How do you tell the difference between if your Yorkie is just “being a Yorkie” or is your Yorkie obsessed?
Yorkies, also known as Yorkshire Terriers are little and cute terriers that can be referred to as ‘quirky’. Discovering what is happening can be relatively simple, and well… fun! Be aware that crazy, quirky behavior could also be due to something more serious.
Check out these tips to help you understand Yorkie quirky behavior.
Yorkie Behaviour: digging or scratching the floor
Does your Yorkie have a behavior where they dig or scratch at the floor or ground? Never fear, this is a common Yorkie behavior. At times it may look like they are being obsessive, a Yorkie is a member of the terrier family and was bred to hunt rats. When a Yorkie is digging at the floor, they are simply following their instincts and looking for a rat… or whatever else they think is down there.
Yorkie behavior: Licking everything and anything?
This one is something Rosie does a lot! Licking everything in sight, from their own paws to the furniture to you is enough to drive a Yorkie parent crazy. This Yorkie behavior can be caused by something as simple as dry itchy skin or bad teeth. Yorkies are known to have dental problems, even when they are young.
Good dental care is very important for everyone, including your Yorkies.
Yorkie behavior: everything is exciting!!!
Have you ever noticed your Yorkie becoming overly excited to the point of hyperventilating, or even shaking? Cue the reverse sneeze ~ acchhooo! Yorkies love to be with their people. Once they have decided that you are theirs, they don’t want to be left a lot. When you get home, they can be very excitable and sometimes trigger a ‘sneezing fit’. This can also be signs of a condition called “collapsing trachea”. Collapsing trachea happens if the airway (trachea) flattens out; blocking the airway and causing hyperventilation. It’s a lack of oxygen due to the collapsing trachea that can cause hyperventilation and shaking. Make sure to calm your Yorkie before the muscle spasms of the airway become worse. Make sure that your Yorkie should be checked by a vet if these symptoms continue or last longer than a few minutes.
Yorkie behavior: BARK, BARK & BARK
Barking and yapping constantly is attributed to Yorkies, but this is only bad behavior and not specific to the Yorkie. Some Yorkie owners reward this bad behavior unknowingly by picking up the dog when it barks. All this does is reinforce bad behavior as the dog thinks being picked up is a reward, much like a dog treat.
Quick tip for less barking – We’ve always believed that a tired dog is a good and quiet dog! Make sure to get a good range of toys for your Yorkie to play with. Loki had a few toys that he loved, Rosie mostly ignores them.
Yorkie behavior: I shall protect you
Obsessive Yorkie behaviors can be based in fear. Attacking the vacuum cleaner or broom is a common obsession, just ask Rosie! She starts barking as soon as you pull the vacuum out. Since a modern Yorkie is usually seven pounds or less, the Yorkie is keenly aware of large objects in their territory. We humans don’t help this behavior- because chances are we may chase the Yorkie with the broom or vacuum, because it really is funny. This means that we are just reinforcing bad behavior.
Yorkie behavior: Nom, nom, nom
Does your Yorkie circle the area where food is served to them even if they aren’t hungry? It can be signs of obsessive behavior. This is especially true if your Yorkie was the runt of the litter, they probably had to fight for his fair share of food. From a young age, we used to put our hands into Loki’s bowl to get him accustomed to the idea that we can take it away.
Doing anything repeatedly for unknown reasons can be common in Yorkies. For example, a Yorkie may refuse to walk in a certain area suddenly, after walking there for months. The Yorkie may suddenly start hiding when it’s time for food; Rosie and the cats never hide when it’s time for food!.
Try to figure out what could be bothering them so you can remove the object of his obsession. If you cannot figure it out or redirect, try to ignore the obsessive behavior and see if that will get them to change.
Yorkies are smart dogs. They are technically a working dog breed, even though they are small and people now carry them around. They will learn appropriate behavior if you keep reinforcing it!
- Carry dog treats in your pocket to reward good behavior
- Remember a Yorkie is high spirited and quirky – go with the flow and not only expect but enjoy their quirkiness
- If your Yorkie has trouble breathing or swallowing, take him to a vet immediately; it could be life threatening for him
Keeping your Yorkie healthy and happy is very important. We have a big community of Yorkie lovers who share their stories and ask questions. Come join the Yorkie fun!