Tips on How to train a Yorkshire terrier to pee and poo outside and how to potty train a Yorkie

Tips on How to train a Yorkshire terrier to pee and poo outside and how to potty train a Yorkie

Welcoming the little cute Yorkie at home, finding his personal place in the house, choosing his proper name, the games and walks outside are all the nice things accompanying the decision to have a baby Yorkshire terrier.

But along with them come other, not so pleasant experience – pee and poo suddenly dropped on the carpet or on the parquet. And in order to avoid this unpleasant experience, we will give you some useful tips on how to housebreak a Yorkshire terrier.

Very often, in the beginning, this can create a number of complications and become the cause of unwanted conflicts in the family.

Because you are the one who most wants to have a Yorkie, the main responsibility for both the pet’s walks and hygiene habits must be yours.

From the very beginning, you need to know what exactly to do to make the process of training and learning faster.


Knowing the right spots to carry out his physiological needs outside or at the designated locations and not pollute your home are the first commands your Yorkshire must learn.

And in order to give you better directions in training, first, we want to explain the possible reasons why a Yorkie is not able to control his bladder and bowels.

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Why my Yorkie urinates and defecates throughout the entire house?

1. He is still a little baby.

Potty training a Yorkie

Baby Yorkies need to defecate about 3 or 4 times a day and urinate roughly 10 to 12 times a day.

It is not that they don’t want to go to the right spot but most of the times they just cannot hold it.

It is completely normal for them to unleash themselves at the moment they feel the need.

That is why we have to teach them that it is ok to do it but only in the right places.

It takes some time until your puppy will realize that he actually can hold his pee and there is a special point to do it. So be patient and consistent with the housebreaking. We will teach you how to do it in a while.

2. The Yorkie is overexcited

Pups who are prone to urinate while they are overexcited show no signs of obedience.  Instead, they show joyful behavior like trembling, jumping, whirling, and happily peeing on the floor.

Most often those are the cases when we haven’t been at home for a while and this is how your furry friend will show his joy of seeing you again. It is important for you to know that he does that unintentionally.

3. Showing obedience or fear

Urination as a sign of obedience in Yorkies can be manifested at any age of the dog, although in most of the cases it occurs in puppies.

You can see your doggie peeing if someone bends over him and starts screaming or is trying to hit him. The little puppy will be so scared that he may unintentionally relax his bladder.

He can feel endangered either by an unknown person or by his owner. Also, the Yorkie can be calm and friendly at first, but if the contact with a particular person provokes fear in him, he will immediately show the behavior of obedience and urinate.

4. Incorrect house trainingHousebreaking a Yorkie

It will be normal if the dog pees all over the house if he is not properly trained and nobody has told him that the garden outside is the place where he should do this job.

You cannot expect him to know that. Like a little baby, he needs time and proper explanation of the good and bad habits.

You must expect that your little Yorkshire terrier will do only the things you teach him.

5. Marking his territory

Yorkies and dogs, in general, are used to mark their territory for various reasons. The bad thing is that once they start to do it, it quickly becomes a habit to urinate small amounts in different places of the house.

This behavior can be provoked from other dogs or cats at home (if you have more than one pet).

The first thing that should be done to prevent this bad habit is to determine the reason for doing. It could be fear, anxiety or a bad model from another pet.

As soon as you understand the reason, take the proper actions to eliminate it.

6. Health issues

Urinary infection, bladder stones, kidney problems, diabetes, problems with the prostate are only some of the health disorders that make a Yorkie unable to hold his pee for a long time.

In those cases, the dog will urinate wherever he is. You must visit a vet immediately.

Remember that yelling at your Yorkie because of a puddle of pee in the wrong place will change nothing. Most likely you will make him afraid of you.

If you are giving him proper training and he still does the bad things at the inappropriate places, contact a trainer. You might be doing something wrong.

If the problems still occur, then you need to visit a vet and determine if there is a health problem.

After we went through the possible reasons why a Yorkshire terrier can pee and poo inside the house, it is time to give you some simple steps how to train him to be the best dog in the world.

But before we start, it is important for you to understand why you need to change the puppy pad at some point and start walking your Yorkie outside.

