"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

Puppy and Obedience Training Without Food or Fear

Yorkie Aggression

– Posted in: Aggression, Columns, Newsletters
Yorkie

My husband & I have a 6-year-old male Yorkie, we’ve had him since a puppy. He is very attached to me, very attached, and protective of me. We also had an English Bulldog up until she recently passed away. We had the bulldog 1st, then the Yorkie as a puppy, they were together all day, every day for close to 6 years & got along fine. My English Bulldog was just so mellow, she did not care about much, besides food & sleeping. We just got a puppy, a pom-chi 9 weeks old. My Yorkie is not accepting him, like to the point if the puppy tries to even barely touch him, my Yorkie is growling and snapping at him. If the puppy comes near him he gets up and moves. I don’t know how to get my Yorkie to accept the puppy. The puppy tries to play with my Yorkie, but the Yorkie is not interested. I know the Yorkie can hurt the puppy. Any suggestions on how I should go about getting my Yorkie to calm down, relax, and not be so aggressive? My Yorkie has always had some anxiety issues from day one. I don’t want to totally push the puppy on him, I just don’t know how to even start to get him to accept the puppy. Please Help!

Hi Karyn,
Considering your observations of your older Yorkie’s behaviour around another household dog, the Bulldog, it’s unlikely that he would intentionally seriously hurt the pup. However, he’s not going to put up with behaviour he doesn’t like from a junior. I’m sure by now if he wanted to hurt him he would have. Normally these things work themselves out over time but you can help out a bit by putting a lead on the pup at all times and supervise like it’s a two-year-old child around a house guest less than thrilled with children. Better you should be disciplining the pup as if the older dog is forced to constantly do it he may escalate and develop a more permanent dislike.
The only bit that might cause a problem is you not nipping that part where the older is “protective of me”. That’s not usually the sort of flattering protection as you might think. It’s more of a resource guarding behaviour with you being a resource, like a bone or a toy or treat. In other words a possession. Hard to influence behaviour when you’re thought to be a possession. I’d do some reading about how to get his head right in this regard. Try my book The Beautiful Balance – Dog Training with Nature’s Template™. You’ll learn how to gently transition him over. You don’t want to rush as he’s under enough stress as it is.
Generally speaking, I think over the next month you’ll see the older dog thaw out a bit. Take some video of what is going on and send it to me if you’re worried.
John
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