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How To Potty Train a Yorkshire Terrier

Updated on April 13, 2008

It's true that Yorkies may make smaller messes but the size of the mess doesn't really affect the amount you are going to spend on cleaning up after your pup. Yorkies need to be trained in the same ways that a large dog would.

Size does however play an important factor when it comes to the size of a dog's bladder - the smaller the dog, the smaller the bladder. Dogs with small bladders will need to use the potty more frequently and won't be able to hold it in as long as big dogs.

Yorkshire Terriers don't mind living in apartments or homes without big yards. They only need a little spot to do their business, so a flowerbed might be enough room.

It might seem silly to some folks when they see a Yorkshire Terrier in a knit sweater, but most of the time it has nothing to do with fashion. In the cold winter months, the climate change from indoors to outdoors is very harsh on a little dog's body.

The extreme temperature change can also interfere with the dog being able to do his business outside. The cold will usually send the puppy running back inside. The warmth of the indoors will trigger your dog's urges to go and you will most likely be spending some time cleaning up the accident. Sweaters help to avoid this problem.

Some Yorkies will refuse to go out in bad weather unless they see you have a sweater for them to wear. This can be during the winter or even when it's raining.

You have to plan options. Perhaps you can keep a papered box in the garage as a backup potty during bad weather. Only use this for limited times during the year so that you don't discourage the dog from going outside to his regular potty spots.

If your Yorkshire Terrier goes outdoors in a yard or in the park, be alert as to where he's walking. Keep your dog away from tall grass or bushes. While he's busy trying to sniff out the right spot, he's easy prey for snakes in tall grass.

Be sure to be courteous of your neighbors even if your dog has only made a small mess outside. Regardless of the size it is still dog poop that needs to be picked up promptly.

Not to mention that dog poop on their shoes may not be visible until it's tracked onto the carpet. That won't win you an invitation to the neighbor's next bar-b-q. It's your responsibility to clean up after your dog. Don't try to get out of it by arguing that it's so small it doesn't matter. It matters to anyone who doesn't own it.

Housetraining for Yorkshire Terriers is no different than it is for big dogs. You can start with crate training to help establish good behavior until a routine is set in place. Some little dogs are spoiled because they are so used to getting a lot of attention in the laps of their owners. Practice positive reinforcement so that your dog knows exactly what he needs to do to make you happy.

Get free videos on Yorkie house training, audio lessons and Yorkie health advice by the Yorkie trainers of


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    • profile image

      Richelle 6 years ago

      I have a 1 1/2 year-old yorkie and I'm losing patience when it comes to house training. I have put the dog in the utility room because regardless of scheduling and only bringing him into the house after he poops, he insists on pooping in the house. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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      Jordan 7 years ago

      I have no clue how to do it! it makes me cry when my pupy just runs away from her waste!

    • profile image

      Steve 8 years ago

      We love our Yorkie but had troubles at first training her. There was a really great Ebook we bought that taught us how to handle her and get her to do all the things she wasn't doing for us. It really helped us and is at

    • esocial profile image

      esocial 9 years ago from California

      I've read a lot of articles recently about how to litter-box-train small dogs like Yorkies. Have you tried it?