You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
We’ve all heard that saying.
But we’ve also all seen examples that invalidate it. Especially if we have an old dog in the family.
They are plenty capable of learning new tricks.
In fact, they even have a few advantages when it comes to training.
Sure, on average, it may take them a bit longer to learn something.
But they still learn it. If you know how to potty train an older Yorkie correctly, your dog will soon learn to do its business outside.
Keep reading to learn exactly how you housebreak an adult Yorkshire terrier. The tips and tricks below will make the whole process far easier than you probably expect it to be.
How To Potty Train An Older Yorkie
Below are the basic steps to potty training an adult Yorkies. Potty training a Yorkie is hard, no matter the age, but older dogs are generally even more challenging than younger ones. However, with the tricks below, you’ll be able to successfully housebreak your older dog, too.
- A stain and odor spray for pets (this one is good)
- An old cloth or kitchen roll
- Your Yorkie’s favorite toy
Regular Potty Times
You need to make sure you are taking your Yorkie out on a regular basis throughout the day, and at regular times. Try to make sure some of those times coincide with meal times. You always want to give your pup a chance to go within 15 or 20 minutes of a meal.
Going at regular times means your Yorkie’s body begins to learn the times it can go out. The result is fewer accidents. And eventually, no more peeing in the house whatsoever.
It is best to take your Yorkie out for potty around four or five times each day. Once in the morning, once at night before you go to bed and then two or three times throughout the day.
I would recommend equally spacing the times out during the day. For example, maybe once in the mid morning, another at lunch, and then again mid afternoon or evening.
When you take your Yorkie out, it is best to not leave it on its own, in case it becomes distracted when it is supposed to be doing its business.
I would suggest waiting for around five minutes. If your dog goes, you can reward it with a treat. If it does not go, try again in another 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure you don’t rush your Yorkie during this process. If it doesn not go, you can always try again.
Playtime After Potty
You should stay outside with your Yorkie for a few minutes after it has done its business. You want your pup to know it can have some fun if it goes.
This keeps going potty from becoming a chore. Your dog will learn that if it relieves itself, it will be able to play afterwards and spend some quality time with you.
You should spend at least ten minutes playing with your Yorkie after it goes potty, so that it recognizes that it will be rewarded if it goes. If your Yorkie isn’t too old you could play a little tug of war with it, or throw a ball for it.
If your dog is a little old for running, you can always grab its favorite toy and play with that together.
More Playtime Indoors
Next, you should play inside with your Yorkie for a little while, before you go back to other tasks. And if your pup has to go back to its crate, this step becomes even more important.
Once your pup has done its business outside, and you’ve had your playtime outside, you should then bring it inside and allow up to 15 minutes of playtime when inside the house.
This training method means your Yorkie won’t associate going to the potty with having to go back to being ignored. Or even worse, having to go back into its crate. Even if you have the best crate for Yorkies money can buy, your pup will always prefer freedom.
No dog will want to continue doing something if it realizes that afterwards, it gets left alone again, or worse, put back into the crate. If you stay and play with your dog a bit, it’s going to make it more inclined to go potty outside, because it knows it will be rewarded with attention.
And we all know how much Yorkies love attention!
There is no point just doing this method once. You need to repeat it throughout the day and every day. The more it becomes a part of your Yorkie’s regular routine, the quicker it is going to become toilet trained.
Take your Yorkie out at regular intervals during the day and make sure each time is spread out more or less equally throughout the day.
It may be best to start the potty training on a weekend, or when you have a few days off from work, so you can give it your full attention at the beginning.
If this isn’t possible, it may be worthwhile asking someone you trust, or someone with whom your Yorkie is friendly, to come over and let take your dog outside at the times you have scheduled.
This will keep your Yorkie on a regular schedule, which is the most important element of potty training an older Yorkie. The stricter you are with timings, the quicker your Yorkie will learn.
It is also a good idea to track your Yorkie’s progress as you keep going. You should note down every time your Yorkie goes, so that you can easily stay on a consistent schedule.
Clean Accidents Thoroughly
It is common for accidents to happen with older dogs, so you want to make sure you are prepared for this. I recommend purchasing an odour and stain remover spray just in case. You can buy this from pet stores, online, or even from your local supermarket.
Make sure you buy a specialized one for pets that uses enzymes. Those work much better at eliminating any odors and cleaning your carpets of any stains. The one linked to above in the “materials needed” section is a good choice.
Keep this spray in an easily accessible place, like one of your kitchen cupboards. Or if you have a special pet cupboard, you can keep it in there. The important thing is that you can grab it quickly when you need it.
If your Yorkie does have an accident in the house, the worst thing you can do is react badly by scolding him or her. You don’t want to scare your dog. This can have the reverse effect on your potty training. Your dog may start to go when you are not around.
If you notice your Yorkie having an accident, calmly pick it up and take it straight outside. This will help it learn that you don’t want it to go inside and doing its business should only take place outside.
Once you have done this, and if your dog finishes going potty outside, follow the previous steps again by rewarding it with treats and playtime.
If all goes well, your Yorkie should be fully potty trained in a couple of weeks. Dogs are smart animals and it shouldn’t be long until they begin to associate going outside for the potty with treats and play.
If you keep it up, your dog’s bladder should also start to come into tune with the potty times you’ve chosen. Make sure to keep the potty times consistent and always reward your dog when it does a good job.
Potty Train An Older Yorkie: Conclusion
Yorkie potty training is a challenge, no matter the age of the dog. But older dogs are a bit more challenging, since they have years of bad behavior to unlearn. That said, older dogs also have some advantages.
For one, they are not nearly as hyper active and will thus have a longer attention span. It might take them a bit longer to learn something, but they are still just as capable of learning. The keys are patience and consistency, the same as with a Yorkshire terrier of any age.
Now that you know how to potty train an older Yorkie, simply establish a routine, stick to it, never get angry at your dog and punish it, and reward good behavior. Do those things and your older Yorkie will pick up new tricks and learn to go outside to do its business.