Yorkshire terriers are the most popular breed of toy dogs.
Everyone falls in love with their high intelligence, energy, and playfulness. Plus, they are adorable.
But they are not the best dog with kids.
Actually, that’s the wrong way to look at it. The real question is: are your kids going to be good at playing with a Yorkie?
If you teach your kids the right way to interact with the Yorkie, there won’t be a problem.
But Yorkies are a breed that never backs down. They will defend themselves when they feel threatened.
And that can be a problem with young kids that don’t know how to properly interact with a dog.
Keep reading to learn what signs to look for that your dog is getting fed up with your kids, plus tips on making sure your Yorkie and your children can live together in peace.
- 1 Yorkies Good With Kids?
- 1.1 What Makes Yorkies Bad With Kids
- 1.2 Signs Your Yorkie Doesn’t Like Playing With Kids
- 1.3 Tips For Maintaining Peace Between Dog And Child
- 2 Yorkies Good With Kids: Final Thoughts
Yorkies Good With Kids?
The short answer to this question is: not usually. But is this as easy as it seems? Definitely no!
Not all Yorkies are the same. You might be in luck and come across a Yorkie that adores kids, but it is not likely. This is actually a very unlikely characteristic with this breed of dogs.
Some breeders actually refuse to sell Yorkies to a family that has small kids. But that is, frankly, ridiculous.
Are Yorkies good family dogs? Not as good as many other breeds, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get one if you have kids.
It is certainly possible to have a Yorkie and children under the same roof. They can live happily together, as long as you set some ground rules from the beginning.
Again, the bigger problem are the kids, so you’ll need to take precautions to ensure your dog is always safe and comfortable.
Make sure your kids learn how to interact with your Yorkshire Terrier. Teach them to respect the dog from the beginning.
What Makes Yorkies Bad With Kids
Yorkies have several characteristics that make them a bad fit for kids. Let’s take a look at those characteristics.
Yorkies Are Much Tougher Than They Look
Everyone’s first impression of Yorkies is that they are too cute to be harmless. But beneath that tiny body that looks as if it’s made out of cotton candy is a tough and brave spirit.
What we mean by that is that Yorkies will not put up with any kind of bullying. We can trace this spirit back to their origin when they were used to hunt rats.
Yorkies were used to chase animals from their den. Often those animals would fight back. A Yorkie will never back down when in a dangerous situation.
If a Yorkie feels threatened, it will not back down. It will never hesitate to stand up for itself. And the only means it has to fight back is by barking or biting the source of the threat.
And yes, all Yorkies are barkers. But they can also be quit to nip or bite.
You can see how this trait does not mix well with kids. If they get too rowdy around the dog, the dog might feel the need to defend itself. This can lead to a snap or a bite and the kids may end up getting hurt.
Yorkies Are Tiny
Fully grown Yorkies rarely exceed 7 pounds, according to the American Kennel Club. Although you may find larger Yorkies, most of them lie between 4 and 8 pounds.
Their small size means Yorkies may end up being too vulnerable when around very small kids. Although they are strong and brave, their small size makes them fragile.
If children are left to play with Yorkies unsupervised, it is not just the child that could end up injured. In fact, the danger to the dog is larger.
Yorkies Get Stressed Easily
Most people assume that Yorkies are very playful dogs. And they are. But they also really hate noise and commotion.
Yorkies like to feel in control of their surroundings. When there is too much going on around them, they do not feel in control and they can end up getting very anxious.
And when a dog gets anxious, it can become aggressive. The danger of this happening is especially large if the dog is not getting adequate stress relief, reassurance, and proper downtime from the caregiver.
Are Yorkies aggressive compared to other dogs? They do tend to have more aggression, but whether a dog becomes aggressive depends on the environment. Keep it stress free and your pup should grow up much better behaved.
Signs Your Yorkie Doesn’t Like Playing With Kids
Your pup will give you warning signs, if it does not feel comfortable playing with kids. But before we get to the signs, it is important to understand that dogs are different and they may show these signs differently.
Whereas some dogs may show you multiple obvious signs, others will show you one subtle sign. And before you know it, your dog has bitten your kid.
You need to learn the tolerance level of your dog, its personality, and how comfortable it is in certain situations. This means that you need to keep track of the signs and know when it’s time to put a stop to playtime.
With that said, let’s take a look at some common signs your Yorkie is not enjoying its time with children.
Yawning, Licking Lips And Avoiding Direct Eye Contact
This is a very straightforward way for your dog to say that it is not comfortable and feels somehow threatened. And if a dog cannot get away from whatever is making it feel threatened, it could quickly escalate to a bite.
