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Why Are Yorkshire Terriers Hard to Housetrain?

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When it comes to choosing the right dog breed for you, there are many characteristics to consider. There is more to owning a dog than meets the eye, from temperaments and size to genetic predispositions and average medical care costs.

Some dogs require less maintenance than others, which is very important to think about before welcoming a puppy into your home. One of the dog breeds that entails a lot of patience and effort during the puppy stages is the Yorkshire terrier.

They are infamous for being very difficult to housetrain, as many small breeds are. But house training a Yorkshire terrier is not impossible, especially when you look into tips and tricks for successfully house training a Yorkie.

But why are Yorkies notoriously tricky to house train? Let’s explore a couple of reasons that can explain why Yorkshire terriers require extra help when it comes to house training, and then we’ll give you some tips that will make your house training experience less stressful.

What Makes Yorkshire Terriers Hard to House Train?

The primary reason why Yorkies are difficult to house train has everything to do with the size of a Yorkie’s bladder. Yorkshire terriers are already small dogs as it is, and with a smaller frame comes a smaller bladder, as well as other internal organs.

Yorkshire terriers typically weigh anywhere between four to six pounds, with seven pounds being the healthy limit. For dogs, weighing less than ten pounds is considered very small, and Yorkshire terriers are regarded as one of the most miniature dog breeds out there.

To go along with their petite frame, the bladder of a Yorkie is so tiny that terrier puppies cannot control their bladder at all when they are young. As a general rule of thumb, Yorkie terriers should be taken outside for a bathroom break every two hours or less as puppies.

Small bladders paired with little to no bladder control can be a recipe for disaster, so putting training pads throughout the house is a great idea. In addition to their small bladders, Yorkies simply need more time to learn the ropes of proper bathroom behavior.

Yorkshire terriers can be hard to house train because owners become frustrated by how slow-moving the process can be, so don’t lose hope. Keep cheering for your Yorkie terrier whenever he or she does well, and be patient with them even if they have an accidents at times.

Your dog will become house trained eventually, as long as you never give up on them! Continue reading to learn about three tips that can make house training your Yorkshire terrier more bearable.

3 Tips for House Training a Yorkie

When looking for information about the Yorkshire terrier breed, one of the most common questions you’ll find people asking, “Are Yorkies hard to potty train?” This is because many prospective Yorkie owners want to know what they might be signing up for.


Simply put, the answer to the question, “Are Yorkies hard to potty train?” is yes, they are. Instead of focusing on the difficulty of house training a Yorkie, it’s more helpful to look into ways of making the house training process easier!

Always Place the Training Pad in the Same Part of the House

One of the best tips for house training a Yorkie terrier is to use training pads in the same parts of the house. Doing so will allow your Yorkshire puppy to develop habits and create a routine when house training.

Another effective piece of advice is to replace old training pads with new ones after your dog spoils them. Some pet owners will allow their dogs to use the bathroom multiple times on one training pad, but this often increases the likelihood of an accident because the scent may deter your dog from urinating on the already-wet training pad. 

However, a little pee or poo on the pad will help a pup just learning the process know where to go.

Introduce Positive Reinforcement by Rewarding Your Yorkie

Many dog trainers recommend incorporating a clicking device when house training your dog. They will learn to associate the sound it makes with the act of going to the bathroom, which makes training your Yorkshire terrier that much easier!

Dogs respond very well to positive reinforcements, so you can even go the extra mile and reward your Yorkie with a treat after successfully using the bathroom in the right place. Whether you are still house training your puppy to urinate on training pads or your Yorkie is now ready to have potty breaks outside, a reward is an excellent idea.

Giving your Yorkshire terriers a dog treat after exhibiting good behavior will encourage them to keep up the excellent work!

Try to Minimize the Number of Accidents Your Yorkshire Terrier Has

It’s understandable for your Yorkie terrier to have an accident or two as a very young puppy. Yorkshire puppies have difficulty controlling their bladder and bowel movements after all.

However, another constructive tip when house training your Yorkshire terrier is to keep the number of accidents as low as possible. The more often your puppy has an accident, the more normal freely using the bathroom inside will feel.

Normalizing accidents is a dangerous game to play because your Yorkie terrier will think it is okay to go to the bathroom anywhere he or she pleases. It’ll slowly but surely turn into a habit that will become nearly impossible to break, so it’s best to avoid this situation altogether!

As your Yorkshire terrier gets older, you can start minimizing the number of accidents your Yorkie has in a different way. Simply bring your dog outside as soon as you notice they have started using the bathroom inside because it will build an association between emptying their bladder and being outdoors.

You can’t control your Yorkie terrier’s bladder, so don’t beat yourself up if your Yorkshire terrier does have an occasional accident indoors. Potty training a yorkie isn’t always easy. Just make sure your dog is always allowed outside multiple times per day!

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Cathy Bendzunas with yorkie and yorkie mix

Cathy Bendzunas

Dog Blogger

I have always loved Yorkies and got my first on when I was 19. I bred and showed them back in the 80’s. Though I love other breeds too, Yorkshire Terriers will always be my first love. I have lived and worked with dogs all my life.

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