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Your Yorkshire Terrier has lived up to all expectations. He’s independent, courageous, and intelligent. However, he does have one rather bad habit--he uses your floors as a bathroom. Now you know he’s just a puppy, so he’s still learning, but you’re already fed up with coming downstairs in the morning to plant your foot in a wet mess. It’s even worse when you have houseguests and you worry they might get downstairs in the morning before you.
Potty training him is important then, if only for your clean new floors. However, there are also other benefits to this type of training. Firstly, you won’t have to worry about harmful bacteria around your small children. In addition, you will be able to take him round to family and friends houses without worrying about accidents.
Yorkshire Terrier puppies are fast learners. This means he should respond to training swiftly. The main part of training will be getting him into a consistent toilet routine. You will also need to find an effective incentive to encourage him to go to the potty. Yorkshire Terriers, like most dogs, have an appetite for food. So, the right mouth-watering treat should help training along.
If he’s eager to please then you could see results in just a few days. However, if he’s stubborn and not very receptive, then training may take weeks. Get this training right and you’ll never have to worry about accidents in the house again. Nor will you have to spend your mornings with antibacterial spray. On top of that, taking him out in the car or in public will no longer be so stressful.
Before you start training, you will need to collect a few things. Stock up on his favorite treats or break his favorite food into small pieces. A long training leash will be needed. You will also need a clicker for one of the methods below.
Set aside time throughout the day to get him into his new routine. You may also want to ensure you have plenty of poo bags.
Once you have all that, just bring patience and a can-do attitude, then work can begin!
The New Routine Method
Feed him his breakfast, wait a few minutes and then secure him to his leash and head out. It’s important he knows he will get to go to the toilet first thing each morning. This will help him hold it overnight.
Make sure you take him out to the potty again at lunch time. If he’s a particularly young puppy, you may also want to take him out a couple of extra times in the morning too.
Once he has had his evening meal, wait a few minutes and then take him out again. If he is always at the potty when he needs to go, then he will quickly get into the habit of only going where you want him to.
Make sure he gets a tasty reward each time he goes to the potty as you want him to. If he associates potty with positive things, he’ll have an effective incentive to wait until he gets there.
Clean up accidents
Don’t get angry when he has an accident inside. Instead, calmly clear up the mess. Also, make sure you use antibacterial spray and remove any smell. If he can smell he has been there before, he will feel more inclined to go there again.
The Appealing Potty Method
Make sure you take your Yorkie to the same potty spot each day. This will help him feel relaxed and at ease when he gets there. It will also get him into a consistent routine.
If he’s struggling to go, try wiping some of yesterday’s toilet in his designated spot. If he can smell he has been to the potty there before, he will be much more likely to go again.
You wouldn’t like it if someone always stared at you when you wanted to go to the toilet and neither does he. So, turn around and give him some privacy when you can see he is about to do his business.
Make sure he gets a tasty reward each time he uses the potty correctly. In fact, make sure he gets the reward within three seconds of going to the toilet. Any longer and he may not associate the action with the reward.
It can also help to use a clicker as soon as he has gone. A clicker is an effective means of communicating with him. A click when he has gone to the potty will signal to him that he has performed correctly. You can then use the clicker when training him a range of other commands too.
The Potty Time Method
Head out regularly
Make sure you take him out to the potty regularly. Yorkshire Terrier pups will need to go often to begin with, as their bladder and bowel muscles are still weak. Also, make sure you feed him his food at the same times each day. This will get his body in a consistent routine.
Take him outside regularly and then as soon as you see him about to go to the potty, issue a ‘potty time’ command. Give the instruction in an animated, high-pitched voice. You can use any word or phrase you like. He will learn to associate this with going to the potty.
Once he has gone about his business, be sure to hand over a tasty reward. In fact, the greater the reward, the more eager he will be to repeat the behavior again. So, you can also shower him in verbal praise.
Bring forward the command
Continue to use the command each time you take him to the potty. After a few days, start giving the command before he actually goes. Just give it to let him know it’s time to go out to the potty.
Lose the treats
After a week or so of no accidents, when he understands the command fully, you can then start to phase out the treats. By this point he will no longer need the promise of food to go to the potty.
By James Barra
Published: 02/07/2018, edited: 01/08/2021