After visiting a friend’s place who adopted a Yorkie, I found myself reconsidering my decision of adopting a Yorkie soon because of one question that loomed in my head – Are Yorkies Aggressive?
My friend’s Yorkie did not react well when he saw us. He kept barking and running so much that my friend had to tie him to a leash in one corner. I got scared and started contemplating my decision. What if my Yorkie is also like this?
I wanted a tiny dog who would make a good family pet, not one that would be aggressive and hyper. But I also really wanted to adopt a Yorkie. So I took it upon myself to do research and find the answer to the question – Are Yorkies Aggressive?
Let’s look in detail at what I found.
Are Yorkies Aggressive? Top 13 Reasons
Yorkies may weigh just 6 pounds but their personalities are much bigger than their sizes. Since they were bred to hunt mice, the Yorkshire terrier breed is naturally aggressive sometimes.
However, it does not mean that they are not good family pets. They have a soft side to themselves which is very loving and adorable.
If your Yorkie is showing aggressive behavior, there might be a reason behind it. Let’s look at some common reasons behind a Yorkie’s aggression.
1. Health Problems
One of the key answer to Are Yorkies Aggressive is that he has an underlying health issue. It might be a physical or a mental issue. Some health issues that might be causing aggression in your dog are brain tumors, seizures, neurological problems, and thyroid disorders.
Health issues like these can cause even the most well-trained dog or the most even-tempered Yorkie to show aggressive behavior.
Consult a vet immediately if your Yorkie is showing aggression and you think that this is the reason behind it. It is tough to detect these problems yourself so talk to a vet and get your pet friend the proper treatment.
2. Lack of Attention
Do you leave your Yorkie alone too often? Or is it on its own most of the time even when you are home? If your answer is yes, then it might be possible that your Yorkshire terrier puppy is in lack of attention.
These small lovable creatures want you to look after them, play with them and love them as much as they do you. So if your toy dog is being aggressive it could be because he wants more attention. He can only bark or nip to attract your attention.
Be sure to give your little friend enough attention!
3. Lack of Affection
If your Yorkie puppy feels unloved, he might become aggressive to let you know that he is not liking it.
He will hover around you, become hyperactive, bark, nip, lick, basically do everything he can to attract your attention, and tell you that he wants more affection and love than what he is getting right now.
Are you the parent of more than one pet? Or did you play for too long with your neighbor’s pet? Think about it. These things can very easily make your four-legged friend jealous.
Now he will exhibit aggressive behavior to show you he is angry and jealous. His behavior around you as well as the other pet will change.
Also, don’t think that Yorkies don’t get jealous of humans. They might be jealous of your new baby if you have been spending too much time with them and not giving proper attention to your Yorkie.
5. Lack of Socialization
To get to know what is the proper behavior around people and other dogs, it is very important that your Yorkie has been socialized.
If you don’t socialize your dog or start socializing him after he has grown up, there is little or no chance that your Yorkie will know what to do or how to behave when around others.
Hence, he might have a bad temperament when he sees other dogs or you have guests coming over.
6. Lack of Training
Yorkies are a little aggressive naturally but it’s not a dominant trait if they are trained properly.
An untrained dog of the Yorkshire terrier breed will be aggressive and hyper and will not follow your commands. He is a small dog but possesses the attitude of a larger dog.
You need to train your dog and teach him commands so that he knows when you want him to do what.
7. Stress and Anxiety
If you are the owner of a non-aggressive Yorkie and it suddenly starts showing aggressive behavior, then it is very much possible that the reason behind such behavior is stress and anxiety.
A stressed Yorkie is very likely to engage in hyperactive behavior like showing aggression, licking more, barking, etc. Stress and anxiety can be caused due to many reasons, one of the most common being loud noises.
However, if your Yorkie has been showing such aggressive behavior for a while now, you might want to check if he has developed separation anxiety.
8. Yorkie Might Be Under Heat
If your male dog is in its breeding season, he will become aggressive towards other dogs and even you.
Your terrier wants to prove his dominance in front of other dogs when he is attempting to mount other dogs.
Castration or neutering can be a solution to it but always consult your vet before deciding to castrate your dog as it can have adverse impacts in some cases. To read more about castration, click here.
9. Rough Handling by Kids
Did a kid come over to play with your Yorkie? Were you absent from the scene when it was happening? If yes, your Yorkie’s aggression could be a consequence of rough handling by kids.
A young child will not know how to handle a Yorkie. He might consider your Yorkie a toy due to its size and pick it up in the wrong way like from its neck. This could be very dangerous and can lead to your Yorkie being angry or scared.
However, older children, if taught well, are generally good with dogs.
10. Territorial Nature
Yorkshire terriers are territorial and protective in nature.
