Even the seven pound Yorkshire terrier was bred for a job; hunting vermin. These playful, energetic lap dogs are rated by the American Kennel Club as the 6th most popular dog breed in the United States. They are a small breed, categorized as "toy" by the AKC and they can get plenty of exercise with a game inside the house or a short walk around the block. Despite their size, they are stubborn and courageous and require training. Start your Yorkie off with potty training at a young age.
Purchase a crate that is big enough for your Yorkie to stand, turn, sit and lie down in. Because Yorkshire terriers rarely exceed eight inches in height, a smaller crate will be fine. Allow your Yorkie to get used to the crate before you try to lock it inside. Place treats in the crate and let it explore on its own. Crate training is an effective potty training tool because dogs typically try to avoid soiling in the same place they sleep. Keeping your Yorkie confined for short periods while you are away can help you avoid messes.
Let Your Yorkie Outside Frequently
Yorkshire terriers don't have large bladders and won't be able to go for hours on end without having an accident. This is especially true when they are puppies and will need to be let out at least once an hour. As your Yorkie gains better control it will be able to stay inside for longer periods, but you should start by giving it a chance to relieve itself every hour. Take your Yorkie outside first thing in the morning, 15 minutes to half an hour after each meal, immediately before and after crating it, and before bed. This schedule will help regulate your Yorkie's system and you should adhere to it even after your Yorkie is fully house-trained.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement training methods rely on a system of rewards to show a dog when it is doing the right thing. The advantages of this method include not having to punish your dog, avoiding potential behavior problems that result from fear of punishment and the ability to teach your Yorkie what you expect it to do. Purchase your Yorkie's favorite doggy snacks and reward it with one every time it relieves itself in the yard. Include praise in the reward as well. Use specific praise, such as "good potty!" to let your Yorkie know why it is being rewarded. This works especially well if you encourage your Yorkie to "go potty" when you take it outside. You can stop using treats once your Yorkie is reliably house-trained, but it never hurts to continue praising your dog.
Interrupt, Don't Punish
There are several problems with punishing your Yorkie for having an accident in the house. First, Yorkies are small and you may inadvertently hurt it. Second, Yorkies don't realize what they are getting in trouble for unless they are actually caught in the act. Scolding your Yorkie 10 minutes later won't teach it anything. Third, punishing your Yorkie can make it afraid to relieve itself in your presence (or at all) or it can become afraid of you. This can lead to aggression or other behavior problems later in your Yorkie's life. When you catch your Yorkie going potty in your house, interrupt it with a noise, such as clap or whistle. Take it outside and encourage it to go potty. If it does, reward it.