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Potty Training a Yorkie: Duration, Methods, & Tips (2024)

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how long does it take to potty train a yorkieReady to tackle the challenge of potty training your Yorkie? Discover the duration, methods, and tips that will lead you to success.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything from when to start potty training to establishing a consistent routine.

Table Of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Age, breed, size, and previous potty training experience all influence the length of potty training.
  • The best time to start potty training a Yorkie is between 8 and 12 weeks of age.
  • Yorkies are relatively easy to train, but it is important to be consistent and patient with your training.
  • Additional tips for potty training your Yorkie include taking your Yorkie outside to potty first thing in the morning, after meals, and after naps; using a consistent potty training command; praising your Yorkie every time he or she goes potty outside; and cleaning up any accidents inside immediately with an enzyme cleaner to eliminate the odor.

Potty Training Duration and Variability

Potty Training Duration and Variability
When it comes to potty training a Yorkie, the duration can vary depending on several factors.

Factors such as the dog’s personality, learning style, and consistency of training can influence how long it takes for them to become fully housebroken.

On average, potty training a Yorkie may take anywhere from 2-4 months for home training and 2-6 weeks for outdoor training.

It’s important to have patience and provide consistent praise during the process in order to achieve successful results.

Factors That Influence the Duration of Potty Training

One of the factors that can influence the duration of potty training for your Yorkie is their individual learning style and personality.

Other factors include the training environment, consistency in training methods, and understanding their behavioral patterns.

These factors play a significant role in determining how long it will take to fully potty train your Yorkie puppy.

Average Timeline for Potty Training a Yorkie

You can expect the average timeline for potty training a Yorkie to range from 2 to 4 months for home training and around 2 to 6 weeks for outdoor training.

The duration varies based on factors such as the Yorkie’s personality, learning style, and consistency in using effective training techniques.

It’s important to monitor behavior patterns, progress milestones, environmental factors, and health considerations throughout the potty training process.

Variability in the Speed of Potty Training

Potty training a Yorkie can vary in speed and duration depending on factors like your pup’s age, previous experience, individual temperament, and the training methods and consistency you employ.

Progress depends on your commitment to:

  • Supervision
  • Routine
  • Positive reinforcement with treats
  • Patience in the face of setbacks or slower individual progress.

When to Start Potty Training

When to Start Potty Training
The ideal time to start potty training your Yorkie is as soon as you bring them home.

For Yorkies from pet stores, immediate training is especially important to break potential cage habits.

Beginning training early when the Yorkie is still a puppy will help establish good habits and routines, making the overall process smoother.

Ideal Age to Begin Potty Training a Yorkie

When starting to potty train your Yorkie, it’s important to consider the ideal age for beginning this process.

Early training sets a foundation for success and helps the puppy adjust to new routines. By starting early, you can establish good habits and make the potty training journey smoother.

Considerations for Pet Store Dogs and Breeder Dogs

For pet store dogs and breeder dogs, it’s important to consider the appropriate timing to start potty training.

Early training benefits both types of dogs in adjusting to their new environment and forming good habits. Pet store challenges may require immediate training, while breeders can start at around 8 weeks old.

Consider confinement methods and online dog training courses for effective results.

Advantages of Starting Potty Training Early

To maximize success, it’s beneficial to initiate potty training for your Yorkie at an early age.

Starting the training process early provides several advantages.

An early start allows your Yorkie to develop consistent habits and establishes a developmental advantage in adjusting to their new home and routines.

It ensures a smoother adjustment period and maximizes the benefits of training for both you and your furry companion.

Potty Training Methods

Potty Training Methods
When it comes to potty training your Yorkie, there are different approaches you can take. Each method has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to choose the one that works best for your dog.

Whether you decide on outdoor training or indoor training with puppy pads, consistency and positive reinforcement are key to success.

Different Approaches to Potty Training a Yorkie

To potty train your Yorkie, you can employ different approaches that have proven to be effective in teaching them proper bathroom habits.

  1. The carrot and gingerbread method involves gentle correction.
  2. Affection and praise through positive reinforcement.
  3. Restricting movement helps reinforce locations.
  4. Avoid punishment as dogs are learning, not misbehaving.

