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Oy! Can't Paper Train!

January 4th, 2008, 04:58 PM
Hi Everyone. This is my first post and I hope I'm not going over ground that's already been covered, but there's a gazillion pages in this forum and I didn't see this problem in the few pages I scanned thru.:sorry:

4 months ago we rescued a 5-year-old, 10-pound yorkie. We were told she had lived with a family for most of those 5 years and then was unceremoniously dumped at a kill shelter (I won't go into the reason we were told this was done--it's irrelevant). She didn't appear to have been seriously traumatized by this nor the short time she spent in foster care with the group that scooped her up from the shelter; appeared to be pretty well house-broken (yes, we are aware that Yorkies are notoriously difficult to potty-train) and is very healthy.

We live in NJ and, while (knock wood), thus far, we've had a mild winter with little ice/snow, she steadfastly refuses to go out for a walk in inclement weather. We coax her, pull on the leash, and then finally pick her up and carry her down the steps of our house to the sidewalk, whereupon she just stands there, refusing to budge, shivering and giving us that classic "what-did-I-do-to-deserve-this-torture?" look. We made her a warm coat (although I suspect nothing could possibly be warm enough for such a little critter) and she steadfastly refuses to wear boots, although it is clear that her feet are freezing cold. We've actually resorted to pulling her along the slush, but she refuses to walk regardless of any positive reinforcement, and refuses to "go." And then she pees & poops in the house.

In addition, she's been having an increasing number of accidents (it was previously poop but now it's mostly pee) in the house on days that are not a weather problem. We walk her a minimum of 4 times a day oon a pretty regular schedule. When & where she pees in the house seems indiscriminate--frequently (but definitely not always) in the same room in which we are at the time, just out of our sight, often the split-second our backs are turned (as best as we can tell). We have NEVER been able to catch her at it, although she clearly knows she's done something wrong since, if we don't find the accident by stepping in it, we know to look for it because she's slinking around.

We feel it is in both her best interest and ours to paper train her, but we can't figure out how. She has no problem getting her own waste (pee or poop) all over herself when we've gated her in our large kitchen and she's had an accident. She seems to be completely oblivious to that spray stuff that is supposed to make them want to pee in a particular place, and never pees on the newspaper we leave down onto which we have sprayed the stuff.

I know--we have to confine her to a small area that includes her bed (which resides in a crate in our kitchen, in which she is very comfortable) and nothing else but newspaper and then gradually reduce the size of the papered area after we see that she understands that she is to go on the paper. She has no interest in any toy whatsoever but will occasionally turn to the rawhides we give her to work on when nobody's paying attention to her despite her best efforts, so we always make sure she has a rawhide in her crate.

Here are my questions:
1. Do we cease our regular walks?
2. Since our being around & even in the same room isn't a deterrent and it is ridiculously impractical for us to just stare at her every minute, do we have to confine her to that space ANY & EVERY time she is not in our line of sight (which would basically be any time she is not on our laps or in our arms)? She really has on several occasions peed the second we stopped looking at her and turned to do something.

She goes totally berzerk any time she is confined in any way away from us (except when we put her to bed at night, for which we have developed calm rituals and she is totally fine with going into her bed, settling down, seeing the door of the crate closed & locked, and going to sleep)--major hysteria: whining turning to histrionic barking that can last literally for hours, and frantic jumping, trying to get out. But if this is what it takes to teach her, perhaps this will also help her to be calmer when she needs to be away from us.


Thanks and, again, I apologize if this has been covered on one of the pages thru which I didn't troll.

Help, help, help!


January 4th, 2008, 10:33 PM
If there is a way that you can get into a schedule (every 3 hrs.) of carrying her out to a specific spot where you have already placed some of her poo then this will start the house training enforcement. The rest of the time she's in the house have her confined to her cage but within sight of her family. You could also blott up her pee with a paper towel and also place that in the potty area. Carry a small treat (cheese) or some food she really likes and the 1st. time that she goes where designated make a big fuss, pets and reward. Dragging her through slush is only making the walkie thing a very negative experience for her and is not going to get you any positive results, it will make her hate to go outside. I have not found Yorkies specifically hard to house train, she really needs consistency and should not be allowed free run of the house until you get this under control. Once she has started to go pee/poo in the designated area you can bring her in and play with her and have some quality time outside the cage. Keeping her beside you on the couch until the next potty will enable you to monitor her activity and prohibit the sneaking off to pee in the house. Training her to paper will mean you'll have to re-train to outside later.

