Are Yorkies Aggressive? For some reason, most people depict Yorkshires as pooches that have such a big personality although in a small package. Some will say, they are small but full of spunk. Without a doubt, these might seem like two very contradicting words. However, they basically give us a general quick overview of what to expect from the Yorkies temperament.
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As adorable as they might seem, Yorkshires could be feisty energetic dogs. The environment the Yorkshire lives in as well as how the dog owner treats the Yorkie contributes to such behavior. Also, they will in most cases work independently and sometimes will be suspicious of any new faces. Lastly, this dog can at times take you by surprise how she forgets of her small size and picks up fights with larger dogs. This could put her in so much trouble.
But don’t worry, despite all this mischief, Yorkshires have a soft side too that is equally amusing. Generally, Yorkies are not aggressive dogs. However, if you don’t train this breed of dog well within the first few months, it could turn out to be an aggressive dog. That being the case, you should not delay training your dog. The longer you wait, the more the chances of the problem escalating.
Causes of Aggressiveness in Dogs
Usually, most people will identify aggressive dogs if they bite people/animals, growl or bark a lot. However, it is very particular reasons that trigger such particular reactions in your Yorkshire. That is why, when your dog is still very young, it’s advisable that you take it through socialization training.
The dog gets to learn how to relate with people, objects in the surrounding environment and other dogs too. Such positive contact on a constant basis helps the dog to know how to react to daily surrounding situations. However, despite such good socialization training, there are some dogs that will still show aggressive behavior.
Things that cause such aggressiveness in a Yorkshire terrier include:
- Health problems
- Traumas among others.
Aside from that, it’s important to take into consideration that Yorkshires were used as hunter’s dogs. Especially in the miner’s houses, Yorkies were used to drive away rats. Rats are very aggressive and that is why you can easily detect the high level of bravery in your Yorkshire.
Reasons Why Your Yorkie is Aggressive to Other Dogs
The Yorkie is a small dog, that’s for sure. However, despite its tiny size, it is a brave and curious dog whose temperament could go to unexpected extremes. For you to know the best way to deal with your dog, it’s important that you analyze and observe the dog’s behavior over a given period of time.
Anxiety and Stress: Especially if you keep your Yorkshire in a kennel, it could feel anxious, stressed and insecure. That is because locking up your dog breaches at least 5 of its freedoms. Also, when you tied down a dog, it doesn’t get the chance to undergo proper training. More to that, she never gets the chance to experience training in the best way possible.
Sexuality: It’s quite common for some dogs to take up a dominant behavior over others. This mostly happens to dogs that have not undergone sterilization. Sterilization of your Yorkshire, therefore, could come with a whole load of benefits. Besides reducing the onset of some diseases, it makes it easier for the dog owner to enjoy games between same-sex specimens after they have adapted fully.
Fear: This is common with dogs that have suffered a negative experience at some point. Such a dog could either end up barking a lot or portray aggressive behavior out of fear. In such a case, you don’t just wake up one day and force your Yorkshire to interact with other dogs. First of all, you must give her some space to start interacting, with some help from you. You can consider taking walks around parks with sociable dogs but maintaining a safe distance in order to avoid any conflicts.
Poor Socialization Skills: Just like in humans, socialization is a very crucial part of every dog’s life. It helps dogs to relate well with each other. Therefore, if you find that your Yorkshire doesn’t know that its time to stop playing when another dog growls. Or, doesn’t understand the natural hierarchy that falls within k packs, then the dog will most likely cause conflict.
High Level of Reactivity: You’ve probably seen a very sociable dog bark aggressively to another dog. Well, not all dogs that are highly reactive actually intend to attack. You’ll be surprised that some of them are actually very sociable. Some of these reactive dogs have only formed this habit over time by repeating it time and again.
Reasons Why Yorkshires are Aggressive to Humans
When a Yorkie is very aggressive to humans, it can be such a complicated problem to deal with. As you have figured out by now, Yorkshires are not a very strong type. This means that they can do very little harm to humans especially. However, it could be very worrying and harmful living with an aggressive dog. The children, especially, could be in danger.
Self-Defence: Most aggressive always have a traumatic story behind their aggressive behavior. Dogs are automatically aggressive when they receive physical scorning or any other forms of ill-treatment. This means that you should never hit your dog otherwise they may end up biting you. The worst part about this is that their behavior is totally reprehensible.
Protection of their Resources: You’ll realize that a dog will bite or growl especially if you get anywhere near their toys, food or bed. If your Yorkshire is depicting such behavior, don’t scorn it, as this may end making the situation worse. If they don’t want you near the resources, it’s only good that you show obedience. Also, you could try offering the dog food directly from your hands. This way, the dog will understand you are the one that offers the food after all.
