How to Potty Train a Yorkshire Terrier

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Potty training a Yorkie can be intimidating and will test your patience. It’s hard to do especially if you aren’t following any instructions. Luckily, I’ll show you how to potty train a Yorkshire Terrier so you will have an easier time. 

How to Potty Train a Yorkshire Terrier 

First thing, you have to decide on where your Yorkie should be potty trained. I’ll break down the pros and cons of potty training outside and inside. This will hopefully help you decide which to do first. 

It might also be good to do both if your Yorkie has a lot of freedom and can go from indoors to outdoors. In that way, your Yorkie will know where to relieve wherever it may be. 

Yorkshire Terrier wearing a leash

Indoor or Outdoor Potty Training

The best way to train your Yorkie is to train both indoors and outdoors or to train outdoors only. However, it may be different based on you and your lifestyle. Indoor training might be best for you. In the end, it’s all about personal preference. 

Indoor training is often the right one for you if you live in an apartment or any place where your Yorkie won’t have access to outdoors. It may also be better if you are less inclined to go outdoors. 

Outdoor potty training is a better permanent solution if you have access to the outdoors. You can take your dog out for walks and you don’t have to spend too much on pee pads. 

How to Do Potty Training

If you decided to do potty training outdoors, it’s the best long-term solution. You’ll save from buying extra training pads and setting them up at home. Outdoor potty training is also convenient if you’re out traveling with your Yorkie. 

There are a few steps you can learn how to train your Yorkie to potty outside. You may even need some equipment to make it right. The process is trial and error so you may have to clean up after your Yorkie a lot of time. 

Decide a Potty Area

First, you will need to decide on where your Yorkie should relieve itself outside. Choose an area where people usually don’t walk over. It should also be accessible regardless of weather conditions. Yorkies generally don’t like getting wet. 

Also, keep in mind that while excrements can be used as fertilizers, too much of them may damage your grass or plants. Hence, it’s better to designate a soil area. 

In the end, the area you decided needs to be consistently used as the potty area. Your Yorkie should be able to recognize the area as its place to relieve. 

Prepare for Potty Signs

Another important thing is to know when your Yorkie would likely relieve itself. Yorkies usually relieve themselves after: 

Yorkshire Terrier in a bath tub
  • Playing, eating 
  • Exercising 
  • Waking up after a nap or sleep
  • Before sleeping 

They usually relieve themselves within 15 minutes of doing these activities. If your Yorkie is relieved sooner than you thought, take note of it so you can prepare sooner the next time. 

Confine Your Yorkie in a Safe Place

During the potty training, it’s important that you have constant supervision of your Yorkie. This may take your time, however, it will eventually pay off. To make it easier for you, you can use equipment like 

  • Crate 
  • Tether 
  • Baby gate 
  • Puppy playpen 

Confining your Yorkie in a safe place lessens the mess made all over the house. It also helps keep your Yorkie in place so you can always keep an eye on when they will go soon. 

When you see your Yorkie giving signals it’s about to go like squatting or lifting its leg, interrupt them by saying “No” or clapping your hands to get their attention. Move the Yorkie fast outside to the designated potty area.  

Associate Verbal Command With Potty Training While Outside

Avoid letting your Yorkie move on its own. It will just slow down your training progress. It’s just better to carry your Yorkie towards the designated potty area. Your Yorkie will soon recognize it and will eventually go to the designated area on their own. 

Use a verbal command to reinforce the behavior while they are relieving themselves. Your Yorkie will start to recognize the command and will know where to relieve themselves when given the command. 

Your Yorkie may take some time to relieve themselves so you have to be patient. If your Yorkie goes too far and leaves the designated potty area bring them back to the area and reinforce the verbal command again. 

Positively Reinforce the Deed

If your Yorkie managed to properly relieve itself on the designated potty area, positively reinforce this behavior. You can do this by giving them physical touch like rubbing their back or scratching their ears. 

Yorkshire Terrier on a potty break

You can even reward your Yorkie with treats after the deed. However, make sure that you use small dog treats or it might make your Yorkie overweight because of too much calorie intake. 

Positively reinforcing the behavior and associating it with potty time will make your Yorkie do it again. 

Be Consistent and Patient

The steps mentioned above may sound easy. However, it will take you some time to practice and reinforce the behavior. So always be understanding and patient that your dog is training. 

Scolding your dog won’t do anything productive and may even slow down your potty training. There will always be a mess left behind as you potty train so be extra patient and clean up after your Yorkie. 

If you’re having trouble, maybe it’s time to seek help from a professional dog trainer. A trainer will help you correct what you are doing wrong and change what’s wrong with your potty training routine that will fit your Yorkie’s personality. 

Are Yorkies Easy Train?

Yorkies, in general, are easy to house train compared to some other types of breeds. Yorkies like to please their owner. Therefore, it’s important that you make the necessary preparations and equipment for potty training. 

Are Yorkies Hard to Toilet Train?

When it comes to toilet training, it may be harder much like any dog breed. Hence, it’s important that you have the patience and consistency to train a Yorkie. However, a Yorkie’s loyal and lovely disposition should also help. 

How Long Will It Take To Potty Train a Yorkie?

It may take months to fully potty train your Yorkie. As much as possible, start them when they’re still puppies. It will take you around 4 months to reinforce the behavior. Another 4 months, if you want behavior that doesn’t have any mess or accidents. 


Potty training a Yorkie requires effort, patience, and consistency. It may take months to fully reinforce the behavior. However, once your Yorkie knows where to properly relieve itself, it is so rewarding. Also, you won’t have to clean up after your Yorkie.