Yorkshire terriers, also known as Yorkies, are not mean by nature but are instinctive. Yorkies are affectionate dogs that, if properly trained and socialized, give lots of joy to their owners.
However Yorkies have strong hunting and protective instincts, so aggressive play can often be misinterpreted by the Yorkie as aggression, and your Yorkie may react in return.
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Why Are Yorkies Aggressive?
There are two reasons why a Yorkie may become aggressive. Either the Yorkie has not been properly socialized at an appropriate age, or the Yorkie is reacting to something that they find annoying or threatening.
Like most terriers, Yorkies are super social. They love to play with humans and dogs alike, and Yorkie pups that have not been let to play with others may not know where the boundaries are.
As pups, Yorkies like to rough play, which is fine when they are small on their teeth are tiny, but if they continue to play aggressively into adulthood this can cause serious problems. Also, isolation at a young age can lead to psychological problems. A Yorkie that is not used to others may feel threatened by the presence of other dogs or people.
Yorkies can also misinterpret playtime as aggression and get defensive. This is why Yorkies are not too good with very small children who may kick and bite, or run quickly, triggering their hunting instincts.
How Do I Stop My Yorkie Being Aggressive?
To be safe, make sure to properly socialize your Yorkie from a young age and never leave them alone with small children.
If you own an adult Yorkie who is being aggressive, try employing some training techniques that involve positive reinforcement for good behavior.
Do not shout, hit or kick your Yorkie. They will retaliate in turn and their aggressiveness will increase. Yorkies want to please their owners and will work hard to make you happy. Rewarding them for good behavior will encourage them better.
Also, make sure that your Yorkie feels safe. If your Yorkie is nervous around others then take them to the park regularly and let them meet other dogs while on lead.
Explain to the other dog owners that your dog is nervous and can attack if feel threatened and let them know your pup is in training. Other dog owners are more understanding than you think.
Why Are Yorkies Bad Pets?
No dog is born a bad pet, but certain breeds do have characteristics that make them less suitable for some dog owners than others.
Yorkies suffer from ‘small dog syndrome’ they try to make up for their small size with big behaviors.
Yorkies tend to bark more, they like the take the lead and will try to vie for dominance within the household – this you must not allow with any breed of dog.
Yorkies are smart but stubborn. While they are easy to train in terms of understanding what it is you want from them, they will be less inclined to listen to you without the promise of a reward.
They are also cautious of small children who may move quickly and play rough. This might make your Yorkie defensive.
Why Do Yorkies Bite So Much?
Yorkies may bite if they are feeling defensive if they want your attention, or you have something they want.
Yorkies that are untrained and unsocialized are more likely to behave this way as they have not learned alternative methods for acquiring what it is they need.
When training your Yorkie make sure to give a command before rewarding them. Command them to sit, lie down, or stay and make sure there is a little distance between you and your Yorkie before giving them the treat or toy.
This will help your Yorkie to understand the rules and boundaries of the home. Yorkies are notorious space invaders that have no problem closing in on you for affection or to bite. Setting rules down early and teaching your Yorkie that it is not okay to bite will help them to behave appropriately.
Do Yorkies Like To be Held?
Yorkies love their owners, the closer they are to you the better. Therefore Yorkies love to be held and cuddled.
In their owners’ arms is where they feel the safest and most comfortable. Yorkies would happily spend all day on your lap if they could.
What Are Yorkies Good For?
Yorkies are not working dogs, they are bred for companionship. While they were also good for catching rats and other pests that would infiltrate the homes of the past, Yorkies are lap dogs that were preferred by the wealthy classes.
The rich desired a dog that was both good company and a good hunting partner. Yorkies can borrow into the tiniest of holes and were often taken along in fox and rabbit hunting season. They are also very loyal and with their cunning wits, they work very well with humans and love to be close to them.
Are Yorkies Hard to Train?
No, Yorkies are not hard to train. They are smart dogs that catch on quickly, it is their stubbornness that some dog owners find frustrating.
Yorkies are not willing to listen to anyone they do not respect and they will try to be a dominant feature of the house. You can quickly control this urge by implementing a structured training schedule and tending to their basic needs.
Are Yorkies Hard To Discipline?
Discipline for dogs is good but negative reinforcement is ineffective for most dog breeds, including the Yorkie.
Shouting or physically hurting your dog will not make them behave any better, and in the case of the Yorkie, it will make their negative behaviors worse.
Because Yorkies are smart they are quite easy to discipline. If their basic needs are met, they are getting regular walks and exposure to dogs and people, then your Yorkie is good to go to start receiving some formal training.
Make sure to practice recall, sit, stay and lie down. These basic commands are great when dealing with a Yorkie and they will happily oblige you if you have a tasty reward waiting for them.