Wag! for Pet Parents

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews

Install

pet-parent-illustration

Pet Parent

Find Pet Caregivers on Wag!

Sign up

Already have an account?

Sign in

pet-parent-illustration

Pet Caregiver

Find pet care jobs on Wag!

Approved Caregiver?

Get the app

How to Train a Yorkshire Terrier to Pee Outside

How to Train a Yorkshire Terrier to Pee Outside
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon5-9 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

You just brought home your new Yorkie and you are thrilled to have a new member of the family. However, you are less than thrilled about what this new member is doing to your carpets. It seems every time you turn around, your new pup has made a mess on the carpet. For the sake of your house, you need to find a way to train your Yorkshire Terrier to pee outside.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Defining Tasks

Yorkies are notoriously difficult to house train, but you shouldn't give up hope. The key to housebreaking your Yorkshire Terrier is consistently following a training routine. With patience and some solid positive reinforcement, you can teach your dog where they can and cannot pee. Keep in mind that young Yorkies cannot go long periods of time without relieving themselves. Puppies have small bladders. Most Yorkie puppies can only last a couple of hours without going outside. Adult Yorkies have stronger bladders, but it is still a good idea to take your pup outside regularly while you are house training.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Getting Started

The first step for teaching your Yorkshire Terrier to pee outside is to choose a designated bathroom spot. An ideal spot is easily accessible in any season and far from any family areas, such as a barbecue or outdoor eating spot. While you are training, it is best to supervise your Yorkie at all times when they are in the house. You probably want to invest in a crate or doggie play pen for times when you have to leave your dog home alone. For small puppies, pads may also help minimize the damage to your house while your puppy learns the rules.

arrow-up-icon

Top

The Schedule Method

Most Recommended

2 Votes

Ribbon icon

Most Recommended

2 Votes

Ribbon icon
1

Know your pup's needs

In general, young Yorkies will need to use the bathroom about 15 to 20 minutes after eating or drinking. Keep a close eye on your pup and get a sense of what their needs are.

2

Set up a consistent schedule

Once you know your dog's needs, you can design a schedule to limit the amount of accidents they have. You should at least take your dog out every morning after your Yorkie wakes up, after every meal, and right before bed. In addition, take your dog out every few hours as they need it based on their age and habits.

3

Always take your pup to the same spot

On every trip out, take your Yorkie to the same spot. Be sure to schedule in some time to wait. It can take up to 15 minutes for your dog to actually go to the bathroom.

4

Reward them for using their special spot

Whenever your Yorkie goes to the bathroom in the chosen spot, tell them "good job" and give them a reward. You want to make sure the reward comes as quickly as possible to the action you are rewarding, so be ready with a treat as soon as your dog goes pee.

5

Keep up the schedule

Make sure you stick to your schedule and take your pup out frequently. Sticking to the schedule will limit the amount of accidents in your house and give your dog a feeling of security that they will have a chance to go outside. By always taking them to the same spot to pee, you are teaching your Yorkie where they can and cannot go.

The Clicker Method

Effective

1 Vote

Ribbon icon

Effective

1 Vote

Ribbon icon
1

Teach your dog what the clicker means

If your dog isn't familiar with the clicker, you can quickly teach them that a click is a good thing. Simply click the clicker and give your Yorkie a treat right away. After several times, your dog will start to associate the clicking noise with a positive reward.

2

Bring your dog to their spot

Take your Yorkie outside to their special bathroom spot. Be prepared to wait for a bit. If your dog has a shy bladder, you may want to bring a chair or something to wait.

3

Click as soon as your pup pees

The moment your Yorkie goes to the bathroom, click the clicker to mark the action you are happy with. Save the clicker for times when your pup pees in their special spot.

4

Give your dog a reward

When your pup finishes going to the bathroom, give them a special treat as a reward. You want to choose something that they don't normally get or give extra when they go to the bathroom outside.

5

Be consistent

Repeat the same series of actions whenever you take your Yorkshire Terrier outside to go to the bathroom. By repeating the same actions every time, your dog will quickly understand that peeing in their spot gets them a big reward.

The Interruption Method

Least Recommended

1 Vote

Ribbon icon

Least Recommended

1 Vote

Ribbon icon
1

Keep a close eye on your dog

When starting with this training method, you will need to keep a close watch on your Yorkie at all times. You may want to put them on a harness and leash and keep them attached to you. Or, put them in their crate or puppy play pen.

2

Look for certain behaviors

As soon as you see your Yorkie start to squat or make a motion like they are going to pee, interrupt them by clapping your hands loudly once and saying "no." Don't raise your voice too much or your pup may become scared and pee from fear.