Your Yorkie might mark its territory by urinating in the house. And as soon as he sees someone or something that can be a potential threat to you according to him, his temperament will change and he will become aggressive.
He might even harm the person or the object because it is very protective of you.
If your Yorkie is scared in a situation, he will resort to aggression and try to show himself as an aggressive large dog.
Growling and barking are signs to tell the threat to stay away from him. You should always make sure that your Yorkie is not under these situations and if he is, assure him that you are there to protect him. This will prevent him from resorting to fear aggression.
12. Past Trauma
If your dog has past trauma, he might be reminded of it by certain environmental factors. This could lead to him being aggressive and hyperactive.
Trauma could be because he feels someone is missing like his previous owner or his dog friend. It could also be because he was abused or roughly handled.
Always try to be understanding in such situations and be gentle to your puppy.
If your Yorkie is of the age of 4 to 10 months, he might be showing aggression because he is teething.
This phase is generally very uncomfortable for your puppy and leads to aggression in them. It is a temporary issue.
However, any hostile behavior towards family members should not be tolerated but understanding the reason could itself offer relief to your dog.
Top 8 Tips to Control Your Yorkie’s Aggressive Behavior
Now that you know about Are Yorkies Aggressive, below are some ways in which you can control your Yorkie’s aggressive behavior.
1. Regular Walks
Take your Yorkie for regular walks. Walks are a good exercise for them and help them release their pent-up energy which they otherwise might have released by barking or growling.
Make a schedule and stick to it. This way your Yorkie will have a routined life and this will be very helpful in trying to make him stay calm.
Take a look at the complete guide for walking and running as an exercise here.
2. Mental Stimulation
Mental stimulation is very important to keep your Yorkie mentally active and engaged. This way they also develop healthy habits and stay well-behaved.
You can play fetching games or hide and seek with your pet friend. This could also be the quality time you spend with them.
Or you can get them puzzles to solve. Here is an interesting puzzle toy that you must check out!
3. Provide Proper Attention and Affection
As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to give your four-legged friend proper attention and affection.
Your Yorkie lives with you and expects you to love him as much as he loves you. Of course, you need your own space and he needs his, but make sure that you spend quality time with him every once in a while.
Do some fun activities with him. Make him feel loved. This way he will remain calm and well-behaved.
4. Keep Stress Levels Low
Try and understand when your Yorkie is stressed and what is the reason behind this stress.
Once you recognize the triggers, it will be easier for you to know that he is stressed and take the necessary steps to calm him down.
You should also always try your best to avoid taking your dog into such triggering situations.
5. Train Your Yorkie
Training is very important in a dog’s life. It defines their character and personality.
Train your dog in the best way possible. Make him learn commands, give him a proper scheduled life and teach him the appropriate manners. A well-trained dog rarely shows aggression.
And I am sure you don’t want to be the parent of an untrained dog who barks here and there and does not follow your command!
Take a look at this extensive guide on training here.
6. Use Positive Reinforcement Techniques
Rewarding your pet friend when he does something right is a good way of telling him that this is what you expect of him.
Positive reinforcement techniques like these motivate your dog to repeat his good behaviors and soon it becomes a habit. Whereas negative reinforcement techniques can have adverse impacts on your dog.
7. Proper Socialization
Another way of calming your dog down is socializing him from when he is a puppy.
A good dog must always know how to behave when he is around people and other dogs. Socializing from an early age inculcates these habits in your Yorkie.
Moreover, your Yorkie also needs to spend time playing with dogs of other breeds or his own. Socialising also takes care of this.
8. A Fixed Time for Kids to Play With Your Yorkie
If your Yorkie has to play with kids for long hours, he might get annoyed and start getting aggressive.
Kids don’t always know how to behave with a Yorkie so it’s best that you set a fixed time for them to play with him and make sure you are there when they are playing together to avoid any danger.
FAQs on Are Yorkies Aggressive
1. Do Yorkies Get Mad at Their Owners?
Yes, Yorkies do get mad at their owners if something is not done according to their wishes or they are not well-trained. It can also be because they are jealous of their owners have spent too much time with some other pet.
2. Are Yorkies Biters?
Yorkies may bite their owners but only under situations where they are scared of them or are in pain so they bite in self-defense. Their biting and nipping could also be a result of their territorial instincts or loneliness.
3. Are Yorkies Hard to Train?
Yorkies might be hard to train but it will not be a problem if you start training them from an early age itself. All you need is a bit of patience!
In conclusion, we have given a detailed answer to the question Are Yorkies Aggressive.
So now that you know why Yorkie is acting the way it is, what are you waiting for? Try these ways and I am sure you will see the results. If you think it’s a serious problem, consult your vet immediately.
Apart from that, keep loving and being loved!