That Yorkie puppy you just brought home is adorable. The cutest thing you’ve ever seen. But trust us when we say that cutie pie may not seem so sweet and innocent after you have to clean up a few accidents in your house.
10 Tips for Housebreaking a Yorkie
If your Yorkie is at least eight weeks old, the time to start housebreaking is now. With a little time, patience, understanding, and persistence, he’ll soon learn the proper place to go.
Here are 10 things to help you with the process.
1 – Have realistic expectations.
At eight weeks, your puppy’s bladder and bowel muscles are still developing and are not as strong as they will eventually be. Don’t expect her to hold it for long stretches of time in the beginning and don’t expect to be accident-free when she’s so young. She isn’t physically capable yet.
2 – Know how long it’s healthy for your Yorkie to hold it.
There’s a simple formula for this: number of months = number of hours. A three-month-old can safely hold it for three hours. This rule applies until about eight months (or eight hours).
3 – Choose one area outside for him to go.
It should be an area that is appropriate in any weather conditions and should be used only for bathroom time (not near your patio or where you sometimes grill out).
4 – Consistent Timing.
Take your Yorkie out about 15 minutes after a meal, and give her 15 minutes to go. Don’t rush her. She needs to find the right spot, and her bladder and bowel muscles need to relax.
5 – Pacing Your Away Time.
The months = hours rule applies to overnight and while you’re at work in the day, so plan ahead. Your puppy will need to go outside at least once during the night until he’s about four months old. Don’t depend on pee pads at night. This will only confuse him and derail your housebreaking training. Get up and take him out. Your best option if you’re gone all day is to gate him into a room with an easily cleaned floor.
6 – Learn your Yorkie’s signs that he needs to go.
He may pace or whine or do something else, but will have some signal that he needs to go outside right away.
7 – Stick to a schedule during training.
It should include trips outside first thing in the morning, after a nap, 15 minutes after eating, and right before you go to bed.
8 – Night Time Consistency.
If your puppy is crying at night, and you have taken him outside, and if they are safe and not in need of anything do not give in and get up. Let her cry. Otherwise, you can get yourself into a sleepless pattern.
9 – Rewards Work!
Rewarding good behavior is far more effective than harsh reactions to bad behavior. You’re the boss in your house – the alpha. Nothing makes your Yorkie feel better and reinforces good behavior than knowing she has made the alpha happy.
10 – Expect small steps and praise them.
This is a process. It won’t happen overnight. Make a big deal when your puppy goes outside. Offer praise and treats. This encourages him to repeat the behavior.
Housebreaking a Yorkie takes patience, but it’s an important step in developing both the desired behavior in your puppy and establishing a loving relationship where she understands her role. The two of you will hopefully have many years together. This is one important part of making those years as happy as they can be.
Let us know below if you have questions or comments to share!