How to Train a Yorkshire Terrier to Pee Outside

Medium
5-9 Weeks
Behavior

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.

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.

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.

The Schedule Method

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Step
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.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Recommend training method?

The Clicker Method

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Step
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.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Recommend training method?

The Interruption Method

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Step
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.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Lia
Yorkshire Terrier
2 Years
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Question
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Lia
Yorkshire Terrier
2 Years

Hi,
I've been trying to potty train my adult yorkie. She defecates outside always but when it comes to pee she really just does what she pleases.
I go outside in a consistent schedule and I always reward every pee she does.
However she does understand that she gets a treat when she pees outside (she always looks at me expecting it), she still thinks it's ok to pee inside if she wants.

Another issue: in the morning she wakes me up to go pee. However if I don't close the bedroom door she'll just pee in another room so I can't see. How can I make her extrapolate the bedroom rule to the rest of the house?


Thank you in advance,
Catarina

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
523 Dog owners recommended

Hello Catarina, She needs to be strictly crated when not supervised so that her only option for peeing is outside - for potty training to be effective you have to control the environment enough that the dog doesn't have regular accidents inside anymore; only then will rewarding pottying outside work. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean. By crating a dog inside and preventing messes inside you are encouraging that natural cleanliness and helping the dog associate that with the rest of the house in addition to the crate. Your dog is obviously associating it with your bedroom which is good - when she wakes you to go potty I suggest you take her potty, but after she goes potty if you don't want to start your day at that time make her go back to bed - you may need to put her into the crate for her to learn this. Check out the Crate Training and Tethering methods from the article linked below. Focus the most on the Crate Training method to encourage her desire to hold it in a confined space. You can also work on teaching her to ring a bell to go potty once she is going potty when you take her and not inside anymore, if she doesn't find her own way to alert you while in other parts of the house too. Since the article linked below was written for puppies and she is older, instead of taking her potty every hour, you can take her potty every 3-4 hours (more often is fine, and longer periods are fine when you are not home as long as she is in the crate, but at 3-4 hours she is more likely to go when you take her potty). If she goes potty when you take her out, then when you come back inside you can give her two hours of supervised freedom if she is truly empty - if you are not sure attach her to yourself with a six or eight foot leash and watch for signs that she needs to go, like the Tethering method. After two hours of freedom, put her back into the crate until it has been 3-4 hours since she last went potty - so that she is not free when her bladder is full but still gets used to holding her pee a bit. If she doesn't go potty when you take her, try again in 1-2 hours (depending on how long it's been since she last peed - how long you can make her wait). Crate Training and Tethering methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Thank you for the advice.
How long am I expecting until the training has really sank in and she no longer needs to be in the crate?
Given she is an adult dog with certain daily habits (check the window, sleep in the bed, watch TV with people) won't she be stressed once confined?

Thank you once again

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Question
Sam
Yorkshire Terrier
6 Years
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Question
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Sam
Yorkshire Terrier
6 Years

When I got my dog he was not a puppy and the previous owner he was potty trained outside. I tried training him to go on a pad. But he still goes in my house. So I tried to get him to go outside he does but I work through the day and he can’t seem to hold it till I get home, he always uses it in the house. How can I get him to hold it till I get home or is it useless.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
18 Dog owners recommended

Sam is a cute little guy! Thank you for the question. Sam is tiny, and a tiny dog has a tiny bladder - some little dogs just have a hard time holding their urine all day. You have tried pee pads but they did not work? How about trying the Porch Potty? It is basically a dog litter box but is made with either real or synthetic grass (real grass is often preferred as it helps them relate to the grass outside). As well, there is the litter box option as expertly described in this guide on training a Chihuahua: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy. The litter box may prove to be more successful than the pads because sometimes dogs associate pee pads with carpet and know that they are not allowed to pee on a carpet. If you have not had Sam that long, he could still be adjusting to the new home as well, and may improve as he gets used to the surroundings. Good luck and enjoy your cute companion!

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Question
Simba
Yorkshire Terrier
8 Months
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Question
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Simba
Yorkshire Terrier
8 Months

Simba is a very good dog, he just does not understand how to only use the bathroom outside. I take him every 2 hours unless I’m gone, then he’s in his crate. I believe he has separation anxiety because he poops in his crate when I leave, he also has to constantly be with me. When i take him outside i say “Go pee pee” and let him walk around for a while. I give him a small treat and say good boy but he will still literally pee right in front of me. He just does whatever he wants!!!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
523 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kaylee, First, I suggest having him evaluated by your vet to make sure there is not a medical issue interfering with his ability to learn this - such as a form of incontinence or urinary tract infection (I am not a vet - so cannot offer medical advice). Second, make sure that you are cleaning up all accidents with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes. Enzymes break down pee and poop to a level where the scent is fully removed. Other cleaners aren't as thorough - even bleach. The smell needs to be fully removed for pup not to be attracted to potty on the area again. Look for the word enzyme or enzymatic on the bottle - not all pet cleaners contain it so check. Make sure that there is nothing absorbent in the crate. If you need a non-absorbent bed, check out www.primopads.com. Make sure the crate is only big enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lie down - and not so big that he can go potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. If pup has lost his natural desire to keep a confined space clean, you can also set up an exercise pen in a room of your home without carpeting (like a guest bathroom or laundry room - with appliances off). Place a disposable real grass pad on one end of the pen and a non-absorbent bed in the opposite end. Have pup stay in that pen at night and when you are not home. Real grass pads - also on Amazon: www.doggielawn.com www.freshpatch.com www.porchpotty.com When you are home, use the tethering method from the article linked below. Watch pup carefully for signs of needing to potty and take him out quickly when you see signs he needs to go. If he begins to squat before you can stop him, clap your hands three times to interrupt him (no other punishment though), then rush him outside and reward if he finishes there. Tethering method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If the issue is anxiety or crate set up, stick with the crate instead of teaching a grass pad, and work on the anxiety and crate set up. In general it sounds like pup could benefit from learning better independence and confidence so I suggest teaching a long Place command, distance Down- Stay, having pup work for what he gets in life right now by having to perform a command first, practicing entering and staying in a crate while the door is open (with you present for this - should be closed when you are gone), and not being allowed to demand your attention - you be the one to call him over for affection and have him do a command like Sit first - tell pup Out if he barks or nudges you for attention. Finally, teaching certain types of tricks that require doing new things and practicing overcoming agility type obstacles (You can buy or make your own) can help build overall confidence. Place - work up to staying for 1 hour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay - use a 30 foot leash to tether to a treat and practice in a field from a distance - work up to this: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Working method and Consistency method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Confidence building via agility obstacles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elvtxiDW6g0 It's possible this is also just a potty training issue. Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below and see if any suggestions there differ from what you are already doing. The times can be adjusted to taking potty every 2-3 hours like you are doing at this age, but the steps for returning pup to crate if they don't go and when to give freedom should be consistent with what you are doing now. If all of that is being followed currently, it likely is another issues like medical, anxiety, or having lost the desire to keep a confined space clean. If pup is lifting a leg on furniture or only going potty when nervous or excited, it could also be a marking behavior or submissive or excited peeing - which are treated a bit differently than the advice given above (although building independence/respect will be part of the solution for marking). Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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