Step-By-Step Guide to Yorkie Potty Training

Yorkie pooping

Yorkies have a small bladder, and training may involve several trips outdoors when he is a puppy.

According to the Humane Society, a puppy can hold their bladder for one hour for every month of their age.

Thus, if the puppy is three months of age, it can hold elimination for three hours; bathroom breaks are necessary.

Outdoor training

1. Take your puppy outdoors on his leash to a spot that you’ve designated as his “bathroom” spot.

A specific word can be said while he is eliminating to reinforce and remind him of this action.

When your dog is finished have some playtime fun or take him for a long walk.

2. Praise and reward your little dog after he has finished. It should be done immediately, not when he is inside.

By rewarding him after he goes, you are teaching him what is expected.

3. Put your Yorkie on a feeding schedule that is regular. This makes elimination time more consistent.

According to the Humane Society,

“Feeding your puppy at the same times each day will make it more likely that they’ll eliminate at consistent times as well, making housetraining easier for both of you.”

4. Take away his food dish about 2.5 hours before bedtime. This will reduce the chances of an accident at night.

Yorkie sleeping

The majority of young puppies are able to sleep for seven hours during the night without a break for the bathroom.

5. If your puppy wakes during the night, turn on as few lights as possible.

Do not talk to him or play with him at this time. Just put the leash on and take him outdoors to do his business, then return right away.

Some signs that your Yorkie needs to go outside include:

  • Scratching at the door
  • Squatting
  • Restlessness
  • Circling
  • Sniffing around

He should be tethered with a six-foot leash while inside during the training period.

Watch closely for the above signs, so your puppy will not soil indoors. If you see the signs, take him outside immediately on his leash.

Praise and reward him after finishing.

When your puppy is trained in the house or yard, he can have some freedom to roam around. Until then, while house training, he should be kept on a leash.

Confine if you are leaving

If you will be gone for a short while, put the puppy in his crate to prevent an accident.

As soon as you return, take him outside to his bathroom spot.


If an accident happens while you are home with your Yorkie puppy, interrupt them during the act and do not startle, but say something like “outside!” and take them outdoors to the bathroom spot.

Praise and reward him after he goes.

Yorkie looking at the camera

Never punish your Yorkie for going or rub his nose in it. Scolding only makes them more afraid to go when you are around.

Often, punishment is more harmful than helpful.

In training your dog to be housebroken, supervise and confine as directed above to minimize accidents.

He will get confused if he is sometimes allowed to go inside, and the training process will take longer.

While away

If you need to be away for long periods of time, such as when at work, it may not be the best time for adding a puppy to your household.

An adult Yorkie may be better suited to your schedule.

If you have already adopted a puppy, here are some tips for making the training easier:

  • Hire a pet sitter or a friend to take your puppy for outdoor breaks
  • Use pee pads or newspaper to train them
  • Make a litter box with dog litter

If the dog goes outside of the designated area, put the soiled papers or pads in the box or chosen area.

This will alert them by the scent that this is the place to go.

Using puppy pads

If you are gone for more than 5 or 6 hours, you want your dog to be able to go inside in an area that is set aside for this.

When you do have to use the pee pads, there are some steps to follow in training him, according to Pet Care Rx:

  1. Put down several pads next to each other. They should be away from his food and water. Choose an area that is quiet and away from family traffic.
  2. Give your Yorkie puppy food and take him to is training area about 20 minutes after. It is typical that a dog will need to go after eating, exercise or the first thing in the morning. Get him used to the same spot.
  3. Issue a verbal word, such as “potty” when he goes and reward him with a treat. If he goes somewhere else than on the pads, put him in his crate for 15 minutes, then return him to the pads and say, “potty.”
  4. If you catch him going outside the designated pad area, clap your hands, pick him up and take him to the pad area, while saying the command word.
  5. When you are not there, use a baby gate to cordon off an area of food, water, and puppy pads.

Puppy pads

Remember to thoroughly clean areas where your Yorkie has had an accident, as the scent will attract him back there and he will go again.

Please note: Training indoors is recommended only if it is going to be in force his entire life.

Use of pads makes training outdoors more difficult without a whole new training period.

Yorkies are known as a breed to be stubborn, so patience during the potty training period is a must on your part.

He will soon be trained, and everyone will be happy.

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