Are Shorkies Aggressive? (Everything You Need to Know)

An aggressive shorkie

A Shorkie is an adorable cross between the Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier. As such, they’ve developed some of the best traits from both sides, such as being loving, intelligent, and playful pooches. However, they may also have two negative characteristics: feistiness and stubbornness.

While Shorkies aren’t typically aggressive, they can become combative – especially toward strangers without proper training. Aggressive behaviors can also develop from separation anxiety. If you notice your Shorkie is suddenly becoming aggressive, it is essential to begin training ASAP, either at home or professionally.

Anyone thinking about adding a hound to their family wants to know whether or not the breed is aggressive – including cutesy lap dogs like Shorkies. Keep reading to discover whether or not Shorkies are aggressive and how you can prevent feistiness in your pooch.

Are Shorkies Aggressive?

Shorkies are not typically aggressive, but they certainly can become that way. Since the Shorkie temperament includes feistiness and stubbornness, it’s not surprising to learn that these characteristics can shine through – unless you halt them in their tracks.

That said, Shorkies may develop unfriendly behaviors if they are not trained or socialized properly. And this is a prevalent scenario. That’s because some people see these small-sized hounds and think they’re automatically snuggly and loving – which is true

However, this can lead Shorkie owners to believe these charming little pups don’t need training or socialization. When they start to act out, simply pick them up and shower them with affection. Sure, it works in the short term; but the stubborn streak and feisty attitude will begin to rear their head more regularly with this type of improper “training.”

The other issue is that Shorkies suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for an extended period (typically over six to eight hours). There are many negative symptoms of separation anxiety, including destructive behavior.

What Are the Signs of Aggression in a Shorkie?

If your Shorkie is not trained or socialized correctly or is consistently left alone for long periods, they may start to show signs of aggression. These signs are relatively obvious for the small-scale Shorkie:

  • Growling. One of the most significant indicators of an aggressive Shorkie is growling. While they will most likely growl at strangers, they can also become defensive and growl at their owners. This is especially true when the owner tries to pick the Shorkie up during one of their aggressive moments.
  • Ferocious barking. Dogs bark; there’s no doubt about that. But if you notice that your Shorkie is barking extensively and with a furious temperament, it may indicate that he’s being aggressive.
  • Nipping. Last but not least, another significant sign that your Shorkie is becoming aggressive is nipping. They will try to nip at people’s ankles, and when trying to be picked up, they may also try to take a bite at their hands and wrists.

These signs of aggression are more likely to occur toward strangers or anyone the dog has not deemed the “owner.” That said, other people in the home – including children – can be at the forefront of receiving the growls, barks, and nips. 

What To Do If My Shorkie Suddenly Becomes Aggressive?

Is your Shorkie suddenly becoming aggressive? Then you need to take action – and fast. The last thing you want is your Shorkie to end up hurting someone. Here are six fundamental things to remember.

1. Train and Socialize as Early as Possible

Training and socializing should occur during puppyhood, as early as eight weeks. Your Shorkie is more than capable of learning basic commands at this age. Early learning will help to deter any aggressive behaviors later on down the line. As the old saying goes, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” While this isn’t entirely true, it will be amply easier.

Socializing is also critical to a Shorkie’s behavioral success – especially if you plan to have other dogs or children around your hound. Shorkies are very loyal and territorial toward other dogs and children, so having them socialized at a young age is vital. 

2. Use the “Low and Slow” Method

Shorkies are intelligent and energetic. While these are great traits to have, it also means that they may be a bit more challenging to train. If you try to train a Shorkie for an hour – which is the case for most classes – they will become bored and disinterested.

The solution? Keep training sessions to a minimum. Two or three 20-minute sessions are all it takes for your Shorkie to be adequately trained.

3. Use Positive Reinforcement

Your Shorkie is a loving little guy or gal. If you’re too harsh on them, it will surely backfire. With that in mind, focus on positive reinforcement rather than punishmentYou will see much better results!

4. Avoid Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety can wreak havoc on your Shorkie’s temperament. The best way to avoid this is to never leave your Shorkie alone for longer than six hours at a time (and eight hours very rarely). 

5. Seek Professional Help When Necessary

Training a dog isn’t exactly easy, especially if you’re trying to train them beyond puppyhood. If you missed the window of opportunity and are struggling to train your Shorkie, don’t hesitate to seek out professional help. Experienced trainers will know precisely how to get your Shorkie in line!

6. Check for Underlying Conditions

Many potential underlying health conditions can cause a Shorkie to become suddenly aggressive, from rabies to hormonal balances and beyond. If you think that your Shorkie may be struggling with particular health conditions, it’s imperative to get them checked out by a veterinarian ASAP. Not only will this potentially put an end to the aggressive behavior, but it may save their life.

Wrap Up – Shorkies Aren’t Typically Aggressive, But They Can Be

Shorkies are loving lap dogs that don’t typically get belligerent, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The best way to avoid contentious behavior is to have your Shorkie adequately socialized and trained during the early stages of puppyhood.

More on Shorkies

If you’re simply in love with Shorkies and can’t get enough, then check out our other posts below:

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