It All Begins with Choosing a Method
Choosing and staying with 1 house training method will help you be successful. If you do crate training 1 week, paper training the next week and litter box training the 3rd week...your Yorkie will be 1 very confused dog!
For the best and fastest results, we highly recommend house breaking a Yorkie to eliminate outdoors. This breed does well when allowed to choose "just the right spot" as opposed to trying to hit the mark on pads set up inside. Small, yet a sturdy little breed, a puppy can be safely brought outside at all times except for rare days of extremely harsh weather (blizzard, etc).
Being a toy breed, he can be housetrained to use a litter box or pee pad...and we do give advice for this...However an owner should know that it can extend the time that it takes to have a fully trained puppy.
The key to this training is to:
- Take your Yorkie puppy outside to the same area each time - Just going outside is too general. There should be a designated area...whether this be the side yard, back yard etc. One should choose an area that is not used for any other purposes. For instance, it should not be the place where you may play with your puppy, teach commands, etc. Within that area, the house training Yorkie puppy should then be able to choose the exact spot. An owner should stand in the center of the area, with the dog on leash and harness....allowing them to sniff out the grass within the diameter of the circle.
First, let's discuss the times during each day that your puppy should be able to depend on knowing it is time to go outside:
- Bring your Yorkie out at designated times during the day & also when they make actions to indicate that they must "go".
After waking up - And this means immediately after waking up. When house training a Yorkie puppy, you will sometimes only have 2-3 minutes to get them to the chosen area.
15 to 20 minutes after each meal, the digestive system works rapidly with puppies...and sometimes the ingestion of food will trigger elimination of a previous meal
After each nap
When they make an action that shows they are about to "go"
You must keep an eye on your puppy to train in this way. This is one of the most important keys. Many owners wonder become frustrated when they notice feces or urine on the floor. But the question is, how did the puppy do that if he or she was being watched? House training a Yorkshire Terrier can happen relatively fast if the owner is dedicated and consistent. To allow for accidents only extends the process.
Therefore, you may opt for the Umbilical cord method, Gate method or Crate method.
The Umbilical Cord Method
This is a great method for toy breed dogs such as the Yorkie. You can have your freedom of moving around, your pup can have their freedom to play and you can both close to each other. You will simply attach a leash to it's collar or harness and thread a belt through the loop on the dog leash and wear the belt on your waist. This keeps them from roaming out of sight and allow you to do what you wish to do in the home. Be careful of walking around too fast. This method calls for you to take him or her outside or to the pee pad at all of the times listed above.
The Gate Method may work for you, but you will need to keep checking on your Yorkie. This is not always so easy if you are traveling from room to room. This method calls for you to place your Yorkie in one room..or one corner of a room and block the exit with a baby gate(s). The idea is to just block off certain rooms of your house, this will allow your Yorkie to be able to walk freely but will they will not be able to go far from your sight. This method calls for taking the dog outside or to the litter box at all of the times listed above.
We do recommend having a dog crate and training your Yorkie to become used to it. Why? Because you want your dog to feel comfortable being in the crate for times that they must be: When traveling, perhaps when going to the vet (if a crate is required) and for time that you must put the dog in one for safety reasons.
However, we only recommend crate training if you can not possibly be home during the day and you are not able to gate off an area for some reason.
Some dogs actually enjoy having it's own "room" and dogs often like having a place to "retreat" to if they are feeling overwhelmed. Your puppy or dog may feel this way if there is too much noise in the home, if they are growing tired of playing with children or other dogs and if they are not feeling well.
We personally recommend a nice, soft doggie bed for those purposes...but a crate will do as long as the door is left open once they are house trained. Too many owners keep their puppies in the crates all day, assuming that is what is supposed to be done....However it severely limits the important elements of socialization for the pup....Also, when a puppy needs to relieve themselves, it will happen no matter where they are. Therefore, we highly recommend the Umbilical cord house training method as stated above.
With this said, crates can work well at night. It will keep your Yorkie from wandering...and if placed near your own bed, they can have a sense of comfort due to being close to you. Now, a puppy will not necessarily sleep through the night and magically know to only pee and poo before and after bedtime....Expect to be awoken 1-2 times each night for the first 1-2 months. No worries - it is temporary. As they grow, the bladder and bowel muscles grow stronger and they can then hold their needs for longer and longer amounts of time.
Some dogs will resist entering the crate. You can help your Yorkie get used to it. Begin by leaving the door open, making sure that it is not possible for it to close accidentally. You can also put their dish of dog food closer and closer to the back of the crate each day, beginning with the food right outside the crate door.
Once your dog is used to his or her crate with the door open, try closing the door but not locking it shut. Increase the time inside the crate by a bit each day. Do not take them out of the crate if they are barking, unless it is time to do so. This would only encourage your Yorkie to bark and inadvertently teach them that barking = being let out of the crate.
Did You Wait Long Enough?
One of the problems that owners have with Yorkie housebreaking, is that they will tell us that their puppy went to the bathroom immediately after coming back into the house. There is often a simple reason for this: They were not outside long enough. A puppy or even an adult dog cannot eliminate on cue.
Unless they urgently need to go, it generally takes 15-20 minutes for their body to relax, for them to choose the right spot and to urinate or have a bowel moment. Dress appropriate for the weather and put on your patience hat.
Be sure to give a generous pat/hug and lots of encouraging happy words of praise when they do as desired.
Urinating in the House When Home Alone
When fully trained, if a dog urinates where they are not supposed to, it may be an issue of Separation Anxiety. You can read more about
"Peeing in the House" here.
When you bring the Yorkie outside to pee and poo be sure to:
Attach a leash to the dog's collar or harness. A 6 foot leash is best.
You will want to walk to the area that you have chosen. This should be the same area each time.
However, within that 6 foot radius, you will want your Yorkie to be able to take the time to make the final choice on exactly where to "go".
Be patient, as some dogs will take up to 20 minutes deciding on "just the right spot". This is very important. If you give up after 5 minutes, chances are that they will have an accident soon after going back into the house.
Many times an un-neuter male (who marks to "claim" their territory" or a female who is not spayed (who does so to attract males) will urinate inside the home. This is not a matter of house training. Marking is a behavioral issue.
When a dog needs to urinate, they release their full bladder. When a dog marks, they only spray out a bit of urine.
How Can You Stop Marking
Neuter or spay all animals in the home. A neutered male will mark if there are other animals in the home who are not spay/neutered.
Clean the areas that were marked with a low fragrance cleaner. A strong smelling cleaner may cause a dog to mark again...to reclaim the area
As soon as you see that your dog is about to mark inside the home, bring them outside or to the pee pad. If the dog does urinate there, give great rewards.