How to Potty Train a Chorkie

By Christina Sloane

The Chorkie, a type of designer dog, is a cute, 8- to 15-pound cross between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Chihuahua. Like all mixed breeds, individual Chorkies may take on the appearance and characteristics of a Yorkie, a Chihuahua or a combination of the two. Though Chorkies are not nearly as popular as purebred Yorkies or Chihuahuas, they share many of the same positive qualities: intelligence, playfulness and a compact, apartment-friendly size. Unfortunately, both Yorkies and Chihuahuas are difficult to housebreak, a quality shared by the hybrid. With some positive reinforcement and consistent training, however, your dog should be housebroken within two weeks.

Decide whether to take your Chorkie outside or have him go in a designated indoor spot. Some dog experts recommend litter-box training since toy breeds hate going outside in cold weather, but outdoor training will work as long as you are consistent.

Set up a litter box in a designated spot in your home, if you choose to train indoors. Newspapers will also work, but if you potty train with newspapers, your dog might feel free to relieve himself on other papers.

Designate a specific outdoor area for your Chorkie to use, if you want to train outdoors. Give him the chance to relieve himself in this specific area before you go on an extended walk. This will allow you and your pet to enjoy the extended walk without the hassles of doggie bags, angry neighbors and so forth.

Confine your Chorkie to a dog crate or box during the housebreaking process. Leave him in the crate at all times unless you are playing with him, walking him or taking him to his toilet area. The crate should be about 2 by 3 feet, enough space to eat and rest comfortably. Your pet won’t eliminate in his personal space unless it’s an emergency.

Feed your dog breakfast and dinner at set times every day, and take him to his designated toilet area 30 minutes after eating.

Take your dog to visit his litter box or outside area as soon as you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed at night. If he wakes up at any time during the night, take him out immediately.

Say “Go toilet” or a similar phrase of your choosing when your Chorkie starts doing his business in the designated spot. Your dog will soon associate this phrase with going to the toilet, and will eventually run to the door or his litter box when you use the phrase.

Praise your dog when he eliminates where you want him to. Say “Good boy!” and offer a treat or other positive reinforcement.

Clean your dog’s toilet area regularly, whether it is inside or outside.

Correct your dog calmly and humanely if he has an accident in the house. When you see him relieving himself in a non-toilet area, clap your hands and sternly say “No!” If you notice a mess but didn’t catch your dog in the act, carry your dog to the mess and say “No!” Do not hit your dog, scream at length, or give sustained punishments (e.g. refusing to take him to the dog park next weekend). Dogs don’t respond to or understand such punishments, and they will do more harm than good.

Clean up accidents immediately, and eliminate odors with apple cider vinegar or a pet enzyme spray, available at all pet stores.