How to Potty Train a Yorkie

the scientific method

The Science of Potty Training a Yorkie

Potty training a Yorkie requires patience, consistency, and a good understanding of canine behavior. When it comes to potty training, there are two important factors to consider: your dog’s natural instincts, and the habits that you develop with your dog over time.

First, it is important to understand that dogs are naturally clean animals, and will not typically eliminate in areas where they sleep or eat. This is because dogs have an instinct to keep their den area clean, and will often avoid eliminating in confined spaces where they spend a lot of time.However, in the absence of a designated elimination area, dogs may be more likely to eliminate in inappropriate areas such as carpets or furniture. This is why it is important to create a designated potty area for your Yorkie, where they can learn to associate that area with elimination.

In addition to your dog’s natural instincts, potty training also relies on developing good habits and routines with your dog. This means establishing a regular feeding schedule, taking your dog outside frequently, and rewarding your dog for eliminating in the designated potty area.

Tips for Successful Yorkie Potty Training

1. Establish a designated potty area: As mentioned earlier, dogs are naturally clean animals and will avoid eliminating in areas where they sleep or eat. Therefore, it is important to establish a designated potty area for your Yorkie, and to consistently take them to that area for elimination.

2. Create a feeding schedule: Feeding your Yorkie on a consistent schedule can help regulate their bowel movements, making it easier to anticipate when they will need to eliminate. This will allow you to take them to their designated potty area at the appropriate times.

3. Use positive reinforcement: Rewarding your Yorkie for eliminating in the designated potty area is important for creating positive habits and routines. This can be done with verbal praise, treats, or other rewards that your dog enjoys.

4. Supervise your Yorkie: Especially during the early stages of potty training, it is important to supervise your Yorkie closely to prevent accidents from occurring. This may mean keeping your dog in a confined space, such as a crate or playpen, when you are not able to watch them closely.

5. Be patient and consistent: Potty training a Yorkie takes time and patience, and it is important to remain consistent with your training methods. This means using the same designated potty area, feeding schedule, and positive reinforcement techniques until your dog has developed good habits.

Methods of Yorkie Potty Training

There are several methods you can use to potty train your Yorkie, including crate training, paper training, and outdoor training.

1. Crate Training: Crate training is a popular method of potty training that involves confining your Yorkie to a dog pen or crate when you are unable to supervise them. The crate should be large enough for your pup to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Dogs instinctively avoid going potty where they sleep, so crate training can help your Yorkie learn to hold it until you take them outside. Be sure to take your pup outside to go potty immediately after you let them out of the crate.

2. Paper Training:  Paper training involves creating a designated area in your home where your Yorkie can go potty on a newspaper or pee pad. This method is useful if you live in an apartment or have limited access to the outdoors. Start by placing a pee pad in a small, confined area, such as a bathroom or laundry room, and gradually expand the area as your Yorkie gets better at using the pad. Be sure to praise your pup and offer treats when they use the pad to reinforce good behavior.

3. Outdoor Training:  Outdoor training involves taking your Yorkie outside to go potty on a regular schedule. Start by taking your pup outside first thing in the morning, after meals, and before bedtime. Choose a designated spot in your yard or on the sidewalk and wait for your Yorkie to go potty. Be sure to reward them with treats and praise when they go potty in the right place.


  1. Blackwell, E. J., Twells, C., Seawright, A., & Casey, R. A. (2008). The relationship between training methods and the occurrence of behavior problems, as reported by owners, in a population of domestic dogs. Journal of veterinary behavior, 3(5), 201-207.
  2. Houpt, K. A., Goodwin, D., & Upton, L. (2018). Domestic Animal Behavior for Veterinarians and Animal Scientists. John Wiley & Sons.
  3. Landsberg, G. M., Hunthausen, W. L., & Ackerman, L. J. (2013). Behavior problems of the dog and cat. Elsevier Health Sciences.
  4. Overall, K. L. (2013). Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals. Elsevier Health Sciences.
  5. Reid, P. J., & Baun, M. M. (2006).

Training Treats

Here are some of our favorite treats for positive reinforcement during potty training