Fear: Even in humans, what triggers fear is previous negative experiences. Therefore, if your dog has had negative experiences with strangers or the people in the surrounding environment, it’s likely to be aggressive. This is a long term problem that needs a very careful approach for your dog to improve. Your main focus should be making the dog feel more comfortable and confident around people.
Poor Training: Most of the dogs that have undergone training to attack or defend could show extremely aggressive behavior. Especially, inexperienced personnel spearheads the dog’s training it could be hard to treat the negative behavior she is depicting. This may be a very unusual case with the Yorkshires, but it could still happen.
Redirected Attack: It’s unfortunate that a dog could be barking at another aggressively then ends up biting you. In most cases, this is a spontaneous situation that could be caused by extreme anxiety. Maybe the only reason why the dog bit you is because your leg was there and that’s where the dog saw fit to redirect the attack. It’s important that you keep a safe distance when your dog is extremely anxious.
Ways to Deal with Aggressiveness in Yorkshires
To deal with aggressiveness depicted by your Yorkshire, it’s always important that you first identify what causes the aggressiveness in the first place. In the sections above, we have analyzed some of these reasons although we still have many more.
That is why, at some point, you might need to seek professional assistance from an ethologist. Since they are professionals in depicting animal behavior, they will offer you proper guidelines on how to deal with your furry friend. In line with professional help, you can follow these basic tips to improve your dog’s behavior.
Provide a Quiet and Stable Environment
This is ideally the first step in improving your dog’s temperament. It’s important that you prepare the grounds and ensure the dog gets the ideal environment, to begin with. Dogs learn from the families they live with. Therefore, when they are part of a relaxed and calm family, they will respond by being calm and less aggressive too.
Don’t Scorn Your Dog
If your dog is suffering from extreme anxiety or high-stress problems, the last thing that you should do is scorn her. Bad treatment only makes the problem to get worse. That is why, if you want to promote the desired behavior, you must do it from a point of positive reinforcement. At the end of the day, the dog will feel more comfortable relating to people as well as other dogs.
Train Your Yorkshire to Be Obedient
A dog will always comply better when accustomed to receiving orders. Therefore, you can take training sessions of about 15 minutes every day. After some time, you will realize that your dog is adjusting accordingly.
Also, during the training, don’t forget to give the dog prizes and small rewards when they do well. Ensure that you have a calm and positive attitude so that the dog can be happy too. When your dog embraces this behavior, it will be easier to maintain a safe distance between you and the dog.
Keep the Stress Levels to a Minimum
There are some dogs that will portray aggressive behavior due to high-stress levels. That is why, if your dog reacts badly when under a lot of stress, it’s important that you avoid any situations that may induce stress. In the end, your dog will end up being less aggressive.
You can try to engage your dog in something fun like playing chase and catch games, walks, and many more. This will keep the dog focused on engaging in the play rather than stress.
Take Walks with Your Dog
Your dog needs to take walks on a daily basis for at least 90 minutes. This helps to burn off the excess energy that may at times lead to aggressiveness. Therefore, you can take an early morning or late evening walks with your dog in the city.
However, you need to be watchful of the common mistakes people are prone to make when walking their dog.
Avoid the Small Cute Dog Syndrome
Just like many other small dogs, Yorkies are very likely to experience developmental problems due to their small size. Most of the dog owners are likely to oversee these problems because they think somehow they are cute.
But just like any other dog, Yorkies need to undergo extensive training and socialization too. Also, they need to guide them on what they can do and what they cannot. The training should commence when Yorkshire is still very young. That way, there will be lesser chances of aggression, fear, and frustration. Don’t let the Yorkie get way with aggressive behavior just because you think they seem cute when behaving that way. Let your Yorkie start on the right foot and you’ll love it.
Be the Pack Leader
Yorkies are highly energetic dogs with a fair share of cleverness. Therefore, if not kept in check, they are likely to slip to the throne. And what happens next is that have everyone else at their back and call. That is why, as the dog owner, you need to be the pack leader. This will ensure your furry friend remains tightly reined in. In the end, Yorkshire will learn to be at the service of others.
If you own a Yorkshire terrier, you need to understand that assertiveness and dominance is part of the Yorkies temperament. In that case, you need to take your Yorkie through training so that she learns how to socialize. Otherwise, the Yorkie might end up being aggressive to strangers and other animals too.
It’s important that you know treating the dog’s aggressiveness needs time, dedication and a lot of patience. You’ll not just wake up one day and boom! Your dog is okay. Follow through the steps given patiently and in the long term your Yorkie will learn everything the right way. Good luck!