1. The Yorkie is able to perform his physiological needs

Here everything is clear. Indeed, in some cases, the puppy pad can help in solving this issue. For example, during the quarantine or illness period when your vet does not suggest taking the doggie out.

Also, we have to remember that up to the third month little puppies are not allowed to go out.

2. Movement and exercises are very importantYorkie potty training tips

This is a task that the puppy pads cannot solve. No matter how big is your home, the walk from the sofa to the toilet place is not enough at all if you want to have a healthy Yorkie with normal weight.

The ability to move is one of the most important needs of every dog.

Yes, it is true that we can satisfy this need to a certain point by all the fetch games at home, but outdoor walks cannot be replaced with any indoor game.

Unfortunately, many Yorkie owners think the other way and keep their doggies most of the time at home.

3. Your sweetie will be able to communicate with other dogs and the surrounding world

Another important part of the complete Yorkie life. Leaving your puppy at home for the entire day, you make your own life easier but at the same time deprive your Yorkie of his ordinary dog joys.

He needs to interact with other dogs, just like the humans do. If you do not want to grow an aggressive, cowardly or hysterical pet, get into his socialization.

You have to introduce him not only to the neighbor’s dog but also to other animals, objects, and people.Yorkie outings

Do not create problems for yourself and your Yorkie. He has to react calmly to other dogs, people, cats, cars, loud sounds, and it is your responsibility to socialize him.

Patience and consistency are the keys to success in-house training. You have to let this process develop naturally at the puppy’s pace without forcing him.

If your little friend is not taught where to go for pee and poop, he will look for a comfortable and safe place that most often turns out to be the carpet.

Unfortunately, puppies are not born with an innate instinct that going to a toilet in the house is a bad thing.

Yorkies have the natural instinct to keep their personal space clean and that is why you will not see them peeing or pooping in their bed.

A common mistake of many owners is that they give their puppy too much living area within the house when he is still very young.

In this case, the cutie has no motivation to wait and go outside for his physiological needs, as his private space is just a small part of your home.

Below we will give you some simple housebreaking tips and pieces of advice to follow

1. Observe

When you start the home training process, it is very important to always keep an eye on your pup when he is at home.

In this way, you will start feeling when he is about to pee in a wrong place. As soon as you see him doing his job inside, take him real gently and place him outside where you want him to do the job.

Keep in mind that in the beginning, he might be scared from the lift but with the time this will change.

If the dog shows you it’s time for a walk, bring him out straight away, even if the scheduled time has not come yet.

Every time you take the Yorkie out, the connection between bathroom place and the street will be getting stronger for him.

He can walk stiffly, smell the floor, hold the tail in an unusual position and somehow show you that he needs to urinate.

2. Making a schedule

Schedule the outingsYorkie scheduled outings

Regularity will help the dog learn to pee and poo outside. To avoid unpleasant surprises, take him out in the morning, then after each meal or drinking water and before and after sleeping.

Do not miss the walking time because the dog will get used to and wait for it.

If training a really young puppy, you will have to take it out every two hours.

Puppies have a small bladder and cannot hold it for long.

Adult dogs can hold it longer, but you have to start taking the dog every three hours to make the walk an association with a bathroom place.

If you cannot spend the entire day with your Yorkie puppy, the best decision is to find someone who will come to your house and take him out.

Schedule the meals

This will help you in training because it will be easier to predict when the Yorkshire needs to urinate. Feed the doggie always at the same time and then take him outside in about 15 minutes.

3. Choose a particular place Yorkshire terrier potty training tips

Yorkies are guided mostly by their habits. You can help the puppy get used to the walks if you have a special place for him to go for a pee.

Choose a small territory covered with grass close to your home.

If someone else is taking care of the doggie’s outings during the day, show him the special place.

Bring the Yorkie in the same place each time and praise him when he does everything right.

4. Rewarding

Reward the dog each time he urinates or defecates in the proper place.

Always give the Yorkie a treat after he pees or poo in the proper place. Next time when you take him out, place him on the exact same spot where he did his need the previous time.

If he does the job within 5 minutes, praise him with a positive attitude and offer a reward.

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Do not immediately return the dog back home or into the crate, because he may feel that it is a punishment for him.

Instead, take another 10 minutes for a walk and games before you go back inside.

