AKC Yorkshire Terriers, Ocala, Florida
 

   

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How do I housebreak my Yorkie?

There are a million articles on internet.  I train all my puppies using a playpen as shown below.

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Your Five Rules for House Training

Give your puppy frequent access to his toilet area - prevent soiling in the house.
Reward the pup for peeing or pooping in the right place - use a special treat.
Never punish the pup for housetraining "mistakes" - scolding has dire consequences.
Put your puppy on a regular and timely feeding schedule - in/out clockwork.
Know when your puppy last eliminated - keep a diary.

How often do puppies have to potty?

Most puppies have to eliminate about every 30-45 minutes except, of course, when sleeping. Their elimination schedule will depend upon when they last ate or drank water; rambunctious physical activity; and the big unknown - personal preference! That's right - every pup has their own inherent elimination schedule. The good news is, puppies sleep a lot!

If your puppy is not sleeping and is out in the house, you must follow her/him around to know what he/she is doing: chewing a bone, running circles, getting a drink of water, etc. In fact, don't take your eye off of them!

It's very important to put your puppy on a regular and timely feeding schedule; What goes in on a regular schedule will come out on a regular schedule. Every pup is different; some poop immediately after eating; with others it may be 30 minutes to an hour after eating.

Always leave water out for your puppy. Check the water bowl frequently to note how much she is drinking and to make sure the water bowl is full.

The best way to potty train a puppy

If you live in a high rise apartment, or a street level apartment or home with DIFFICULT outdoor access, use a gated bathroom/kitchen or playpen in the home for housetraining.  I use washable pee pads with a disposable pee pad in a pee pad holder.  My puppies are usually about 60% accurate at the time they go to their new owners.

If, however, you live in a street level apartment or home with EASY outdoor access, use a specific, very close outdoor location and use "Housetraining Taxi Service." You will still use an indoor playpen or gated area for housetraining purposes, but outdoors will be your puppy's primary toilet area.

Puppy playpens are an excellent way to keep your puppy safe at various times throughout the day. If you need to take a nap and are worried that puppy might get into something while you do, a playpen is often a better alternative than sticking him in a crate. Personally, I'm not fond of crate training and a well-made, safe puppy playpen is a fantastic alternative to them in many cases.

Even if you do want to crate train your dog, you can still use the playpen as an alternative. There are puppy playpens for travelling, outdoor puppy playpens for use in the grass, and puppy playpens for use in the home. Just be sure that they are large enough for puppy to move around in, as they do come in various sizes -- if you're going to get one, you're best of buying a puppy playpen that is large enough to move around whilst still being able to fit in water, a bed, toys and a litter box (if you're litter box training him). DO NOT use playpens designed for children if they are made of flimsy mesh or other materials that your puppy can chew through or break.

My preference for "pens" are the following:

          

Ebay and Amazon are the best place to find 45" soft sided Playpens.

"Housetraining Taxi Service"

What ? To house train my puppy I have to call a cab? Well, not exactly, here's the scoop. Puppies will decide to potty or poop instantly, giving you no warning. So many times when housetraining, a puppy is led to the door and on the way they just stop and do their business. This usually happens because the puppy has not developed enough bladder or bowel control yet to "hold it" until they get to the toilet area or they simply don't know where the toilet area is yet. Not only has the pup made "a mistake," but you have lost a chance to reward for going in the right place.

The key to house training is preventing "mistakes" and rewarding the puppy for going in your chosen spot.

"Housetraining Taxi Service" is simply picking the puppy up into your arms, taking them to the designated toilet area, setting them down and praising them for going where you want. If you are going outside, put a collar and leash on the pup immediately after picking them up, unless the toilet area is safely enclosed and escape proof.

When should you provide "Housetraining Taxi Service"?

Immediately upon your puppy waking up (morning, noon or night).
Immediately after they finish eating, get a big drink of water, and after excited play
When you think they might have to go - about every 45 minutes.  Better too often than too late!
When your puppy whines in the pen in the middle of the night or whines in their pen during the day. Take them out to potty, reward for going and put them right back.
When your puppy is standing at the door to the outside. Why not just let them out, you say? Well, he may not make it all the way to the toilet area, potty or poop in the "wrong" place and you have missed a housetraining opportunity!

