Yorkies are small, sweet, and energetic little creatures. There is no denying that they are full of personality, but are Yorkies good with kids? Today we’ll answer that question for you and take an in-depth look at Yorkie socialization so that you’ll have the tools that you need to help to make sure that everyone gets along.
If you’re ready, let’s get started!
So… Are Yorkies Good With Kids?
Yorkies are good with older kids but with younger kids, you are going to need to do some work. Yorkies can get frightened or stressed easily, so you’ll need to be there for introductions and you’ll need to set some ground rules in place or there could be issues.
Are Yorkies Good With Babies?
As long as they are getting enough attention, Yorkies can get along with babies as well. You can help things along by letting your Yorkie sniff something that has the baby’s scent. Don’t let them play with the item, only sniff, so that your Yorkie knows that the source of this scent ‘belongs to you’.
Are Yorkies Protective Over Kids?
Yorkies can be protective over your children, once they are used to them. Like other dogs, once they have established in their minds that your kids are their family then they will be naturally protective of them.
How To Introduce Your Yorkies To Kids
First impressions are everything, with people and with dogs. Introducing your Yorkie to the children very carefully is a good idea and it also gives you the chance to set a few ground rules and to educate your children on how to properly behave around the dog. Below we’ve got some tips that you can follow that will help in that all-important first introduction.
Let Your Kid’s Feed The Dog Treats – By Dropping Them
Just about every dog gets excited at the sight of treats and Yorkies are certainly no exception. As such, your Yorkie might accidentally bite the hand that feeds it. Your Yorkie doesn’t mean to, of course, but it you can avoid this risk by telling the Yorkie to sit and letting your child drop the treats.
Independently, you can feed your Yorkie by hand until you can calm this behavior but for now it is best to drop the treats in front of the dog to avoid any accidental nibbles.
Demonstrate Commands And Teach Your Children How To Give Them As Well
When you introduce the family dog you should take a moment to demonstrate the tricks which you have taught them. This helps to calm your dog and to set the tone of the encounter. You can also teach your kids how to give these commands as well.
Be sure to reward or have your child reward the dog with praise and treats for every command that is followed and in this way your dog will learn to obey all of the family members instead of just you.
Take A Walk With The Family
A walk in the park is a great way to loosen up tension and to get your dog used to your children and to other people being around. Socializing is very important and you should get your Yorkie used to being around your kids and other people as early as possible.
When Yorkies aren’t socialized, they can get a little codependent on you for all of their attention needs. This is something that you want to avoid, so be sure to take some walks with the family so that they become less sensitive to having other people around.
Be sure to give your child some time holding the leash as well, so that both your child and the dog get used to this.
Keep Hold Of The Leash During Interactions
When you are introducing your Yorkie to the rest of the family, be sure that you have your dog leashed so that you can exert control if you need to. Typically, things will go well but it never hurts to have a little insurance on the off chance that your child startles the dog.
More likely the worst that will happen is an excited, happy Yorkie may try to jump at your kid to play but it’s wisest to keep things on the safe side.
Teach Your Kids How To Praise And Pet
You’ll want to teach your child to pet the Yorkies back and to avoid petting the head until your Yorkie is used to them. You should also teach your child to praise the dog and to speak in a soothing voice to make the dog more comfortable.
While it seems like only common sense, you should tell your child if the dog growls that they need to stop touching immediately. Kids aren’t always intuitive about that and might suppose that petting will soothe the dog, so teach them that if the dog growls or tries to run away that they need to stop touching.
(Curious about how to keep your Yorky’s ears floppy or help them stand up?)
How To Train Your Yorkies To Be Around Kids?
With older kids it’s not so much of an issue, but if you have young children in the house then you are going to want to train your Yorkie to be around them. Yorkies are sweet dogs, but they can be a bit aggressive, so you will want to use the steps below if you are bringing a new Yorkie home in order to ensure that everyone gets along.