If he does not want to eliminate when you take him out, get inside, wait for about 15 minutes and then go out again.

You need to learn the physical limits of your puppy. Little Yorkies have limited capacity to hold it. Usually, this depends on the age – the younger he is, the more often you have to bring him out.

Do not be too late with the praise

You must show a positive attitude and give a treat immediately after the Yorkie eliminates on the right spot. Never do it before or too long after the act because he will not understand why he is rewarded.

5. Using a particular phrase

Each time when you see that the Yorkie is about to pee you can use a particular phrase like “Pee time” or “Pee Pee” or whatever you want to choose.

After that, each time you take him to his special place use the phrase so he can associate it with his bathroom needs.

At a later stage when you are out for a walk, use the special command and he will get used to it knowing that it is time to urinate.

6. Talk And Treat The Yorkie Gently

Taking the young fellow out on the street and talking to him about his physiological needs, try not to raise your voice.

Do not talk with a threatening voice because he can begin to associate the natural functions of his organism with fear and punishment.

Obviously, you will not give positive attitude and a treat if an accident occurs at home, but you should also avoid yelling and punishment.

7. Gradually Increase The Living SpaceTraining a Yorkshire terrier to pee and poo

Gradually increase the living space of the Yorkie. When you see that he is not having bladder and bowel movement in the area where he is allowed to move, you can open another room for him and give more space within the house.

If there are no unpleasant surprises for one week, provide him with one more room and so gradually as long as it can move freely around the entire house.

If an accident occurs at a particular stage, restrict his living area to the previous level of success.

8. Using A Crate

Another way to restrict the moving area of the Yorkie within the house is by keeping him in a crate during the night and when you are not at home.

As we already mentioned, doggies do not pee and poo in their personal space.

The Yorkshire terrier should assume the crate as a safe and calming place, not a punishment. He must be enjoying his stay inside.

Some people use crates instead of the regular beds. Do not put the puppy in the crate to punish him, otherwise, he will begin to associate it with fear instead of comfort.

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Do not leave your doggie in the crate for long periods of time. If you leave him for 8 hours inside the crate, he will pee inside because he is not able to hold it.

Your doggie needs a lot of movement and games so don’t leave him there for more than a couple of hours or a night.

9. Outings During The Night

You should follow the timetable and take the doggie out even during the night. Do not put your Yorkie on a test and make him hold it for too long having in mind his age.

If an accident occurs at night, it is very important to get him out more often during this time of day.

The longer you leave the Yorkie in a room where he unleashed himself, the more comfortable he will start to feel with the dirt around him. That is why it is really important not to make that mistake.

10. Follow The 15 – Minute Rule.

Follow the fifteen-minute rule – usually, young Yorkies need to release their bladder up to fifteen minutes after a meal, drinking water or sleep. After each of these activities, you need to walk him out within fifteen minutes.15-minute Yorkie rule

The general rule is that Yorkies can hold it 1 hour for each month of their life plus one.

For example, a Yorkshire terrier puppy that is 2 months old will be able to hold it for about 3 hours.

However, you should not count the last minute but rather than that take him out as often as you can or feel.

Experts suggest that young pups must be taken out every hour or two or every time after an activity that stimulates the urinary system.

Consult with a vet if you think that your Yorkie is peeing more often that he is supposed to be for his age.

11.  Cleaning Immediately After Accident

If you see a puddle of urine or a pile of poo inside the house, make sure to clean it up immediately. It is completely normal to have accidents in the wrong place.

Please, do not scream or punish your doggie! This is not the right approach and the outcome will be that he will be scared every time he needs to do his secret job.

As we mentioned before, the moment you see the Yorkie peeing at the wrong spot, lift him gently and carry him outside to the special place.

Cleaning of the dirty place is really important.  Do it carefully making sure that there is no familiar smell left that the doggie can associate with a bathroom need.

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Because if he does, he will continue doing it at the same spot over and over again.

Now, some people prefer to use various detergents, other use white vinegar as it completely removes the smell.

It is up to you. We just want to mention that very strong detergents can irritate the skin of the little Yorkie.

You can replace the strong detergents with baby washing powder. Just take a normal bucket filled with water, pour some baby washing powder and your cleaning detergent is done.