For how long should you provide "Housetraining Taxi Service" ?
Taxi your pup for about one month (until the pup is about 3 months old as this should give the pup enough time to develop some bladder and bowel control). By doing so, you will prevent many mistakes. At the same time you will train a strong preference in your pup to eliminate in your chosen spot. The pup will also learn that being picked up gets them kisses !

Passive House Training When you are NOT Home:

Confine your puppy to his, 'puppy-proofed' bathroom/kitchen or playpen and paper (or wee-wee pad) the entire floor.  Put his bed, toys and food/water bowls there. At first there will be no rhyme or reason to where your pup eliminates. He will go every where and any where. He will also probably play with the papers, chew on them, and drag them around his little den. Most puppies do this and you just have to live with it. Don't get upset; just accept it as life with a young puppy. The important thing is that when you get home, clean up the mess and lay down fresh papers.

While your puppy is confined to the bathroom or his playpen, he is developing a habit of eliminating on paper because no matter where he goes, it will be on paper. As time goes on, he will start to show a preferred place to do his business. When this place is well established and the rest of the papers remain clean all day, then gradually reduce the area that is papered. Start removing the paper that is furthest away from his chosen location. Eventually you will only need to leave a few sheets down in that place only. If he ever misses the paper, then you've reduced the area too soon. Go back to papering a larger area.

Once your puppy is reliably going only on the papers you've left, then you can slowly and gradually move his papers to a location of your choice. Move the papers a little bit each day. If puppy misses the paper, then you're moving too fast. Go back a few steps and start over. Don't be discouraged if your puppy seems to be making remarkable progress and then suddenly you have to return to papering the entire area. This is normal. There will always be minor set-backs. If you stick with this procedure, your puppy will be paper trained.

House Training When You ARE Home:

When you are home but can't attend to your puppy, follow the same procedures described above. However, the more time you spend with your puppy, the quicker he will be house trained. Your objective is to take your puppy to his toilet area every time he needs to eliminate. This should be about once every 30-45 minutes; just upon waking; just after eating or drinking; and just after a play session.  Provide house training taxi service to avoid unnecessary "mistakes".

When your pup does eliminate in his toilet area, praise and reward him profusely and enthusiastically! Don't use any type of reprimand or punishment for mistakes or accidents. Your puppy is too young to understand and it can set the house training process back drastically.

As your puppy becomes more reliable about using his toilet area and his bowel and bladder control develops, he can begin to spend more time outside his room or pen with you in the rest of your home. Begin by giving him access to one room at a time. Let him eat, sleep and play in this room but only when he can be supervised. When you cannot supervise him, put him back in his room or pen.

Active House Training:

The most important thing you can do to make house training happen as quickly as possible is to reward and praise your puppy every time he goes in the right place. The more times he is rewarded, the quicker he will learn. Therefore it's important that you spend as much time as possible with your puppy and give him regular and frequent access to his toilet area.

The Key To Successful House Training:

Consistency and Patience. Never scold or punish your puppy for mistakes and accidents. The older your pup gets, the more he will be able to control his bladder and bowels. Eventually your pup will have enough control that he will be able to "hold it" for longer and longer periods of time. Let your puppy do this on his own time. When training is rushed, problems usually develop. Don't forget, most puppies are not completely house trained until they are 6 months old.

Establish a routine that increases the chances that your puppy will eliminate in the right place in your presence, so that she can be praised and rewarded; and decreases the chances that your puppy will eliminate in the wrong place so that she will not develop bad habits.

Yorkshire Terriers are very intelligent, but they can also be a little stubborn. Keeping the training happy and fun it a great way to get through to the Yorkies. They may tend to get bored and it is important to make it a fun, positive experience for them. One way to teaching your Yorkie new tricks is by holding a small treat in your hand. Treats and lots of praise tend to work well with Yorkies. It also helps to have a good sense of humor because they will try to "outsmart" you.

Housebreaking may take several months sometimes longer, so don’t give up. Remember that your puppy wants to please you, he just needs to learn how. Be clear with him when you praise or correct his actions. Eventually, you will see results.  Striking and/or slapping a Yorkie puppy can actually cause permanent physical damage.  Their bones and internal organs are just small and fragile. 

If hitting and or screaming at your puppy is your "way" of training, this is NOT the breed for you and certainly our puppies are not the puppy for you.

