If you have adopted an adult Yorkie, or Yorkshire Terrier, the dog may or may not have been trained not to urinate or defecate in the house. You might have heard that you can't teach an old dog new things, but that is not true. Housebreaking an older dog is not much more difficult than housebreaking a younger Yorkie. Just be patient and expect her to make mistakes along the way.
Establish a routine so that your Yorkie knows when she is expected to go. For example, take her outside every morning when she wakes up, after meals, after a long nap and before bed every night. Feeding your dog on an established schedule will also help.2
Take her to the same spot in your yard each time. The smell of her urine and feces will tell her that this spot is acceptable and encourage her to go.3
Choose a word or phrase that you will use each time you are prompting her to do her business. For example, you could say "go potty" or something else that you are comfortable with. Repeat the word or phrase until she goes so that she associates it with using the bathroom.4
Praise your Yorkie each time she goes outdoors while you are training her. In the early stages of housebreaking, give her a treat each time she relieves herself outside. Once the dog is beginning to learn, simply praising with words will be enough.5
Watch your dog when she is inside, and keep an eye out for signs that she might need to relieve herself. For example, sniffing around, circling, standing at the door or staring intently at you could be signals that it is time to go outside. If you do not respond to the signs, the dog will simply do her business inside. Adult dogs do not need to go as often as puppies, so you should have some time between potty breaks.6
Keep your Yorkie inside a dog crate when you are not home or when you cannot watch her. Dogs are den animals, so they generally will not use the bathroom inside their dens unless it is a last resort. Because Yorkies are small dogs, choose a small crate.7
Interrupt your dog if you catch her in the act of relieving herself indoors. Say "no," make a loud noise, pick her up or do something else that makes her stop. Immediately take her outdoors to the approved spot, and give praise if she finishes going there.8
Avoid punishing your Yorkie if she has an accident inside. Some people believe that they should rub the pet's nose in the mess, show it to the dog with a scolding, or carry out some other type of punishment. But these methods will only confuse your dog and make your housebreaking even more difficult.
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