Pros and Cons of Each Method

Each potty training method has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to consider which approach will work best for you and your Yorkie. Evaluating the methods based on their effectiveness, training challenges they may present, success stories from other dog owners, and expert opinions can help you make an informed decision.

Choosing the Method That Works Best for Your Yorkie

When considering the potty training methods for your Yorkie, it’s important to choose the approach that best suits your pup’s needs and personality.

  1. Assess your Yorkie’s temperament and attention span.
  2. Determine if you prefer indoor or outdoor training.
  3. Consider your schedule and ability to supervise.
  4. Select positive reinforcement over punishment.

Yorkie’s Ease of Housetraining

When it comes to potty training, Yorkies are generally considered easy to train compared to some other breeds.

It’s important to consider the age of your Yorkie as well, as younger ones tend to adapt more readily while adults may require extra attention.

Remember that positive reinforcement and patience are crucial in achieving effective housetraining results with your Yorkie.

Characteristics of Yorkies That Make Them Relatively Easy to Train

Yorkies are relatively easy to train compared to some other breeds, making them a great choice for first-time dog owners.

Their eager-to-please personalities and responsiveness to positive reinforcement allow them to quickly learn behaviors with consistent training.

Yorkies adapt readily when taught at an early age.

Importance of Consistent Training for Faster Learning

You’ll learn the ropes of potty training your Yorkie much faster with consistent repetition.

  1. Adhere to a regular routine for potty breaks.
  2. Immediately praise successful eliminations.
  3. Be patient; accidents are part of the process.

Consistent adherence to proper techniques and positive reinforcement results in quicker learning during the potty training process for your Yorkie.

Age Considerations for Potty Training a Yorkie

In potty training your Yorkie, recognize that younger dogs adapt more readily while older Yorkies require extra attention and patience.

Yorkies as young as 6-8 weeks quickly learn routines with consistent positive reinforcement.

Adolescent Yorkies around 12-16 weeks use prior knowledge to further hone skills.

Mature adults over 18 months have engrained habits requiring gradual retraining alongside affection.

The key is adjusting techniques based on the dog’s age and developmental stage.

Bathroom Habits and Routine

Bathroom Habits and Routine
When potty training a Yorkie, it’s important to establish a bathroom routine that aligns with their needs.

For puppies, frequent bathroom breaks should be scheduled every 2-3 hours, as well as after playtime, sleep, and meals.

As your Yorkie grows older and gains better bladder control, you can adjust the frequency of the bathroom breaks accordingly.

By setting up a consistent routine for bathroom breaks based on age and individual needs, you can help regulate your Yorkie’s bathroom habits and facilitate successful potty training.

Frequency of Bathroom Breaks for Puppies and Adult Dogs

To maintain a consistent routine during potty training, it’s important to understand the frequency of bathroom breaks for your Yorkie puppy or adult dog.

Puppies need to go out every 30 minutes to 1 hour when awake and active.

Take puppies out immediately after naps and meals.

Adult dogs can wait 3-5 hours between bathroom breaks.

Adults need morning, night, and after-meal walks plus additional midday trips.

Establishing a Consistent Routine for Bathroom Breaks

You’d end up housetraining your Yorkie faster by setting up and sticking to a regular bathroom schedule tailored to its needs and age.

Set walk frequency based on age-appropriate breaks.

Establish a potty training schedule with rewards for success.

Look for signs of readiness like whining or circling to take appropriate bathroom breaks.

Adjust the routine’s walk frequency as your Yorkie ages.

Adjusting the Routine Based on the Yorkie’s Needs and Age

As you adjust the routine for bathroom breaks, it’s important to consider your Yorkie’s specific needs and age.

For younger Yorkies:

  • Increase the frequency of breaks
  • Decrease the area size
  • Provide more opportunities to eliminate

For older dogs:

  • Use a crate or playpen
  • Offer designated potty areas

Supervision and Containment Methods

Supervision and Containment Methods
For effective potty training, you’ll need to use:

  • Tethered supervision with a harness and short leash
  • Or set up an indoor playpen when direct monitoring isn’t possible.