January 5th, 2008, 10:33 AM
We've decided that we don't WANT to re-train her to go outside during the Spring & Summer. We've decided that she AND we would be less miserable if she used the wee-wee pads permanently. (We've decided that she doesn't like the feel of newspaper under her feet and studiously avoids it, and are willing to suck it up & deal with the cost of wee-wee pads for life, although, if we can eventually achieve full success with the wee-wee pads, we might want to see if we can transition her to newspaper.)

Even in the Spring & Summer, we have a problem because she HATES having her paws wiped. In addition, as I mentioned, we live in an urban area, and people in our vicinity seem to be completely incapable of using trash cans, and the sidewalks are a minefield of discarded chicken bones and other garbage, so we have to watch her like a hawk when we're walking her to make sure she doesn't eat anything that might make her sick. And, if she's trained to go on the pads in the house, we don't have to get hysterical about being home exactly on her walk schedule. We're not looking at this as a way to leave her home alone for many hours on a regular basis, but sometimes things come up and we can't always assume that our dog-sitting neighbor will always be available when we need her.

When the weather is nice, we'll certainly take her for walks, but those will be for mutual pleasure and, if she pees or poops outside, that would just be a bonus.

In the past few days, we've noticed that it seems as though she pees in the house somewhere between 15 minutes to 30 seconds before we would be taking her out--is it giving her credit for too much intelligence to take this as her way of saying, "I don't want to go outside, so if I go INSIDE, then you'll know I'm done and you won't make me go outside"?

Thx again,

January 5th, 2008, 01:18 PM
As a non-dog owner but as a regular and interested reader here, I would think that some of these things - like hating having his feet wiped, standing on certain surfaces, going for walkies - are training issues. As a 5-year old, is he really incapable of learning different, even more rewarding behaviours? That's a real question btw.
Can you carry him past the garbage to a local park? Call me old-fashioned, but I think all dogs, however small, need their walkies for general health.

January 7th, 2008, 11:57 AM
I've been doing extensive reading and everything I've read says that, almost all dogs at any age can be trained--it just sometimes takes more patience and is more difficult with some dogs than others. Our attempts at training her for other, easier tasks, have proven to be very successful.

My research told me that this breed is deemed an excellent "apartment, indoor" dog because of its small size, and our house is very large and 2-story, and she gets plenty of exercise just following us up & down the stairs and around the house all day and, as I said, we would only not take her outside at all when the weather was extremely unpleasant and she essentially refused. She gets extensive aerobic exercise whenever she is confined away from us in any way--she gets pretty hysterical, yipping and barking and feverishly jumping up & down to try to get to us. This is, of course, something I hope will decrease as her confidence in our returning grows and her willingness to accept that she cannot be the Center Of Attention every second of every waking moment increases. We've only had her for 4 months.

LOL re: carrying her past the garbage on the street. You obviously don't live in an urban area. There is food & food detritus absolutely EVERYWHERE. We of course try to steer her clear of what we see before she gets wind of it, but she's quick as lightening and frequently smells things before we see them, or when we cannot see them, such as when they are in a weed patch or pile of leaves.


January 7th, 2008, 12:09 PM
I would contact a Yorkie rescue group and see what tips they may have. I've heard that Yorkies are not one of the easier breeds to house train. A Yorkie breeder or rescue group may know of ways that work well for that breed.


January 7th, 2008, 12:13 PM
i agree that a 10lb yorkie is a great candidate for pad training. and I also agree that an outside walk isn't necessary every day for such a small dog. (especially in NJ in the cold & wet months)

to train for the pad - keep in mind, this is just how I would approach it - I am NOT a trainer.

I would keep the dog on leash to start, to keep her close by and my eye on her to watch for signs of needing to go. as soon as she squats - get her to the pad. if you clicker train (as I do) click when she goes on the pad, then reward her w/a small special treat. i.e. tiny pieces of liver biscotti (a special treat used ONLY when she uses the pad). repeat this process. I'd do this starting on a weekend, so that by Monday (back to work) the dog would understand where to do it's business.

While away, I'd confine the dog to a large-ish area (kitchen) keep a pad in that area, and see how it goes. I'd use a larger area with enough room for a bed, toys, food, and a pad that is off in a corner (not near bed or food).

I'd also designate a spot for the pads - forever. just like you'd keep a litter box in the same spot, do so w/ the pads. keep them in an out of the way corner of a room that has lanolium or tile (easily cleaned & disinfected).

