Signs of a Mad Yorkie

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Yorkies are generally loving and affectionate dogs. However, just like humans, they have feelings and can get excited and happy or angry and aggressive. Knowing the signs of a mad Yorkie can help you know when the dog is angry and avoid provoking it further.

Signs of a Mad Yorkie

Yorkshire terriers are one of the most loyal dogs that can accompany you during exercises or outings. However, these dogs were originally bred for hunting, which makes them have strong dominating, territorial, and protective instincts. 

A tri-colored Yorkshire terrier with a black and white polka-dotted dog collar is sitting on a gray bed

This increases the chances of upsetting these dogs when trying to punish them, groom your Yorkie or prevent them from overfeeding. The protective nature also makes these dogs aggressive when they spot an intruder. Fortunately, the following signs can help you know when the Yorkie is upset and needs calming down.

The Eye Whites Are Visible

Just like in humans, it’s not usual for a dog to open its eyes wide to the extent of showing the eye whites. Generally, the dog will have its eyelids moderately open if it is in a relaxed, comfortable, and happy mood. 

On the other hand, the dog tends to open its eyes narrowly such that only the iris shows when it’s alert and looking at something keenly. However, if the dog opens its eyes wide such that you can see the eye whites, it’s an indication of anger and disgust. 

The Dog Is Crouched, and the Tail Tucked

Dogs have different postures that signify the general emotions of the Yorkie. For instance, the dog might wag the tail or wiggle with the belly showing when it’s happy and relaxed or tuck the tail firmly against the belly when frightened. 

In the same way, when a Yorkie spots another pet, the territorial instinct kicks in, and the dog takes a fighting and defensive posture to attack and fight. Usually, when the Yorkie is mad, it takes this defensive posture of crunching and tucking the tail.  

In most cases, the Yorkie will take the posture when it sees a threat of an intruding dog or person. It might also take this posture when excessively provoked and is ready to fight back. You can make the dog relaxed by giving it treats to show love and care. 

The Dog Is Uncontrollable

Even if Yorkies can be stubborn and challenging to train, they are intelligent and can learn new commands and tricks over time. Generally, Yorkies have good memories, and you can’t expect them to forget the learned commands. 

Also, these dogs’ loving and affectionate nature makes them willing to please you by obeying commands. However, like humans, dogs can become stubborn and unwilling to follow commands when angry. As a result, the Yorkie might start doing the opposite of what you expect to do. 

A tri-colored Yorkshire terrier is resting near a gray pillow on a gray couch

When combined with instinctive stubbornness, these dogs can turn out to be uncontrollable when mad. For instance, the dog might fail to take potty breaks in the designated place and, instead, pee on your belongings. The dog might also bark more when you command it to stop and stay calm. 

Frequent Yawns

In most cases, a Yorkie becomes mad due to stress resulting from things such as the introduction of a new pet in the compound, failure to be fed at the right time or right amount of food, punishments, or underlying health conditions.

The stress makes the dog tense and full of thoughts. Usually, stress makes the brain temperature rise, and yawning helps to promote cognitive functioning and relaxation. As a result, the Yorkie tends to yawn more frequently when upset.

Hung Ears

Yorkshire terriers have V-shaped ears that tend to fold and fall forward. Keeping in mind that dogs don’t have speech and can’t speak out their feelings, they tend to communicate their feelings through body language, such as erecting the ears and pointing them forward when happy and relaxing and hanging them when upset.

The Yorkie might also close its mouth and lips tightly and lower its head, indicating a lack of interest. Usually, provoking the dog at this point can make it aggressive.


Growls are one of the most straightforward ways the dog tries to communicate its feelings of anger and aggression. In most cases, Yorkies growl as an early warning of upsetness and might continue to be more aggressive if you don’t take the warning.

For instance, the dog might growl when it spots a stranger entering the compound, trying to warn the intruder to back off. Unlike other signs of anger, it’s not common for Yorkies to show upsetness to their owners through growling.

However, if you see the Yorkie growling at you when you try to punish it or take away food, it’s advisable to avoid provoking it further, as it might end up biting. Punishing a Yorkie after the growl warnings might also cause excess anxiety, making it difficult to bond with you in the future.

How to Calm Down a Mad Yorkie

Even if you show love and affection to the dog, there are still chances of provoking it. Fortunately, the following tips can help you calm your mad Yorkie down.

  • Keeping in mind that the dog might be upset by what you are doing, stop everything, stay still and calm to avoid further provocation
  • Avoid making direct eye contact with the dog, as it might interpret it as a threat 
  • Avoid opening your mouth wide, as the dog might think you are baring the teeth out of aggression and readiness to attack  
  • After the dog starts calming down, you can speak to it softly in a low, soothing tone. You can also give it treats to ease the mood and make it relax
Black and tan colored Yorkshire terrier with moist black nose resting on the rough floor

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can Make a Yorkie Mad?

In most cases, Yorkies get mad due to excessive teasing or an underlying health condition. For instance, the dog can get upset if children bark back, make loud noises or even pull its tail. This is one of the main reasons you should not leave a Yorkie to play with small children unsupervised.

Can a Mad Yorkie Bite Me?

A mad Yorkie can bite you if you continue provoking it. In order to avoid excessive aggression, it’s advisable to stay calm and put a barrier, such as a purse or piece of clothing, between you and the dog.

Final Thoughts

The most common signs of a mad Yorkie are growling with a crouched posture and tucked tail. The dog might also open its eyes wide, showing the eye whites. Even if the dog knows the commands, it might become stubborn and uncontrollable.