Avoid crating during housebreaking, as it doesn’t teach the puppy to hold it.

The playpen should have enough space as well as necessities like:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Toys
  • Pads

Using Tethered Supervision and Playpens for Effective Potty Training

In addition to establishing a consistent bathroom routine, tethering your Yorkie and using a playpen can also be effective methods of supervision and containment during potty training.

  • Tethering your Yorkie helps you to quickly and easily take him outside to eliminate.
  • A playpen provides a safe and confined space for your Yorkie to play and eliminate.
  • Make sure the playpen is the right size for your Yorkie and that it’s located in a convenient spot.
  • Supervised play and leash training will help your Yorkie to learn to eliminate outside.

Avoiding the Use of Crates for Housebreaking

While tethered supervision and playpens are both effective methods of containment, avoiding the use of crates for housebreaking is crucial. Crates can be aversive to dogs and can lead to negative reinforcement, crate aggression, and other problems.

Setting Up a Suitable Indoor Confinement Area for the Yorkie

Tethered supervision and playpens are two effective methods for providing supervision and containment during potty training.

  • Size of indoor confinement area should be big enough for the Yorkie to move around comfortably.
  • Location of indoor confinement area should be in a central location of the house.
  • Type of indoor confinement area can be a crate, pen, or room.
  • Materials for indoor confinement area should be easy to clean.

Be Prepared to Give Praise and Reward

Be Prepared to Give Praise and Reward
Praise and reward are crucial for effective house training.

Choose a specific word or phrase for praise, and use special treats for immediate reinforcement.

Treats should be reserved only for housebreaking successes.

Importance of Praise and Rewards in Potty Training

Be prepared to give praise and reward your Yorkie for successful potty training moments.

Positive reinforcement is key to effective housetraining, so make sure to provide immediate gratification with treats and affection.

Consistency is essential, so praise your Yorkie every time they eliminate in the designated area.

Avoid punishment as it can be counterproductive.

Choosing the Right Rewards for Positive Reinforcement

Choosing the right rewards for positive reinforcement is crucial for effective potty training.

Make sure to use:

  • High-value treats
  • Healthy treats
  • Edible treats


  • Low-value treats
  • Unhealthy treats
  • Non-edible treats

Reserving Treats for Successful Potty Training Moments

Reserve treats for successful potty training moments to encourage your Yorkie to repeat the desired behavior.

  • High-value treats are more effective than low-value treats.
  • Small treats are more effective than large treats.
  • Treats should be given immediately after your Yorkie eliminates.
  • The frequency of treats should be consistent.

The Actual House Training Rules and Problem-Solving

The Actual House Training Rules and Problem-Solving
To potty train your Yorkie, you’ll need to follow a few key rules:

First, always take your Yorkie to the same designated bathroom spot.

Second, provide immediate praise and reward for elimination.

Third, be patient and allow sufficient time for elimination.

Key Rules to Follow During Potty Training

The key rules to follow during potty training are:

  • Consistency
  • Supervision
  • Positive reinforcement

Take yorkie outside immediately after waking.

Praise yorkie when they eliminate outside.

Clean up accidents immediately.

Be patient with yorkie during training.

Crate train yorkie if necessary.

Reacting to Accidents and Addressing Common Problems

Interrupt accidents with a loud hand clap and a firm ‘No’, then bring your Yorkie outside immediately.

Don’t punish accidents.

Clean up accidents immediately.

Be patient and consistent.

Redirect to designated area.

Avoid marking territory.

Proper Cleaning to Eliminate Lingering Scents

Proper cleaning is essential to eliminate lingering scents and prevent accidents in the future.

Use enzymatic cleaners to eliminate odors.

Use vinegar and baking soda to neutralize odors.

Steam clean to remove stains.

Use air purifiers and essential oils to freshen the air.

Common House Training Problems Solved

Common House Training Problems Solved
Yorkies peeing after coming back inside may be due to rushing.

Hold the Yorkie on your lap after coming inside to prevent accidents.

Redirect the Yorkie if engaging in unacceptable behaviors outside.

Restrict access to the entire house until fully house trained.

