Aggressive Behavior in Yorkies
There are many causes of aggressive behavior in your Yorkie. It may be an issue related to dominance between you and your Yorkie, or it might be a trigger that wasn’t dealt with when your Yorkie was a puppy – such as an attack by another dog. Whatever is causing your Yorkie’s aggression, however, you need to tackle the problem as soon as possible. The results of prolonged aggression can be not only scary, but dangerous if not quickly taken to task.
The Source of Aggressive Behavior in Yorkies
Dog aggression can start as young as 6 weeks of age. This is the crucial age when your Yorkie should be socialized with other dogs and given the necessary training that keeps them from biting people or attacking other animals. This period of socialization lasts until your Yorkie is at least 14 weeks of age and can extend even further beyond that.
Avoiding aggressive behavior can be achieved beginning when your Yorkie is just a puppy. First, never take a Yorkie puppy away from its litter before 8 weeks of age. Never use harsh discipline with your Yorkie between 8 and 10 weeks and make sure your Yorkie is very gently treated during that time. Hitting, yelling or other harsh punishments at a young age can breed aggressive behavior in your Yorkie over time.
Your Yorkie needs to be properly socialized with both people and other dogs (and even cats if you have one) by the time they are 14 weeks old to avoid and/or waylay any aggression issues.
Actual aggression can be triggered by a number of factors. Heredity and genetics – some Yorkies can be more aggressive than others. Additionally if your Yorkie has established himself as the pack leader, he may become aggressive and over protective toward strangers. Additionally, Yorkies that have not been neutered or spayed are more prone to aggressive tendencies.
Undoubtedly, however, the most important factor in creating aggressive behavior in your Yorkie is their environment. A Yorkie that is overindulged or allowed to get away with anything, one that has a harsh master, inadequate socialization, or that has been frightened or attacked by another dog is far more likely to be aggressive as it gets older.
Aggression can stem from your Yorkie’s need to establish himself as the pack leader. Biting, posturing, and other aggressive tendencies are often the result of your Yorkie trying to substantiate dominance. You’ll need to establish dominance over your Yorkie at a young age and maintain that position throughout his adolescence to ensure that your Yorkie doesn’t have the opportunity to take control of your household.
Stopping and Controlling Aggressive Behavior in Yorkies
If your Yorkie exhibits aggressive behavior after 14 months of age, when it has reached sexual maturity, especially after it has been altered, you should address the problem immediately. First, make sure you have established yourself as the pack leader. Don’t reward your Yorkie for aggressive behavior, even if you believe he is acting out of fear (especially in this case).
Train your Yorkie to respond to your commands. Make sure that you are the one in control of feeding and walking times, do not let him dictate to you. Make sure you are a strong leader for your Yorkie while in your house. If you defer to your Yorkie or allow him to take control in your home, he will exhibit stronger aggression toward others.
If your Yorkie is defensive-aggressive, he may attack someone in fear. This is a classic sign that your Yorkie may not have been properly socialized. Keep him away from small children (which they may see as direct threats) and attend a training session or visit a behaviorist who can slowly familiarize your Yorkie to social situations.
Aggressive behavior in Yorkies can be a huge problem that many Yorkie owners face, but it can be controlled, even as he gets older. If your Yorkie’s aggression ever advances to violence, consider hiring a professional to intervene before someone gets hurt and you and your dog are held responsible.