It is gentle, smells nice and it is no danger at all for the health of the furry baby.

Do not use cleaning products containing ammonia because it resembles one of the components contained in dog urine.

12. Do Not Punish The Dog After An AccidentHow to behave with a Yorkie

Please, do not scream or punish your doggie! This is not the right approach.

Yorkies react very badly to punishments and bad attitude.

The only thing you can achieve by doing this is to have a scared Yorkshire terrier.

Never put your Yorkie’s snout over or inside the pee or poo.

Despite the generally accepted belief that this is correct, the method is useless. He will not understand what you are doing.

Be patient and consistent.  Some puppies learn faster than others. With a proper training at the age of about 5 – 6 months, you will have a Yorkie that completely understands where he is supposed to be going for bathroom needs and you will never see him doing it in the house.

Tips On How To Potty Train A Yorkie

Potty training is very useful for people with busy daily routine. They do not have to worry if they are late at work because the little sweetheart at home has a place to do his physiological needs.

Potty training is useful during bad weather conditions – raining, snowing or during a heavy storm.

Now before we continue, we would like to ask you to read the previous part about training a Yorkie to pee and poo outside, in case you skipped it.

Some of the steps below are similar so we will only point them because they are already written above.

1. Finding The Right Place Of The Pad

Very young puppies

Finding the right spot to place the training pad is crucial to the success of the training.

Let’s assume that you have just taken your sweetie at home and he has no idea of what a training pad is and where he is supposed to pee and poo.

Yorkie puppy pad

The best place to put the pad is near his bed.

Young Yorkies spend most of the day sleeping. As we mentioned before, the need for a urinating is right after they wake up.

So remembering that babies cannot hold it for a long time, the pad right next to his bed is the first soft and comfortable place where the furry treasure can eliminate after a relaxing nap.

If you have a big apartment or your living room is far from the bed of the Yorkshire, place a second puppy pad in another place.

That way he will not have to walk and hold it too long but rather than that will have a toilet place close to the playground of the house.

It depends on how much space you gave to your furry baby. If he is allowed to move throughout the different rooms, you can place training pads in each of them.

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Yorkies older than 5 months.

Yorkies older than 5 months can control their bladder for a little longer so if you don’t want pads throughout the entire house, just choose a particular place like the bathroom for example.

Place it wherever you want but just remember that it has to be accessible at any time and easy to find.

If the pup is used to spend most of the day in the living room, it makes no sense to put the puppy pad in the bedroom, right? Rather than that place it near the area he spends most of the time.

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2. Introduce the training pad to your little treasure

Training pad

So you have already chosen the strategic place for the puppy pad.

Now it is time to show your sweetie what exactly he should do with it.

The procedure is very similar to the one with learning to pee and poo outside.

Let’s be honest, there will be accidents in the very beginning.

Do not expect that you will place the pad and your little baby will know what it is about straight away.

 It is very important to observe his behavior. We have already talked about it. The moment you see him preparing to urinate or defecate, you must clap with hands, say “No”, lift him gently and place him on the pad. For sure, he will be scared from the lift at first and will not do any job.

Wait a little while, let him calm and walk on it. After he takes his time he will surely complete what he started to do in the wrong place.

This is a very important step. Follow it strictly. Even if the puppy has already started urinating in a wrong location, do not hesitate to give him a ride to the training pad. Wait until he finishes the job.

3. Rewarding

If you have missed this part you can read it above in the section where we talked about it for the outside training.

In short, each time the Yorkie pees or poops in the correct place, show him positive attitude, give him a treat.

Here it is very important to greet him right after the act. Do not wait for too long because he will not remember and know why he is rewarded.

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4. The smelly training pad

For sure the puppy pad must be changed whenever you think it is already too dirty.

Before we mentioned that you must perfectly clean and remove the scent from the floor or carpet if the baby had a dirty job on it.

This is because next time he has a special need he will find the smell associating with bathroom and will do it at the same place.

For the same reason, you will have to keep some small part of the new training pad smelling like urine.

This you can do by leaving a peace from the old dirty one over the new pad. Or you can rub a bit the new pad in the dirty one and that way it will absorb the smell.Yorkie on a puppy pad

We want the little baby to associate the training pad as bathroom place.

