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Are Yorkies Good With Kids: A Perfect Family Pet Or Not?

Are Yorkies Good With Kids: A Perfect Family Pet Or Not?

The Yorkshire Terrier, also known as the Yorkie, is a small breed of dog that was originally bred for hunting. Although today Yorkies are no longer hunters, they have retained some traits of hunting dogs in their genes. The Yorkshire Terrier originated from England.

This dog is small, but very curious, brave, and crazy about adventures. A Yorkie develops a special relationship with its owner and is loyal to him forever, but is quite suspicious and distrustful of strangers. Also, he is not a big fan of other pets and could be aggressive towards them.

And what about the children? Are Yorkies good with kids?

Yorkies are very playful, energetic and sweet, but there are still some things that need to be mentioned about these dogs, especially for parents with small children who are planning to bring a new pet into their home.

Well, let’s see how Yorkshire Terriers are really with children, and whether they are the best option for a pet.

Are Yorkies Good With Kids?

a little girl holding her yorkshire terrier dog in the yard

According to the Yorkie growth chart, this dog weighs 6 to 7 pounds and stands 8 to 9 inches tall. So, this is a very small dog that needs to be handled gently, so that it doesn’t get hurt even during the most ordinary play session.

Therefore, it is not entirely easy to answer the question of whether Yorkies are good with children. These dogs have wonderful characteristics, but they may not be the best choice for families with small children. A better choice would probably be another small dog, like a Pug or a Beagle.

A Yorkie would be a better choice for families with older children who will be more cautious when interacting with a small, fragile Yorkie.

Of course, children will never hurt a puppy on purpose, but it can happen inadvertently while playing or cuddling. When he feels threatened or hurt, the Yorkie can show defensive behavior, and let’s not forget that this is a Terrier dog breed!

So, this dog also might nip at your children, therefore, you will not be able just to let them play carefree. Having a Yorkshire Terrier around small children might be a lot to handle for many dog fanciers; however, nothing is impossible if you are ready for some hard work.

Yorkie With Children: What To Be Careful About?

little girl playing with her dog yorkshire terrier

Any dog can be a good family dog when it is properly trained and socialized from a young age. Still, main character traits of every dog breed are also essential for determining whether a dog is suited for children.

According to the American Kennel Club, the Yorkshire Terrier is feisty, brave, and affectionate. But, what is this dog like regarding its behavior with children?

Let’s see what are some character traits of a Yorkie that determine whether this dog is kid-friendly, or you should try looking for another dog for your family.

1. Tendency For Nipping

Yorkies are very playful dogs, and they will enjoy playing with children the most. In general, children are the ones who will spend the most time, and be most interested in playing with dogs.

However, Yorkies can often nip on children while playing. Although these dogs are small, as well as their teeth – they are also sharp, which means they might injure a small child.

Due to this characteristic, it is necessary to always supervise the playing of small children with the Yorkshire Terrier.

Nip is just a dog’s soft bite, but still, you should not let this happen.

2. Small Dog Syndrome

There is a term that is associated with a lot of small dogs, and it is called small dog syndrome. This syndrome implies a certain behavior problem that often actually represents an unsocialized dog that barks, growls, and even jumps on people.

Most people will see small dogs as completely harmless, and that’s how some pet owners behave – they laugh at the jumping and barking of their small dogs, thus unconsciously encouraging them to behave in this way.

Dogs with this syndrome do not have a true image of their size and do not understand their role in the eyes of other people. Therefore, over time, these dogs will get the impression that they are always in charge and that all other people around them should behave in harmony with their mood.

All this can lead to extreme pampering, stubbornness, refusal to obey, and hostile behavior towards other pets and children.

Some Yorkshire Terriers can also show this behavior. To prevent this, owners should treat their small dogs the same way they would treat larger dogs, not as toys.

Small dogs also need proper training and socialization from an early age.

3. Small-sized Dog

So, a Yorkie is a toy dog, which will probably be delightful for your children. From the first day of having this puppy, all children will try to treat this dog like a true toy. But, this dog is not a toy and it can get seriously hurt if children treat it as one.

Your children will adore playtime with these little dogs for sure, but they are probably too small to understand that roughhousing could seriously injure a Yorkie puppy.

So, small-sized dogs are a great choice for people living in small apartments, and for people who don’t have a lot of space at their disposal.

But, all parents with young children should do their best to explain to them how a Yorkie is a toy breed, but is not a real toy, and should be approached carefully.

