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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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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