When you do not want things to get out of control when it concerns the specific biting behavior of your Yorkshire Terrier, you need to learn how to control such a behavior when it is still time. There are things which are allowed to be done and things that are not, so even the little puppy should understand that with the proper training for this aim.
The first thing that an owner should know about his dog is that there is a difference between biting because of teething, biting because of aggression or as a defensive instinct.
The issue that is being discussed here is about the biting problems of the Yorkshire Terriers, the teething issues are discussed in a special article about it.
Do Yorkies Bite?
There are a few reasons because of which the dog bites:
– when it feels afraid
– when the dog feels pain
– when the dog feels that something is threatening it, so it bites for its own protection and for protecting its own territory
– when the dog has such a habit
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But when a proper training is being used, the Yorkshire Terrier should deal with this biting problem. And when the owner finds out that his dog has such a habit, he should take measures, because Terriers may have small mouths, but their teeth are sharp.
The first reason that you need to pay attention to when you see that your Yorkie starts to bite, and that is something that the dog normally does not do, is because of medical issues. Teeth problems are noticeable most of the times, but there are also some cases when this can not be seen so evidently. So in this case the owner should investigate the reasons for biting, because it is not typical for non-aggressive dog to perform this abnormal behavior.
When there is something wrong with its teeth or with another part of its body, the dog feels pain and it is his defensive mechanism to bite. The dog starts biting, because it is not a 100% healthy and this state makes it feel vulnerable. So when it is not feeling well, it can start biting anyone who tries to came near the dog. If the pain is quite severe, the dog can bite even its most loving owner. And when being in such a situation, the dog starts biting for no evident reason, and this is not a normal behavior of the dog, it should be immediately taken to an experienced veterinarian for a complete medical checkup.
Biting out of Habit – How to stop a Yorkie from biting
The young puppy learns to bite while it is still playing with its brothers and sisters, so it knows this behavior before you bring it to your home. But with the proper training and methods this biting behavior can be stopped even at this very young age of the puppy. It is important to start with this training in the beginning, the moment you take the Yorkie home with you.
All you need for achieving a positive result for training your dog not to bite is to be persistent in what you are doing. Every time when your dog bites you, you need to pull back your hand or your leg and say with a firm tone ‘no’, or ‘ouch’. Your tone and your actions should show the dog that this is bad and undesired behavior. You have to show your dog that when it is doing this, you are in pain. Your words may be in a similar tone to the dog’s yelping. When puppies are playing together, they sometimes play rough and when a dog is yelping, this shows the other dog that it is in pain and it is bitten too hard. This sound, and the tone of this sound is familiar to the dog, and it associates it with pain. And when doing this action with pulling your hand and using this tone, you will show the dog that this is not an acceptable behavior.
And while your puppy has teething issues, you can offer it a teething toy to chew, so that it does not bite anything else.
When an older dog bites and the reason is not teething issues, then the second step of the method for controlling this biting is to ignore your dog for at least five minutes. You can go out of the room and do something else in the other room, pretending that the dog is invisible to you. Many owners often feel bad, because of this ignoring and that they do not pay attention to their pets, but this is important to be done so that in a long run you do not meet bigger problems. When you are strong enough to do this, it will pay you off after some time for having a dog that will not bite you.
So when you have given your dog the first message for this inappropriate behavior by using a specific tone and the word ‘ouch’, then you should ignore it completely – do not touch your dog, do not speak to it, do not even look at it. This method aims to show your dog that biting causes pain to you and when the dog does this it will receive zero attention and zero fun. And when it is not biting, you will play with the dog, it will have fun and will get praise and yummy treats.
It is important if you can use this method without placing your dog into is gated area. The dog should realize that it is its behavior that is the reason for being ignored, not something else. The variant to place the dog into its place is when the dog is literally nipping at your heels, and then you simply do not have the chance to completely ignore it and apply the method.
After having these five minutes or ‘time out’, you can play with your dog again. But every time when your dog bites you, you must repeat the two steps, described above.
The dog should receive a yummy treat every time when it does not bite for a period of five or ten minutes. You can usually give it a small, but yummy praise.
And perhaps the most important thing for training your dog not to bite is to be persistent in what you are doing. Your dog will get confused if you react in the way, described above, only sometimes, and other times you do not do this. When repeating the technique every time, this will teach your dog to avoid this unwanted behavior.
A wonderful command that you need to teach your dog is the ‘off’ command. It is so great because it can tell your dog not to touch something, but it also can work for preventing biting or when your dog wants something that you think it is not good for it or when it should not be taking it.
The method for teaching your dog that command is by using a treat. Hold one in your hand and say the word for that command. When five seconds pass and your dog does not touch the treat, you can give the treat to your dog together with a praise after that.
But if the dog touches your hand after the command, you need to continue with repeating the command and the exercise without opening your hand. After some time the dog will make the association that your command ‘off’ means that it should not touch.
You can do almost the same exercise when it concerns biting. Use and repeat the command ‘off’ when you see that your dog is about to bite something. Then give the dog a treat for listening and doing what it is told. You should not forget to praise your dog a lot for its obedience.