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The 7 Most Unusual Habits of Yorkies

Written by: Arlene D.
Arlene A. Divina, a resident of the Philippines, is a devoted fur mom to two adorable dogs: a Shih Tzu and a Beagle. With a passion for animals and storytelling, Arlene has channeled her love for dogs into her career as a content writer at iHeartDogs. Her writing captures the essence of the bond between humans and their furry companions, offering insights, tips, and heartfelt stories to a wide audience of dog enthusiasts. Read more
| Published on April 12, 2024

Yorkshire Terriers, affectionately known as Yorkies, are a breed that packs an enormous personality into a tiny frame. Originally bred in the 19th century in England to catch rats in textile mills, these diminutive dogs have since transitioned to becoming beloved lapdogs, renowned for their bravery, loyalty, and vivacious character. Despite their small size, Yorkies often display behaviors and habits that are both amusing and surprising, reflecting their terrier heritage. These unusual habits not only endear them to their owners but also highlight the complexity of their instincts and social interactions. From their high-pitched barking to their penchant for digging, each of these behaviors serves as a window into the Yorkie’s bold and spirited nature. This article explores seven of the most unusual habits of Yorkies, offering insights into why this breed behaves in such distinctive ways.

1. Tissue Shredding

Yorkies often exhibit a peculiar habit of shredding paper products, particularly tissues or toilet paper. This behavior can be traced back to their ancestral line of terriers, who were bred to hunt and dig in pursuit of small vermin. The act of shredding paper mimics the natural digging and tearing they would use to unearth their prey. While this habit can be messy, it is often a sign of boredom or a lack of mental stimulation. Providing your Yorkie with plenty of toys and engaging in regular playtime can help mitigate this destructive behavior by redirecting their energy and satisfying their instinctual needs.

2. “Singing” Along to High-Pitched Noises

Yorkies are known for their sensitivity to high-pitched noises, often responding with what can only be described as singing or vocalizing along with the sounds. This unusual behavior may be linked to their sharp hearing and terrier instinct to alert others to disturbances. Whether it’s a response to a siren, musical instrument, or even a high note on television, Yorkies can be quite vocal, making them an amusing, if somewhat noisy, companion. Understanding and occasionally indulging this behavior can enhance communication between Yorkies and their owners, fostering a deeper bond.

3. Burrowing Under Covers

Another endearing habit of Yorkies is their tendency to burrow under blankets, pillows, or laundry. This behavior is likely driven by their need for warmth and security, as well as an instinctual desire to create a safe and snug den-like area similar to the burrows of their prey. For Yorkie owners, providing a cozy space with ample opportunities to burrow can help satisfy this natural inclination, ensuring the dog feels safe and comfortable in its home environment.

4. Obsessive Licking

Yorkies often display an unusual habit of obsessively licking themselves, their owners, or objects around them. This behavior can be a sign of affection or an attempt to groom, but it can also indicate underlying issues such as anxiety, allergies, or boredom. Monitoring and addressing the root cause of obsessive licking through environmental changes, medical interventions, or behavioral training can help ensure that it doesn’t become a problematic behavior.

5. Guarding Behavior Despite Small Size

Despite their small stature, Yorkies often exhibit guarding behaviors, barking ferociously at perceived threats or strangers. This trait harks back to their terrier roots, where despite their size, they were expected to be alert and protective. While this can be useful in terms of home security, it can also lead to excessive barking or aggressiveness if not properly managed through training and socialization.

6. Picky Eating Habits

Yorkies are notorious for being picky eaters, a trait that can be particularly challenging for their owners. This fussiness might stem from their history of being pampered pets, where they were likely given a variety of food choices. To manage a Yorkie’s picky eating habits, it’s important to establish a consistent feeding routine, offering balanced, nutritious meals that cater to their dietary needs without constantly changing food types to suit their whims.

7. Spinning Before Lying Down

Yorkies often spin in circles before settling down to sleep or rest. This behavior is thought to stem from an instinctual need to trample down grass to make a sleeping spot, a practice from their wild ancestors. Although now living in much more comfortable conditions, Yorkies still retain some of these instincts. Recognizing this as normal behavior, owners should provide a comfortable and inviting sleeping area that meets their need for nesting.

Learn More About the Yorkie Dog Breed: Information, Facts & Pictures

Yorkshire Terriers, with their compact size and big personalities, exhibit a range of behaviors that are as charming as they are unusual. These habits, from tissue shredding to spinning before lying down, not only reflect their rich heritage but also their unique character. By understanding and appropriately managing these behaviors, Yorkie owners can ensure their pets lead happy, healthy, and well-adjusted lives, further enriching the special bond between them.

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