Yorkshire terriers have a reputation for being difficult to train.
That’s because they have a short attention span and can be somewhat stubborn.
But they are also highly intelligent and fiercely loyal.
Both of those traits actually make them good learners.
So which is it? Are Yorkies hard to potty train or do they learn faster than other breeds?
The truth is that it depends on your individual dog and your training methods.
There is a trick to overcome the short attention span and the stubbornness. Use that, and the housebreaking will be much easier.
Keep reading to learn how hard it is to potty train a Yorkie, and what you can do to make the task go much more smoothly.
- 1 Are Yorkies Hard To Potty Train?
- 2 Why Are Yorkies So Hard To Potty Train?
- 3 How Long Yorkies Can Hold Their Pee
- 4 Are Yorkies Hard To Housebreak: Related Questions
- 5 Yorkies Are Hard To Potty Train: Conclusion
Are Yorkies Hard To Potty Train?
Yorkies can be a bit harder to potty train than other breeds, but not overly so. They are more intelligent than most other breeds, so they do learn quite quickly. But they are also stubborn and have a short attention span.
If they don’t want to learn or aren’t paying attention, their ability to learn things quickly obviously doesn’t come into play. Thus, the key to training a Yorkie to do anything is to make sure it is paying attention and it wants to learn. We’ll help with that.
In terms of potty training, there are a few other factors working against the Yorkshire terrier. They tend to experience separation anxiety and they have smaller bladders than most dogs. As a result, accidents do happen more frequently.
When your pup does make a mess in the home, please don’t take it personally and get angry. Your little guy or girl is trying his or her best. Just stay patient and keep at it. If you know how to potty train a Yorkie the right way, your puppy will soon learn not to go in the house.
It helps if you understand why your pup might be having difficulty learning to hold it and wait until it can go outside. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons Yorkies can be hard to potty train.
Why Are Yorkies So Hard To Potty Train?
Teaching a Yorkshire terrier not to pee in the house can be challenging and tricky. Of course, the same can be true for any dog. And some Yorkie parents claim that training their pup was a snap.
In the end, it depends on your individual dog and on your training methods. That said, Yorkies have a reputation for being a bit harder to potty train on average. Here are the reasons for that.
Short Attention Span
Yorkies are known for having short attention spans. This makes any type of training more challenging, not just potty training.
The key to overcoming this issue is to train your dog in a location wit no distraction. If there is nothing to distract your pup, it will continue t pay attention to you longer.
In addition, you want to limit your training sessions to 10 or 15 minutes. How long exactly depends on your dog. Some have longer attention spans than others. But basically, have multiple short training sessions, instead of trying to have one longer one. That simply won’t work and will only leave you frustrated.
Like other territorial dogs, Yorkies can be very stubborn at times. Their stubborn behavior and larger-than-life attitude can give dog owners a hard time, especially when trying to train your dog.
Sometimes your Yorkie simply won’t feel like cooperating. Whenever that happens it is best to just end the training session for the time being and come back to it later.
Yorkies are toy dog breed. As such, they are small in stature, which means they also have smaller bladders than other dog breeds. As a result, your Yorkie will need more frequent pee trips than larger dogs.
As you can imagine, this means more accidents, especially in the beginning. Yorkie puppies simply can’t hold their bladders for very long (we’ll get into how long below). On the bright side, their pee is much easier to clean up, since there is less of it.
Another contributor to pee accidents in Yorkies is their tendency to experience separation anxiety. While Yorkshire terriers are brave, they are also clingy and they do not like being far from their owner.
Your dog will likely experience some separation anxiety in your absence, especially in new locations and in the presence of unknown people. When suffering from anxiety, dogs tend to feel the need to relieve themselves out of nervousness.
How Long Yorkies Can Hold Their Pee
How long a Yorkie can hold its bladder depends very much on the age of the dog in question. In general, you can expect your Yorkie puppy’s holding time to increase by an hour as each month passes.
For example, a two-month-old Yorkie can hold its pee for two hours. Your puppy can wait for three hours as it grows a month older. And so on. Let’s take a look at the length of time a Yorkie can go between bathroom breaks at various ages.
- 8 to 10 Weeks: A Yorkie puppy under 2 ½ months cannot hold its pee longer than an hour. They will urinate whenever and wherever they feel the need. You’ll be doing a lot of cleaning at this age.
- 10 to 12 Weeks: As you introduce them to potty training at 10 to 12 weeks after birth, Yorkies learn to hold their pee for up to two hours.