Here's what House training is NOT about:

 1. Yelling
 2. Hitting or Kicking your puppy
 3. Punishing your puppy in any way

Here's what it IS about:

 1. Playing with your puppy and having fun!
 2. Making your puppy actually WANT to obey you!
 3. Using the natural instincts ALL Yorkshire Terriers have, to quickly and easily get trained and act like an angel. 

I am a Puppy

I am your Puppy, and I will love you until the end of the Earth, but please know a few things about me.

I am a Puppy; this means that my intelligence and capacity for learning are the same as an 8-month-old child.

I am a Puppy; I will chew EVERYTHING I can get my teeth on. This is how I explore and learn about the world. Even HUMAN children put things in their mouths. It's up to you to guide me to what is mine to chew and what is not.

I am a Puppy; I cannot hold my bladder for longer than 1 - 2 hours. I cannot "feel" that I need to poop until it is actually beginning to come out. I cannot vocalize nor tell you that I need to go, and I cannot have “bladder and bowel control" until 6 - 9 months. Do not punish me if you have not let me out for 3 hours and I tinkle. It is your fault. As a Puppy, it is wise to remember that I NEED to go potty after: Eating, Sleeping, playing, Drinking and around every 2 - 3 hours in addition. If you want me to sleep through the night, then do not give me water after 7 or 8 p.m. A crate will help me learn to housebreak easier, and will avoid you being mad at me.

I am a Puppy, accidents WILL happen, please be patient with me! In time I will learn.

I am a Puppy; I like to play. I will run around, and chase imaginary monsters, and chase your feet and your toes and 'attack' you, and chase fuzz balls, other pets, and small kids. It is play; it's what I do. Do not be mad at me or expect me to be sedate, mellow and sleep all day. If my high energy level is too much for you, maybe you could consider an older rescue from a shelter or Rescue group. My play is beneficial, use your wisdom to guide me in my play with appropriate toys, and activities like chasing a rolling ball, or gentle tug games, or plenty of chew toys for me. If I nip you too hard, talk to me in "dog talk", by giving a loud YELP, I will usually get the message, as this is how dogs communicate with one another. If I get too rough, simply ignore me for a few moments, or put me in my crate with an appropriate chew toy.

I am a Puppy; hopefully you would not yell, hit, strike, kick or beat a 6-month-old human infant, so please do not do the same to me. I am delicate, and also very impressionable. If you treat me harshly now, I will grow up learning to fear being hit, spanked, kicked or beat. Instead, please guide me with encouragement and wisdom. For instance, if I am chewing something wrong, say, "No chew!" and hand me a toy I CAN chew. Better yet, pick up ANYTHING that you do not want me to get into. I can't tell the difference between your old sock and your new sock, or an old sneaker and your $200 Nikes.

I am a Puppy, and I am a creature with feelings and drives much like your own, but yet also very different. Although I am NOT a human in a dog suit, neither am I an unfeeling robot who can instantly obey your every whim. I truly DO want to please you, and be a part of your family, and your life. You got me (I hope) because you want a loving partner and companion, so do not relegate me to the backyard when I get bigger, do not judge me harshly but instead mold me with gentleness and guidelines and training into the kind of family member you want me to be.

I am a Puppy and I am not perfect, and I know you are not perfect either. I love you anyway. So please, learn all you can about training, and puppy behaviors and caring for me from your Veterinarian, books on dog care and even researching on the computer! Learn about my particular breed and it's "characteristics", it will give you understanding and insight into WHY I do all the things I do. Please teach me with love, patience, the right way to behave and socialize me with training in a puppy class or obedience class, we will BOTH have a lot of fun together.

I am a Puppy and I want more than anything to love you, to be with you, and to please you. Won't you please take time to understand how I work? We are the same you and I, in that we both feel hunger, pain, thirst, discomfort, fear, but yet we are also very different and must work to understand one another's language, body signals, wants and needs. Some day I will be a handsome dog, hopefully one you can be proud of and one that you will love as much as I love you.
Love, Your Puppy

May be posted, reposted, cross-posted and used with permission as long as credit is given. Copyright 2000, by J. Ellis - Southern Shadows Rottweiler's.

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More Frequently Asked Questions

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