Cute, affectionate, and hypoallergenic, Yorkshire Terriers are one of the most popular breeds and beloved by many worldwide. At times, they seem like perfect little angels that make wonderful additions to the family, and at others, they drive you crazy with their quirks and have you wonder “what did I do?!”
These pint-sized pups have loads of energy and are often yappy with a mind of their own, making them not the easiest canines to live with.
Notorious for their big personalities, they can also be stubborn and difficult to train, especially if not socialized well. To understand what makes them such canine terrors, first we’ll have to understand their origins and genetic predispositions.
What Are Yorkies?
Yorkshire Terriers are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the world, and it’s easy to see why. These small, energetic dogs are full of personality, make great companions, and will suit the majority of households.
The Yorkshire Terrier is a relatively new breed, originating in England in the 19th century. The first recorded Yorkshire Terrier was born in 1872, and the breed was officially recognized by the Kennel Club in 1886.
The Yorkshire Terrier was developed by crossing several different breeds, including the Skye Terrier, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, and the Maltese. The goal was to create a small dog with a silky coat that didn’t shed.
Like most Terriers, Yorkies are prolific hunters, bred hundreds of years ago to hunt vermin like rats. Their small size means that they can move quietly and quickly, making them ideal for tracking down prey.
They are also tenacious and fearless, unwilling to give up even when the odds seem insurmountable. Indeed, many experienced pest hunters have come to rely on Yorkies as invaluable members of their team.
Why Are Yorkies So Aggressive At Times?
Smaller dogs are known to have more aggressive personalities than bigger dogs. This is due in part to their increased defensiveness because of their small stature.
Yorkies have a strong sense of territory and protection, this makes them a little more aggressive than other dogs especially when they are put in a defensive position. Children running and squealing can trigger your Yorkies’ substantial prey drive, causing them to give chase and nip.
Asides from this, Yorkies are generally bred to hunt rats so genetically they’re hunters and usually on the defensive.
While all dogs have a penchant for aggression, tiny dogs like Yorkies can exhibit aggressive behavior more frequently than most.
The Aggressive Yorkie
Yorkies may express their aggression through:
Growling – This is a sort of signal a Yorkie gives to alert you that it feels threatened and may soon start to exhibit aggressive behavior.
Barking – Yorkies, just like many small breeds, are notorious barkers. Vocal and loud, they aim to make themselves heard, much to the chagrin of owners and their neighbors.
Snapping – In snapping, although the Yorkie may snag the skin, it usually is in warning, and not meant to be an attack.
Nipping – This is a light bite that doesn’t also break the skin. Nipping sometimes is done in play, or when they are trying to communicate something. It isn’t likely that a nip will break the skin although accidents happen, especially when it comes to the razor-sharp teeth of tiny dogs.
Biting – This is full-blown aggression and may involve the Yorkie tearing at the skin.
Why Yorkies Are Annoying?
Annoying dog behavior can manifest itself in a multitude of different ways. For example, jumping up on people is a common issue that dog owners face. While it may be seen as affectionate, it can be quite bothersome – especially to someone who is not a dog lover.
Another example is when dogs bark excessively. This can be problematic for both the dog owner and their neighbors. Dogs may bark for attention, out of fear or excitement, or simply because they are bored.
However, excessive barking can create a nuisance and cause tension between neighbors.
Here are other ways that a Yorkie can be considered grumpier than the average happy-go-lucky, love-the-world dog.
Can’t Tolerate Other Animals
Although Yorkies are known to be very affectionate, there’s a thin line between being fiercely loyal and affectionate and jealous.
They’re very territorial and once there’s another animal in your home, a Yorkie can become very aggressive towards the animal.
In their aggression, they could even attempt attacking much bigger dogs and may get hurt.
There are dogs that require little to no attention and grooming, and then there are Yorkies. Although the hair on their coat doesn’t shed as much as other breeds, the coat needs to constantly be washed, brushed, and trimmed constantly.
If the coat is long it needs to be brushed every day. If worn short, it is to be trimmed regularly alongside frequent bathing.
Yorkies don’t react well to threats and fear and could snap and attack when they feel trapped or cornered. If you have young children who probably love running around and playing rough, a Yorkie might not be the best choice.
If you also have other pets, you can try an introduction they have been trained to play gently. This is because any attempt at forceful play or handling may send the wrong signal to your Yorkie, turning it defensive and aggressive.
Your Yorkie is usually just a hair’s breadth away from being feisty and any form of rough handling is one of those triggers.
They Like to Bark Bark Bark, Yap Yap Yap
For a little dog, they sure do have a big voice. Their high-pitched, loud yapping can get to you. While they make excellent alert dogs that will sound the alarm when something is amiss, they bark at almost everything and it is worse when they are insecure or feel threatened.
Their barks have different pitches too! If the bark is low-pitched, that might mean that your Yorkie is trying to alert you to a possible threat. But if the barking is high-pitched, it may be that Yorkie wants your attention and is basically screaming for it.
Asides from barking, your Yorkie might make other noises too, like yelping, whining, howling, or growling.
Why Yorkies Can Be Unfriendly?
Yorkies don’t like to play rough and it is a fundamental reason they may come off as unfriendly.
If they are being handled roughly and the play goes on for a long time, they may become aggressive and unfriendly when their short tolerance runs out.
Also, because Yorkies are very loyal and protective of their owners, they do not entertain other people and animals in their space.
Despite this, Yorkies are generally affectionate, particularly towards their owners. When properly socialized and trained, Yorkies can also be affable, friendly canine companions.
At What Age Will My Yorkie Calm Down?
It is important that Yorkies be trained as soon as possible to better manage their annoying personalities rather than wait for them to grow out of it. Yorkies generally mature between the ages of 2 -3 and may become less grating on the nerves.
Dogs go through different stages of life, just like humans, and each stage has its own set of challenges and rewards. Puppies, for example, are full of energy and need plenty of exercise to burn off all that excess energy.
Once they reach adulthood, however, most dogs settle into a more predictable routine and become more responsive to training. This is the ideal time to build on the basic obedience foundation your dog should already have and teach more advanced skills.
With patience and consistent reinforcement, you can help your Yorkie learn to control his impulses and focus his attention on you. As he matures, he will become less hyperactive and more responsive to your commands, making him a calm and well-behaved companion.
Why Yorkies Rock?
All things considered, Yorkies are lovable, affectionate creatures that when raised right, can be outstanding doggy companions, whether for work or for play.
Trainable – Fun-loving and entertaining, Yorkies can be easy to train once they are bonded with their pack.
Naturally brave and fearless – Yorkies have historically been bred to hunt rats, and still have a relatively high prey drive. When they are in a chase, nothing else matters. In addition, they make great alert dogs.
Although their size pretty much makes them hopeless guard dogs, you can always count on them to sound the alarm (LOUDLY!) at impending danger.
Suitable for apartments – Yorkies are small toy dogs with modest exercise needs. While they do well with a good walk a day, they don’t need excessive amounts of space or exercise and can suit most households.
They are loyal – Yorkies perfectly fit the bill of being “man’s best friend.” They are fiercely loyal to their owners and will become your shadow, following you around the house.
Hypoallergenic and minimal shedding – Perhaps one of their biggest selling points is that Yorkies have a hypoallergenic coat, making them suitable for people with pet allergies.
Those who think that small dogs are suitable for inexperienced or first-time owners are in for a rude awakening when they meet a Yorkie. These sassy pooches are pint-sized sticks of dynamite in teeny little bodies!
However, with patience (a lot of it!), consistency, and a whole lot of laughter, a well-raised Yorkie can be a wonderful addition to your household. Good luck!