ETA - I'd opt to use the pads instead of newspaper. newspaper breaks down easily - and can leave more of a mess on the floor, making the dog not WANT to go in that spot. you could also end up w/ a damaged floor. There ARE doggy litter boxes and doggy litter available at pet supply stores. you may be able to get her to use a litter box just as a cat would. (you should use doggy litter, not the stuff for cats). I'd start w/ the wee wee pads first though. I do know a small dog who is also pad trained, and it works beautifully for he and his owners.

January 7th, 2008, 04:55 PM
I have been through this with rescued 10 lb., short-haired mini Dachshunds - Alphas at that. It was not easy - and Toronto weather is not great - Dachshunds love their warmth - but we bought them coats - the boots didn't work on them - and yes, we did have to carry them 2 blocks from home, but they would run like the dickens to get back to the house - and learned to do their business on the way. We always left an "emergency" paper for them, but they learned to use it for just that purpose. Dachshunds are very difficult to house train and very bossy dogs. I would do as CLM suggested and check a Yorkie site. Your 10 lb. dog is not a "teacup" dog weighing 2 lbs. - I have seen those dogs and was worried about them - 10 lb. is not that small - my 10 lb. Dachshunds were frankly the "biggest" dogs I ever had. We now have a 22 lb. dog who seems smaller - an Eskimo - known to be an aggressive breed - but he seems much smaller to me - and he has a strong desire to be tall. Hope you solve your problem, but I really don't think going inside for life is the answer. You will definitely have a problem should you ever need to board your dog with someone - and not for your vacation - things happen in life.

January 7th, 2008, 05:50 PM
Bruno is a year and we still have accidents. We've spanked him and yelled at him. I know, i know unorthodox and wrong but we're done with that now. Finally, we got into a routine. same exact time everyday.

Always leave a wee-wee pad out in her favorite pee spot.

1. crate overnight!!!!
2. walk her 1st thing in the morning.
3. let her be free throughout the day.
4. walk her or have her walked at noon.
5. walk her again at 4.
6. then right before you go to bed.

If she has an accident, you MUST discipline. this is not like a large breed dog. You must discipline. DON'T HIT! show her her accidents and tell her NO. If you catch her in the act pick her up and put her on the pad. congratulate her when she does it correctly. it takes a long time and it's hard but we finally did it.

Till this day, if I don't follow schedule he will poop in the house but he always pees on his pads.

January 8th, 2008, 09:24 PM
My head is spinning.

To all of you who support our making her an "inside" dog, VITAL QUESTION:
Do you stop taking her out for walks and just confine her to the area where the pad is, a little before walk time, and leave her there until she goes?

As I said, she goes positively berzerk when she's confined in any way from us, and she keeps it up for a really long time (when we're in the house). We of course don't know how long it goes on when we leave, although we usually find that she's been asleep when we return after an hour or two. As I've previously mentioned, it will be painful for all of us but, if that's what we have to put up with until this works out, so be it. I would also hope that a side benefit would be that eventually she would calm down when confined.

My husband, who is not the greatest disciplinarian (total softie), thinks it is "safe" to let her roam freely right after a walk when she's peed & pooped, because she's "empty." Since we've never caught her peeing or pooping in the house and can only try to piece together a timeline of our activities and hers to try to figure out when she did it, *I* think we shouldn't let her out of our sight unless she's confined to the space in which we've got the pad and her crate with her bed in it, even though I'm pretty sure my husband's probably right). Anyway, so, whenever she jumps off the couch, *I* follow her. I believe as a result, she's spent the last day disappearing into closets and cabinets. I have a cold and fell asleep on the couch with her in my lap, and awoke to find her in our coat closet, which she's never previously shown any interest in whatsoever. At one point later in the day, I found her IN a cabinet that did not have any food in it...

We DO crate her at night and she is very comfortable with this. As a matter of fact, when we started trying this paper-training thing, one night I forgot to close & lock her crate door after she'd trundled into her bed, and she wouldn't settle down. Once I figured it out and closed & locked the door, she curled up & went right to sleep. She sleeps downstairs and we sleep upstairs and, when she awakens in the early morning, she barks to let us know she's awake and wants to be with us, and she NEVER wants to go right out to pee &/or poop immediately. She usually wants to spend an couple of hours with my husband in the morning before she wants to go out.

Thanks for the advice about checking with Yorkie groups--I feel pretty stupid not having thought of that. I've ordered a bunch more books on Yorkies and on training in general from the library. Unfortunately, at the moment, we cannot afford a professional trainer and have to wing this on our own. BTW, how do you vet (is that a pun?) a dog trainer?

Thx to all,

January 8th, 2008, 09:31 PM
BTW--she doesn't seem to have a favorite place to pee, other than when/where we don't/can't see her do it. We never know where we're going to stumble onto it.