Potty training a Yorkie can be as challenging as teaching a toddler to use the toilet. These adorable little dogs may be small in size, but their stubbornness can sometimes rival that of the most determined child. It takes patience, consistency, and a lot of positive reinforcement to successfully potty train a Yorkie.

Potty training a Yorkie requires a combination of diligent training and understanding their specific needs. These tiny pups have relatively small bladders, which means they need to go to the bathroom more frequently than larger breeds. This can make accidents more likely, especially during the early stages of training. However, with a consistent schedule, frequent bathroom breaks, and positive reinforcement, you can help your Yorkie learn where and when it’s appropriate to do their business. By understanding their unique challenges and implementing the right training techniques, potty training a Yorkie can be a rewarding experience for both owner and pet.

how hard is it to potty train a yorkie?

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How Hard Is It to Potty Train a Yorkie?

Welcoming a new Yorkie puppy into your home is an exciting and joyful experience. However, one challenge that new Yorkie owners often face is potty training. Teaching your Yorkie to use the designated area for elimination can be a bit of a challenge, but with patience, consistency, and the right approach, it is definitely achievable. In this article, we will explore the process of potty training a Yorkie and provide you with valuable tips and guidance to make the process smoother and more successful.

The Importance of Consistency

Consistency is key when it comes to potty training your Yorkie. Establishing a routine and sticking to it will help your pup develop good habits. Start by taking your Yorkie outside to the designated potty area after each meal, nap, playtime, and before bedtime. Use a cue word or phrase, such as “go potty,” to signal to your pup what is expected. Stay outside with them until they eliminate, and reward them with praise and a treat immediately after. Consistency in the time and place of potty breaks will help your Yorkie understand what is expected and make the training process more efficient.

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It’s important to note that accidents are a normal part of the potty training process, especially in the early stages. When accidents happen, avoid scolding or punishing your Yorkie. Instead, calmly clean up the mess and continue with the training process. Consistency in your reaction will help your pup understand that they should eliminate outside, not inside the house.

Crate Training and Supervision

Crate training can be a valuable tool in potty training your Yorkie. A crate serves as a safe and comfortable den for your pup and can be used to prevent accidents when you are unable to closely supervise them. When introducing the crate, make sure it is the right size for your Yorkie—small enough for them to comfortably stand, lie down, and turn around, but not too big that they have room to eliminate in one corner and sleep in another.

When your Yorkie is in the crate, they are unlikely to soil their sleeping area. Take your pup outside to eliminate immediately after you let them out of the crate, and remember to reward them for their successful potty break. Gradually increase the time your Yorkie spends outside the crate, always keeping a close eye on them to prevent accidents. As your pup becomes more reliable in their potty training, you can gradually give them more freedom in the house, always making sure to supervise them closely.

Patience and Positive Reinforcement

Potty training takes time and patience, so it’s important to be patient with your Yorkie throughout the process. Remember that accidents are part of the learning curve, and progress may be slow at times. It’s essential to remain calm and positive, praising and rewarding your pup for successful potty breaks and offering reassurance after accidents. Using positive reinforcement, such as treats, praise, and playtime, will help your Yorkie associate eliminating outside with positive experiences and motivate them to continue following the desired behavior.

In addition to rewards, consistency, and praise, it’s also important to establish a verbal and physical cue for your Yorkie when they need to go potty. This can be a simple phrase like “do your business” or a specific hand signal. By consistently associating the cue with the desired action, your Yorkie will eventually start to understand what is expected of them when they hear the cue or see the signal.

Supplementary Training Tools

While consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are the key factors in potty training your Yorkie, there are also supplementary training tools that can assist in the process. Potty training pads or artificial grass systems can be useful in situations where taking your pup outside is not immediately possible, such as during extreme weather conditions or when you live in an apartment with limited outdoor access.

If you choose to use potty pads, make sure to gradually transition your pup from using the pads indoors to eliminating outside. Start by placing the potty pad near the door leading to the designated outdoor area and gradually move it closer to the ideal outdoor spot. Once your Yorkie consistently eliminates in the outdoor area, you can gradually remove the potty pads altogether.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

When potty training your Yorkie, it’s important to avoid common mistakes that can hinder progress. One common mistake is punishing or scolding your pup for accidents. This can create anxiety and fear around the potty training process, making it even more challenging. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement and redirecting your pup’s attention to the proper elimination area.

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Another mistake is not providing enough opportunities for your Yorkie to go potty, leading to more accidents. Remember to take your pup outside regularly, especially after meals or naps, and always reward them for successful potty breaks. Establishing a consistent routine will help your Yorkie understand when and where they should eliminate.

Tips for Success

Here are some additional tips to increase your chances of success when potty training your Yorkie:

  • Monitor your pup’s water intake and manage it accordingly to regulate their bathroom needs.
  • Be vigilant and watch for signs that your Yorkie needs to go potty, such as sniffing around, circling, or pawing at the door.
  • Establish a designated potty area in your yard to provide a consistent and familiar spot for your pup.
  • Use an enzyme-based cleaner to eliminate any lingering scent of accidents, as this can attract your Yorkie to eliminate in the same spot again.
  • Consider using a bell hung on the door handle to train your Yorkie to ring the bell when they need to go outside.

