Training your Yorkie Puppy
Training does not just involve learning to go to the bathroom on pads or outside, but it also includes learning not to jump up on visitors, to bark at strangers, to chew on furniture, to beg at the table, etc. Learn as much as you can about puppy training. Review dog training websites, talk to local trainers, or purchase books on dog or puppy training at your local bookstore. A well trained Yorkie will provide safety, security and a sense of belonging for the dog and peace of mind for its owner.
Unfortunately, housetraining for most Yorkies can be difficult and sometimes frustrating. It is certainly one of the most challenging aspects of owning a Yorkie. Yorkies are very smart and very stubborn and without a consistent and clear training plan, Yorkies can take an extremely long time to train. It requires a significant investment of your time, patience and energy. If your job requires you to be away from home for 9 hours a day, unless you take some time away from work to focus on training, the length of time it takes your Yorkie to be housetrained will be longer than otherwise would be expected.
As a start, always remember that Yorkies respond very well to positive reinforcement. Use this as your overall guide/rule as you begin your Yorkie training experience. Because they are so eager to please, Yorkies will basically do whatever you want them to if they know they will be rewarded. So, when your Yorkie goes to the bathroom in the proper place, give lots of praise. Use healthy/natural treats, petting, a verbal "good boy" or "good girl," and lots of hugs and kisses. It won't take long for your Yorkie to catch on if housetraining is presented to the puppy enthusiastically and if positively reinforced. Do not let up on the praise or treats until your Yorkie is fully trained. Be patient, kind and very enthusiastic when he "hits the mark."
While you are potty training your Yorkie, there will be accidents. It is important for any new Yorkie owner to try to minimize the accidents. An untrained Yorkie should not have the full run of the house. Instead, create a puppy-proofed place in your house for your Yorkie to stay until he is trained, or, you can use crate training. When an accident occurs, raising ones voice slightly is enough to let the puppy know it did something that displeased you. A firm "No" with a raised finger teaches the puppy what you don't like. On the other hand, expressing anger and offering punishment for accidents is not acceptable for a Yorkie owner. Scolding is counter-productive and will only make your Yorkie confused and upset. Do not hit your Yorkie or rub his face in the spot where the accident occurred. The puppy won't understand why you taking this action and they are small so you can easily injure them through the physical punishment.
You can create a Yorkie puppy safe area in a place that is easy to clean if there are accidents, such as a bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen. Restrict your Yorkie to this area using a baby gate or exercise pen. Make the area comfortable with your Yorkie's food and water, toys, bed, and puppy pad or newspapers.
As far as where your Yorkie will go the bathroom, there are a number of typical options from which you can choose for his/her training. Here is a short list:
Inside on puppy pads or
Inside in a special dog litter box
Inside with an indoor potty system (like sod or fake grass)
Outside on a harness and a leash (not a collar)
Outside in a fenced yard
An inside/outside combination
- outside except when your Yorkie is home alone or the weather is bad
- used in conjunction with crate training
Whichever method you choose, be consistent. Predictability is the key when it comes to training a Yorkie. Set up a schedule. If you are using a puppy pad or newspapers, place your Yorkie on the designated area on the same schedule you would if you were taking your Yorkie outside. Also, remember to put the pad or papers in a place that is easy to clean up and is far enough away from your Yorkie's food. If you will be employing an outside method, take your Yorkie to the same place every time you go outside until he "gets it". The smell of his urine in the same place will also help him to associate the spot, and eventually outside in general, as the place to go to the bathroom. Do not walk your Yorkie until he is accident-free. Go to the spot you want him to go, and stand there until he goes. It may take forever the first few times, but if you go in and out without your Yorkie going to the bathroom, then he will think outside is for play. Once he starts going consistently outside, in the same place, then you can start taking him to different places.
Puppy Pad Training
Where ever the new puppy first goes on the floor is where you should place the puppy pad. Every day you will move the pad a little bit closer toward the door and every time the puppy uses the pad verbally praise him or her, accompanied with gentle petting and a calm and pleasant voice.
Soon the puppy pad will be located by the door. Now, when the puppy walks toward the door you know he needs to go. Open the door, drag the pad outside, let puppy go on the pad or on the ground. Again, praise the puppy whether he goes on the pad or on the ground.
