Yorkshire terriers, or Yorkies for short, are amazing dogs. However, not all dogs are “kids dogs.”
If you’re about to get a new dog and you’re considering a Yorkshire terrier, then let me tell you, you might want to read this piece first as it’s not that simple.
So, without wasting time anymore, let’s dive right into it.
Who are kid-friendly dogs?
Doggies that are good with children are called kid-friendly dogs. To be friendly with kids, a dog has to be of the right height and weight as well as the right temperament.
Usually, kid-friendly dogs don’t snap at toddlers or preschool children. Neither are they too small to suffer unintentional damage or too big to accidentally harm the kids. Their temperament is mild and cool and they prefer to bark less around kids.
You can say they can sense the difference in age and treat kids differently than they treat other dogs or adult humans.
Needless to mention, not all dog breeds can be suitable for kids. Kid-friendliness is actually a prized trait in most dogs and breeders pay special attention to this facet. Training a dog to like kids and behave really well around kids is a hard thing simply because it’s a hard trait to acquire but it’s not impossible.
You should check your breeder’s or shop’s report on the Yorkie in question to understand how he or she will behave around kids. You might get some useful insights!
What are the important considerations that make dogs kid-friendly?
Size, temperament, and overall nature decide whether a dog is kid-friendly or not.
The Yorkshire terrier is a very small breed of dog. At maturity, the Yorkie will weigh around 7 lbs. To be honest, they can sometimes be even less. I’ve seen mature Yorkies that weigh 4-5 lbs. Due to their small size and the delicateness that comes along with it, toddlers and preschoolers can easily harm a Yorkie.
Whether the harm is intentional or unintentional, the dog will react in the same way: biting. And that’s something nobody wants.
Yorkies are not really known as dogs that are “sweet”. This affects their kid-friendliness in a negative manner. When threatened, a Yorkie will resort to extreme measures and often harm someone. Around kids, this is dangerous behavior.
Defensive nipping is quite usual, however, with most dog breeds. It’s the offensive nipping or aggression that is a reason for concern with Yorkies in a place with kids. For example, certain lively or riotous kids can spark dangerous aggression in Yorkies leading to offensive nipping that can damage both, the terrier and the kid.
Are Yorkshire terriers good with children?
No. Technically speaking, Yorkshire terriers are not good with children. This does not mean that Yorkies won’t mix with children or harm them.
It simply means that Yorkies are relatively less kids-friendly. In other words, if you’re looking for a dog breed that goes along really well with children then Yorkshire terriers are not the breed to go for.
Yorkies are not great playtime companions.
When Yorkies are around kids that have an annoying behavior towards them, they treat them exactly the same as a threatening big dog. And by reputation, Yorkies, despite being very small, have a high likelihood of taking on even bigger dogs if threatened. If the kid falls in that same category, there could be dangerous consequences.
What if you want a Yorkie and you have kids?
Well, in that case, some training is very necessary.
Now, don’t get me wrong. You don’t only need training for the dog but the kids as well. What I mean to say is that you must teach and train your kids for interacting with this small terrier breed.
At the same time, you should also show strict behavior and staunch disapproval when the Yorkie growls or misbehaves with the kids. Snapping isn’t usual but cannot be considered very rare especially when kids are involved. So, if your Yorkie snaps at the kids, let them know that it’s a behavior you’re not willing to tolerate.
Yorkies are great with older kids
Typically, it’s the preschoolers and toddlers that are at risk of being around Yorkshire terriers. In fact, once a kid knows their way around the dog and knows how and when to respect, approach, and interact with the Yorkie, they can become closely bonded, even.
So, with old enough kids that have a basic understanding of handling a small dog, the Yorkies don’t really pose any danger. To tell you the truth, Yorkshire terriers become quite the playful companions of older kids.
Caring for a Yorkie is extensive. So, keep in mind that if your older kid does become very friendly with a Yorkshire terrier then he or she will also learn a lot about grooming, caring, handling, and helping a dog. These are all very good habits and if a dog can teach them all this, it’s really very special and a vital presence.
Still, high-spirited or somewhat naughty older kids can still get on the nerves of Yorkies and can face retaliation or worse yet, the little dog can face some harm.
What if you need a small dog that’s kid-friendly?
So, your kids aren’t really that old to understand handling a Yorkie. What do you do? Well, don’t be concerned. There are plenty of other small dog breeds that are highly kid-friendly. Let’s see what are your options.
Beagles, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, French bulldogs, miniature schnauzers, and Shih Tzus are all commonly known as kid-friendly small dog breeds.
Generally, these dogs have a good nature, mild temperament, low-maintenance, smartness, and even kid-loving attributes in common.