Yorkshire Terriers are cute little terriers that can be a bit ‘quirky’. Trying to determine if the Yorkie is just “being a Yorkie” or is obsessed can be relatively simple, and well … fun! That wacky, quirky behavior could also be due to serious medical issues. Here are some tips to help you understand Yorkies behavior.
Known Yorkie behaviors include digging or scratching the ground or soil. This is common behavior for Yorkies. Although it may seem obsessive, a Yorkie is a member of the terrier family and was bred to hunt rats. When a Yorkie is digging in the ground, he is simply following his instincts and looking for a rat … or whatever else he thinks is down there.
Licking everything in sight, from your own paws to the furniture to you, is enough to drive a sane Yorkie dog owner crazy. This Yorkie behavior can be due to 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 to Yorkies.
Getting overly excited to the point of hyperventilating, even shaking, is common Yorkie behavior. The Yorkie is known to be the most people-oriented breed and does not like to be alone. This behavior could simply be due to being overexcited or a serious condition called “collapsed trachea.” Collapse of the trachea occurs if the airways (windpipe) flatten; This can block the airways and cause hyperventilation. Lack of oxygen from collapsing trachea can lead to tremors and hyperventilation. Your Yorkie should be examined by a vet if these symptoms continue or last for more than a few minutes. Calm the dog before airway muscle spasms worsen.
The constant barking and howling is attributed to Yorkies, but this is just bad behavior and is not specific to the Yorkie. Some Yorkie owners unknowingly reward this bad behavior by picking up the dog when it barks. The dog thinks that being picked up is a reward, just like a doggie treat. Just train your Yorkie with one word, be it “No!” or “Hush!” and the barking stops.
Yorkie’s obsessive behaviors are based on fear. Attacking the vacuum cleaner or broom is a common obsession. Since a Yorkie typically weighs seven pounds or less, the Yorkie is very aware of large objects in its territory. Humans do not help this behavior, because we probably chase the Yorkie with the broom or the vacuum cleaner, because it is really fun. Unfortunately, we are only reinforcing bad behavior.
Circling around the area where food is served is obsessive behavior. This is especially true if your Yorkie was the littlest of the garbage, as he probably had to fight for his fair share of food. You can help your Yorkie overcome this fear by giving him dog treats in his food bowl. You will soon learn to associate the food bowl with a reward rather than a fight.
Doing anything repeatedly for unknown reasons can be common in the Yorkie. For example, a Yorkie may refuse to walk in a certain area all of a sudden, after walking there for months. The Yorkie may suddenly start hiding when it’s time to eat. Try to figure out what might be bothering you so that you can eliminate the object of your obsession. If you can’t figure it out, try ignoring the obsessive behavior and you’ll likely switch to a new obsession in no time.
* Carry dog treats in your pocket to reward good behavior
* Remember that a Yorkie is cheerful and quirky – wait and enjoy his quirkiness
* If your Yorkie is having trouble breathing or swallowing, take him to the vet immediately; could be life threatening
* If your Yorkie seems confused or weak, take him to the vet immediately; these are signs of a lack of oxygen to the brain