Have you ever had a Yorkie puppy bite you?
It doesn’t hurt and it’s adorable!
Despite that, it is important to put a stop to this behavior early.
Otherwise you end up with a dog that continues to bit into adulthood.
And Yorkies already have a reputation for biting more than other breeds.
Is that reputation deserved? Do Yorkies bite a lot?
Keep reading to learn all about Yorkie biting, including what you can do to stop your pup from biting.
- 1 Do Yorkies Bite?
- 2 Why Do Yorkies Bite So Much?
- 3 How To Stop A Yorkie From Biting
- 4 Yorkies Biting: Conclusion
Do Yorkies Bite?
Yes, Yorkies bite, especially when teething. If you have a Yorkie puppy at home, you may experience some form of biting. They love to explore with their mouths. The Yorkshire terrier is also aggressive and territorial, so some biting is normal.
Yorkie puppies are one of the most energetic and affectionate dog breeds you can find. However, they are also very territorial, which makes them prone to biting, unless properly trained. You need to establish dominance with your pup from a young age.
Yorkies’ biting behavior and habits depend on individual puppies, how they are trained, and what they learn along the way.
All dogs bite, but some breeds do it more. The Yorkshire terrier is one of those dog breeds. They bite a lot as puppies and will continue biting, albeit less, as adults. But trained Yorkies are much less likely to bite, especially in their later years.
You will need to train your dog to not bite people. Without the right training, your Yorkie will likely bite you, your family and friends, and other dogs.
Yorkies start developing biting habits when learning to play and wrestle. As puppies they to nibble and chew on things, like all puppies. This is part of the teething process, too.
Of course, you are less likely to get hurt if your Yorkie bites you during the teething period, since their teeth are not as sharp and Yorkie puppies have fewer teeth than Yorkie adults. Since it doesn’t hurt, it is common for us to ignore the btiting and just let it happen.
However, if you do not train your Yorkie to stop biting people, it may continue biting well into adulthood. If older Yorkies have a bad biting habit, both humans and other dogs can get hurt.
We’ll show you how you can stop your Yorkie from biting below. Before we get to that, it is important to understand all of the reasons Yorkies bite in the first place.
Why Do Yorkies Bite So Much?
Yorkies may bite for a variety of reasons. We already mentioned some of them above, but we’ll cover them all here and go into more detail on each one, too.
All puppies are prone to biting when they start teething, and Yorkies are no different in this regard. You need to be ready for a lot of gnawing and biting whenever you welcoming a new puppy into your house.
Usually, your puppy will begin biting your arms, legs, and other exposed body parts when they reach three months of age. A Yorkie’s teething stage can last up to eight months.
If your puppy starts nibbling during these months, it is likely that it has entered the teething stage. As mentioned, biting during the teething phase is not as painful as bites from adult Yorkies.
Typically, the biting and gnawing continue until the teething stage is through. You should provide your Yorkie with plenty of chew toys to help with their itchy gums. What can Yorkies chew on? Chew toys and bones are always good options.
Fear And Anxiety
Fear and anxiety are among the most prevalent reasons for biting habits in Yorkies. If your dog starts biting when it is in new locations or around unknown people, it may be the result of fear and anxiety.
In most dogs, including Yorkes, fear leads to them pacing, whining, and signs of aggression like biting. If your dog feels threatened by someone’s presence or if it is in a disturbing situation, it is likely to bite. It is a typical dog response to danger, threats, and feelings of fear.
Yorkies can also feel anxious, just like humans. And they also respond with undesirable behaviors. In their case that is often biting. Usually, dogs experience anxiety when their owner is absent. They may end up biting people they do not know or trust.
Lack of socialization is another leading cause of frequent biting in Yorkies. Most of the time, biting aggression is a result of poor socialization, which deeply links to fear and self-defense.
If your Yorkie is always at home and only interacts with familiar faces, it is more likely to bite in social situations. On the other hand, dogs that socialize daily do not bite as often and are generally much happier.
On that note, Yorkies may also get hyper and bite when they’re excited or want their owners to play with them. The truth is, Yorkies don’t even realize that they’re biting in these cases.
Other times, your Yorkie might also gnaw on furniture, or on you, to get your attention. It might be hungry or thirsty, or simply want your affection.
Yorkies also eat grass, at times. This is generally harmless, but could become a problem if it interferes with their regular diet.
If your Yorkie is not usually a biter, but suddenly starts engaging in such behavior, it could be experiencing a health issue. When a dog starts to bite for no apparent reason, it could be in pain.