- 3 to 4 Months: A 3 to 4 month old Yorkshire terrier can hold its pee for three to four hours, assuming you have been potty training it.
- 5 to 6 Months: Yorkies learn to hold their pee for 5 to 6 hours at the age of 5 to 6 months.
- 6 Months: If you provide your Yorkie with proper and consistent potty training, it should be completely housebroken by the time it is 6 months old. It will not struggle to hold its pee and suffer accidents until you get around the 6 hour mark.
- 10 to 12 Months: Your Yorkie puppy will reach adulthood at 10 to 12 months. At this point, it should be able to hold it for at least 8 hours. However, you may not see these results, if your potty training has been inconsistent.
That said, we do not recommend ever making your Yorkie hold its pee for this long, and certainly never longer than 8 hours. Doing so can can lead to health issues like urinary stones, urinary tract infections, and cancer. Plus, it is just plain cruel.
Are Yorkies Hard To Housebreak: Related Questions
Let’s go over some of the more common questions related to housebreaking a Yorkshire terrier. If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below.
How Long Does It Take to Potty Train A Yorkie?
As mentioned, your Yorkie puppy cannot entirely control its bodily functions until seven weeks after birth. For that reason, we don’t want to begin counting the potty training time until after your dog’s evacuation system is fully developed.
It will be unfair to expect your Yorkie to show results from the onset of potty training. So, how long does it take to potty train a yorkie, if you do everything right?
Yorkies usually need at least two months’ worth of time before they can grasp the idea. From there, it will take your puppy a few months before completing its housebreaking.
At What Age Should You Begin Potty Training A Yorkie?
The best time to train your pet is when it is about 6 to 8 months old. As mentioned, you can begin some training earlier, like teaching it to use a specific spot in the home, and maybe keep a puppy pad on that spot to make clean up a snap (easier than a newspaper).
By this time, your dog should also already know the basic commands, so it is used to learning new things. Read “What Are The 7 Basic Dog Commands?” to learn more on teaching those.
Potty training an older Yorkie is a bit more challenging, but still perfectly doable. The same principles apply: stay consistent, be patient and use rewards, not punishment.
How Often Do Yorkies Poop?
Before developing a potty-training strategy for your dog, you must also know how often Yorkies poop. Again, it depends on age.
Seven weeks is the minimum age at which a Yorkie separates from its mother and becomes the pet owner’s responsibility. Does that mean we can start potty training at seven weeks?
It is hard for a 7-week old Yorkie to control its bowel movements. The physiological system is not yet entirely developed at this age. That means it is physically impossible for your young puppy to hold off pooping until you would like it to do so.
However, this does not mean you can’t do any type of training with a puppy this age. In fact, it is a good idea to teach your puppy the correct way to do things from the time it arrives in your home.
Doing so will internalize the teachings, and your puppy will find it easier to adjust to your potty training requirements later. Your puppy will learn to try, even if it can’t control its bowel movements yet.
A good idea is to start with smaller steps. For example, teach your Yorkie to poop in a specific place, such as in a nook in your house or on the newspaper, etc. Lift your puppy and take it to the “potty area” whenever you anticipate that it needs to poop or pee. Make sure you choose a spot at a distance from your dog’s sleeping spot and food and water bowls.
Typically, an adult Yorkie should poop two to three times a day. It is a good idea to make a mental note of the number of times your Yorkie defecates in a day. Paying attention to the texture, consistency, and color of the stool is also important.
These factors can indicate if your dog is suffering from digestive issues. For example, your dog may have diarrhea or constipation. The number of times your dog poops on average can help you form your Yorkie’s potty training strategy.
How Long After Eating Do Yorkies Poop?
Expect your pet to urinate and defecate anywhere between 15 minutes and half an hour after eating. Of course, that is an average. Some puppies may relieve themselves well before 15 minutes, and some make take longer than half an hour.
Yorkies Are Hard To Potty Train: Conclusion
You may have heard that Yorkies are especially hard to potty train. In fact, they have a reputation for being hard to train in general. But this is not entirely true.
Yes, they are stubborn and they have short attention spans. But if you keep training sessions short and put trainings off when your pup just isn’t into it, a Yorkie will actually learn faster than most breeds, thanks to its high intelligence.
It does take patience and there will be accidents. But don’t get angry and just stay patient. Before you know it, your pup will be going to the bathroom outdoors like any other well-behaved pooch.