4. Yorkies Love Attention

Yorkies are dogs that love to be the center of attention. Also, they want their owners to always focus on them and their needs. This can be especially pronounced when children are involved. Yorkies can become so needy that they will even be jealous of your interaction with children!

Therefore, in some cases, it may seem to you that the Yorkie is another child that you need to raise. And here it is clear how important early socialization of this dog is in order to avoid such spoiled behavior, and so that the Yorkie could live under the same roof with children.

How To Train A Yorkie To Be Good With Kids?

woman holding small dog yorkshire terrier next sitting little girl

So, a Yorkshire Terrier possesses some character traits that might make this dog not the best choice for small children. Still, this dog is intelligent and trainable, so, with a bit of effort, you can train a Yorkie to be a perfectly well-behaved dog around children.

We find this dog a wonderful family dog, so, we believe that it is worth putting in the effort and being patient to give your children an unforgettable experience of growing up with this puppy; of course, in a completely safe environment, without the risk of injury of both the child and the puppy.

Well, let’s take a look at what dog owners can do to train their Yorkie to become their children’s best friend.

1. Let Them Spend Time Together From A Young Age

When you bring a new puppy from the kennel into your home, there is a good chance that this puppy has only met the breeder and possibly members of his family.

Professional breeders take care of the socialization of their dogs, but if you have just bought a small Yorkshire Terrier, it is probably only about 8 or 10 weeks old.

Therefore, such a small dog will probably be reserved towards you in the beginning, or will be afraid, or will react aggressively to your attempts to get closer. These are the warning signs that show you will need to find a way to show your new puppy he is perfectly safe in his new home.

Here it is important that you approach the dog slowly, until he relaxes and feels safe in your home. It is also important that you introduce the dog to your children from the very beginning.

It would be best to keep the Yorkie on a leash during the first meeting, so that you don’t risk anything.

At the beginning, you should not expect that the children and the Yorkie will immediately start playing together, since it will take a certain period of adaptation – both for the dog and for the children.

You can offer your children to try feeding the dog, since no dog will ever refuse food! The earlier the dog is introduced to children, the better it will be for his future socialization with children and people outside his home.

2. Exercise Is Important

Since Yorkie is a small, apartment dog, you might think it does not need a lot of exercise. Well, this is wrong, since Yorkies are energetic, athletic dogs that need daily exercise to grow up to be happy and healthy dogs.

Daily walks are crucial with these dogs, but other awesome forms of Yorkie exercise are play sessions with children. With this, Yorkies spend their enormous energy, socialize with kids, and are less likely to show any kind of destructive behavior.

Exercise in general is vital for prevention of a dog’s bad behaviors; when a dog is tired, it will be satisfied and ready for a good night’s sleep. On the other hand, if a dog is bored, and does not receive enough exercise, it is more likely to show dissatisfaction with digging, barking, or nipping.

One thing to bear in mind is to always supervise a Yorkie playing with children. Playing sessions will make these dogs super happy and excited, and you’ll probably notice your dog licking your child’s face or hands.

Still, no matter how happy your Yorkie is, don’t ever leave it alone with your small kids. Even if they don’t mean anything bad, these dogs can nip at small children, and accidentally hurt them.

3. Educate Your Children, Too

Not only can a child get hurt while playing with a Yorkie – this can also happen vice versa.

Small children will often not be aware of how fragile their Yorkie is, so they can inadvertently injure it during play.

An additional aggravating circumstance is that most children treat such small dogs as toys. Parents strongly believe that smaller dogs are a better option for children than large dogs, but the problem arises when children are not taught how to behave with dogs of this size.

To begin with, it would be useful to explain to the children how they should be careful when playing with a Yorkie.

Also, children should not try to make contact with this dog by force, especially at the beginning when everything is still new to the dog, and when he does not feel safe in a new environment.

Yorkies like to feel in control of their surroundings, so they might become anxious if children violate their personal space.

If the dog is nervously licking his lips, or does not want to make eye contact with a child, this is a warning sign that the child should approach the dog in a different way. Since children will not be able to figure out this on their own, they will need help from their parents.

Furthermore, children should be taught not to interrupt the dog while it is eating or sleeping, since the Yorkie can show aggressive outbursts in these situations.

4. Reward Dog’s Good Behavior

Rewarding your dog’s good behavior should be an essential part of your dog’s training process. This is also the case with training a Yorkie to behave well around children. Positive reinforcement is a great method to train a Yorkshire Terrier to be good with kids.

