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Potty training basics for Yorkies

It's true that Yorkies may make smaller messes but the size of the mess doesn't really affect the amount you are going to spend on cleaning up after your pup. Yorkies need to be trained in the same ways that a large dog would.

Size does however play an important factor when it comes to the size of a dog's bladder - the smaller the dog, the smaller the bladder. Dogs with small bladders will need to use the potty more frequently and won't be able to hold it in as long as big dogs.

The great thing about Yorkies is that they can live comfortably in an apartment or a home without a large yard. As long as you can provide a tiny spot like a flowerbed, your Yorkie will have all the room he needs.

Some people make fun of little dogs in their knit sweaters, but it's more than just a fashion statement. During the winter months in cold climates, the change from heated indoors to freezing outdoors is very harsh on a Yorkshire Terrier's body.

The sudden chill can also distract them from the potty business and cause them to run back inside. Once warm again, the urge hits and there's nowhere to go but the rug. You can make this easier on your Yorkshire Terrier by getting him a warm sweater for cold weather.

There are some dogs that refuse to go outdoors unless they see that you are holding a sweater for them. Some Yorkshire Terriers may even refuse going out in the rain without a sweater covering them up.

You have to plan options. Perhaps you can keep a papered box in the garage as a backup potty during bad weather. Only use this for limited times during the year so that you don't discourage the dog from going outside to his regular potty spots.

If your dog usually goes outdoors or you walk him through parks frequently, always keep an eye on him. Look out for tall grass and bushes. You dog may want to sniff a certain spot and could potentially end up being bit by a snake.

Owners of Yorkshire Terriers can become insensitive to their neighbors. Just because the feces is small, it's still dog poop. Pick it up - your neighbor didn't contract with your for fertilizer.

Not to mention that dog poop on their shoes may not be visible until it's tracked onto the carpet. That won't win you an invitation to the neighbor's next bar-b-q. It's your responsibility to clean up after your dog. Don't try to get out of it by arguing that it's so small it doesn't matter. It matters to anyone who doesn't own it.

Housetraining works just the same for large dogs as it does for small ones like Yorkies. You can start with crate training and work to establish a routine for potty breaks. Many little dogs are spoiled because they constantly sit in their owner's lap. This is where your positive reinforcement, praise and affection can come in handy.

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