How to Potty Train a Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies can be difficult to potty-train.

Yorkies can be difficult to potty-train.

The Yorkshire terrier -- or Yorkie -- is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States because of its loyal, lively disposition. These toy dogs, however, are also notoriously difficult to house-train. With consistency and plenty of encouragement, you can potty-train even the stubbornest of dogs.

Put your dog in a crate when you are not home or are unable to supervise her. Yorkies are prone to suffer from separation anxiety, which can increase their likelihood of having accidents in the house. A crate can help your dog feel secure, and dogs are much less likely to urinate or defecate in their crates.

Avoid leaving your dog in her crate for long periods of time. Puppies can usually tolerate two to three hours in a crate, while adult dogs can stay in a crate for six to eight hours. Depending on individual circumstances, some dogs need more frequent breaks while others can wait longer.

Prevent accidents by taking your dog for potty breaks regularly. Each accident increases the likelihood of future accidents, because your dog begins to think it's okay to go inside. Puppies should go outside at least every two hours. Both puppies and adult dogs should go outside after waking up, before bed, after eating or drinking, and after play sessions.

Carry the training clicker every time you go outside with the dog. Click the training clicker and give your dog a treat when she does her business outside. This helps her associate going outside with getting a reward and increases her incentive to control her bladder and bowels.

Take your dog outside immediately if she has an accident. This helps her develop an association between going to the bathroom and going outside. If your dog goes outside, click the training clicker and give her a treat.

Items you will need

  • Dog crate
  • Leash
  • Collar
  • Training clicker
  • Dog treats


  • It can take up to six months to fully house-train a Yorkie, though you may see progress within a week or two.


  • Never yell at or punish your dog for having an accident. This can encourage future accidents.

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About the Author

Brenna Davis is a professional writer who covers parenting, pets, health and legal topics. Her articles have appeared in a variety of newspapers and magazines as well as on websites. She is a court-appointed special advocate and is certified in crisis counseling and child and infant nutrition. She holds degrees in developmental psychology and philosophy from Georgia State University.

Photo Credits

  • Yorkshire Terrier image by Susan Rae Tannenbaum from Fotolia.com