Why are Yorkies so hard to potty train?
The answer could lie in the breed’s stubbornness, but it mostly has a lot to do with your consistency and patience during training.
In this guide, we will talk about:
- Why are Yorkies so hard to potty train?
- Checklist of items you will need for training
- How to potty train a stubborn Yorkie?
- Ways to potty train an older Yorkie
- Some more tips to stop your Yorkie from peeing indoors
- A few FAQs on the topic!
Let us dive right in!
Also Read: Are Yorkies Easy to Train
Why Are Yorkies So Hard to Potty Train?
Here are some reasons your Yorkie may be difficult to potty train.
1. Breed personality and inherent traits
Your cute and cuddly Yorkshire Terrier is incredibly smart but it is also very stubborn. It is precisely this stubborn attitude that tends to become a hindrance during its potty training.
Experts believe that the first 6 months in the life of a Yorkshire terrier are the most important.
It is during this period that you can train and subvert your pet’s stubbornness or you allow that stubbornness to take over entirely.
In short: early training is key to prevent potty-training issues in a Yorkie that stem from its personality and evolutionary traits.
Bottom-line: start training your pet from day one – that is the day your Yorkie steps inside your house – to ease the process.
2. Yorkies are small dogs with tiny bladders.
One of the top reasons to the question why are Yorkies so hard to potty train is that this dog breed has tiny bladders. Resultantly, your Yorkshire Terrier needs to go potty several times in a day.
If you live in a high-rise apartment or a house without a balcony or yard, then taking your puppy outside for potty can be difficult, more so on rainy or snow days.
However, that does not mean that you not designate a potty area indoors.
You can let your Yorkie know where it is OK and not OK to ‘go’.
Your Yorkie is very smart and will soon understand what you are asking it to do, provided you consistently repeat the instructions.
3. Inconsistent potty training
We won’t mince any words here.
Calling a breed difficult to train is a direct insult to its intelligence. And you know how intelligent Yorkies are!
So, if you have been finding your Yorkshire terrier (or Shih tzu, for that matter!) difficult to potty train, then the reason could be a bit of inconsistency on your part and not entirely your Yorkie’s intelligence or personality issues.
Often, some pet parents are just not motivated enough to train their Yorkie.
Many small dog owners take on a ‘let it be!’ or ‘it doesn’t matter’ attitude with their little dog’s potty training.
Yorkies are small dogs and like all small dogs, they produce small pee and poops.
Compared to a Great Dane or a Golden Retriever’s poop, a Yorkie’s mess is much easier to clean up.
This could result in lack of motivation’ on the owner’s part which can end up being a huge deterrent during potty training.
So, every time your pet creates a (tiny) mess indoors, you must not go, “Aww, it’s okay, I will just clean it up!”
Because that attitude will surely negate all your earlier potty training efforts.
Failure to notice ‘cues’
Another reason you might wonder ‘why are Yorkies so hard to potty train’ is because you fail to notice your pet’s potty cues.
You see – your Yorkie is instinctively equipped to show signs that it wants to go. This includes circling around, sniffing around the spot where it had pooped/peed previously, or crouching or squatting.
These are signs that your pet wants to go and you need to get off that couch and take it to the designated potty area or puppy pad.
Which brings us to the next point:
You MUST clean up the previous mess too!
Yorkies, and all dogs, use their previous ‘potty areas’ to pee or poop over and over.
Sometimes, these areas could be difficult to find. For example, your pet might have tinkled in the space behind your washing machine or on a carpet or rug in the guest room.
The urine and wet mess is bound to seep deep into the wood or fibers where it will linger for a long time.
Your Yorkie has a strong sense of smell and will use this odor to ‘go’ again and again in the same areas.
That is why, you need to properly clean up all messes if you want your Yorkie’s potty training to be successful.
If needed, invest in a No products found. to detect the urine and clean it up right away.
We also recommend a strong enzymatic cleaner such as this one as it can help in breaking down urine molecules to completely get rid of urea and ammonia smells.
4. Giving your pet free run of the entire house
Another big mistake pet parents make is letting their Yorkie get a free run of the house.
Obviously it is going to pee wherever it wants!
To make your Yorkie’s potty training easier, make sure you limit your pet’s access using baby gates.
Better still, restrict your Yorkie using a Aspen Pet Single-Door Home Training Crate, 19"W x 11"D x 13"H .
Place the crate near the balcony or designated potty area indoors so you can quickly carry your pet there as needed.
Checklist of Items You Need for Potty Training Your Yorkie
Here’s a list of items that we found very useful for our Yorkie’s potty training:
- Potty training pads or indoor dog potty trays for litter box training.
