Because of the perfectly petite size of their dog, many Yorkie pet parents live in condo and apartment buildings. Some actually do a lot of traveling with their Yorkie, be it in an RV or crisscrossing the country and staying in hotels. All of us who love Yorkies understand that they make perfect little companions. For these reasons, where the lack of a yard is prevalent, it’s a good idea to pee pad train your Yorkie. Pee pads, when used correctly are convenient, hygienic, and easy to use for small breed dogs that dislike taking care of business when the weather turns cold. Teaching your Yorkie how to use a pee pad can relieve anxiety for both of you.
Even if you don’t live in a high-rise building, there are situations where pee pad training may be of benefit. If your Yorkie is older or convalescent, pee pad training may be a good answer. Additionally, if you’ve rescued him/her from a bad situation, pee pad training may be the least stressful for your Yorkie.
Word of Caution: once trained to eliminate on a pee pad, dogs are very difficult to retrain to go outside.
Here are a few things you’ll need to pee pad train your Yorkie.
- Pee pads
- Treats for rewards
- Time to train
- Plastic bag for soiled pads
Another ideal thing to have is a cue word. This could be ‘potty,’ ‘piddle,’ or ‘pee.’ Select a word that you are comfortable using, including in the company of visiting guests. Once you select your word, use it at all times during training and do not change your mind and alter the cue word. Your Yorkie, with repetition and praise, will learn what is expected when the cue word is used.
How To Pee Pad Train Your Yorkie
This is an important room, and one that will likely be used for your Yorkie’s lifetime. Select a room that doesn’t have a lot of foot traffic, or is an area of your home that you find satisfactory for this use. Ideally, select a room with a hard surface like tile.
Pee Pad Placement
Most people mistakenly start with one pee pad. That’s like hitting a hole in one on your very first day of learning to golf. You’ll want to place pee pads all over the area so that it covers the whole floor area. This way, wherever your Yorkie eliminates is ‘perfect.’ When your dog has success, simply replace the one pee pad s/he soiled.
Make sure that you feed your dog at roughly the same time(s) every day. This helps establish routine potty times. The mornings are the perfect time to start potty training – upon waking up and before eating. The very first thing! Generally speaking, dogs will learn their potty cue when used before feeding times, and then two hours following a meal. If you provide fresh water at all times, and your Yorkie is a good drinker, then potty training can be every two hours.
Using your cue word, place your Yorkie in the pee pad-layered room you’ve selected and repeatedly say the word until success happens. Provide a treat and praise. Again, do this first thing in the morning upon waking to help imprint a successful first-time potty training experience. Your dog will naturally sniff around, but it’s best not to allow them to play or chew anything. They need to learn what potty time means, and to take care of business.
This is where your patience and good timing come into play. During the training period, be sure to visit the ‘potty’ room often. If you have a puppy, or a new-to-you Yorkie, take your dog to the room ten minutes after eating and repeat the steps above. If you have a pretty good understanding of your dog’s elimination patterns, then take him/her accordingly. As mentioned above, it’s best practice to take an adult dog to the potty room, using the cue word, every two hours. And for puppies, best practice is every hour. Also, make sure to reward and praise all positive outcomes.
Yes, accidents can and likely will happen. Particularly if you have a puppy. Don’t expect your dog to walk over to the room on their own during the training period. Always pay close attention to your Yorkie as s/he is learning to use the pee pad method. If an accident does happen, make sure to properly clean it, and redirect your dog to the proper potty area along with the cue word.
Potty Training Timeline
While most dogs take an average of 4 to 6 months to potty train, it depends on how fast your Yorkie catches on during the training process. With you paying close attention, and using the mornings as the initial training sessions, you’re likely to have quicker success. Due to their size, it’s best to take a Yorkie to the potty room on average 6 to 8 times a day. This will help minimize mistakes and better imprint potty teaching.
You’ll know you’ve succeeded when your Yorkie goes to the potty room and eliminates on their own!
Reduce Pee Pads
Once your Yorkie goes by him/herself and has success you’ve turned a major corner. Leave the pee pads as is for another week to make sure that s/he repeats the successful actions. Once your Yorkie has numerous successful independent potty sessions, it’s time to slowly remove pee pads. We recommend reducing the number of pee pads by 25% and wait to ensure your Yorkie remains successful for a week or two. If not, simply place the pee pads back in full, and wait a bit longer. Sometimes changes are hard for our fuzzy little ones. Continue to remove pee pads in 25% increments, until down to one pad. This can take some time, but it will pay off in the long run.
Pee Pad Training Made Simple
Understanding how a dog thinks is pivotal to good pee pad training. Relying on your Yorkie’s need to eliminate first thing in the morning is key to successful pee pad training. Also, capitalizing on slowly removing pee pads once successful, helps further imprint ‘where’ to potty. Lastly, rewards like treats and praise definitely help!
If you have any tips to help pee pad train your Yorkie, please share them in the comments below.