As pet owners, we have a special bond with our fur babies. It’s essential to pay close attention to their behavior and notice any changes that may occur. However, understanding what these changes mean can be a challenge.
Like humans, dogs experience a wide range of emotions, and it’s normal for them to have mood swings. They may react to the environment around them, including household vibes and external events. Sometimes, though, their behavior may seem strange, and we may not know the cause.
In this section, we’ll explore some of the most common strange behaviors in dogs and provide possible reasons for their occurrences. We aim to offer tips and solutions to help resolve these issues and ensure a happy, healthy relationship with our beloved pets.
Key Take Aways
Acting as if Drunk
Poisoning, Low blood sugar, UTI, Injury
Contact vet, collect vomit sample if applicable
Trauma, Aging, Lack of socialization
Evaluate environment, consult vet if persistent
Barking at Nothing
Enhanced senses, external disturbances
Stay calm, check environment, consult vet if needed
Agitation, Excessive energy
Evaluate changes, provide exercise, consult vet
Illness, Dehydration, Lack of sleep
Check water intake, ensure rest, consult vet
Health decline, Misplaced authority
Establish authority, consult vet and trainer
Anal gland issue, Parasites
Observe behavior, keep area clean, consult vet
It’s essential to note that while some variations in behavior are entirely normal, sudden and strange behavior could be a sign of a more severe underlying issue. Therefore, monitoring your pet’s behavior closely and seeking veterinary attention if any concerning or persistent behaviors emerge is crucial.
1. Reasons Why Yorkie Is Acting Drunk
The dog may lurch, bump against furniture or walls, and generally seem dazed and bewildered. Such unusual conduct may indicate a severe problem that must be treated immediately.
These factors may be at blame:
Poisoning may occur if your Yorkie gets into something they shouldn’t or you haven’t taken them outside yet. Acute intoxication symptoms include but are not limited to the following: drunken behavior, vomiting, dry heaving, and other clinical indications. Both internal and external factors, such as cleaning products and poisonous mushrooms, plants, and others, might have a role.
This might be a response to a recently used flea product or administered medicine.
Even if you aren’t sure what occurred, you should always contact the vet to be safe. If your Yorkie does vomit, you should get a sample for analysis.
Low blood sugar levels; hypoglycemia.
A quick dip in blood sugar levels, as indicated above, may induce extremely unusual behavior; this is most common in small pups but can happen to any age toy breed dog. Honey may be used to treat mild gum disease if applied topically. A trip to the vet is necessary for moderate to severe instances since intravenous therapy may be required. Do not disregard the probability of these problems; in extreme cases, coma and death may result.
Urinary tract infection
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a stroke might also include unsteadiness in four legs. Therefore, a dog’s health should be checked. Stroke symptoms may manifest in various ways, but abrupt weakness, visual loss, coordination problems, and dizziness are common.
Fourthly, this little toy breed is quite susceptible to head injuries from falls, even brief ones. A brain injury may result in a wide variety of strange behaviors, such as uncontrollable trembling, behavioral changes, a peculiar tilt of the head, and a lack of coordination. If you suspect your dog has fallen but did not witness it happen, he needs to be checked out immediately.
2. Suddenly Scared Of Everything
When a dog becomes fearful, it’s usually because he’s been shocked by someone or an event. Nonetheless, we often get letters from worried pet owners whose Yorkies suddenly start behaving fearfully.
The dog might suddenly want to take refuge in a dark corner of the room, such as a closet or beneath the bed. He can seem scared or hesitant to approach a particular space.
Most of the time, an owner must conduct some looking into it. It’s possible that the Yorkie’s agitation was precipitated by events that were invisible to the owner. We’ve seen examples ranging from falling down stairs, which most likely happened, to being abused by a guest. Very arbitrary causes of feigned fear have been seen on other occasions.
There could be several reasons why your Yorkie is suddenly scared of everything. Some common causes include:
Trauma or previous bad experiences: If your Yorkie has experienced a traumatic event or bad experience with something, they may develop a fear or phobia related to that experience.
Aging: As dog’s age, their senses can become weaker, which can cause them to become more fearful or anxious.
Lack of socialization: If your Yorkie has not been adequately socialized with other dogs, people, or environments, they may become fearful or anxious in new situations.
Health problems: Some medical conditions or medications can cause dogs to become more anxious or fearful.
Changes in the home environment: If there have been recent changes in your home environment, such as a move or a new addition to the family, this can cause stress and anxiety in your Yorkie.
Separation anxiety: If your Yorkie is experiencing separation anxiety, they may become more fearful or anxious when you are not around.
