How to Housetrain a Yorkie

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Even if you get a trained Yorkie from a reputable breeder, Yorkshire terriers at their younger age might need more control over their bowels, increasing the chances of potty accidents. Knowing how to housetrain a Yorkie ensures your house or yard remains clean all the time.

How to Housetrain a Yorkie

Toilet training is one of the most important things when upbringing a dog. Although Yorkies are a bit stubborn and might outrightly fail to comply during the training sessions, with consistency and positive reinforcement, they are intelligent and easy to train compared with other large dog breeds.

Brown and black coated Yorkshire terrier puppy sniffing the grass outside the house

The canine’s natural instinct is to walk around the backyard sniffing to get a good spot to take a potty break. However, it can take breaks at different spots every day and soil the entire yard. Depending on your Yorkie’s age and health condition, you can use the following tips to housetrain it.

Designate a Bathroom Area

When house training your Yorkie, the first thing to do is designate an area outside that you want your Yorkie to use for potty breaks. This will enhance consistency and successful training.

Choosing an area at least some feet away from foot traffic is advisable to avoid stepping on dog excrement when strolling outside. The area you choose should also be easily accessible even in bad weather so the dog won’t feel uncomfortable getting to the spot during bad weather.

Schedule Potty Breaks

Keeping in mind that untrained Yorkies are unlikely to let you know that it’s time to go for potty breaks, it’s advisable to set a schedule for specific times to take your Yorkie for potty breaks to avoid accidents. Depending on the feeding patterns of the dog, you should take it to your designated spot:

  • In the morning or after a nap
  • Around 20 minutes after every meal
  • Right after a playing session or exercising
  • Right before bedtime
  • After coming home from work

However, if your Yorkie has an accident before you arrive at your designated spot, it’s clear that you may need to adjust your schedule and let your dog go for breaks a bit earlier next time.

Supervise Your Yorkie

During the house training phase, you should keep your Yorkie under supervision to avoid accidents in the middle of the living room or behind the sofa as you carry out your daily household chores.

A Yorkshire Terrier with black and brown coating pooping in a grass field

Considering that Yorkies are playful and you might not be able to give your dog undivided attention, you can keep it confined in one area by putting it under a lightweight leash not longer than 6 to 9 feet leash.

You should, however, avoid using a collar since Yorkies are prone to a collapsed trachea and are fragile, and a collar can significantly increase the risks.

Set up a Confinement Area

If the Yorkie can’t accompany you when running errands, you can place the dog in a properly sized-playpen. Considering that Yorkies suffer separation anxiety when left alone, choose an area in the room where the dog can see or hear you.

If you are placing the pen on hardwood or carpet, it’s important to lay down a piece of linoleum to serve as a protective base. Provide your Yorkie with a comfy bed, water, food, toys for engagement or teething, and pee pads.

You can also place the pee pads on an empty canine litter box to prevent the Yorkie from moving or chewing them. Considering that Yorkies hardly soil their beddings, the dog may start relieving on the pads.

Give Your Dog a Verbal Command

When taking the dog for breaks, pick and place it on your designated spot without opening the door or letting the dog run outside, as this can hinder the success of the training. Once the dog is on the designated spot, give it a verbal command to relieve itself.

Although it might take a while for the dog to master the word, you should be patient and continue repeating the command during potty until your Yorkie recognizes it.

After some time, the Yorkie might start meandering and sniffing around to locate the potty spot. Usually, this is a sign the dog recognizes the spot. If it misses the spot, pick and place it in the right place, and then repeat the verbal command.

Reward the Dog

Once the dog is relieved, give Yorkie verbal praise or physical touches, such as rubbing the ears or back to signal a job well done. You can also give your Yorkie some high-quality treats to encourage good behavior.

Yorkshire terrier with brown and black coating sitting on a brown wooden floor

Avoid Punishments After Potty Accidents

It’s advisable to be ready for potty accidents and learn to clear the mess without yelling or scolding your Yorkie, as this can make it afraid. Typically, this can cause anxiety and confusion, and you might have to start all over again with the training.

Consider cleaning the mess using strong detergents to eliminate the smell that can make the dog think it is the designated place and go for breaks in the future.

If you find the dog in the middle of the act, it’s advisable to interrupt it by saying no, and then quickly take it to the designated area. You can then use the verbal command to instruct it to pee or poo.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do Yorkies Go Between Potty Breaks?

You should take a Yorkie puppy for potty breaks after every 1-2 hours since their bowel and bladder muscles are still developing. Fully housetrained and healthy adult Yorkie can hold their bladders for up to 6-8 hours. However, it should be at most 10 hours.

How Long Does It Take To Housetrain a Yorkie?

It takes around two to four months for a Yorkshire terrier to grasp the designated areas for breaks. However, your Yorkie can take a few more months to be fully accident-free. Usually, this time varies depending on the training consistency and the dog’s personality.

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to housetrain a Yorkie ensures your house remains clean and odorless, enhancing your peace of mind even when visitors are around. You must be consistent with the training and reward your Yorkie for successful potty breaks.