How to Potty Train a Yorkie


Authored by Douglas Mefford in Dogs
Published on 10-26-2009

Being small and extremely affectionate, Yorkshire terriers are great companions for apartment dwellers. As with any dog kept inside, there is the problem of training them to perform bodily functions in the proper place. With the right training, the yorkie will happily oblige in this department. This training could still take a while, as yorkies are not quick learners. Just be patient and constant in your training for the best results and the fewest accidents.

The training method most suggested and approved for potty training your yorkie is known as the “crate” method. This method takes into consideration one of the basic instincts these dogs have. The yorkie is fastidious in not wanting to excrete anywhere near where he sleeps. Since yorkies are small and not able to go long periods of time without a potty break, you will need to block off areas that you cannot easily monitor.

At night, or whenever you cannot keep a close eye on the dog, you will need to keep it in a small crate or cage that gives it just enough room to be comfortable. You should give your yorkie the chance every forty-five minutes to an hour to relieve itself. Be consistent as to which door you take the dog through to go outside and take it to the same place you have determined for it to go.

Whenever your yorkie is loose and playing, keep an eye out for pre-potty behavior. This usually entails beginning to sniff the ground and turn in tight circles seeking the proper spot. The most likely times for your yorkie to go will include right after a meal, first thing in the morning and after a playtime with you. As the potty training takes hold you can also expect it to need to go as soon as you take it out of the crate regardless of the reason. Gently pick your yorkie up and again take him to the designated outdoor spot.

If you must be gone longer than your yorkie can hold out, it is recommended that you enclose it in an exercise cage rather than let it run loose. Include a pet carrier or other such container the dog can rest in and cover the remainder with papers. As time passes you can reduce the amount of paper to cover only a designated corner.

Do not be harsh to your yorkie if it does miss the right spot or have an accident. Do not thrust its face into the pile or wet spot and do not yell harshly at it. A firm “no” or “bad dog” will sufficiently enforce the message that it did wrong.

For those who do not have access to an outdoor relief area or cannot easily go outdoors, there are a few suggested modifications to the crate method. This involves the use of “piddle pads” or incontinence diapers placed in a designated area of the house or apartment. It is to this area the yorkie will be potty trained to use. For a male dog which hikes his leg to urinate, you will want to add something like a coffee can or gallon jug to the middle of the designated spot so he can have a target for his attentions. With patience and consistent training your yorkie will learn to always go to his proper place.


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