3. Barking at Nothing
This is another regular occurrence that might be pretty perplexing to the owner. Yorkshire Terriers are known to sit in the center of the room and bark at nothing in particular, seeming disturbed or frightened. The dog might be barking at nothing in particular or at a wall, the ceiling, etc. He may seem to be following something that isn’t there by moving his eyes in a zigzag pattern or even from room to room.
Many dog owners have pondered the possibility that their pet possesses a sixth sense or can see or hear things that humans cannot. Nevertheless, there’s a lot simpler explanation.
Remember that dogs have a far more comprehensive hearing range than people and may catch up on noises that you or I would miss entirely. Our dogs have a far broader frequency range of hearing (67-45,000 Hz) than humans (64-23,000 Hz), allowing them to detect sounds from four times as far away. Dogs, unlike humans, have 18 muscles instead of just six that they may use to focus on a sound.
Research on dogs’ heightened sense of smell continues today because it is remarkable. A dog’s sense of smell is thousands of times greater than ours since they can detect odors from a mile away, dig 40 feet underground, and sniff out faraway food.
You can probably understand, therefore, that your Yorkie is constantly exposed to sounds and odors that are invisible to your senses and, thus, do not exist from his or her perspective.
When a Yorkie seems to be staring at something or barking at it that isn’t there, he directs his attention toward a source of the noise or scent. This includes distant noises like sirens and alarms and nearby sounds like dogs barking that you can’t identify. He may be following the smell of some other animals.
He may be barking at a bird, squirrel, or other animal perched on the roof or the opposite side of a wall. This explains why some dogs bark at “nothing” and then follow that sound from room to room.
The dog will undoubtedly react to the invisible, swiftly moving critter in the improbable event that a mouse might hide in the walls.
What To Do
Dogs turn to their owners for guidance when worried or on guard and unsure whether they should be. Dogs are oblivious that their owners may not be able to detect the same ‘intruder’ they do.
Many owners make the mistake of being too concerned when their Yorkie exhibits behavior out of the ordinary. If you keep cool and relaxed after learning that your Yorkshire terrier has a good cause for his behavior, your dog will begin to recognize that the trigger isn’t worth worrying about.
If this peculiar behavior persists or worsens, it may be time to take action, such as determining whether or not a squirrel family has taken up residence in your attic.
Strange gazing and repetitive barking may also be symptoms of some kinds of strokes; if this behavior concerns you, it is best to record examples and show them to your vet.
Even though most Yorkies are easy-going and flexible, a sudden change in their pet’s demeanor may be quite disconcerting. Instances of this kind occur with some frequency for a few reasons:
The first is real agitation; although this breed is known for being amiable and adaptable, every dog has his limitations.
Check over the surroundings and see if anything has changed. Maybe your Yorkie usually spends just part of the day with noisy youngsters, but now that school’s out for the summer, he or she has to deal with them around the clock. Maybe his place has been rearranged, and he no longer feels like he has a sanctuary in which to escape the noise of the world. In case the situation has changed and may be fixed, do so immediately.
Always offer a dog an option to engage, observe from a distance, or withdraw; this will help prevent situations when the dog becomes stressed and displays aggressive behavior.
Rising levels of intolerance
this is especially true in elderly dogs, who may formerly have tolerated but now actively avoid certain sounds, persons, activities, events, and environments. A dog’s difficulties might originate from a medical condition, including impaired hearing or eyesight. Similar to the last point, giving a Yorkie the freedom to make decisions is frequently the key to solving the problem.
Your Yorkie may need socialization if he or she is showing signs of frustration because of something he or she is not used to. This is not often a case of unexpected, odd behavior, as a dog seldom has difficulties with something he or she is previously accustomed to.
Excessive energy that must be expended is a major contributor to a dog’s strange behavior, including barking, pacing, hyperactivity, never listening, destructive gnawing, and other similar actions. On its own, it almost never fades away.
If not taken for outings and other types of outdoor movement on a regular basis, dogs may soon acquire the canine version of cabin fever.
If you see that your Yorkie’s energy is starting to negatively affect other people or things, this is your signal to give him a little more exercise.
A dog’s behavior will always alter when he is sick. Clinginess, fear, nervousness, fatigue, etc., are all possible explanations for this kind of unusual conduct. A dog may get anxious if he has a heightened sense of vulnerability due to an illness or injury.
5. Moody or Sluggish Yorkie Behavior
Canines, like people, have mood swings throughout the day. Dogs may have bad days even if they are normally pleasant and optimistic. Although displaying negative emotions or excessive fatigue are not always indicators of illness, they may be in certain circumstances, they can be warning signs. A lack of energy is a major warning sign of sickness, and the underlying condition might be anything from a mosquito bite to heart disease, hypothyroidism, diabetes, liver disease, or anemia.