The most effective way to do that is by familiar smells. So when the pad smells like urine and poop, he will know that this is the right place to do eliminate.

Nowadays we can find drops that can be used to house train a puppy. If you choose this method you do not have to leave stinky urine training pad or rub the new one over the old one.

The drops contain substances that remind the Yorkie the smell of urine and poo. So this is also a good option for you to encourage him to eliminate in the desired place.

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Also, they can be used for outdoor training. You just have to use them in that particular spot where you want the puppy to eliminate. Then carry him to that place where he will surely feel this familiar smell.

So those are the simple steps you need to follow if you want to housebreak your Yorkie. We will say it again, patience and consistency are the keys to success.

If you do not make progress for a long time, you may want to contact a vet or a professional trainer for help.

Some further bits of advice

1. Start training your Yorkie as early as possible

2. Learn to recognize the signs when the Yorkie needs to eliminate. They are different for every puppy.

3. Keep in mind that unwanted accidents can always happen during the training period.

If you leave the pup for 8 hours, he will not be able to hold it. Find someone who can take care of the walks or motivate the dog with the training pad.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions or need further advises.

Last update on 2018-08-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Doris Posted February 28, 2018 9:44 pm

    Thank you, very helpful. What I wanted to know is, do yorkie terriers have to spin around and take a long time to defecate? This is important to know. Than you

    • YorkieLife Posted March 2, 2018 8:08 am

      Hi Doris,

      It all depends on how you train your Yorkie. We take our Zuzi four times a day for about 10 – 15 minutes walks at the same places and she knows why she is there. She does pee and poo in those 10 – 15 minutes.
      Other people prefer to use pee pads at home and only take their dogs for 1 walk. As I said, it all depends on how the dog is trained. We encourage people to take their dogs out for at least two times a day – they are dogs after all and need some fresh air and socialization.

    • Charles Posted June 13, 2018 3:00 am

      When our rescue Yorkie urinates, she balances on her front two legs? Why?

  • Paige Posted April 10, 2018 1:35 am

    Hi! So I am getting a 4 month old Yorkie and I am a night shift nurse working 12 hours, so walkers will not be available. Do you recommend putting her in the kennel for that whole shift or to leave her in the bathroom so she won’t be going all in her kennel? I know it’s going to be difficult, but it’s a dream of mine to have a yorkie and I feel like now is the right time to do so. Thank you!

    • Illy Posted April 20, 2018 8:12 pm

      Hi Paige. Congrats on your new sweet puppy! I’m not an expert but from experience I think 12 hrs is going to be much too long for a 4 month old. I think that may be even too long a time in the crate for an adult. You’re probably better off using a gate and designating an area in the house with a little more room for a training pad and water/food bowl. Like I said, not an expert but that really is a long time to be crated. The pup will most likely have an accident in that small space and then you will have a messy clean up after a long shift.

  • Ryana Amos Posted April 25, 2018 9:37 pm

    Our 8 month old is getting the hang of going outside so we are good during the day. The problem is at night. She is up every two hours. We don’t want to crate her. Will she start holding it longer as time goes on? It is like being parents of a new born!

    • YorkieLife Posted April 26, 2018 5:22 am

      Yes, she will start to hold it. And yes, it is exactly like rising a little baby 🙂
      Just like with the humans, during the night, all the physiological needs are slowed down and she will not have a problem holding it.
      Our 2-year-old female goes at 11 pm and then at 8 am in the morning.
      Just be patient.
      Good luck 🙂

      • Ryana Posted April 27, 2018 2:12 am

        Thank you!

  • Christina Posted May 4, 2018 8:13 pm

    Hello- do you have any tips on an older yorkie? I recently reached a yorkie that I believe is between 2 & 2 1/2 years old. She doesn’t appear to know any commands and was likely not house trained or doesn’t appear to have been.

    • YorkieLife Posted May 8, 2018 7:22 am

      Hi Christina,

      Well, rules are the same for old and younger Yorkies. For sure with the older sweeties, it will take much more time and consistency to change their existing habits.

      Be patient and consistent, you need to understand that just like the old people have their habits and routine, the same is with dogs.

      However, if you do not see any result for more than two months, you can contact for professional help.

