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5 1/2 Year-Old Yorkie Finally House Trained

March 26, 2010
Yorkshire Terrier

"Love me, love my poop!"

Sometimes House Training Takes a Nudge in the Right Direction

“Doctor, since I talked to you, Mitya has only pooped on his pads on
the bathroom, not anywhere else in the house! Thank you so much!”

Rewind two weeks.

Mitya was a 5 1/2 year-old male black and tan puppy-cut Yorkshire
Terrier totalling 3 3/4 pounds “with his IV in,” as his nurse was fond
of saying.

“Doctor, he keeps pooping anywhere he wants all over the house. I’m
beside myself,” said his mom.

“Does he sleep in a crate at night?” yours Truli asked.

(Horrified look.) “Of course not, he sleeps on his pillow next to me,”
she replied.

“Where do you want him to go? Outside on the grass, inside on a pad?”
Doc Truli asked.

“He pees on his pad in the bathroom. It’s just, he usually poops
behind the dining room door or the living room sofa,” Mitya’s mom said.

“And what is your response when he does this?” Doc asked.

10 Common Puppy House Training Mistakes

  1. Rubbing puppy’s nose in “it”
  2. Punishing Puppy
  3. Feeding Puppy on an irregular schedule
  4. Confusing Puppy with Several choices for the potty
  5. Not taking puppy to toilet first thing in the morning
  6. Not coming home on time
  7. Not getting up in the middle of the night for very young puppies under 4 months old
  8. Not getting Puppy to the toilet when Puppy feels like going
  9. Not praising Puppy gently and calmly for being “good”
  10. Not even trying to house train Puppy because of excuses (The kids are supposed to do that; too busy with work…)

“I tell him no, rub his nose in it, to tell the truth, I get very
frustrated sometimes and maybe angry,” she said.

Doc Truli said,”Okay, here’s what you do. Do not punish him. Do not
raise your voice. Mitya has no idea what you are angry about, but he
becomes frightened and nervous, and he only wants to please you. So no
more punishment at all.

“Instead, set him up for success. Establish a schedule of feeding him
two or three times a day and taking him to his pad. When he is not
ready to relieve himself, because he has never known a crate, carry
him around with you all day. Set him down on his pad when he’s ready
to go. This is guaranteeing his success.”

10 Keys to Teaching Puppy About House Training

  1. Establish a realistic, consistent schedule
  2. Watch Puppy at ALL times, No excuses!
  3. Choose a quiet, safe place for the Puppy toilet
  4. Take Puppy for a check-up and be sure Puppy is not ill (makes “holding it” difficult)
  5. Be calm and reassuring; do not punish, shout, or act frustrated (Yorkies and Chihuahuas will hide the poop if they are scared)
  6. Feed Puppy the same times every day
  7. Crate or hold or tie Puppy to your waist with a 6-10 foot training leash or parachute cord in between toilet opportunities
  8. Clean up Puppy’s mess when Puppy is not looking
  9. Be patient.  Some Puppies “get it” in a day; most take weeks or months
  10. Never, never, never give Puppy the run of the house until the house training is learned and understood.  Reliably.

Two weeks later, peace and tranquility abound at Mitya’s home. After a
few weeks, he’s able to run wherever he wishes, and he is happy to use
his pads. Mitya understands what he is supposed to do. He is a happy
dog.

“Mitya has been perfect since our conversation,” reports his ecstatic
mom.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Cristine Villaverde permalink
    December 22, 2011 12:46 pm

    Hi, I have a 5 year old Yorkie that lives with my mom in Puerto Rico and is now about to come live with me in Florida, where I attend college. Im hesitant to how hes not really trained and I live in carpeted apartments and Im worried that he wont adjust well. But at the same time I’m excited because my mom can barely take care of him and maybe here with me he’ll be happy. Any recommendations when it comes to setting new rules and trying to train him in a proper way?

    • December 25, 2011 12:18 pm

      Oh wow!

      Do you have time to spend with him while you are studying?

