way. What’s important is that it has a door in the front.
You are also going to need the following:
- A food and water bowl
- A blanket for sleep
- A pee-pad for emergencies or a faux-grass patch that is washable
- Some toys that your dog likes to play with or chew on
- A spare blanket or sheet to drape over the back half of the crate
- Lots of doggy treats
Place all of the items except the drape sheet into your crate and then drape the sheet over the back half. The reason for this is that Doggy-moms like to have and keep their puppies in a den, so this tends to make your dog more comfortable with the crate. Speaking of which…
Getting Your Dog Comfortable With The Crate
We want to make sure that your dog doesn’t have any bad associations with the crate, so we’re going to introduce it to your Yorkie quite casually. You’ll want to place the crate in an area where your dog can see you. The living room, for instance, is perfect. You want a place where you are within easy view so that your Yorkie feels reassured.
Leave the gate open and you might even toss the new toys inside casually, after bringing them to your dog’s attention, and for the next few days just leave it at that and let your Yorkie’s curiosity get the best of them.
Feeding Your Dog In The Crate Makes Them More Comfortable With It
Yorkies are smart dogs and yours might well have a very good idea what you are up to with this whole crate business and so they might not have stepped a single foot inside this whole time. We’ll have to step up our game a bit by putting your dog’s food and water inside the crate.
Don’t close the door the first few times but eventually start closing the door after they go in to eat. Watch them eat and when your dog finishes, open up the crate to let them out and give your dog some praise and a treat.
10-30 Minute Crate Sessions
Now it’s time to get your dog used to you being out of sight. Call your dog over and coax them into the crate, promising a treat and giving it to them when they go inside. Close the door and go into another room for just a few minutes, before coming back.
Do this a few times a day, gradually increasing the time until you get to the 30-minute mark. At this point, your Yorkshire is ready for 1 -2 hour errands and for the ‘final exam’.
Final Exam: The Overnight Crate Experience
Your dog is ready for the ‘overnight experience’ and this is gonna be the tough one. Remember that your dog needs to go to the bathroom frequently, so based on how old they are you’ll need to take them out at inappropriate intervals but put them back into the crate when you get back.
Your dog might whine, especially when you leave to go to sleep, but it is important not to indulge them. If you come running every time that they whine, your dog will notice and take advantage of that, so be firm.
Leave a very small amount of water in their bowl for them but not too much, as you don’t want them to need an emergency bathroom break. If they do, the puppy pad or faux grass is there but hopefully, it won’t come to that.
With a bit of practice, your dog will get used to the crate and at this point, congratulations are in order. You’ve successfully crate trained your Yorkie!
How To Potty Train A Yorkie On Puppy Pads
Another indoor option if you don’t like the idea of crates is to train your Yorkie to use puppy pads. This training is useful even if you usually take your Yorkie out, as the weather isn’t always that great and it’s nice to have an indoor option when it’s too nasty for both of you to go outside.
Placing The Puppy Pads
You’ll want to find a convenient corner to place the puppy pads in. This can’t be close to the food, as dogs will not potty close to where they eat. Spread them out to make a good-sized square, preferably on a surface that is easy to clean just in case your dog ‘misses’.
Teaching Your Yorkie What Pads Are For
About 15 – 20 minutes after each feeding you’ll want to call your Yorkie over to the ‘potty corner’ or carry them if coaxing doesn’t work and put them on the pad. Do this consistently after every meal and it’s now time to teach your dog a very useful command.
The Super-useful ‘Potty’ Command
You’re going to need to have a treat ready and it’s time for the waiting game. Tell your dog ‘potty’ and see if you get them to go to the bathroom on the pad. When they do, give them a treat. You can also help them to associate by saying ‘potty’ when they pee outside, also reinforced by a treat.
Repeat the feed-pad-potty process over and over for a week or two until it becomes apparent that your dog ‘knows the drill’.
Praise And Scolding
Remember to give your dog a treat every time that they use the pad, but if they try to go anywhere else you can say a sharp ‘no’ and put them on the pad to do their business. It takes a lot of repetition but the end results are worth it.
The Final Exam
Isolate your Yorkie in a room with some food and water and a ‘puppy pad corner’ to see if they automatically use it. Alternately, you can use your crate if you are doing the crate training. If your dog has any accidents, it’s important to clean the areas thoroughly, as your dog will pee there again from the smell even if there is no puppy pad!
Once your dog is going to the pads on their own then congratulations, your Yorkie has successfully completed their Puppy pad training!
(Curious about how to keep your Yorky’s ears floppy or help them stand up?)
How To Potty Train A Yorkie Outside
Probably the most difficult hurdle with a new puppy is getting them to use the bathroom outside. Thankfully, the difficulty is mostly because of the waiting, but persistence and repetition is going to get the job done. Just be very patient and use the following steps as a guideline and before you know it your furry friend will understand what you want them to do.
Pick A Designated Spot For Going Outside
Pick a spot outside that is away from the house but close enough to be convenient. You also want it to be a place where you won’t mind going when it raining outside or otherwise generally unpleasant. Once you’ve got your spot then you’re ready to start your dog’s new potty schedule.
Design A Potty Schedule
For every month of age your dog can hold it for an hour, so you’ll need to adhere to this schedule and also add in a trip 15 – 20 minutes after every meal. It’s going to be taxing at first, but it’s important that your Yorkie learns that they can wait because you are always going to take them outside before it gets too difficult to wait.
Consistently Take Them To The Same Spot
Every time that you go out for a scheduled potty break, take them to their designated spot. You won’t always have to use this spot but for teaching purposes, consistency is key. Yorkies are smart dogs and yours will quickly figure out that this spot is for potty breaks and after awhile you won’t have to wait so long for them to do their business.