Additional causes for showing a lack of interest in playing or seeming unusually fatigued might be:
Is Your Yorkie On Heat?
The heat cycle involves a dramatic rise and fall in hormone levels, which may make them cranky.
Even if your dog drinks water on a regular basis, he or she may still get dehydrated. While this is most common in the summer, it may occur at any moment of year. Concentration problems and drowsiness may occur with as little as a 2–3 percent decline in water levels.
A dog water fountain is an effective way to get your Yorkie to drink more water. Helpful, too, are ice cubes (whether basic or flavored with 100% genuine apple juice) and fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, which contain a lot of water.
Third, a senior Yorkshire Terrier needs a lot more sleep and recuperation than a younger dog does for the same reasons. The process is subtle, so owners may not recognize the growing tiredness until it becomes obvious. That being said, extreme weakness in the elderly should never be ignored; other causes should be investigated first.
Iif a Yorkie has slept less than usual and has been more active than usual, this might be a combination that triggers his bad behavior. After a day, the problem, if any, should resolve itself. Most dogs will bark to let their owners know they’re awake, but others will be silent. As with any change in behavior, it’s important to rule out medical causes if your Yorkie is having difficulties sleeping or getting comfortable at night.
There is also the possibility that the dog is being disturbed by an unusual factor, such as a new noise that is occurring late at night or extremely early in the morning. Check his bedroom situation again.
A white noise machine or just changing his sleeping location may help him get some shut-eye when there is noise from outside, such as a vehicle door slamming, birds tweeting, a train going by, etc.
6. Showing Agression to Owners / Family Members
When a typically pleasant dog begins growling and showing his teeth, it may be quite unnerving. This usually occurs because of one of two problems:
The dog’s health is failing, and he or she may feel helpless as a result. This kind of behavior is a form of instinctual self-defense for dogs.
Misplaced authority – Every dog thinks their family is structured with a head of home and a pack of subordinates (Alpha and betas). It’s the dog’s natural inclination. The vast majority of dog owners believe their pet looks up to them as pack leader. On the other hand, some canines may disagree. A dog may begin to challenge the hierarchy if he has any sense that he is the pack leader or that his human’s authority is waning. If he’s having a bad day, he could disobey orders, make a mess of the home, act out, and even snarl or show his fangs at you.
This may happen to any or all of the people the dog lives with, but it’s especially concerning when it happens to a youngster.
After medical causes are checked out, growling is never appropriate. Offering a time out is one way to rectify this, as does making leadership evident by requiring a’sit’ before food is offered. Several examples of this aggressive conduct, however, need for far more stringent or even personal instruction.
7. Yorkie Dragging his Bottom
If your Yorkie is dragging his bottom or scooting on the floor, it could be a sign of an anal gland issue. Dogs have two small glands located on either side of the anus that produce a strong-smelling fluid. These glands can become blocked, infected, or inflamed, causing discomfort and itching in the area.
Other possible causes of dragging or scooting include fleas or other parasites, skin allergies, or gastrointestinal issues. It’s important to observe your Yorkie’s behavior and consult with a veterinarian if the behavior persists or if you notice any signs of pain, swelling, or discharge in the anal area.
Your veterinarian can perform a physical exam to determine the cause of your Yorkie’s discomfort and provide appropriate treatment. In some cases, expressing the anal glands may be necessary, while in other cases, medication or dietary changes may be recommended. Keeping your Yorkie’s anal area clean and well-groomed can also help prevent future issues.
While Yorkshire Terriers often have great temperaments, we can’t always expect them to be “on point” and perform perfectly. Mood swings are a typical part of human experience.
We recommend taking your Yorkie to the vet if you’ve seen any unusual behavior and are stumped for an explanation. In order to properly care for our pets, we need to always prioritize what is best for them.
As a lifelong dog lover, I fell in love with Yorkies for their spunky personalities, intelligence, and unwavering loyalty.
As a dedicated Yorkie owner, I have spent years learning about the breed and how to provide the best possible care for them. From finding the proper diet to exercise, and so much more! I take every aspect of my Yorkie’s life seriously.
In addition to being a loving dog parent, I’m an avid blogger, sharing my experiences and insights on all things Yorkie-related. From training tips to grooming advice, Yorkieclothing.com is a go-to resource for other Yorkie owners worldwide.
Yorkies are a pretty exciting breed, with their animated and curious personalities. But one behavior that can leave owners scratching their heads...