Solutions for Common Challenges in Potty Training

Reacting to accidents with a loud hand clap and a firm ‘No’ is an effective way to discourage unwanted behavior.

Patience, consistency, and proper cleanup are essential for successful potty training.

Additional tips:

  • Consider crate training or using alternative confinement methods.
  • Properly place pee pads and gradually phase them out.
  • Use positive reinforcement with a variety of treats.

Addressing Issues Like Peeing After Coming Back Inside or Marking

After addressing accidents, you’ll want to make sure your Yorkie isn’t peeing after coming back inside or marking.

  • Hold your Yorkie on your lap after coming inside to prevent accidents.
  • Redirect your Yorkie if they start to mark.
  • Restrict access to the entire house until fully house trained.

Restricting Access to the Entire House Until Fully House Trained

Restrict access to the entire house until your Yorkie is fully house trained to avoid accidents and eliminate the need for extensive cleanup.

Early training is beneficial, but be patient and consistent with your Yorkie as they learn.

Crate training isn’t recommended, but there are other alternatives available.

A Word About Marking

A Word About Marking
Marking is a separate behavioral issue from regular indoor elimination. It’s important to understand the factors that contribute to this behavior before addressing it.

  • Marking is more common in male dogs than female dogs.
  • Un-neutered males and un-spayed females are more likely to mark.
  • Marking is often a territorial behavior.
  • Marking can be stopped by neutering or spaying your dog.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the best ways to housebreak a Yorkie?

To housebreak your Yorkie, you’ll need to:

  • Create a schedule for bathroom breaks.
  • Use positive reinforcement.
  • Be patient with accidents.

How much time does it take to potty train a Yorkie?

Potty training a Yorkie typically takes:

  • 2-4 months for indoor training
  • 2-6 weeks for outdoor training

The duration varies based on the Yorkie’s personality and learning style.

What is the best age to start potty training a Yorkie?

The best age to start potty training a Yorkie is as soon as you bring them home. Starting early helps establish good habits and makes the process smoother.

Consistency, positive reinforcement, and patience are key for successful training.

What are some common mistakes people make when potty training a Yorkie?

Common mistakes when potty training a Yorkie include:

  • Inconsistent routines
  • Not praising or rewarding desired behavior
  • Punishing accidents
  • Not properly cleaning accident areas.

Consistency and positive reinforcement are key to successful potty training.

What are some tips for dealing with accidents?

If your Yorkie has an accident:

  • Clean the area thoroughly with an enzyme cleaner to eliminate the odor.
  • Redirect your Yorkie to the designated bathroom area.
  • Provide praise and a treat for elimination in the correct spot.


Potty training a Yorkie can be a challenge, but it’s definitely doable with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement.

  1. Start early. The sooner you start potty training your Yorkie, the easier it will be. Ideally, you should start when they are still a puppy, but you can still potty train an older Yorkie.

  2. Set a schedule. One of the best ways to potty train your Yorkie is to set a regular schedule for them to go outside. This will help them to learn to hold their bladder and bowels until they are outside.

  3. Take your Yorkie outside often. When you first start potty training your Yorkie, you will need to take them outside frequently. This means taking them outside every few hours, even if they don’t seem to need to go.

  4. Reward your Yorkie when they go outside. When your Yorkie goes outside to potty, be sure to reward them with a treat or praise. This will help them to learn that going outside is a good thing.

  5. Be patient and consistent. Potty training can take time, so be patient and consistent with your Yorkie. Don’t get discouraged if they have accidents, just keep at it and they will eventually get the hang of it.

  6. Use a crate. A crate can be a helpful tool for potty training your Yorkie. When your Yorkie is in their crate, they will be less likely to potty because they don’t want to soil their own space.

  7. Clean up accidents promptly. When your Yorkie has an accident, clean it up promptly. This will help to discourage them from pottying in the same spot again.

  8. Don’t punish your Yorkie for accidents. Punishing your Yorkie for having an accident will not help them to learn to potty outside. It will only make them afraid to go potty in front of you.

  9. Seek professional help if you need it. If you are struggling to potty train your Yorkie, you may want to seek professional help from a dog trainer or behaviorist.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.