Are Yorkies good with kids? They mostly are provided you socialize your Yorkie to children from an early age and also teach your children to respect your Yorkie.
There are many advantages in kids growing up with dogs but as a pet parent, you need to ensure that the dog you bring home also likes kids.
In most cases, you can rest assured that, through proper training and early socialization, you will have a docile, sweet Yorkie on your hands that gets along beautifully with children.
However, we must also consider some other aspects of a Yorkie’s personality, its breeding, its past association with kids, and your children’s personality as well.
With these factors in mind, let us discuss:
- Are Yorkies good with kids?
- Why do some Yorkies dislike kids?
- What are the some of the common triggers of aggression in Yorkies against kids?
- What can you do to make sure your Yorkie gets along with your children?
- FAQs on the topic
Also Read: Do Yorkies like to Cuddle
Are Yorkies Good with Kids?
The most important time to consider the question ‘are Yorkies good with kids’ is when you are planning to buy or adopt a Yorkie while already having children, or you already have a Yorkshire terrier in your house and are planning to start a family.
In both these cases, it is very natural to wonder whether your dog will get along with your children.
In case of Yorkie puppies, the answer lies in early training and socialization. If you expose your young Yorkie to kids gradually from an early age, then chances are that it will be used to kids and their rough ways.
However, in the case of older – especially adopted Yorkies – its past associations with kids could factor in its behavior with them.
(That is why, it is important that you stay in the room and supervise the interaction between your kids and pet – at least for the first few days). After all, it does not take more than a few seconds for something to go wrong – a child might pull the pet’s tail and the dog might react by growling, biting, or snapping.
In general though, Yorkies make very good house pets and we have seen most getting along just fine with children.
However, there are instances where families have had to ask canine behaviorists and dog trainers to step in because their Yorkie is always snapping at children. Their temperament can be unpredictable at times.
The bottom-line: Are Yorkies good with kids? The answer is, yes, they mostly are but it also depends on the age and nature of the kids in question as well as the Yorkie, its age, and its early socialization experiences.
Also Read: Can Yorkies be Left Alone
Why Do Some Yorkies Dislike Kids?
As a pet parent, you might naturally wonder why your Yorkie dislikes kids.
Understanding the ‘why’ does not excuse the dog’s behavior but it might help you work with your Yorkie and control its aggression towards tiny adults:
1. To your Yorkie, kids are not ‘small adults’
You and I both know that kids are just tiny people that will mature into adult humans soon.
Small children are fond of the small dog breed and like to play as they think of them as a toy dog! Nevertheless, your Yorkie pup may not like the idea of being considered as such.
However, your Yorkie doesn’t exactly see things like that. Nor do most energetic kids in the age group of 3 to 8 years behave like adults.
Majority of the kids in this age range do not respect a dog’s personal space: they might rush in to pet it or grab at its tail or even pick it up!
All these are horribly bad behaviors from your Yorkie’s perspective. It might even perceive a child’s hug as akin to ‘mounting’ them!
Some kids also pet and stroke dogs very roughly. They might move their hands all over the Yorkie’s head and many Yorkies absolutely detest that.
Some young kids also have no ‘canine decency’ – they might tease the dog, pull its tail, and even try to ride it!
2. Your Yorkie’s past
If you have adopted an older Yorkie that is not great with kids, then chances are that it has had some traumatic experiences with children in the past.
Many dogs from the shelters or rescue homes take some time in adjusting into their new homes. Due to separation anxiety, they might come across as aloof and may not warm up to adults let alone kids.
In both scenarios above, as a pet parent, it does not matter what a child does or how s/he behaves with your Yorkie. It is still your responsibility to prevent a bite from happening.
Also Read: Do Yorkies Get Attached to One Person
What Triggers Aggression Against Kids in Some Yorkies?
Here are some common triggers of aggression towards kids in dogs:
1. Children are like puppies to your Yorkie
Your Yorkie just won’t understand why a child stomps, screams, runs, hits, plays, cries, shouts, and does what are otherwise normal childhood behaviors.
To your Yorkie, these actions can easily be misinterpreted as a ‘fellow’ puppy acting out.
And what do puppies do? They jump, growl, bite, wrestle, and snarl at each other. That is why your Yorkie might treat a child as a littermate and not a dominant pack member.
2. Your Yorkie generalizes one bad interaction with all kids
Even if one kid has pulled your Yorkie’s hair, petted it roughly, screamed in its ears or tried to ‘ride’ it, then your Yorkie is highly likely to generalize this behavior to all other kids.
It might start associating these actions with all kids and might avoid them or even snarl, growl, or snap at them as a warning to say – ‘hey, back off!’
3. Older adopted Yorkies take time in bonding with kids
As stated earlier, a dog’s history can also be a factor in its aggression or general dislike towards kids. Your dog might have some negative associations in its mind which could take some time undoing.
4. Untrained kids
While we dog parents cannot ‘train’ our neighborhood kids to behave decently with our Yorkies, we can at least ‘train’ our own children and teach them a thing or two about respecting a dog’s personal space.
Kids must understand that there are boundaries in interaction with our pets and they must take care not to exceed those boundaries.
5. Age of the kids
If you plan on having kids and getting a Yorkie at the same time, then we recommend waiting at least until the child is a couple of years old, before getting your Yorkie.
After all, Yorkies could snap and growl at babies and even a large baby could easily injure a small Yorkie puppy.
Older kids (10 and above) tend to do quite well with Yorkies provided you teach them how to respect your pet and give it the space your Yorkie deserves.
Also Read: Why Do Yorkies Shake
What Can you Do to Make Sure Your Yorkie Gets Along with Children?