Start Early If You Can
The ideal age to start training your Yorkie to be around kids is 8 – 16 weeks. This is the age when Yorkies are developing their social skills and so introducing your children at this time is generally a piece of cake. Older Yorkies can still be trained, of course, but you will have to take things much more slowly. This will involve of praise, treats, and patience.
If your Yorkie shows signs of stress, be sure to calmly move them somewhere else so that they can calm down. It’s important to be patient with the process, as an overstressed Yorkie is likely to get nippy.
Establish Basic Training
You are going to want to establish some basic commands so that you are in better control of your dog and interactions during introductions to your children. You want your dog to know how to sit, to come to you, and you want to suppress jumping behaviors so the ‘down’ command will come in handy.
You also want to teach them the ‘leave it’ command (more on this later).
Yorkies tend to jump at children, as they get a bit excited, and this can stress both parties involved and result in a conflict. So be sure to do a little basic training or even better, to employ a trainer before your dog meets your kids to help minimize any potential issues.
The Kid Simulator Strategy
Children tend to grab dogs. They’ll pull at tufts of their hair, hug them roughly, and pick them up suddenly. You need to get your dog used to this sort of behavior before they get around your kids, or at least have some idea how they are likely to react.
Be gentle about it. You’ll want to hug the dog, pick it up, and tug a little at its tail. It is also a good idea to take the dog into the yard, command them to sit, and then you should run around erratically –laughing, talking loudly, and waving your arms.
The goal here it to desensitize your dog to the behaviors they are likely to see with the kids. If during the tail-pulling and hugging your dog gets a little frightened then immediately stop, provide a treat and some praise, and wait until later to try again.
If your dog shows no signs of improvement, you’ll want to know this so that you can keep them away from the kids.
Playground Time Can Get Your Dog Used To Kids
Alternately, another strategy to get your dog used to kids is to bring them to your local park. With kids at play all-around your pet and reassure your Yorkie, providing the occasional treat so that with a little time your Yorkie is less sensitive to seeing kids running around and yelling.
Teach Your Dog That Kids Toys Are Off-limits
Remember when we mentioned the ‘leave it’ command? Young kid’s toys are very attractive to dogs. They are often plush or plastic and very chewable. Some of them even make noise, which definitely gets your dog’s attention. You’ll want to show these toys to your Yorkie and you can let them sniff but you need to use ‘no’ and ‘leave it’.
After you say no, give your Yorkie one of their own toys to play with. It takes a little time, but Yorkies are smart and you can teach them what toys are off-limits. This is very important, because if you don’t teach them that these are off limits then they may try to take them from your children and this could result in aggressive behavior like growling and nipping.
Crate Training Is A Good Idea
If you haven’t crate trained your dog then now is a good time to start. When done properly, your dog is comfortable with their crate and this gives your Yorkie somewhere to go if the children make it uncomfortable. Be sure that you tell your kids that they must leave the dog alone whenever it goes to the crate.
This helps to ensure that your dog has a place to feel safe while adjusting to the kids.
Let Your Dog Come To The Children On Its Own
Don’t force your Yorkie to interact with your children and this includes carrying the Yorkie over to them. Doing this can scare your dog and it may react aggressively, but even if that is not the case you will seriously stress your dog.
Let your dog’s natural curiosity kick in and the introductions will commence, you just need to be patient.
Reinforce Good Behavior With Treats And Praise
You’ll want to be around for any introductions with praise and treats ready, Pet your dog to reassure them while the dog sniffs your children’s hands or while they pet the dog. It generally doesn’t take too long for a Yorkie to adjust to kids but you must be present for early interactions so that the dog doesn’t get scared and so that your kids behave appropriately as well.
Want To Train Your Yorkie With Peace Of Mind?
If you haven’t trained your Yorkie properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!
And in most cases it’s still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your Yorkie completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.
And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!
So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior, or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!
(You can also check out a full review here, to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)
How To Teach Your Kids How To Act Around Your Dog?
