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my aggressive puppy

20 11:39:36

I have a 12 week old yorkshire terrier. Lately I have been trying to bring him around friend's puppies and dogs in order to socialize him. He seems to be very aggressive. Never with people but he gets very nervous and starts shaking. He starts with freezing up completely and then deep throated growling. I take him away when he starts that and then he turns aggressive towards me and my husband, aggressively trying to bite us. We don't let him get away with that at home and I don't quite understand this behavior or what exactly to do to curb it. My husband and I would like to get another dog eventually and I want to try to resolve this issue before my puppy gets too much older! HOw should I handle his aggressive behavior?


An aggressive dog at the age of 12 weeks is not normal.  My first suggestion is that you should speak to your vet about his behavior.  Often times a dog that is sick or in pain will act like your dog is acting.  Taking him to the vet and ruling out the possibility that he is sick or in pain is the first step.

If the vet rules out his being sick or in pain then I think you are going to have a problem.  This could mean that his behavior is a result of his breeding.  Any pure bred dog that is bred back (to a close relative like sister to brother, daughter to father etc.) to many times causes the blood line to be stronger which is optimal in show quality dogs but it produces a side effect of having a mean dog.  For this reason the AKC does not allow breeding back more than one time.  There are many reasons that a breeder will breed back to many times and there is no way to prove that this has happened to your dog (an example would be if the dog she was trying to breed with would not breed so she needed to get her bred so she used a relative and put the other dog on the papers).  

As far as what you can do about his aggressive behavior I don't think I can give you a lot of encouragement about that.  If he is aggressive because of his breeding, obedience classes will not help because his behavior is bred into him.  It is possible that he is very spoiled and therefore his behavior could be improved with obedience classes but in my opinion it would be a waste of money.  I would ask if you got him from a reputable breeder, did you get to see both parents when you bought him, do you know if the breeder had more than one stud on the premises, what were the living conditions that he lived in before you got him and finally how old was he when you got him.  These are all important questions when you are considering buying a Yorkie.

I can't stress enough the importance of taking him to the vet right away to make sure he is healthy.  At 12 weeks even though you are probably attached to him you might be better off asking for a refund and returning him to the breeder.  Then you could look for another puppy that would be more loveable and socially oriented.

I'm sorry I couldn't give you better news.  Let me know the outcome if you can.