Paper and Litter Box Training

With a dog as small as a Yorkshire terrier, many people, especially those living in areas with severe winter weather, choose to train their dogs to go to the bathroom indoors. If you're considering this, you have several options to consider.

Paper Training

The most common and reliable surface of choice for paper training is newspaper. The advantage here is that if you read the paper anyway, you already have the material. You can start by papering an entire room and gradually decrease the papered area. The disadvantage is that wet newsprint can leave ink behind, and this can be unpleasant to clean up.

Isn't it best to paper train a puppy, then later train her to go outdoors?

This method seems to make sense except it involves you going through the rigors of housetraining twice. The best thing to do is choose one method and stick to it. If you ultimately want to train your dog to relieve herself outdoors, be vigilant, take her out often, and skip the paper.

Piddle pads, or wee-wee pads, are another option, but these are generally used only for training puppies because of their high cost. However, these options might be useful to someone who can afford the cost, as they eliminate the mess of paper and litter.

Litter Box Training

You can now find litter and litter boxes specifically designed for small dogs. Breeders warn that Yorkies in full coat will be likely to drag the litter material onto the floor and you may find it sticking to their hair. For this reason, a litter box might be a better choice for Yorkies with their coats cut down for easier maintenance. Beyond the coat issue, this method does work well, and it makes for easy cleanup. There's no need to scrub the floor as there is with the newspaper method.

A less common but still feasible method is to buy a little patch of indoor lawn for your pup. The unit includes a rectangular holder for a piece of live, growing turf, a small picket fence, and a miniature fire hydrant. The lawn does require sunlight and water, so it may be more feasible to keep it just outside your back door rather than in your kitchen. The company that makes this product even offers replacement turf. The idea is that once your pup is used to relieving himself on the small patch of grass, transitioning to the lawn outside will go more smoothly.

No matter which of the options you may choose, the training procedure is the same as for training outdoors. The only difference is that the dog always relieves himself in the designated area rather than outside.

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