3

Immediately take the dog outside

Put your Yorkie on a leash immediately and take them outside to their spot. If you are worried there is no time to waste, you can pick them up and carry them out. Just make sure to grab a leash as you go.

4

Reward your pup

When your Yorkie does pee outside in their spot, praise them and give them a reward for doing the right thing. Consistent positive reinforcement is more effective than scolding your dog for trying to pee inside.

5

Make sure they get plenty of outside time

The interruption method isn't a replacement for taking your Yorkie outside regularly. Make sure your dog has plenty of opportunities to relieve themselves in their bathroom spot throughout the day. If you do see them go inside, follow the same steps each time to prevent them for peeing in the house.

Written by Christina Gunning

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 04/02/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

Have a question?

Training Questions and Answers

Dog nametag icon

Daisy

Dog breed icon

Yorkshire Terrier

Dog age icon

Nine Years

Question icon

Question

Thumbs up icon

0 found this helpful

Thumbs up icon

0 found this helpful

I rescued Daisy a month ago. She seemed well trained when I got her. Now, she pees in the house often. I can stay outside with her for 5 minutes or more and the first thing she does when inside is pee on the carpet. She had a complete physical (including blood work) My vet says she's healthy, I have no idea what's going on, but I need to teach her to pee outside all the time. We go to the same "potty place" each time. I try to time it, but am often wrong.

Oct. 29, 2023

Daisy's Owner

Expert avatar

Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

Recommendation ribbon

1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I suggest going back to the basics with her for a couple of months and act as if she isn't potty trained at all to stop all accidents from happening so that she will develop a habit of holding it consistently while in the house and wanting to keep your home clean. After a couple of months if she has been completely accident free, very gradually give her more freedom - but when you start, still go outside with her at first to ensure she is going potty and not getting distracted. To crate train for at least two months to get her back on track more strictly at first, check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com or k9ballistics.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for her. Make sure the crate is only big enough for her to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that she can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the smell and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dog is older you can adjust the times and take her potty less frequently. I suggest taking her potty every 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if she has an accident sooner) of freedom out of the crate, return her to the crate while her bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since her last potty trip. You want her to get into the habit of holder her bladder between trips and not just eliminating whenever she feels the urge and you want to encourage that desire for cleanliness in your home - which the crate is helpful for. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If she is not already used to a crate expect crying at first. When she cries and you know she doesn't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give her a food stuffed hollow chew toy to help her adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. If she continues protesting for long periods of time past three days, you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" by using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell her "Quiet" when she barks and cries. If she gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If she disobeys your command and keep crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at her side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If she stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward her quietness. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. Do NOT spray in the face - only side or chest. While home, you can also tether pup to you with a leash to prevent her from sneaking off to have an accident - this isn't quite as effective as crate training but you can combine the two a bit if you want pup to be out of the crate a bit more while you are home. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Nov. 29, 2023

Dog nametag icon

Smooches

Dog breed icon

Yorkshire Terrier

Dog age icon

5 Years

Question icon

Question

Thumbs up icon

0 found this helpful

Thumbs up icon

0 found this helpful

Why is it so hard to train yorkies

Aug. 24, 2021

Smooches's Owner

Expert avatar

Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

Recommendation ribbon

1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shetayga, Often very small breeds are especially hard to train. Potty training is based on a dog's natural desire to keep a confined space clean. Often that's encouraged most through the use of crate training, then by preventing accidents in the home for long enough through proper managing, pup naturally starts to prefer to keep the rest of the home clean too and generalizes that desire to keep a confined space clean to your entire home. For a small dog, your home is a lot bigger than that confined space, evening finding the location of the door to alert in time is harder for a small dog. Additionally most small dogs are taught to go potty inside on pee pads because they are small enough for that to be a viable option. Unfortunately, pee pads are made out of fabric, and many dogs confuse them with carpets and rugs. I personally prefer all dogs be outside potty trained for that reason. When that's not a good option, a disposable real grass pad instead of pee pad tends to be less confusing. Some dogs never struggle with the pee pad but many do. If you rescued your dog, there is a good chance they were previously pee pad trained, so that combined with their small size makes potty training small dogs often harder. I don't know what method you are doing now, but I find a very strict schedule with crate training is often needed for dogs who were previously inside potty trained to make the transition to outside potty training. Only giving freedom out of the crate when you can supervise pup and for the couple of hours after they have gone potty outside, so that their bladders are not full while they are loose in the home. In order for potty training outside to progress, accidents inside have to be prevented through management of freedom and schedules, to encourage that natural cleanliness habit. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Aug. 24, 2021


Wag! Specialist
Need training help?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews

Install


© 2024 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.