      Can you establish a regular routine for him, even on your days off? He will need a consistent schedule so he knows what to expect in terms of walks and playtimes, etc.

      In a carpeted apartment, I would lock him up on a dog crate whenever you are not home. At most, if you hate the idea of a crate, then keep him in a tile area like the kitchen. Train him like a puppy with the crate and a schedule and consistent rules.

      Do not be angry with him if he soils the carpets. Clean them with enzymatic cleaners, like Nature’s Miracle or Simple Solution and resolve to do better. If he messes up your apartment and you lose your deposit, it is your fault, not his fault.

      It can be tough to care for a dog and study properly for college. Many people do not realize how exhausting and how much focus it takes to complete university studies. It seems easy enough to attend 3-4 hours of classes a week, compared with high school. But then you have to study 3 hours for every 1 hour of class (as a rough guideline) and you have an apartment and yourself to care for, too!

      Good Luck,
      -Doc Truli

  2. Jess permalink
    November 21, 2011 5:23 pm

    I have two, 2 year old Yorkshire Terriors – brothers from the same litter, Riley and Toby. October last year we noticed that they had started urinating in the house. We paid for a dog trainer who gave us the advice of neutering and crating them at night. We followed his orders and had them both neutered in April and they seemed to stop urinating in the house. They go on two walks a day, morning and night and sleep in a crate at night. We moved into our new house in august and only had one accident due to our own fault -not taking them on their night time walk due to moving house. However for the last month Riley refuses to go outside and he will constantly urinate in the house. On several occasions both me and my partner have stood in the garden to try and get Riley to urinate outside yet after an hour had gone by we went back inside to which Riley decided to go into another room and relieve himself!
    I believe he doesnt like going out in the cold and this is why he appears trained in the summer months yet in the winter months he will not go outside apart from on walks.
    The last straw was tonight when he urinated on the living room carpet infront of me! to which I put him outside and he just ran back into his crate. I find it heartbreaking to watch our new house get stained with dog urine and will try anything to get Riley to like going out in the cold!

    He also seems very nervous of strangers, he will bark at the door bell going and if someone walks past the window. He isnt very accepting of strangers in the house. I have been attacked twice because he has barked at other dogs on walks and these other dogs havent been on the lead, foolish me I wouldnt let him get harmed and as he is only small I hold him above my head to protect him. Letting go of the lead and letting him run isnt an option as he will; 1) not come back and 2) he wouldnt run he would stand and probably fight to the death.
    I want my dog to be at peace and be relaxed and to not relieve himself in the house! Toby is brilliant and has had the same training as his brother!
    Please help.

    • November 22, 2011 6:11 pm

      Hi Jess,

      Thank you for your detailed description of your Yorkie’s abnormal behavior.
      I strongly advise you to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian, especially for a physical examination and a urinalysis. If Riley has an illness, like a smouldering urinary tract infection, it would hurt, set him on edge, and make training and behavior modification difficult or impossible.

      Your veterinarian can also advise you about your local options for behavior modification triaing. There are very few Board Certified Veterinary Behavior Specialists in the world, if you are lucky, maybe one is within driving of where you are (usually about $350-$400 for a 3-4 hour consult). Short of that, a veterinarian who loves behavior medicine could consult with you. But first, be certain Riley does not have a physical problem making his behavior worse.

      Yours,
      Doc Truli

  3. Kathy Dawson permalink
    January 3, 2011 9:38 pm

    I have a 1 year old yorkie. I got him when he was 7 months old, I have been trying to teach him to use potty outside. I also, have a 3 year old who does really well never has an accident even if I am gone 10 hours at work. I cant seem to train the 1 year old any advise would be appreciated. I really dont know what do to.

    • January 6, 2011 11:24 am

      Dear Kathy,
      If you are not having success following my instructions in the story, you probably need to hire a local dog trainer to help you adapt the advice to your situation.
      Ask around, call the shelter volunteers in your area and ask their advice for who is good.
      Yours,
      Doc Truli

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