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

Most Recommended
2 Votes
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

Effective
1 Vote
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

Least Recommended
1 Vote
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
Peanut
Yorkie
15 Weeks
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Question
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Peanut
Yorkie
15 Weeks

Peanut does not have a set schedule... is hard to get started. We set up pads but is not working and wan to start training her to go outside. How do we get started?

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

Hello, take a look at the Schedule Method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-poop-outside. Timing means a lot! Also, the Timing Method here: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside. It is important to clean up indoor messes with an enzymatic cleaner. It's the only thing to entirely remove the odor (you may not smell it, but Peanut will). Taking her often - especially right upon waking, after meals, after playtime, and after naps - is essential. Praise her verbally and with lots of treats every time she pees outside. Good luck!

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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
85 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
662 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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Question
Kobe
Yorkshire Terrier
5 Months
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Question
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Kobe
Yorkshire Terrier
5 Months

Do you have an advice on potty training a new puppy. We’ve only had him for two weeks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
662 Dog owners recommended

Hello Christina, At this age, I suggest following the crate Training method from the article linked below. When pup begins to get the hang of pottying outside, you can also use the Tethering method found in the same article part of the time if you want pup to spend more time with you out of the crate: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Since pup is a bit older than the puppy this method was written for, you can take pup potty every 2 hours instead of 1 hour, unless pup has accidents during that time, then the potty trips will need to be more frequent. When pup doesn't go potty outside when you take them, instead of crating for 30-45 minutes before trying again, pup can be crate for 1-1.5 hours before trying again. Give pup 1-2 hours of freedom out of the crate between potty trips before taking them potty again or crating again until time to go potty, after they go potty outside - give less free time if pup has accidents sooner than 1-2 hours after being free. As pup learns and is doing well without accidents, you can gradually extend potty trips to every 3 hours at this age. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Lia
Yorkshire Terrier
2 Years
-1 found helpful
Question
-1 found helpful
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
662 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
Mindy
maltese yorkshire terrier mix
10 Months
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Question
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Mindy
maltese yorkshire terrier mix
10 Months

I had been working on pee pad training Mindy- with some success. But Mindy was silly and eating her poops- so the vet said I should train her to go outside.

I have been trying to train her to go outside-but it's one of the most frustrating experiences of my life...I will take her out after meals, drinking water, long periods of play, naps- and sometimes I stand outside with her for 30 minutes or more and she does absolutely nothing. There have been times she's been successful and she does make accidents inside-especially if I mess up and was not watching her too closely. What can I do to help her understand that she needs to go outside and not take forever doing that?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
662 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lainie, I suggest strictly following the Crate Training method from the article linked below. The crate training method linked below works on the idea that she isn't given any freedom unless empty, and the crate naturally encouraging a dog to hold it, so that outside is her only option, then when she does go outside, you will reward to show her it's okay to go potty outside. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Check out the Surprise method for tips on introducing the crate if she isn't used to one. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate You can either go straight to taking her to grass or place the pee pad outside, then gradually cut it away until she is pottying just on the grass. Using the crate is the difference though. Since she is older, you can adjust the times in the crate training method. Instead of taking her poty every hour, you can take her every 2.5-3.5 hours (sooner if she has accidents sooner). Walk her around slowly on a leash to encourage her to need to go, telling her to "Go Potty", and giving three small treats - one at a time after if she does go, then if she doesn't go within 15 minutes go inside, crate her for an hour, and take her back outside to try again. Repeat this every hour until she finally goes potty. You will have to crate a lot and take her out a lot at first, but as she learns the Go Potty command, doesn't have the option to potty inside anymore because she is crated when she doesn't empty outside, and is rewarded for going outside, she should learn to go more quickly. Also, wait until after she goes potty before you let her play outside - pottying comes first so that she will learn to focus on that, then play outside after if she is used to playing outside. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Bentley
Yorkshire Terrier
6 Months
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Question
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Bentley
Yorkshire Terrier
6 Months

We have had the dog for 2 months now. He has a crate that he sleeps in. We are training him to go potty outside. It does take some time for him to go potty outside, but he eventually goes. If he doesn't go, then we put him back in the crate and try again later. The problem is when he does go pee outside, as soon as he comes back in the house he will pee in the house shortly after peeing outside. It's like he is not emptying his bladder. What should we do?