      Best of luck 🙂

  • Sally Rogers Posted May 28, 2018 8:53 pm

    Our yorkie is 10 months. We take her out often but when we bring her back home she will pee on her puppy pad. What shall we do??

    • YorkieLife Posted May 30, 2018 5:31 am

      Give her more time outside. She will not know what is expected from her. Take her out as soon as she wakes up or after meal. Give her time to to the job.
      Once she’s done it, compliment her, give prize. Like this, she will understand what is expected from her each time you go out.
      Then will come the time to remove the puppy pad. If you do not remove it, she will continue doing the job on it.

  • Beth Posted July 16, 2018 7:07 am

    We have a 5 month old male Yorkie. We got him at 8 weeks and started potty training right away. When he needs to potty he will jump up on our lap and get in our face. If we dont pay attention he will take his paw and ‘slap’ at us. We take him out and he almost always does his business immediately. Recently we started leaving him out of his crate when we leave the house. I lay down a puppy pad inside his open crate and right outside the crate. When we return he has deficated on the pad. My problem is this. If we miss his cue, maybe we aren’t where he can get in our face, that he needs to go outside he wont go to the pee pad inside his crate, he will go on the floor. Any suggestions? He clearly knows what the pad is for since he uses when when home alone.

  • Cynthia r Carter-Lee Posted July 18, 2018 6:37 pm

    We have a 7 month old female yorkie. She will go out on porch to pee on pad but will NOT poop on the pad. I walk her for 30 minutes and she’ll come home and poop on the floor. Any suggestions?

  • Alexa Posted July 21, 2018 6:57 am

    Im getting a yorkie that is going to be 2 months old, do you think i will be able to teach the yorkie in a short period or not.?

  • David Posted July 30, 2018 7:57 am

    We Are Minding A 7 Year Old Yorkshire Terrier For Friends On Holiday She Has Been Doing Wee On A Regular Daily Bases But No Poo After 4 Days Is This Normal Many Thanks

  • Nova Posted November 7, 2018 1:16 pm

    I am absolutely frustrated with my 3 month old yorkie. Its like he’s reverting back. He pee on the edge of the pee pad and wet my floor every time! When he does the #2, he always turn his little butt to face off of the pad. I purchased the largest pad on the market and he refuses to go anywhere near the center. When I take him out to potty, he only wants to PLAY. After about 20 minutes of him outside, and not defecating because he wants to run and play, I’ll bring him in and put him back in his crate and as soon as i do, then he goes in his crate. Its like I’m always giving him a bath, cleaning his cage, mopping my floors. The dog i sacrificed and saved for is turning out to be the WORST thing ever! I’m fed up and at my wits end.

    • YorkieLife Posted November 8, 2018 7:55 am

      Hello Nova,

      3 month old is still too early to expect that your Yorkie will do everything properly and the way you want. Think of him like a little baby.
      You need to be patient and as I often say, dogs are like kids, some learn faster, others need some more time and explanation.
      I am positive that if you are consistent and take the right steps, he will learn. Many people give up too early because they don’t have the patience.
      Take him out and wait, it could be longer than 20 minutes in the beginning. Their inborn instinct is to pee and poo outside. So you just have to bring it out.
      Once you see him do the job, show him positive emotions, give a treat. Step by step, he will learn.
      Good luck!

      • Katelyn Swinney Posted November 8, 2018 8:19 pm

        I am having the same problem but my Yorkie is 1 and a half year old, please respond back and tell me what I should do.

  • Katelyn Posted November 8, 2018 8:16 pm

    I have a 1 and an half year old Yorkie and he refuses to go to the bathroom out side. I noticed he was going in the same spot. So I put a puppy pad there, BUT HE STILL DOES NOT USE IT!!! He will go on the tip of it. So I took the puppy pads away, in hopes that he would start to bark, but then he found more places. I tryed to show him what he has done and say, “BAD BOY”, but he still does not listen and does it again. I don’t know what to do and I am only 13, but I need to know what to do to train him.


    • YorkieLife Posted November 9, 2018 7:01 am

      Hi Katelyn,

      I uploaded two very useful videos that really explain everything you need to know in order to housebreak your sweetie. Please watch them and come back if you have any questions.
      They are in the in the middle of the article.

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