Because the dog is feeling bad and vulnerable, it tends to lash out anyone who come close to it. That even includes you, as the owner. If you notice this change in behavior, you should take your dog to your vet for a checkup to see if there is a health concern you should be worried about.
Protection Of Valuables
Yorkies are very protective of their territory and their possessions. They will go to great lengths to defend their territory, their family members (i.e. you) and their valuables, which can include food or toys.
This is generally a good trait, but this kind of protectiveness can sometimes also be a liability. Most Yorkies believe that the only way to protect their belongings is through an act of aggression, so they may bit if they feel someone or something is threatening any of the above.
How To Stop A Yorkie From Biting
It is important to teach your Yorkie puppy good habits right from the start. If you do not take appropriate steps to stop your dog from biting when it is young, it will continue biting into adulthood.
We’re not talking about punishing your dog, however. You want to let it know you disapprove of its biting without resorting to punishment. Here are some ways you can stop your Yorkie from biting.
Identify The Cause
It is hard to fix any issue when you don’t know what exactly you’re trying to improve. Therefore, the first step to stopping your Yorkie from biting is to find out why they’re doing it. For example, your dog may be teething or experiencing anxiety.
The cause behind your Yorkie’s biting habits will determine the direction you need to take with your dog-training strategy. That’s why it is important to keep track of what’s going on in your pet’s life.
Provide Chew Toys
It is difficult to control your dog’s chewing urges and habits, especially if they’re teething. Having a decent selection of good chew toys and bones is essential to keep your Yorkie’s biting urges under control.
You can provide your Yorkie with chew toys and bones every time you anticipate biting. Your pup can chew on the toys to obtain relief from teething irritations, instead of biting you or nibbling on furniture. Moreover, your dog will learn the difference between allowed and inappropriate biting.
Teach Your Puppy Biting Hurts
This should go without saying, but we’re not telling you to bite your puppy back. Instead, make a loud yelping sound, like a high-pictched “ouch!”, if your dog bites you. This should let it know that it is hurting you by biting.
If your dog responds by ceasing the biting behavior, you ca reward it with a treat.
Of course, some dogs will only get more excited and aggressive by this. If that is the case with your pup, ignore it instead. Just walk away and ignore it for a few minutes. Alternative, if you use a crate, you could put it in there for a brief timeout (but not as punishment; see below).
Ignore Its Existence
You must let your Yorkie know you disapprove of its biting behavior. But, how can you do that? A god way is to ignore your pup.
If you get angry or react in some other way, dogs actually get encouraged. They see that their biting got a reaction and want to do more of it.
That is why no reaction and no more playing is so much more effective. They learn that biting means the fun is over.
Of course, ignoring your cute Yorkie might be easier said than done. If you find it difficult, just go do other things in the meantime. By withdrawing attention over your dog’s unruly behavior, you are making it a better companion in the future.
Do not touch or speak to your Yorkie. Leaving the room or acting like it does not exist will give your dog the idea that biting does not equal more attention.
When you return, you can play with your dog again. When your dog plays without biting, give it a lot of praise and some yummy treats to reinforce the acceptable behavior.
Soon, your dog will learn that biting equals being ignored and that not biting means praise, playtime, and more treats. Consistency is the key to this method to avoid confusing your dog. You can’t allow biting one day, and not the next.
Put It In A Time-Out
Do not get angry or react with any type of aggression when your puppy bites. Instead, calmly and gently put it is its crate. Leave it there until it calms down.
The reason you need to stay calm and be gentle is that you do not want to have your pup associate its crate with punishment. That will make it much harder to use for transport down the road. You are simply calming it down somewhere where it can’t bite anyone.
Of course, it is important to get the right size crate for your dog. We have a buying guide that can help you find the best crate for your Yorkie.
Aside from training, socializing your Yorkie with other dogs and people can help stop its biting behavior. Yorkies can get pretty aggressive and sometimes even snap at strangers or other dogs, if they are not properly socialized.
That is why it is good to take your Yorkie to the dog park, or anywhere else where it can be around other people and dogs. Yorkies that are used to being around people and other dogs tend to be more accepting of strangers.
Yorkies Biting: Conclusion
Biting is normal for all dogs, especially as puppies. That said, Yorkies are definitely a bit more nippy than most other breeds.
When they are young and teething, the biting does not hurt and is often pretty cute. It can be tempting to just accept it. But doing so could lead to an adult dog that continues to bite.
That’s why it is important to teach your dog not to bite people or other dogs from an early age. Do that, as well as properly socialize your dog, and you should not have any issues with biting going forward.