What’s the Best Method for Potty Training a Stubborn Yorkshire Terrier Puppy?

April 16, 2024

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies as they are fondly called, are a delight to have around the home. They’re small, adorable, and full of life. However, if you’ve brought home a Yorkie puppy, you’ll quickly realize that one of the challenges you have to overcome is potty training them. Ensuring your furry friend knows where and when to do its business is crucial, but it can be a daunting task, especially if your Yorkie is a stubborn one. In this article, we delve deep into what it takes to potty train a stubborn Yorkshire terrier puppy, exploring a range of methods and measures that have proven effective.

Understand your Puppy’s Routine

Before we delve into the specific techniques of potty training, it is critical to understand your puppy’s routine. Puppies, much like toddlers, function best on a routine. They learn to anticipate events and respond appropriately. Hence, understanding your Yorkie’s routine is the first step towards successful potty training.

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Your Yorkie puppy’s eating, sleeping, and play routines all impact when they need to go. Typically, puppies need to eliminate after they eat, sleep, or have intense play sessions. Understanding these routines and timing your potty training sessions around them can significantly increase your success chances.

Crate Training

Crate training is one of the most effective methods to potty train a stubborn Yorkie puppy. Dogs are den animals, meaning they seek out small, enclosed spaces to rest and feel secure. A crate can serve as your puppy’s den, providing a safe and comfortable area for your pet.

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When you introduce a crate, your Yorkie will likely view it as their personal space, and instinctively, they will not want to soil it. Therefore, the use of a crate encourages your Yorkie to hold until it’s time to go outside. Over time, this will develop their bladder and bowel control, teaching them the appropriate times and places for elimination.

Use Rewards and Consistent Commands

Reward-based training is universally beneficial, and definitely so when it comes to potty training a stubborn Yorkie puppy. Whenever your puppy successfully eliminates in the correct area, reward them immediately. Rewards can include verbal praises, petting, treats, or playtime. This positive reinforcement helps your puppy associate good behavior with rewards, encouraging repeat behavior.

Consistent commands are also essential in potty training. Using the same phrases like "go potty" every time you want your pup to eliminate will help them understand what you expect from them. Over time, these commands become ingrained, and your Yorkie will respond to them effectively.

Limit the Area of Access

Limiting your Yorkie puppy’s access within your home can aid significantly in potty training. By confining them to a specific area, you can control their movements and manage accidents better. Also, puppies do not like to soil their living spaces. Therefore, if they are confined to a smaller area, they will naturally want to keep it clean, thus reinforcing the idea of going outside to eliminate.

Using baby gates or playpens can help you limit your puppy’s area without making them feel isolated. Over time, as your Yorkie becomes more reliable with their potty habits, you can gradually increase their access to the rest of the house.

Patience and Persistence

Patience and persistence are your best friends when potty training a stubborn Yorkshire Terrier puppy. Potty training is a process, and it will take time for your puppy to fully grasp and follow the rules. There will be accidents, and there will be setbacks. However, it’s crucial not to lose your temper or punish your puppy as it can lead to fear and confusion.

Remember, your puppy is not being stubborn on purpose. They are simply learning a new skill, and it will take some time. Be patient, stay consistent, and keep a positive attitude. Over time, you will see progress and eventually succeed in your potty training mission.

Dealing with Accidents Along the Way

Accidents are an inevitable part of potty training, especially when dealing with a stubborn Yorkshire Terrier puppy. As frustrating as these accidents may be, it’s important to remember that they are part of the learning process. Puppies, like human toddlers, learn through trial and error. Therefore, accidents should be treated as learning opportunities rather than reasons for punishment.

When an accident happens, calmly clean the mess, ensuring to remove any odor that could encourage your Yorkie to eliminate in the same spot next time. Using a pet-safe enzyme cleaner can effectively break down the odor-causing molecules. Never punish your pup for having an accident, as this could make them fearful and create a negative association with elimination. Instead, refocus your energy on preventing future accidents.

Prevention is better than cure. Anticipate your puppy’s needs and take them out for bathroom breaks often. If you know your Yorkie’s schedule, you can predict when they might need to go. For example, if your puppy usually needs to eliminate about half an hour after eating, make a habit of taking them outside around that time. This proactive approach can significantly reduce the number of accidents.


Potty training a stubborn Yorkshire Terrier puppy can be an uphill task, but with the right methods and a lot of patience, it is entirely achievable. Remember, every puppy is unique and what works for one might not work for another. Therefore, be ready to try different techniques and see what best suits your Yorkie. The most important thing is to stay positive, consistent, and persistent.

Never underestimate the power of a routine. Understand your puppy’s schedule and plan your potty training around it. Crate training can also be very beneficial, as it appeals to the dog’s natural instincts not to soil their dens. Rewarding good behavior and using consistent commands can also help your puppy understand what is expected of them.

Limiting your Yorkie’s area of access can also aid in potty training, by controlling their movements and managing accidents better. And, when accidents do happen, remember they are part of the learning process. Use them as opportunities to correct your puppy’s behavior rather than punishing them.

The journey to a fully potty-trained Yorkie may be filled with a few bumps, but the end result is well worth the effort. With time, patience, and consistency, your stubborn Yorkie puppy will eventually master the art of potty training. So, hang in there, and remember to celebrate your puppy’s small victories along the way. Happy training!