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Supergirl's avatar

Yorkie Owners Only!: How to housetrain my Yorkie puppy?

Asked by Supergirl (1676points) December 24th, 2007

I have a three mo. old puppy that is 90% trained on puppy pads, but I want to train him to go outside 100%. How to do this? What is their capacity to hold it? (hours wise)

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5 Answers

syz's avatar

Yorkies do not require any methods other than normal puppy training. If he’s trained to puppy pads, gradually move them to the outside and eventually do away with them. A toy breed of three months should not reasonably be expected to go more than 3–4 hours without a potty break.

samkusnetz's avatar

agree: this is not a yorkie-specific question.

a rough guide to dog bladder control is to take the age in months, add 1, and that’s the number of hours maximum, to a limit of 6 – 8 hours. so your pup is probably safe at three hours, and will definitely have to pee after four hours.

syz technique is good. another good way to train outdoor peeing is to wait until the dog is getting ready to pee, and then get himto go outside right at that moment. after not too long, the dog will associate needing to pee with going outside.

in fact, ALL dog training is best thought of as creating associative behavior. to train to sit, wait for the dog to sit then quickly offer treat. slowly work in yourself saying “sit” right as the dog sits. eventually, you can start saying “sit” first, and the dog will have associated the sound, the action, and the treat. et voila.

Angelina's avatar

Also, make sure you’re the alpha, always. Yorkies tend to be stubborn, independent and dominant (in addition to loyal, intelligent and affectionate), and this is a crucial time to establish that you’re in charge. Some tips to do so:
-when it’s feeding time, if your pup doesn’t eat, don’t leave the bowl there for her to go back to when she feels like it. give her the food at her next mealtime.
-teach her sit, stay, heel
-before she jumps on any furniture, she has to “ask permission.” have her sit, and then invite her up.
-when you’re going out for a walk, you walk out the door first, and coming back, you walk in the door, first.
-no begging!
-some dogs learn how to “ask” for treats. (waving their paw at your, standing by the treat bowl.) this is cute, except that in this case they’re giving YOU a command.
Best of luck with the potty training! The most important thing is to remain consistent. Feel free to use treats and abundant praise. (It feels weird to gush over a small, pooping animal, but you’ll get over it.)

CaptainDog's avatar

I agree that this is not a breed specific issue; however, toy breeds are most definitely a different medium than larger dogs. I have had both for years, and there is a BIG difference between house training toy & big dogs. First of all, a 3 month old Yorkie has very little bladder control. As samkusnetz said, typically you can go the SAME number of hours as your pup’s age. HOWEVER, I would be extremely surprised if your yorkie can go for 3 hours, let alone longer than that. Keep that in mind. The technique for house training toy breeds is the same as big dogs, but you have to always keep in mind the difference in size – bladder size, and muscle development (ie control) is nowhere near the same—toy breeds develop & mature MUCH more slowly than big dogs. I have raised both from birth, & there is a HUGE difference.

SO, first off, you need to understand that if your pup thinks it’s “ok” to go on the puppy pads, you cannot all of a sudden start punishing him for using them. As syz said, you can start moving them closer & closer to the door you take pup out to potty, ultimately placing it just outside the door, then gradually farther from the door. But this alone is NOT going to house train him! My reference would be to get rid of the puppy pads now. There is no shortcut or magic bullet to this. You want to get puppy outside BEFORE he has gone in the house, so you can reinforce him out there – which means you HAVE to go outside with him, every time. Otherwise, you don’t know if he’s empty or not, and if he did go, he got no praise or treats for doing what you wanted. Here is a suggested list of times it’s wise to Take Puppy Outside:
1. after waking up (even from a short nap),
2. after eating or drinking,
3. after a chewing session (on a chewey toy, bone, etc.),
4. after a lot of playing, running around…when activity stops, better be ready to scoot him outside!
The reason is that all of these activities stimulate the system, and activate the natural peristaltic muscular contractions of the GI system=if there’s anything in there, it’s gonna come out! ;)

The other CRUCIAL thing you’ve got to do is control the pup’s free time in the house. There should be no free house time unless you would bet your life savings that he’s empty. Even then, you have to keep the above list in mind; if he chooses to spend his free house time taking a nap, as soon as he wakes up, get him outside, even if it’s only been 30 minutes. Too much freedom too soon is how most puppy problems arise. It’s really easy with such a small dog to use baby gates or an ex-pen to contain him. That way if there IS an accident, it will be
A. noticeable, (which tells you you made an error in judgment, not taking him out sooner!),
B. easy to clean.
Many toy dogs fail to get house trained because it is so easy to miss accidents. People think the adult dog “knows better”, that’s why they “hide” it behind the sofa or in the kid’s room. WRONG. If all they’ve had is punishment when they get caught going in the house, they simply learn it’s not safe to go when people are around, or where people can see you. That does not teach them what you want them to understand, which is it’s going outside that you want.

When you are taking him outside to potty, tell him that’s what you’re doing: “let’s go out & potty” (you can call it whatever you like). When he’s outside, don’t speak to him; just let him sniff around. When he’s going, wait to praise him until he’s just about finished – then say something like “good potty”. He will very soon associate the word Potty with the action, which makes it easier to communicate, and can actually help stimulate elimination once the association is made. If you like you can hang a bell next to the door & touch it every time you take him out, as you say let’s go out to potty. Eventually you can encourage him to touch it before you go out, & now he has a way to let you know he wants out. I prefer not to hang the bell ON the door, because then the dog hears the bell every time the door is opened or closed, regardless of whether it has to do with him pottying, and that will make the bell less meaningful-kind of dilute it.

Take one room at a time as puppy gets the idea that this whole huge place is the “den”. Spend some of his “free” house time in each room of the house, & get him outside before an accident happens. That is how he’ll understand the whole house is the “den”. In his “gated” area, where he can hang out if you’re not sure if he’s completely empty, or can’t keep an eye on him, you can put down plain butcher paper, or newspapers, ONLY to make clean up of accidents easier, not to encourage him to use them. That is why I said earlier I’d get rid of the puppy pads right now. But, do what feels right to you.

Hope this helps-be patient, and be sure you tell him what you want, not just no, no, no – in whatever area you are working. Good luck!

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