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

Hello, there may be a few reasons and tips for improving the training. Remember, small dogs have small bladders and may need extra help in training. First, I would take Bentley for a checkup at the vet. Explain the issue and they'll rule out any medical reasons for the behavior. Also, when you have Bentley outside for a pee, make sure that you make the walk lengthy so that he has plenty of opportunity to fully empty the bladder. When he is peeing, stand as still as can be and don't attempt to move along until you are sure he is done. Take Bentley out often, every 30 minutes if you have to until you have days in succession that he does not pee inside. This may seem excessive but is well worth the effort once he is trained. If Bentley is playing and seems hyper or full of energy, take him even after 15 minutes just in case he gets distracted, so that he does not pee inside. When he does have an accident, pick him up right away and take him out to reinforce that outside is the place to go. Every success outside should be celebrated with high praise and a treat. Let Bentley know that he has done a great thing so that he'll want to repeat the action. Signs to look for that he needs to pee: whining, not interested in play or treats, sniffing and circling, and looking as if he's about to trot off to a previous pee-zone. Make sure that you clean all areas where he has peed with an enzymatic cleaner. It is really the only cleaner that will remove the smell - dogs' noses are pretty keen. Good luck!

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Question
Reggie
Yorkshire Terrier
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Reggie
Yorkshire Terrier
5 Months

Reggie is not housebroken and it gets really frustrating picking up his poop and pee.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
87 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am going to send you quite a bit of information on potty training and using the crate to aid in that process. Some of it you may know already, but somewhere in the info, you may see something that you missed. Hi! I am going to send you information on both potty training and crate training should you decide to utilize a crate to aid in potty training. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Toby
Yorkshire Terrier
12 Weeks
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Question
0 found helpful
Toby
Yorkshire Terrier
12 Weeks

At the moment my dog is peeing on pee pads since he hasn't had all his injections and is not yet allowed to walk out doors. Do you think it would be possible to train him to pee outside once he has had all his injections and can go out doors? Or will he resist the outdoors and wait to get home and relieve himself on the pee pad?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
87 Dog owners recommended

Hello! It is totally possible. I am going to send you quite a bit of info on potty training and crate training just in case you decide to use a crate to aid on the potty training process. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Question
Teddy
Yorkie
5 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Teddy
Yorkie
5 Months

I've had Teddy for 4 months now and he is still peeing and pooping in the house. I take him out first thing in the morning he does great, but then I take him out every 1-2 hrs. He will go outside and then come inside within an hour and pee. He hikes his leg on everything and is peeing and pooping in my house. I'm at my wits end with him. He gets treats and praise every time he goes outside. I think he gets the concept of where to go do his business. How do I break him?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
662 Dog owners recommended

Hello Heather, I recommend following a combination of the crate training and tethering methods from the article linked below. Use the crate training method mostly - which will limit pup's freedom inside to only times when their bladder is empty, to stop the cycle of accidents, which needs to be stopped for potty training to make progress, and you can use the tethering methods at times when you want pup to be with you more when you are home. The main thing that needs to happen here is for the accidents inside to stop so that pup will begin to associate inside with cleanliness and develop a habit of holding it inside, only after having the habit happen for long enough for it to become a long term habit, will pup start to want to keep the home clean on their own, at which point pup can gradually earn more freedom. I would keep things pretty strict for at least two months though, before giving more and more freedom - how much depending on how pup is doing. Don't give more freedom until pup is accident free seven days a week with careful management, with only random accidents as the exception not the norm. Crate Training and Tethering methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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