Getting along takes two, as they say, and while you need to educate your Yorkie it is also imperative that you educate your kids. There are a few hard and fast rules that you’ll want to teach to your child so that you can minimize any chance of a stressed, nippy Yorkie. Be sure that your child knows the rules below.
Teach Your Kids To Stay Away When Your Dog Is Eating Or Sleeping
Some Yorkies can get a little grumpy if you try to touch them when they are trying eat, as they are naturally possessive about their food. Teach your kids to let your Yorkie finish eating before they start playing together.
The same goes for sleeping Yorkies. Teach your children that it’s okay to call the Yorkie to come over, but if your dog wants to get sleeping that it is not okay to touch them. Kids tend to just scoop up Yorkies, since they are small and cute, and this can frighten the Yorkie into biting instinctually so we want very much to avoid this.
Show Them How To Call The Dog (Instead Of Scooping The Dog Up)
Speaking of scooping, you’ll want to spend some time with your kids and your Yorkie present so that you can teach them how to call the dog over. You can let your child toss down a treat when the dog comes and in overtime, your Yorkie will learn to come to your kids when called.
Teach Them To Give The Dog Space When It Doesn’t Come
It is very important that your Yorkie has space when stressed. To this effect, you want to teach your children that if the Yorkie does not come when called, not to chase the dog or to scoop it up. If you have a crate, teach them that when the Yorkie goes inside that the dog is off-limits.
This will help your Yorkie to socialize at it’s own pace and that it the perfect way to socialize them.
Show Them To Pet, Not Squeeze
Kids like to grab and a Yorkie is a very small dog, so this can hurt the dog or at the very least, frighten and stress them. Show your kids how to pet the dogs back softly instead of grabbing. The easiest way is to call your Yorkie over and to take your child’s hand and run it across the dog’s back.
Praise the dog while you do so and teach your child to do the same.
Since you are there and your Yorkie already trusts you, they’ll know that the kids are ‘okay’ and over time you won’t have to supervise the interaction because the Yorkie will be comfortable with them and your kids will know how to behave with the dog.
No Running Around The Dog
This is a hard one, but as you need to be nearby for any interactions during the introduction period then you’ll have a chance to enforce this. The rule is simple, ‘no running around the dog’. You’ll probably have to call out a few times before your kids get the picture, as children love very little more than running around and chasing each other.
It is important, however, as kids running by can seriously startle a Yorkie. Yorkshire Terriers are adorable but they also think they are ‘big dogs’, reacting aggressively when startled. So, watch your kids closely and make sure they get into the habit of never running around the dog.
(Want to know whether Yorkies are easy or hard to train?)
Why Might Yorkies Be A Bad Choice?
Yorkies are sweet and have a whole lot of personality, but there are a few reasons why they may not be a good fit if you have very young children. We’ve compiled the most important ones for your consideration just so that you can know the potential pitfalls in advance.
Yorkies Are Easily Stressed
These little dogs can get confused if there is a lot going on, like kids running around the room yelling and playing, and this can put them on the defensive. You’ll need to teach the kids how to behave around the Yorkie if you are going to bring one home.
They Are Small Dogs
These dogs are small and can get hurt easily if handled roughly, so this is another reason that they may not be the best choice around kids. Their size also means that they might occasionally end up underfoot and this could result in your child getting nipped or even bitten.
Yorkies Can Be Aggressive
Until you’ve introduced the Yorkie properly, they will view small children almost the same as they would another small dog. They may try to fight over your children’s toys or react poorly when your child tries to grab them.
In Conclusion – Yorkies Are Good With Kids, But It Takes Work
As you can see, Yorkies may be socialized to get along with your children but it is a two-way street. Make sure that you educate your kids on how to behave with the dog and that you are present for all encounters in the beginning. Over time, your Yorkie and your kids will adjust to each other and everyone will get along just fine.
Just be patient, because these things take time!