- A Crate. This will limit your pet’s access to all the rooms.
- No products found. to detect indoor accidents and clean them up right away.
- Strong enzymatic cleaner
How Do You Potty Train a Stubborn Yorkie? 9 Easy Steps to Simplify Your Yorkie’s Potty-Training!
If you find your Yorkie is strong willed or has a mind of its own, then the following tips can help ease the potty training process:
1. Limit your pet’s indoor access
When you do this, your Yorkshire terrier won’t have too many indoor potty areas. Use toddler gates to restrict its access to bedrooms and kitchen. Close doors wherever possible.
Place your small dog in its crate and place the crate in an area without a carpet –it should have hard flooring as that will ease cleanups.
2. Start crate training your pet
An important part of Yorkie potty training is crate training.
Make sure you invest in a crate that is comfortable for your Yorkie to sit and stand but not large enough for it to use one end as its potty area.
If you use a larger crate, section it off with old boxes or add in a makeshift partition inside.
Crate training takes time, so be patient.
Most importantly, start slow.
Crate your Yorkie for a few minutes each day and slowly increase the duration. You can add your pet’s favorite toys and blanket inside the crate to make it cozy.
The key is to make the crate comfortable, secure, and homely – it must not feel like punishment to your Yorkie.
Crate your pet until it learns to go potty in the designated area only.
Many people believe that crating is inhumane. However, when used correctly, crate training is the easiest and best way to potty train a dog.
3. Use potty training pads
Potty training pads are a life-saver in cold climates and especially for folks living in high-rise apartments or not having easy access to dog parks/yards/terraces.
The potty pad is also treated with ‘dog pheromones’ which tells your Yorkie it is okay to ‘go’ on them. And when your pet does ‘go’ on the training pad, enthusiastically praise it and reward it.
With consistency, your Yorkie will learn to pee and poop on the potty pads.
4. Follow a strict potty and feeding schedules
When you follow a strict potty and feeding schedule, you will know exactly when to take your Yorkie outside (or to the potty training pads) for its potty break.
Here is a sample schedule for your Yorkie puppy’s meal and potty timings:
- 7 am – first potty of the day.
- 8 am – feeding
- 9 am – third potty break, play, crate
- 10 am –potty
- 11 am – play, crate
- 12 noon – feeding, potty
- 1 pm – nap and crate time
- 2 pm – potty
- 3 pm – play and crate
- 4 pm – feeding
- 5 pm – potty break
- 6 pm – play time, crate
- 8 pm – feed
- 9 pm – last water before bedtime
- 10 pm – one last potty break before you crate your puppy for the night.
Remember: small Yorkies aged up to 6 months need to ‘go potty’ in the middle of the night too. So you could set an alarm and wake your pet up around 2 am for potty.
Make sure your Yorkie goes potty (use the indoor potty area or potty training pad) and immediately crate it. Your puppy should not ‘get in a mood to play’.
Change the above schedule to suit your work times but make sure you spend time with your pet in the evening and not crate it for prolonged periods.
In case you work all day, have a pet-minder or family member take your Yorkie outside (or on the potty training pads).
5. Make sure there are potty breaks immediately after naps and meals
For successful Yorkie potty training, you must immediately take it for potty break after it wakes up and right after each meal.
Young Yorkies need to eat 3-4 small meals, so you can plan the schedule accordingly.
Take your Yorkie to the potty spot in the yard or on the pee pad and say ‘Go Potty’. Let your pet sniff around. You can even walk it a bit (in the yard/outside).
The moment it does, reward and praise it copiously.
Also Read: Best Dog Food for Yorkie Puppy
6. Know the importance of positive reinforcements and rewards
Use healthy treats like No products found. to help train your Yorkie.
Positive reinforcements and rewards will help your Yorkie understand the two main rules of potty training:
- I get rewards when I potty outdoors/on training pads
- I do not get rewards when I potty indoors/elsewhere other than training pads.
Also use enthusiastic words and voice tone modulations to show your Yorkie that you are very pleased with it.
7. Cleanup accidents right away
You must follow this strictly. Cleanup the potty mess (no matter how small it may be!) right away.
This will prevent the urine odor from clinging to that spot. As stated earlier, use strong enzymatic cleaners (or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda) to break down urine molecules.
You can also place the pee pad in that area.
That way, your Yorkie will learn to use the potty pad and not your carpet as the toilet.
8. Be patient, be positive, be kind!
Finally, the most important way to potty train a Yorkie is through positive encouragement only.
Never hit or punish your pet. Do not lock it up in the bathroom if it has an accident. Never shout or yell at it.
