You are here:

Terriers/Aggressiveness in Yorkie-poo Puppy


QUESTION: Our puppy is 4 months old and has shown the same aggressive behaviors others have posted as questions.  An expert reply, in 2007, stated "gently roll on back and not break stare until puppy breaks" (paraphrased).

Problem with this is when pup is in "devil dog" mode, there is no way to gently roll him, without getting some sharp teeth on your fingers!  Similarly, often, after a potty break outside, our pup begins to nip at our pants legs, or socks ... and is  intent on this while on the leash". He will almost choke himself pulling on the leash to get to the pants or socks.

What are we doing wrong, or what must we do better?

Thank you!

ANSWER: H Beverly,
First off your puppy is a puppy. 4 months old is really kind of an impossible age and the best thing you can do is make sure he gets ton of exercise. Fetch is one of the best games you can teach a dog. It will tire him out. Also teething is a very difficult time, give him something to chew on. Not a big fan of rawhide but in your case it can be a great bribe and time out tool.
Another thing - you must be short and succinct- ONE word commands-no!, period- do not reason with him…he does't get it. It is just more attention and the more you talk the better he likes it. He is of the age where negative attention is better than no attention at all. Consistant ONE WORD commands. Come. Sit. Stay. etc
When he begins to exhibit the behaviors you talk about, it's time for a TIME OUT… so I hope you are crate training this little fella because the crate is your best friend. Stick him in it and let him calm down(rawhide). The pulling will be destructive to his trachea as well so think about alternatives .
Yorkies are TOY dogs not really terriers. They have that  Napoleanic personality that makes them want to either roar like a Lion or they become very fearful. I think you can train the the tough guy to calm down eventually but rarely can you rid the fearful one of it's anxiety.
In the long run you will have more fun with yours once he matures.
Get him to training classes soon. There is no replacement for actual socialization.
Good luck.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: We're having another issue, and would love to hear from you on this one.

Four days ago, we took Chewie to a national chain pet store for a bath and some minor sanitary hair removal.  The groomer there stated "he really needs some training".

Since bringing him home, he has been most peculiar about eating.  Before this event, he was ravenous, would get excited as we prepared his bowl, and would eat his food quickly.  Now, he approaches the bowl as if it were something new, and often, just ignores it.  We found, that putting a few bites of food on the floor, he would eat it and most of the serving.  I don't think we want to continue that pattern, but we want him to eat.  Last evening, for the first time, he ate everything in his bowl.  However, this morning, the same "shy" behavior, and only after an hour or so, did he actually consume perhaps 1/3 of his serving.

We think something really stressed him.  Either the sanitary clip, or some means the groomer used to "quiet him" (assuming he may have cried out) or something.  Regardless, this event was traumatic and he hasn't recovered yet.  Do you have any ideas how we need to address this to get him back on a solid nutrition program?

We appreciate your advice and this volunteer service!

Sorry took so long- busy week at Westminster. I always go to assess the new crop of my favorite breeds.
I hate to say this but chains are profit driven. Their employees are not trainers. Many have little or no experience in dogs prior to a short in house training course they are given by the Big Box store which is geared to getting them in and out and on to the next…. Many small breed dogs are not well suited to this type of environment. See if your vet keeps a list of private in home groomers. Remember this - you get what you pay for…. do you want to risk your dogs personality disorder to save a few dollars? I think not.
Have a groomer come to your home and then get onto a standard routine- ideally every 4 weeks minimum.
Speak with the trainer about the food issues… you can't continue that pattern for sure. A second dog would change it pretty quick:-)


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


ElizaBeth CRONK


I am an expert in terrier grooming and have been the expert on the dog grooming site for well over a year. While I am trained as an all breed groomer my true expertise is in the art of terrier grooming. Hand plucking for pets, to be specific.


23 years as a professional pet groomer, 20 of them specifically working with wire hair breeds. Private residential business in Manhattan with over 250 client and have done over 30,000 groomings.

Twin Brooks Kennel Club, former Board member Metropolitan Dog CLub, regular contributer to Groomer Talk at

website: educational DVD Groomertalk at

NY School of Dog Grooming, apprenticed with major professional show dog handlers and breeders.

Past/Present Clients
website has testimonials available- I do not list private clients

©2016 All rights reserved.