Yorkies might look like adorable teddy bears, but as a small dog breed, they aren’t well-suited to a life with young children. If you bring this tiny dog into a home with kids, special precautions should be taken to ensure both the dog and the child’s safety.
The Yorkie is a good pet choice for older, more responsible children.
As a small dog, the Yorkie is delicate in nature, and can be injured easily by a child’s play or even innocent mishandling. Yorkies can be hurt if they are squeezed, stepped on or if they attempt to jump out of a child’s way from a surface such as a couch or a bed.
Puppies are especially prone to injury and should be supervised when in the company of children.
A member of the terrier family, the Yorkie can be wary of strangers and be high-strung in situations that involve aggressive play. These tendencies put both dog and child at risk. Your Yorkie may get stressed, overwhelmed and snap and bite if children overwhelm him.
Yorkies can be a challenge to housebreak, and are frequent barkers. These two features can be difficult to manage in a house with young, active children.
Teaching Children Responsibility
Children who live with Yorkies should be taught basic handling rules. The dog should not be picked up and carried around or placed on high surfaces. A “look before you sit” rule should be enforced to ensure your pup’s safety. Children should be urged to keep small toys out of the dog’s reach, as they present choking hazards.
Keeping Your Yorkie Safe
Chasing games are fun for kids, but put Yorkies at risk. When children have playdates, your Yorkie should be tucked safely away in another room or a kennel. This will keep him out of harm’s way and allow children activity time. Your pup should be kept leashed at parks and other public venues. If a child wants to see your pooch, hold your dog to control the situation.
It's not likely your Yorkie can avoid children forever. If your pup is not used to children, or has shown fear or aggression with children in the past, closely monitor him whenever kids are around.
Help your Yorkie become better socialized and tolerant of people of all ages through consistent behavioral training.