Table of Contents
- Why is My Yorkie Biting?
- How to Train Your Puppy to Stop Biting
- Favorite Things for Puppies!
Yorkies are generally very sweet and adorable dogs. You play and cuddle with them until one day you wake up, and they’ve turned into tiny monsters who are nibbling and biting the hell out of you with their little needle-like teeth.
This can be very risky if your Yorkie plays with kids, and the bites can be very painful for adults too.
So why is your Yorkie suddenly biting you? Is there something you can do to stop the biting? And will they ever stop, or do you have to live with it?
We will be addressing all these concerns in this article, so stay with us to the end, and we will help you get your sweet little Yorkie back.
Why is My Yorkie Biting?
Before we address how to train your Yorkie to stop biting, it’s important to understand why they’re doing it. Here are the common reasons why puppies bite.
1. Too Much Energy
Puppies have high energy, and most of the nutrients in their foods boost their energy levels even higher.
This energy buildup can cause too much excitement, and in the process of playing, they may subconsciously end up biting you.
They may also bite from the excitement of seeing a family member they haven’t seen for a while.
This is one of the top reasons why puppies bite. Unfortunately, no one prepared me that this would happen when I got my first puppy.
At three months, my sweet puppy just started biting me. I was so confused and frustrated and didn’t know what to do.
If your Yorkie is between three and eight months, the reason your puppy is biting is their teething process and it’s completely normal.
3. Heath Issues
If your Yorkie starts biting you out of the blue, and they’re not teething, they may be suffering from some pain and discomfort.
When a puppy is in pain, they’re vulnerable, and they may think even their owner is a threat to them. They don’t want to be disturbed, and they may bite anyone who goes near them or irritates them in the slightest way possible.
If this happens, consult with the vet before you start trying to fix the behavior.
4. Attention Seeking
Your puppy is still learning ways to communicate their needs with you, and they might result in biting to get your attention. They may bite you when they want to go out to pee, play, food, water, or affection.
Unfortunately, if you respond to their biting, they’ll see it as a valid and acceptable way of communication (more on this later).
We all love our dogs, and our kids are their biggest fans. They’re always playing with them.
Unfortunately, when we are keen on teaching our puppies how to treat our kids, many parents don’t extend the same courtesy to their dogs. As a result, kids may be too rough and hurt the puppy while playing with them.
While the puppy may really restrict themselves from biting the kids even with their mischief, if they hurt them too much, they may bite them to protect themselves.
In this case, what may help is training the child how to handle the puppy and all other household pets. Teaching them that pulling the dog’s tail and ears is wrong is a good place to start.
6. Fear and Anxiety
A good friend of mine got her first puppy during the lockdown. She works from home, and for the first few months, she wasn’t very proactive in socializing her first dog. The only person he was used to seeing was her.
As a result, he became very fearful and was always anxious around people. He would bite everyone who came near to pet him as he saw them as a threat.
Your puppy may also be biting due to fear and anxiety if you just adopted them, especially if they were being mistreated in their previous home.
Some signs your Yorkie is biting due to anxiety are growling, whining, pacing, or putting their tail between their legs when biting.
To solve these issues, you must get to the root of what makes your puppy anxious and desensitize them. Be patient with them and give them lots of treats to assure them they’re not getting hurt.
How to Train Your Puppy to Stop Biting
Now that you have an idea why your puppy is biting, here are tips on training your puppy to stop biting.
1. Ask Yourself Why Your Puppy is Biting
Before you try any method to stop your Yorkie from biting, it’s very important to get to its root; otherwise, it won’t work. For example, if your puppy is biting because they’re anxious, giving them chew toys won’t solve the issue.
Therefore, don’t skip this step.
2. Exercise Your Puppy
It’s easy to assume that since Yorkie puppies are small, they don’t require a lot of exercise.
On the contrary, a short walk isn’t enough for your Yorkie; they require at least 30-45 minutes of exercise to feel mentally and physically stimulated.
The more energy your puppy burns, the friendlier your Yorkie will be.
3. Hand-Train Your Puppy
There are no better words to describe this tip – what I mean is that you need to familiarize your puppy with your hands. If your Yorkie is still young, start playing with them earlier so they get used to petting.
In addition, for hand-training, start by feeding your puppy with your hands and putting your hands in their bowl. By doing so, your Yorkie will learn that your hands aren’t for eating and that they aren’t a threat to their food.
This ensures that the puppy doesn’t bite you when you touch their food or when kids try getting things out of their mouth.
4. Socialize Your Yorkie Puppy
Another reason your puppy is biting is that they’re not properly socialized. This is especially true for puppies that live in homesteads without other pets and children, causing them to fear people or other pets.
The best time to socialize a puppy is between three and twelve months. However, you can still do it if you’ve missed that window.
That being said, you might need to take certain precautions. For starters, always put your dog on their leash and supervise them, especially when they’re around kids.
You may also consider putting a muzzle on them for a few minutes when they’re off their leash. This may seem cruel, but it’s important to take precautions.
Exposing your Yorkie to other pets and people will eventually prove to your puppy that not everyone is out there to get them.
5. Distract Your Puppy
It’s easier to distract your puppy than stop them from biting. You can do this by introducing toys and letting your Yorkie chew on the toys instead.
Whenever they start biting your hand, give them their toy instead. At first, experiment with multiple toys until you get their favorite.
Avoid giving them objects that could harm them, like real bones, long ribbons, batteries, strings, and things that can break off or objects with sharp edges.
6. Teach them Bite Inhibition
Your puppy doesn’t bite you on purpose; they love you and they don’t want to hurt you. They just don’t understand to what extent their biting hurts you. This is where bite inhibition comes in; instead of pulling your hand out every time they try to hurt you, teach them when to stop.
The idea is to allow your puppy to bite you as gently as possible and react when they exceed it. When they hurt you, react by making a sound like Ouch! or limp away to send a message that they hurt you.
Puppies do this with each other; when one puppy bites the other, the bitten puppy limps for a while to show they got hurt. This is why it’s important to socialize your puppy early.
7. Make It Clear Biting Means Game Over
It’s very important to teach your Yorkie that biting means no attention or affection. While bite inhibition is great, as your Yorkie grows older, it’s important to teach them to stop biting altogether.
For example, if you’re interacting with your Yorkie and they bite you, say something to alert them they hurt you (like Ouch!), place your hands in your armpits, and walk away. Once they’re calm, you can come back and give them a treat.
This will show them that biting is wrong and doesn’t get them what they want. As I mentioned earlier, puppies bite because they’re trying to communicate. If they bite you to pet them and you do it, they’ll always persist in biting every time they want petting.
When Yorkie biting is very frustrating, you need to be patient with your puppy as they learn that biting and nibbling are unacceptable.
As hard as dealing with the biting might be, we highly advise against punishing your Yorkie as a way to stop their biting. This may sound harsh, but it’s cruel, and it might make them more aggressive in the long run as it may instill fear or anxiety in them.
If the training is taking so long and you’re running out of patience, consider hiring a professional trainer to help quicken the process.
Is your Yorkie biting? Why do you think they’re biting, and what measures are you taking to stop the biting? Please share with us in the comment section.
Dog Blogger, Former Dog Groomer
I have adored Yorkies for well over 50 years. As a young adult, I began to show and breed them. Now, I just write about them and have several in my little pack of small dogs.
I have had dogs all my life and have trained as a dog groomer. I also have been a kennel worker, worked in a pet hotel through PetSmart, and still am a pet sitter.
Check out my bio for more information about me.