Put a rock on the pad (so it doesn‘t blow away) and leave it outside the door, put down a clean pad inside the door and next time puppy goes towards the door open the door and let him choose inside pad, outside pad, or ground.
Soon he will get the idea and the outside pad can be removed and an inside pad can be put down when you cannot watch him to see if he’s going to the door or when he is alone at home.
A crate can be used for housetraining, and when used correctly, the dog learns to look upon it as its own private retreat or den. Eventually, your puppy will seek out the crate when it wants to rest undisturbed or to feel safe or secure.
The crate's success as a housetraining tool is simple. Puppies will not soil their sleeping area if they can possibly avoid it. But remember that a puppy needs time to play. Use the crate when you can't watch your puppy, but don't overuse it.
Crates come in different styles and sizes. Choose one that will be large enough for an adult dog of your breed to lie down, stand up and turn around in easily.
Remove the puppy's collar before placing it in the crate. For the first few times the puppy goes in the crate he may cry or whine. Give him a treat when you place him in the crate, close the door, then leave the room but remain close by. At the first bark or whine or howl, intervene with a sharp "No". Your pup should associate the reprimand with its actions and stop. It may take four or five tries, but it will eventually settle down.
Once the pup is quiet, keep it in the crate for 30 to 45 minutes. If it begins to cry, take it outside to go to the bathroom. Once that is accomplished, praise the puppy, give it a treat, and take it back inside and allow it free time outside the crate. If your Yorkie starts chewing on something other than its toys, respond with a sharp "NO!" take the object away and replace it with a toy.
After 15-20 minutes of playtime, put the pup back in the crate for a nap. Correct the puppy if he cries. Your pup learns through association, so consistency should help it accept being in the crate after a few times. After about an hour, take your puppy out again and repeat this process.
Your puppy will need to eliminate directly on waking and shortly after eating or playing. Also, a very young pup will not be able to hold its urine all night, so be prepared to take it out during the night.
Put the puppy on its leash immediately after letting it out of the crate. Rush the pup to the door or carry it if it is small so it can avoid an accident. Watch to be sure that it relieves itself once you are outside.
Gradually lengthen the amount of time your puppy is allowed to play out of the crate after going outside.
Housetraining is not accomplished quickly, so be consistent and patient.
The crate also aids in curbing destructive behavior, such as chewing. As your puppy matures and shows it can be left loose in the house, give it that privilege.
Keep the crate set up with the door open so that the puppy will be able to go to his "den" at anytime.
WARNING: Never hit your dog! Yorkies live to please their owners and it shouldn’t take long for your puppy to figure out that using the pad or going outside makes you very pleased! Hitting your puppy is cruel and can undue all of your housetraining efforts to that point.
House training a puppy requires a lot of supervision and patience. I have never heard of a puppy that didn’t make a few mistakes in the process and how you respond to them is very important. Never rub a puppy’s nose in the mess! If you catch your puppy “in the act” distract him by making a sharp noise (clap, stamp your foot or a sharp “no”), move him to the pad or outside to finish and give him tons of praise when he does. Dogs learn much faster with kindness than from harshness.
The most important things to remember when housetraining a Yorkie are:
Remember these keys and you will have a properly trained and well-mannered Yorkie in no time.
Walking on a Leash
There are many things to teach a new puppy but one of the first should be walking with a leash. Walking on a leash not only teaches the dog proper manners when out in public, but also helps establish your role as the leader which is essential when teaching a puppy the rules of the house. The added benefit of the walk is socialization; this is how your puppy will become familiar with the world beyond your home, other dogs and people so get your puppy used to wearing their harness and walking on a leash even before they are ready to go outdoors.
Puppy Walking Supplies
• Harness - light weight - keep the size of your puppy in mind when choosing
• A non-retractable leash
• A pocket-full of your puppy’s favorite treats to use as rewards. Pieces of chicken or cheese cut up into small, bite -sized pieces work well
At first you will just want to get your puppy used to putting the harness on and taking it off remembering to give your dog lots of praise and treats. Gradually keep the harness on for longer periods of time allowing the puppy to just walk around the house wearing it. Once your puppy is comfortable with the harness (some pups take only a day or two others take longer), add the leash and do the same thing. Let the puppy walk around with it attached to the harness while indoors. The next step is for you to hold the end of the leash and “go for a walk” around the house.