What does this mean? This means rewarding your dog every time he acts well with children. You can reward him with his favorite treat, toy, or extended walk around the block.

This way, your Yorkie will connect good behavior around children with his favorite reward, so the dog is more likely to make this behavior his routine behavior.


little girl holding her funny yorkshire terrier dog in the yard
How Old Should A Child Be Before They Can Really Be Around A Yorkie?

In general, Yorkies are not the best choice for children under 5 years. However, when properly trained and socialized, a Yorkie can be a great companion even for younger kids.

Still, we recommend families with young kids to wait until they grow up a bit, and until they are ready to carefree enjoy with these furry companions.

Yorkies are amazing family companions, but they might not be the best dogs for children under 5 years of age.

Are Yorkies A Good Family Dog?

Yorkshire Terriers are good family dogs, since they are affectionate, playful, and loyal. These dogs love to be in the center of attention, so, you will enjoy a lot of fun moments with these feisty canines.

Of course, families with small kids should be aware that these dogs need to be handled with care, since they are small, fragile, and easily injured.

Are Yorkies High Maintenance?

In some terms, Yorkies can be described as low-maintenance dogs suitable for first-time dog owners.

This dog is considered hypoallergenic, so it is suitable even for people with allergies. Also, if you are living in a small apartment, a Yorkie is a wonderful choice for you.

Still, in some other terms, Yorkies is a high-maintenance dog. This dog has strong hunting instincts, so, don’t be surprised if you see your dog chasing after neighbors’ dogs.

Also, a Yorkie needs several daily walks to be a happy and healthy dog. Furthermore, this dog needs dedicated obedience training to grow up to be a well-behaved and socialized dog.

Do Yorkies Bark A Lot?

For all people looking for a dog that doesn’t bark a lot – you should skip a Yorkshire Terrier. This dog tends to bark – a lot!

These dogs are territorial, and their main task is watching after their human family and their home. For people living in buildings, Yorkie’s excessive barking might be quite annoying.

You might even need to get some of the anti dog barking devices. Still, we want to emphasize once more how essential is dog’s socialization and training; when you start training a Yorkie on time, you can significantly decrease its urge to bark.

What Is A Yorkie’s Lifespan?

An estimated lifespan of a Yorkshire Terrier is 12 to 15 years.

Compared to some other dog breeds, especially big dogs, these dogs are more likely to spend many happy years with their owners.

Of course, there are still some health issues that a Yorkie might develop, such as Patellar Luxation, hypoglycemia, and eye infections. All pet owners should take care of their puppies’ regular vet visits, exercise, and nutrition, to make sure their dogs are living in the best conditions possible.

Do Yorkies Need A Lot Of Grooming?

Yorkies do need a lot of grooming; the best would be to brush this dog on a daily basis. Yorkshire Terriers have a silky coat, that is nothing like coats of other dogs – it actually resembles human hair more

With regular brushing, you will keep your Yorkies’ coat smooth and shiny, and you will get rid of all of the dirt, mattes, and tangles from your dog’s coat.

These dogs should be bathed once every four to five weeks. Also, pet parents should remember to clean their Yorkies’ ears and teeth regularly, to prevent disease in their pets.

Is A Yorkie A Good First Dog?

If you are living alone, or living with your partner and you don’t have children, a Yorkie will be a good first dog for you.

This dog is affectionate, loyal, and funny, and you will enjoy sharing your activities with him. Also, a Yorkie will enjoy having you all to himself.

However, a Yorkie might not be a good first dog, if you are inexperienced dog owners with small children. If this is the case, you should probably choose some other dog breed as your first family pet.

The best choice for you would be one of the dogs from our list of the best family dog breeds.


Growing up with a dog is a priceless experience. Spending time with dogs can make children learn a lot about generosity and true friendship.

Many people will choose a Golden Retriever or a Labrador Retriever as their pet, however, you like the Yorkshire Terrier. Of course, the most important question you asked is: are Yorkies good with kids?

As we have seen, Yorkies are excellent dogs, but they can have some characteristics that make them not the most popular choice for families with small children. They are very small dogs who need a lot of attention, tend to bark excessively, and might get hurt while playing with children.

So, naturally, Yorkies are not very good with children. However, with proper socialization and training, the Yorkie can be wonderful with children.

Here, it is important that both the dog and the children learn how to live together, so that any sign of anxiety does not appear in either of them.

We believe that every dog can be an exceptional family dog when properly raised, trained and socialized. Therefore, we wish you many happy moments spent with your Yorkie – the favorite member of the family!

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