Are Yorkies Easy to Potty Train? Things You Should Know

Pet Training


December 10, 2023

Yorkies are tiny adorable dogs that make a great addition to any family, but they have a reputation for being difficult to train. They are an intelligent breed, which should make it easy to train them, but they are also a little on the stubborn side, not to mention confident and curious.

All of these traits together can make them a challenge to train, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

When it comes to training your Yorkie, you just have to be aware of their temperament and follow certain guidelines and tips for it to be successful.

Are Yorkies Easy to Potty Train?

Yorkies can be difficult to potty train, but of course, not impossible. One of the advantages you might have is that your breeder may have begun the potty/pad training for you before you purchased the animal, which means you automatically have a head start.

This sometimes happens, and it can give you an edge in the potty-training department. In other words, it can make the training a little easier.

Most pet parents start their potty training by training the dog to go on a pet pad first before they teach them how to go outside, and this is the best way to teach Yorkies, too.

You should first determine where your designated potty spot is going to be and the common times you want your puppy to go. You should also make a decision on whether or not to crate train your dog.

If the weather is pleasant when you get your Yorkie home, you should consider potty training them outdoors from the beginning instead of starting with pad training. This will make the training much quicker for both you and your dog.

If you’re consistent and patient, the training will be much easier, but be prepared for a few setbacks because training Yorkies to do anything is a bit of a challenge.

Other Reasons Why Potty Training a Yorkie Can Be Hard

Yorkies are hard to potty train for numerous reasons, one of which is the fact that their bladders are very small.

Because of this, they can have more accidents than other dogs, and it can make it harder for pet parents as well. Yorkies also have short attention spans, which means they forget things easily. Finally, Yorkies are difficult to potty train because they often have separation anxiety.

All of these things together make training a Yorkie a bit of a challenge, and in fact, Yorkie training is not for the faint of heart, so to speak. Keep in mind that these are traits the Yorkie cannot help. It’s just the way they are, and therefore, you’ll have to know what to do to train them despite these idiosyncrasies.

Leash Training a Yorkie: Is It Difficult?

Leash training can be a challenge for any dog, but with a Yorkie’s self-confidence and willingness to push the boundaries, it can be even more difficult.

Nevertheless, taking it slow and showing some dominance in the very beginning can help a lot. One of the most effective ways to leash train your dog the right way is to start early while they are still very young.

In the beginning, you’ll want to walk alongside the dog instead of behind them because they won’t know how to use the leash right away. Gradually getting to the point where you’re behind your dog and the dog is gently pulling on the leash is your ultimate goal, but remember that it won’t happen overnight.

You’ll also want to eliminate distractions that might keep the dog from learning this behavior. This may mean walking your Yorkie in an area where there aren’t too many people or other animals around so they don’t concentrate on those things instead of the training itself.

Also, you might consider having a command word that you use to get them to go, stop, etc.

How to Train Yorkies: Some Tips to Make It a Little Easier?

To train Yorkies to do anything, you should practice these tips:

1.  Repetition

Just like kids and even most adults, being repetitive when teaching certain skills is important. Your Yorkie will get used to your repetition and, therefore, will start to know exactly what to expect when it comes time for you to train them to do anything.

The more repetition you provide, the easier it will be for your dog to learn what they’re supposed to do next.

2.  Consistency

Consistency is a must when training Yorkies. If your dog notices that you’re constantly demonstrating the same skill over and over again, it won’t take them long to start to mimic what you want them to do.

They’ll soon learn that just because it’s a brand-new day, this doesn’t mean that you’re not expecting them to concentrate on and practice that skill once again.

3.  Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is crucial when training dogs that, by nature, are difficult to train. Dogs do not respond well to negative reinforcement, which includes punishments or striking the dog in any way.

Instead, it is important to use praise and treats for those times when they do what they’re supposed to do. Positive reinforcement always wins out over punishment.

4.  Patience

If you have no patience, you probably shouldn’t own any type of dog, let alone a Yorkie. While training your Yorkie, you are certain to have setbacks, but these are par for the course.

Don’t let the setbacks frustrate you, but instead, start the training up again and remember to praise the dog every time they do something right. They’ll eventually get the message!


Yorkies are intelligent dogs, but they are also a little stubborn and very independent, which makes potty training, in particular, rather difficult.

If you add to this the fact that they have small bladders and tend to be overly confident sometimes, you can easily understand why potty training—as well as other types of training—isn’t always easy.

To be successful when training your Yorkie, you have to be persistent and repetitive with your training, and you have to use positive reinforcement instead of punishment. Finally, you also have to be very patient the entire time because setbacks will occur.