This will negate all of your training efforts. Be consistent, stick to the schedule, and within weeks, your Yorkie will be trained.
9. Rule out medical issues
If a trained Yorkie suddenly starts having accidents indoors, see your vet to rule out health issues like UTIs, anxiety, kidney trouble, etc.
Also Read: Do Yorkies Like to Cuddle
How to Potty Train an Older Yorkie – 4 Easy Steps
The steps to potty train an older dog are more or less the same as the ones to train a puppy:
1. Establish a routine
Take your Yorkie out on walks where it will get opportunity to empty its bladder.
Alternatively, decide if your pet can go indoors in designated potty spot/ pee pads/litter box.
Take your pet to the same spot several times. Give it the command ‘Go potty!’ and when it does, reward, praise, and appreciate it!
2. Supervise and supervise
Make sure your pet does not get a chance to ‘go’ indoors. Supervise it or limit its access to rooms where it could ‘go’ behind furniture or other hidden areas.
If it does, clean up the mess, and place the potty training pad in that area.
3. If you are not able to supervise, confine it
Use a crate or secure your Yorkie in a safe room. The area should be small enough so it won’t use it as a toilet.
Make sure you give your Yorkie a chance to go potty before confining it.
4. Be consistent and patient
You cannot teach an old dog new tricks. This is especially true regarding potty training an adult Yorkie.
However, with consistency, patience, love, and plenty of healthy treats, you can achieve this feat within a few weeks!
Also Read: Do Yorkies Get Attached to One Person?
Some More Tips to Stop Your Yorkie from Peeing in the House
Here are some easy and doable tips to stop your Yorkie from going pee-pee indoors:
1. Provide frequent potty breaks – Train, train, and train!
Train and re-train your Yorkie to go outside in the designated potty spot or on potty training pads.
Take your pet frequently to the designated spot and say ‘Go potty’. If needed, walk your pet a bit.
When it ‘goes’, praise and reward. Be consistent with this step.
For Yorkie puppies, you need to provide 5 to 7 potty breaks each day and right after meals and naptimes.
For slightly older Yorkies, you must provide at least 3 to 4 potty breaks.
2. Eliminate stress and excitable urination
Many Yorkies urinate when they are excited or nervous or anxious.
To avoid excitable urination, avoid making a big deal when you leave for work and upon your return. You can also crate your pet in a quiet part of the house so it won’t get excited when you have visitors.
Exercise your pet daily to prevent boredom and anxiety related issues.
Keep doors and windows closed or the curtains drawn if your Yorkie gets anxious or excited due to loud noises, other dogs’ barks etc.
3. Get your pet ‘fixed’
Spaying or neutering a male Yorkie could eliminate territory-marking urination.
So set up a neutering/spaying schedule after discussion with your vet.
FAQs on Why are Yorkies So Hard to Potty Train
1. How long can Yorkies go between potty breaks?
Younger puppies need at least 5-7 potty breaks in a day – especially upon waking up and after meals. This is due to their small bladder sizes which fill up quickly.
So, to answer the question, how long can Yorkie puppies go between potty breaks, the answer is no more than 2 to 3 hours.
An adult dog has better bladder control. So you can provide it with a potty break every 4 to 6 hours. This means that your older Yorkie would need at least 3 potty breaks.
2. How long does it take to potty train a Yorkie?
Yorkies are smart dogs and they learn quickly.
With consistent Yorkie potty training schedule and positive reinforcement, your pet can easily be house trained within a couple of weeks.
Most Yorkies are fully potty trained by the time they are 6 to 8 months of age.
3. How often does a Yorkie need to pee?
Yorkie pups have small bladders. Consequently, they need to pee at least 5 to 7 times a day. Adult Yorkies have better bladder control but still need to go at least 3-4 times a day.
This will also depend on your Yorkie’s diet (wet food can result in more frequent bladder emptying), age, health conditions, whether spayed/neutered, etc.
(Spayed females tend to pee more often and few even develop urine incontinence in their senior years.)
4. Are Yorkies easy to potty train?
The ease or difficulty pertaining to house-training a Yorkie depends on you. It is up to you, how much effort you are willing to put in, how consistent and patient you are.
With the above steps, you can easily potty train a stubborn Yorkie puppy or adult within a matter of weeks.
Conclusion – Why are Yorkies so Hard to Potty Train?
Why are Yorkies so hard to potty train?
The answer could lie in inconsistent training, issues on part of the owner as well as the pet’s inherent personality traits.
However, consistent, early training along with strict adherence to a potty and feeding schedule, followed by plenty of praise, rewards, and cuddles can quickly show great results.
By using the above guide, we are sure you can easily potty train a Yorkie within weeks!