Be Sure To Introduce The ‘Potty’ Command
When you get your dog to the designated area, try saying ‘potty’ a few times in an encouraging tone until they actually do it. This helps to teach them the ‘potty’ command and this can come in useful later so it’s worth the time investment.
After A Successful Potty Then Your Puppy Gets Praise And A Treat
After your Yorkie eliminates then it’s time for a pat on the head and a treat. Always praise your dog after they go and later you can start just patting their head and skipping the treat, so that they don’t expect one every time.
It’s better for their health and for your pocketbook and besides, you don’t want to spoil them on the treats or they’ll get bored of them and they’ll be less motivational.
Once your Yorkshire Terrier is sparing the furniture and going outside instead consistently then congratulations, you’ve successfully outside-trained your Yorkie!
How To Train Your Yorkie With Peace Of Mind:
If you haven’t trained your Yorkie properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!
And in most cases it’s still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your Yorkie completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.
And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!
So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!
(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)
How To Stop A Yorkie From Peeing In The House?
If your Yorkie is peeing in the house but has already done a little potty training then there are a few things that you can do in an effort to stop it. Here are the most common strategies for dealing with ‘unwanted surprises’ from your Yorkie:
- Potty training, take 2 – If your Yorkie is very young, then you might need to reinforce their potty training by giving it a second go. Potty training time varies from dog to dog, as each has its own unique personalities and quirks, so give it a second run and it might stick this time.
- Check for ‘triggers’ – If your dog has gone potty inside then you have to clean the area very thoroughly. If your dog catches even the slightest whiff of a previous bathroom break then they will consider the area fair-game for future potties. Clean the area well and see if this helps.
- Consider spaying or neutering – Spaying or neutering makes your dog less aggressive and less territorial, so spaying or neutering might well help if this behavior is fairly sudden (especially if springtime is in the air).
- Increase the frequency of potty breaks – Don’t forget, every 1 month is one hour of ‘holding it, so you might just need to increase the number of times that you go out in a day. Remember, they have weak bladders until they get older so this is something that you will have to do.
- A vet visit might be in order – In some cases, sudden urination issues could be a warning sign, rather than your dog acting out. If a formerly housetrained Yorkie is suddenly going potty inside then a quick checkup with the vet couldn’t hurt and you might catch a problem early. It’s well worth a visit just to be sure.
- Consider a trainer – Not everyone has a schedule that supports a lot of training and so you always have the option of bringing in a professional. There is a lot to be said for it, as training dogs is definitely a skill that improves with practice, so a trainer might be a sound investment for your Yorkie and for your peace of mind.
What Are Some Common Potty-Training Mistakes?
When you are potty training your Yorkie there are some pitfalls that can be avoided. Let’s take a look at the most common potty-training mistakes that we see all the time. We’ll list them here and expound upon each briefly:
- Leaving your puppy alone for too long – Your puppy needs to be supervised all of the time until they’ve learned to behave in the house. Unsupervised, cord they can develop bad chewing habits and they are going to use the bathroom anywhere they want. Keep an eye on your pup because they need you to teach them the rules of the house.
- Not teaching the ‘potty’ command – The potty command is extremely useful so when your puppy goes on a puppy pad or outside you want to make sure that they associate it with that command. Once your dog knows the word ‘potty’ then they will know what you want and life will be easier for everyone.
- Not following the ‘Same door, same place’ rule – Consistency is key in potty training. Always use the same door going out and always take them to the same place. Using a different door or place is confusing for young pup until they’ve learned what you expect of them when you take them outside.
- Assuming your dog knows not to pee in the house – While we like to humanize our dogs, they are still not human and they don’t necessarily know that making a potty inside is a bad thing. Resist the urge to yell or to ‘rub their nose in it’, because all they will know is that you are mad, they won’t tie it to their bathroom break unless you catch them in the actual act.
- Failing to adhere to your dog’s schedule – 1 month, 1 hour, you know the drill!
- Trying to do everything yourself (when you don’t have to) – If you live alone then you have to train the dog on your own but if this is not the case, get help in keeping with your puppy’s schedule. The required schedule is rough and you’ll be very tired and cranky if you have to do it alone. So, if you have potential help, take advantage and split the workload.
Can You Housebreak A Yorkie In 5 Days?
It is possible but it will depend on your dog and on your ability to be consistent. Take your dog out on bathroom breaks like clockwork and leave from the same door to go to the same designated place. 5-day housebreaking is possible because Yorkies are smart dogs, but usually, it is going to take a much longer time.
How Long Does It Take To Potty Train A Yorkie?
On average, it takes about 4 months to potty train a Yorkie. It will likely be another 4 months after that before the house is completely accident-free. You can minimize this by sticking to your dog’s schedule.
Why Are Yorkies So Hard To Potty Train?
Yorkies can be tricky because of their tiny bladders. They need to go quite frequently and so there is a bit of a learning curve before you’ve got their exact schedule. Get a notepad and mark every time that your dog ‘goes’ the first week and start taking them out on this schedule.
Can You Litter Box Train A Yorkie?
Yes, you can, actually. Set up a litter box and put a very tiny piece of their poo inside. Take them there 15-20 minutes after eating and after a while they’ll start going there on their own. If you have a cat, they’ll hate you this. Fair warning!
Some Final Words On Potty Training Your Yorkie
This concludes the main ‘meat’ of our article on Yorkie potty training procedures. We hope that we have addressed all of your questions and concerns, but just to be extra-thorough we’re going to throw in a quick FAQ below just in case we missed one of your questions. Until next time, we wish you and your sweet Yorkshire Terrier the very best!