Tail Pointing Out And Wagging In A Stiff Manner With Perked Ears
Normally, tail wagging shows that a dog is full of energy. But it does not necessarily mean that the dog has “happy energy.”
If the dog is still but the tail is wagging, then there is a high possibility it is not happy at all. When a happy dog wags its tail, it involves the entire body.
Licking The Child’s Face Excessively
Usually when a dog licks a child’s face, it is harmless. That is why you need to pay attention to the body language of your dog when it is licking your kid.
Try to observe and determine whether the dog is relaxed, or anxious or tense. It is quite easy to miss this, but in some cases, excessive licking could be a sign of anxiety.
Stiff And Tense Body
This is an outright sign that a dog is preparing for a fight. If you see this behavior, keep your dog away from any kids.
Growling With Wide Eyes
This doesn’t need much explaining. Growling is a sign that your dog is unhappy. If you don’t step in and help, your dog could be prompted to take further action. In addition to growling, you may notice that the eyes are also wide open and the body may be firm and rigid.
Snapping And Showing Teeth
This is another common sign that a dog is getting ready to take a bite. If you see your dog in this state, be quick to remove the child from the situation. In turn, the dog will feel more comfortable and back down.
Biting Or Nipping
If you are not quick to act, things could escalate very quickly. Before you know it, the dog could nip or bite the child.
A nip is usually a soft bite that will not draw any blood. It is meant as a warning that lets you know she does not really like whatever is going on.
A bite, on the other hand, shows that the dog feels extremely threatened and feels it needs to protect itself. In such a case, just know that the dog perceives the situation as dangerous.
Tips For Maintaining Peace Between Dog And Child
If you have a Yorkie and a child in the same house and you love both, here are a few things that you need to do in order to maintain peace. Below are some of the ways in which you can train the kids to respect the dog and interact with it in a positive manner, as well as some safety measures.
Remain Calm If Your Yorkie Snaps Or Growls At The Child
Snapping or growling is the only way a dog knows to protect itself. The first time it happens, it can be alarming, especially when the dog reacts that way towards your little precious baby.
Your first reaction is likely to feel protective of your kid. It is easy to forget that you need to look out for your dog, too.
First, understand that the dog snapped for a reason. Most likely, it felt insecure, scared or uncomfortable. It’s just in a dog’s nature to react that way.
If you scold or punish your dog, it will only think that it is being punished for warning the child. In the future, instead of giving a warning first, your Yorkie might move straight to the nip or bite.
That is why you need to quietly and calmly move your kid away from the dog. Make sure your child is safe, then comfort the dog.
In the future, pay attention to the dog’s warning signs. And don’t let your child play with the dog unsupervised.
Let Your Yorkie Know You Can Protect It
This could even mean the separation of your dog from the rest of the family. It may sound unkind, but it is actually good for the dog and will help it calm down, if it is under a lot of stress.
Show your pup that you are always in charge of every situation and that you will never let it get hurt.
When you handle the situation this way, your dog will never see the need to go to the extent of biting your child.
You can, of course, always keep your kid away from the dog. But this may not always work, especially with young kids. Toddlers can be overly interested in dogs and will no stay away from them for too long.
In lieu of removing your dog from the situation, sometimes it is a good idea to remove the kids instead. That way your Yorkie doesn’t feel like it is the one being moved all the time time.
Let it feel comfortable and part of the family. When you are hostile to your dog, it will end up being anxious and may end up hurting you.
The whole point here is to show your dog that you are in charge of the situation. There is no need for the dog to stand up for itself.
Provide Your Yorkie A Childless Location To Play Or Relax
There are times when your Yorkie may be craving some alone time. Kids will not always understand this, and when they interrupt your dog’s peace, the dog may react badly.
It is always a good idea that you find somewhere private where the dog can relax and have some time alone.
For example, you could let your pup sleep behind the couch. This is a good place where a toddler’s hand will not be able to reach.
Also, you can consider getting a baby gate that comes with a pet door. This way, your pet will always be able to retreat, if it is not feeling comfortable in a given situation. This works well, because the toddler will not be able to follow the dog into its safe zone.
Yorkies Good With Kids: Final Thoughts
Well, everyone always has that dream of their kids growing up with a pet dog that will tolerate all their craziness. I’m sorry to say but a Yorkie is not one of those dogs.
But this is not to say that Yorkies cannot do well in homes with kids. They still can, but it will be a little more difficult than some other breeds.
Yorkshires do best in homes with older children or no children at all. Therefore, it is best to put off getting a Yorkie until your kids are at least 8 years of age.
But if you do get one sooner, follow the guidelines in this article and everything should work out just fine. As long as you teach your child to respect your Yorkie, they should get along great.