How to Stop a Yorkie from Biting

Yorkie barking

A Yorkshire Terrier might enjoy chewing or nibbling on a chew toy, but the behavior of biting, on the other hand, is unacceptable.

Unless the Yorkie puppy is in the teething stage, the puppy or grown dog must learn what is the right social behavior.

Sometimes Yorkies bite out of:

  • Fear
  • Pain
  • Habit
  • Need for territorial protection

The key to getting a Yorkie to stop biting is training so that he learns what is acceptable and what is not.

Because he has sharp teeth, biting can be a real problem for you and those who come into contact with your adorable dog.

Could It Be a Health Issue?

If your dog has never been snipping or biting and suddenly develops this behavior, it could be because of a health issue or problem.

If a normally-behaved Yorkie begins to bite, they could be in pain. Because they are feeling vulnerable, due to being under the weather, they tend to lash out at those who come close to them.

If the dog is in pain, even its loving owner is a threat. If you notice that your little dog is suddenly beginning to bite, he should be taken to your vet for a checkup to see if there is a health problem.


Yorkies learn biting behavior from a very young age, as this is part of their experience with their litter-mates.

Training them not to bite while they are still puppies, once brought into your home, is the best solution.

Otherwise, this cute biting puppy will turn into a biting adult Yorkie.

Once the puppy is brought home, training should begin, with your voice and tone showing that this behavior is not one that will be accepted.

Consistency in training is a key to success.

1. Pull away and say, “No” or “Ouch!”

This should be uttered as if you are in pain and will remind the puppy of his playmates giving a yelp when they are bitten too hard.

This will help him learn to stop immediately and that this biting is not socially acceptable.

2. For an older dog, leave the room for five minutes

Yorkie on a carpet

Ignoring the dog may be difficult to do, but you can do other things in the meantime. By not giving your Yorkie attention for this unacceptable behavior, you are making him a better companion for the future.

Although it may be difficult for you, do not touch or speak to your Yorkie.

Leaving the room or acting like your Yorkie is invisible will bring the message that biting does not equal attention. When you return you can play with him

Repeat the process, beginning with “ouch,” if he does it again.

When he does not bite, give him praise and a treat to reinforce the acceptable behavior.

He has been given the first message of “ouch” before you left the room. He will soon learn that biting equals being ignored and that not biting equals praise, playtime, attention and a treat.

You must be thoroughly consistent with this training to avoid confusion in your dog.

By repeating this training over and over again, you will be encouraging positive behavior in your dog.

The “Off” Command

If you see your dog coming close for the bite, you can teach him the “Off” command as well. It can teach your Yorkie not to touch, which will work for biting.

Put a treat in your hand and close your hand. Every time the dog comes up to the hand, say “off” and do not expose the treat.

If he does not touch your hand after five seconds, you can give him the treat. Give him lots of praise when he listens to the command. He will soon learn that “off” means to not touch.

The “off” command is helpful in keeping the dog from coming in to bite. As he learns to “not touch” he will be learning more socially acceptable behavior.

Snapping and Biting

Yorkie walking

A Yorkie that is used to other dogs and people will not be aggressive. Proper socialization is important, in addition to training.

Take him to the dog park and spend a lot of time with him, getting him used to being around those who will not harm him.

Aggression in a Yorkie is not a common trait today, but since the breed was originally used to hunt rats in mines, it should be taken into account.

Walking and socializing with other dogs helps your Yorkie become social. His home environment should be quiet, stable and happy before more training can be effective.

Biting As Part of Teething

Between the ages of 4 months and 8 months, the Yorkie puppy will begin to lose teeth. He may then chew on anything that makes his gums feel more comfortable, as he experiences itching and discomfort.

You should have acceptable chew toys to offer him so that he does not chew on items such as your shoes or electrical cords.

Some Yorkie parents put the chew toy in the freezer, as the cold really can feel great to their little dog.

Final Thoughts

With these thoughts in mind, along with the knowledge that your little dog is free from health issues that are making him bite, you can have a better Yorkie friend.

Whether he is a puppy or adult dog, a socialized, trained and happy Yorkie is the best kind to love.

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