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I really am at the end of my tether. I've tried so many methods to train him. I've tried crate training, which was ineffectual, and I have tried watching him when he toileted outside and praised him and given him a treat so he knows he's done it in the right place. He is always disciplined when he goes to the toilet in the house, and he will hide when the mess has been discovered.

Getting rid of him has been talked about before between me and my mother, and recently her partner moved in, who cannot stand the constant messing in the house. Getting rid of him is a real possibility now, which I can't bear. I've become so emotionally attached to him, and I really don't want to lose him, but I just can't train him.

Please, if anyone has any help, both me and my dog would appreciate it.
 

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Go back to puppy potty training 101.
Read and follow this. It does not matter that he is 4 years old, treat him as if he were a puppy.
Its going to take quite some time, as you have 4 years of habits to reverse. You need to be 100% consistent.

Notice as you read this sticky that punishment for mistakes is not a good plan, as it results in the dog hiding to potty and other issues.

One key thing for humans to understand is that house training is a HABIT for a dog, not an "UNDERSTANDING". That is, don't expect the dog to suddenly realize "oh, they don't want me to pee in the house!" That's not how their brains work. They go potty where they have had a history of going potty, so you need to PREVENT accidents. That means don't let him run about the house.

One more thing, are you sure he does not have any health issues? Urinary tract infections can ruin house training. So get a clean bill of health from your vet.
 

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How many times is he being walked? Is it really enough for him so that he can hold it without problem?

I would second what Tess said. It's a matter of habit, and disciplining might not be the best way to have your dog to stop having accidents.

For developing the habit, I would also treat him as a puppy - supervise him and interrupt whenever he seems to sniff around to find a place to do it. Take him outside immediately when it happens; and take him out often, like some 3~4 times per day. He probably needs consistency to get the habit.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for your help everyone. And yes, he is neutered.

I will post back here when he is trained. I am determined to fix this habit!
 

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Stop disciplining him for going inside. Generally, all the dog learns is that peeing in front of people = scary, so they're not too incline to pee in front of you outside, either, which makes potty training that much harder.

Also, how are you cleaning it up? Soap and water isn't enough. That leaves behind a scent a dog can smell and makes the dog think it's a good spot to pee. Use an enzymatic cleaner like Nature's Miracle instead.
 

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I really am at the end of my tether. I've tried so many methods to train him. I've tried crate training, which was ineffectual, and I have tried watching him when he toileted outside and praised him and given him a treat so he knows he's done it in the right place. He is always disciplined when he goes to the toilet in the house, and he will hide when the mess has been discovered.

Getting rid of him has been talked about before between me and my mother, and recently her partner moved in, who cannot stand the constant messing in the house. Getting rid of him is a real possibility now, which I can't bear. I've become so emotionally attached to him, and I really don't want to lose him, but I just can't train him.

Please, if anyone has any help, both me and my dog would appreciate it.
Try this method it may help you get him to go where you want him to.
Dog Training Channel - Dog Training: House training a puppy or rescue dog Videos
 

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You are not the only one with a Yorkie to have this problem, so don't feel bad. Just be patient with yourself and your dog. My yorkie was trained before i got her to pee on a cloth pee pad. Not just cloth, but this thing looked like a quilt. I guess they washed it or something in between dumps. Yuck! She was almost a year old when I got her so the habit was pretty ingrained. It took awhile, but now she only occasionally has accidents on the bathroom rugs, but that's usually when her designated pee area is filled up. And that is my fault for being lazy and not cleaning enough! She still goes wherever she is when she's upset, but that's a whole other thing and not a general potty training problem (separation anxiety).

If you wish to commiserate further, here's a link you might like.

Why are Yorkies so hard to Potty Train??? - YorkieTalk.com Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community
 
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