A shift in Yorkie potty behavior can have many causes.

Whether it is physical or behavioral, keeping filling your well of patience and follow these steps to get your yorkie’s potty behavior back on track.

Ever heard the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks?” Well, you can but it takes patience and understanding. We all know our yorkies routine and cues especially when it comes to potty behavior. When there is a shift in behavior, it’s either because they aren’t feeling well or a behavioral issue.

Correcting behavior issues takes times.

Whether it’s aggression, anxiety or even house-training, you and anyone else in the household will need to address the issues in an adult yorkie’s behavior before the changes become a real problem and unmanageable. If your adult yorkie has been having accidents in the house lately, consider trying these steps.

Discussing potty behavior with your veterinarian.

When there are behavioral changes like this, it can be very helpful to schedule a veterinary exam. While we know our yorkies best, they can’t tell us “My tummy hurts,” or “You were gone too long, and I couldn’t hold it.” Getting a thorough exam can help identify if there is a problem that is causing your yorkie to act out, including blockages, tumors or intestinal issues.

A lot of the time it has to do with some sort of physical issue with the yorkie. When it is an older yorkie, they can have issues with house-training and they can become forgetful. It’s called cognitive dysfunction.

Yorkie, like many dogs, reach their golden years between 10 – 12 years old. Around this time, you can expect to see things like reduced energy levels, confusion and house-training issues.

Determine what triggered the potty behavior change.

Behavior issues don’t just appear on their own. Small changes like kids going back to school, you start working longer hours, changing your yorkie’s food, feeding your yorkie at a different time can make a massive difference to your yorkie. Make sure to take the time and figure out when the issue first made its appearance.

Meal times and diet should be kept the same as much as possible. When you drastically change your yorkies routine, you run into the problems!


Keep your emotions in check.

No one likes waking up in the middle of the night to the pungent aroma of dog poop. Who wouldn’t get angry when that happens? But the emotion of anger only reinforces bad behavior, adding fuel to the fire. Reacting in a negative way means that your yorkie is still getting attention. Your yorkie may understand that you are annoyed but creating emotionality in this situation will either reinforce the action or create additional anxiety in your yorkie that could cause this to happen over and over.

What you can do is take your yorkie for a long walk to stimulate the bowel movements and avoid rushing them even if it’s the middle of the night and you are in your pajamas. This change takes time – add patience and a sense of humor to the list of emotions!

Go back to potty behavior basics.

Senior yorkies are more prone to accidents. In order to address these issues, you will need to address the issue and re-implement housebreaking 101.

You will have to start monitoring your yorkie’s food and water intake and bring back the crate during downtime. Consistency is so important! Be sure to take your yorkie out at the same time every day, and designate a specific spot for potty breaks.

If you have enough space, you may want to create a designated indoor area with potty pads and perhaps separate it by a baby gate. This will make cleanup less of a hassle and keep your yorkie happy and not feeling like they did something wrong. Over time, you can reduce the number of pads as the training goes well.

While fixing potty behavior takes time, you and your yorkie will be much happier that you did it. It can be a great (sometimes tiring) bonding experience for you and your yorkie.

Let us know in the comments below if you have any other tips for potty behavior!

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