There are a couple of things you can do to make sure that your pet and kids get along well with each other:
1. Teach your kids first
The first thing to do before you bring home your Yorkie puppy or adopted older Yorkie is to talk to your children.
Teach them the kind of behaviors that could trigger agitation or aggression in your pet.
You must also try to make them understand that ‘dogs do not think like humans do’ and that their cognition is different than that in humans.
Not all kids are born gentle and decent. That is why, this parental education is a must to ensure that they understand that no matter what size a dog is, it can still bite and hence they need to respect it.
It is also important to teach children to understand the signs of aggression such as growls so that they can back off.
2. Be a role model for the kids
As a parent, you must yourself be respectful towards your Yorkie. Never tease, hit, shout, or physically abuse your pet even when you are training it and if it happens to make mistakes.
This will help demonstrate to your kids how to respect your Yorkie’s personal space. When your children are pleasant to your Yorkie, it will also be pleasant towards them.
3. Encourage child-dog bonding
You can encourage your children to bond with your Yorkie through feeding, training, playing fetch, and grooming.
This will help foster positive relationship between kids and Yorkie. Your Yorkie will learn to look at kids as pleasant and caring ‘mini adults’.
There are many interactive games which your kids can play with your Yorkie such as tug of war, fetch, hide-the-treats, bubbles, etc.
This way, your kids will learn how to treat your yorkie pup as a companion dog and not provoke its temperament.
4. Do not force an older Yorkie to socialize
While early socialization for young puppies is very important, the opposite is true with older dogs.
Never force an older Yorkie to interact with kids, especially when you know it is not gentle with them. This can be a rather dangerous thing to do as your pet might not hesitate to bite or snarl at a kid.
To make your older Yorkie feel safe with children, let it do so on its own terms. Give it time, as older, adopted dogs take time to adjust to their new homes.
If you have neighboring kids approaching your Yorkie while on its walks, gently warn them to back off to avoid bites and other mishaps.
In extreme cases, you may have to muzzle your Yorkie when you take it out on walks to kid-filled areas.
5. Do not be quick to blame the dog
Every time there is an altercation between kids and dogs, pet owners are quick to blame the dog. However, context is very important.
No Yorkie will bite a child without provocation. This is especially true in cased of a trained and well-socialized Yorkie.
6. Minimize stressors in your Yorkie’s environment
Sometimes, there may be stressors in your Yorkie’s environment that could trigger the aggression. Your Yorkie cannot speak but it could show its stress in different ways.
Children could add to that stress so, as a dog parent, it is up to you to minimize the stress in your Yorkie’s life.
Speak to your vet to ensure there are no underlying health issues. You can also use calming medicines to reduce stress in your buddy.
7. Seek expert help
If none of the above tips works, which could happen with older Yorkies, then you must seek professional help.
If you are a first-time dog owner, you may not know much about your pet so it is important to get help from a reputable breeder or vet.
Have a canine behaviorist or trainer work with your Yorkie. Of course, in some cases, even this might not completely alleviate the aggression but it could help in making some dogs slightly more comfortable around kids.
Also Read: Are Yorkies Good with Cats
FAQs on Are Yorkies Good with Kids
1. Are Yorkies good family pets?
Yes, many reasons make Yorkies good family pets.
First of all, they are smart, intelligent, and fairly easy to train. They also shed a lot less compared to many double-coated dogs. Most Yorkies are good with kids and other house pets.
All these factors contribute in making Yorkies great family pets.
2. Are Yorkies aggressive?
Some Yorkies are aggressive – after all, the breed was developed to be a rat exterminator. Resultantly, many Yorkies are aggressive towards smaller pets.
However, well-raised, properly trained, and adequately socialized Yorkies are quite well-behaved and do not display aggression.
Aggression can also stem from improper breeding. If two aggressive Yorkies are mated to have a litter, then chances are that those pups could be more aggressive than normal.
3. Is a boy Yorkie better than a girl Yorkie?
Both male and female Yorkies can be wonderful additions to a household provided they come from good breeders and provided you take the effort to train them well and socialize them from an early age.
Female Yorkies are generally more docile. However, you need to spay them at the right age otherwise they could show aggression towards other female dogs in their neighborhood.
Male Yorkies are very sweet too but again, it all depends on their training, socialization, and whether or not they are neutered.
4. Are Yorkies high maintenance?
Grooming a Yorkie can be a chore and you need to be regular about it. Also, this breed can be quite stubborn, therefore early training is a must.
Otherwise, with proper food, regular exercise, and vet checkups, the Yorkshire terrier can be a wonderful companion for you for several years to come.
Also Read: Best Brush for Yorkies
Conclusion – Are Yorkies Good with Kids
Are Yorkies Good with Kids?
Yes, they mostly are. However, it all depends on the age and nature of the kids in question as well as your Yorkie, its age, and its early socialization experiences.
With proper training (for both your kids and your Yorkie), you can have a well-behaved and loving companion in your household.
Also, if you think about bringing a companion dog for your Yorkie, look for one with a submissive personality. A good example is a labrador retriever. If your Yorkie is older, they can go along well with an old larger dog too as a big paw puppy can be disrespectful of personal space and can trigger anger to your Yorkie.
Always remember that kids and dogs may or may not go along well at all times. Whether it is a teacup yorkshire terrier, yorkshire terrier dog, or any small dog breed like a miniature schnauzer, havanese, paisley terrier, cavalier king charles spaniel, skye terrier or a shih tzu, bear in mind that each breed has his own personality and each one is different and comparing it with your Yorkie can either fail or frustrate you.
We hope this guide helps you prevent aggression and other issues in your Yorkshire terrier.