Troubleshooting Common Challenges

Even with the best intentions and efforts, some Yorkies may struggle with potty training more than others. Here are some common challenges and how to address them:

Stubbornness or Regression

If your Yorkie seems stubborn or starts regressing in their potty training, it’s crucial to stay consistent and patient. Revisit the basics of potty training and ensure you are following the established routine. Consider going back to crate training for a short period to re-establish good habits. If the issue persists, consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist for personalized guidance.

Excitement or Fear-Related Accidents

Some Yorkies may have accidents when they become overly excited or anxious. It’s important to address the underlying emotions causing the accidents. Provide ample exercise and mental stimulation to channel excitement. For fear-related accidents, create a calm and safe environment for your pup and gradually desensitize them to triggers that cause fear or anxiety. Consult with a professional if needed.

Separation Anxiety

Yorkies, like many small breed dogs, are prone to separation anxiety. If your Yorkie has accidents when left alone, it may be a sign of distress. Work on gradually increasing the time your pup spends alone, starting with short intervals and gradually building up. Provide comfort items, like a cozy bed or a shirt with your scent, to help alleviate anxiety. Consult with a professional if the separation anxiety persists.

Final Advice

Potty training a Yorkie requires patience, consistency, and a positive attitude. Remember that every pup is different, and the timeframe for potty training can vary. Be prepared for setbacks and accidents along the way, and always focus on positive reinforcement and reward-based training. With time, your Yorkie will learn to use the designated potty area consistently, and the potty training struggles will become a distant memory. Good luck!

Key Takeaways – How Hard Is It to Potty Train a Yorkie?

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our FAQ section on potty training your Yorkshire Terrier! If you’re wondering how challenging it is to potty train a Yorkie, you’re in the right place. Below are some common questions pet owners have about this topic.

Q: How long does it usually take to potty train a Yorkie?

A: The time it takes to potty train a Yorkie can vary. On average, it may take around 4-6 months to fully train them. However, keep in mind that every dog is unique and learns at their own pace. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key during the training process.

The success of potty training also depends on how much time and effort you invest. Consistently taking your Yorkie outside to their designated potty area, keeping a regular schedule, and rewarding them for successful potty trips will help speed up the training process.

Q: Are there any specific challenges to potty train a Yorkie compared to other breeds?

A: Yorkies can present some unique challenges when it comes to potty training. Their small size means they have smaller bladders, so they may need more frequent bathroom breaks. Additionally, they can be prone to stubbornness, which can make training a bit more difficult. However, with patience and consistent training, it is definitely possible to successfully potty train a Yorkie.

It’s important to remember that positive reinforcement goes a long way with Yorkies. Celebrating their successes and avoiding punishment for accidents will create a positive learning environment and help establish good potty habits.

Q: How often should I take my Yorkie out during potty training?

A: During the potty training phase, it’s recommended to take your Yorkie outside every 2-3 hours, especially after meals or naps. The more opportunities they have to relieve themselves outside, the quicker they will associate that area with potty time. As your Yorkie becomes more reliable, you can gradually extend the time between bathroom breaks.

In addition to regular bathroom breaks, it’s important to closely observe your Yorkie for signs that they need to go, such as sniffing around or circling. By being attentive to their needs, you can prevent accidents and reinforce good potty habits.

Q: Can I use wee-wee pads to potty train my Yorkie?

A: Wee-wee pads can be helpful during the initial stages of potty training, especially if your Yorkie is not fully vaccinated and you want to avoid outdoor areas where other dogs may have been. However, it’s important to note that the ultimate goal should be to train your Yorkie to go outside rather than relying on indoor pads.

Using wee-wee pads in a designated area can provide a temporary solution, but it’s important to gradually transition your Yorkie to exclusively going outside. This can be done by moving the pads closer to the door each day until they are right outside. Positive reinforcement and consistency will help your Yorkie understand the desired potty behavior.

Q: What should I do if my Yorkie has accidents during the potty training process?

A: Accidents are a normal part of the potty training process. If your Yorkie has an accident, it’s important not to scold or punish them. Instead, calmly clean up the mess using an enzyme-based cleaner to remove any lingering scent that might attract them back to the same spot.

Focus on reinforcing positive behavior by praising and rewarding your Yorkie when they go potty in the designated area. Consistency, patience, and a lot of positive reinforcement will help your Yorkie understand the expectations and succeed in their potty training journey.

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How Should you Potty Train a Yorkshire Terrier? This is the Secret Tips that No one Tells you..


Potty training a Yorkie can be a bit challenging but not impossible. It requires consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement. Start early, establish a routine, and use rewards to encourage good behavior. Accidents will happen, so be prepared for setbacks and don’t get discouraged. With dedication and time, your Yorkie can become a potty-trained superstar!

Remember, accidents are part of the process, so don’t punish or scold your Yorkie. Instead, use positive reinforcement like treats and praise when they get it right. Consistency is key, so stick to the same routine and take your Yorkie to the designated potty area regularly. With love, patience, and consistency, you’ll have a potty-trained Yorkie in no time!

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