How To Get My Yorkie To Be Friendly With Kids ~ Without a doubt, Yorkshire terriers are the most popular breed of toy dogs. You’ll fall in love with their high intelligence level, energy, and playfulness with the first encounter. Well, I can’t deny that the Yorkies are cute to boot. But the real question here is: are these dogs really great for small kids?
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Sometimes I feel like, we are asking this question the wrong way. I think instead of asking whether Yorkies are good for small kids, we should be asking if kids will be good at playing with a Yorkie. Although Yorkies are not exactly the go-to playthings for small kids, it doesn’t mean that kids and Yorkies cannot completely interact.
Therefore, if you have a Yorkie and kids in the same home, you need to teach the kids the right way to interact with the Yorkie. On the same, you should make sure that you reprimand the Yorkie in the best way possible when she growls or snaps at the kids. With the right training over time, you will be surprised how kids and Yorkies could be great play partners.
Also, it’s important that you understand it’s not about the breed of dog that you have to make a great play partner with kids. It’s majorly about the training you offer the dog and how you raise them. More to that, how you teach your kids to interact with the dog.
Can Yorkies And Small Kids Live Together Happily?
The short answer to this question is; yes! But is this as easy as it seems? Definitely no! Most people will say that not all Yorkies that are the same. You might be in luck and come across a Yorkie that adores kids. But trust me, this is a very unlikely characteristic with this breed of dogs.
You’ll be surprised that some breeders will never sell Yorkies to a family that has small kids. However, it’s not always impossible to have the Yorkie and Kids in the same room. The two could actually live happily together but from the word go, you need to set ground rules.
Also, you need to take a lot of precautions in order to ensure the dog is safe, comfortable. On the other hand, ensure that the kids learn how to interact with Yorkshire. Teach your kids to respect the dog from the beginning.
Characteristics of Yorkshire Terriers
People did not just sit and out of the blues decided that Yorkshires are not such a good fit for kids. There are several factors that reflect from the Yorkshires characteristic that make her a bad fit for kids. Some of these characteristics include:
Although They Have An Adorable Body, Yorkies Are Tough Dogs
Everyone’s first impression of Yorkies is that they are too cute to be harmless. But beyond that body that looks as of its made out of cotton candy is a tough and brave spirit. What if mean is that Yorkies will not put up with any kind of bullying. Tracing back the Yorkies to their origin, they were used to hunt rats.
At times, the Yorkies were used to chase angry animals from their den. In that case, a Yorkie will never back down fighting when in a dangerous situation. This means that, if a Yorkie ever feels threatened, she will never hesitate to stand up for herself. And the only way she will do this is by barking or biting the source of the threat.
For that reason, this is one trait about the Yorkies that will not blend too well with kids. Therefore, is the kids are too rowdy around the dog, the dog might feel the need to take up self-defense. As you can see where this is going, it may lead to a bite or snap and the kids may end up getting hurt.
Yorkies Are Too Tiny
Fully grown Yorkies do not exceed 7lbs even when fully grown. This is according to the American Kennel Club. Although you may find larger Yorkies, most of them lie between 4 and 8 lbs.
That being the case, Yorkies may end up being too vulnerable when around very small kids. Although they are strong and brave, their small size makes them fragile. Therefore, if children are left to play with Yorkies unsupervised they could end up being injured by the same kids.
Yorkies Have Could Be Stressed Easily
Most people assume that Yorkies are very playful dogs, which is not far-fetched. The only problem with Yorkies is that they really hate noise and commotion too. Yorkies like to feel in control of their surroundings. This means that, when they feel as if they are not in control, they could end up being very anxious.
And as we all know, when a dog is anxious, it could turn out to be aggressive. This especially happens if the dog is not getting adequate stress relief, reassurance, and proper downtime from the caregiver.
Signs that Your Yorkies Doesn’t like Playing with Kids
If your dog doesn’t feel comfortable with the situation of playing with kids, it could give you a few warning signs. But before we get started in this section, it is important that you understand dogs are different and they may show these signs differently.
Whereas some dogs may show you a couple of signs, others will show you one sign and before you know you she has bit your kid. Therefore, you need to learn the tolerance level of your dog, personality and how comfortable the dog is in certain situations. This means that you need to keep track of the signs and know when it’s time to stop.
Yawning, licking lips and avoiding direct eye contact; this is a very straightforward way for the dog to say that she is not comfortable and she feels somehow threatened. Especially when a dog cannot get away from the situation making her feel threatened, she could very fast escalate to a bite.
Tail Pointing out, wagging in a stiff manner with perked ears; normally, tail wagging shows that the dog is full of energy. It may not necessarily mean that the dog has the “happy energy”. If the dog is still but the tail is wagging, then there is a high possibility she is not happy at all. That is because whenever a dog depicts a happy tail wag, she involves the entire body.
Licking your child’s face excessively; in most times when the dog licks your child’s face, it may seem harmless. That is why you need to pay attention to the body language of your dog when she is licking your kid. Try to observe and determine whether the dog is relaxed, anxious or tense. It is quite easy to miss this but in some cases, excessive licking could be a sign of anxiety.
The stiff and tense body; this is an outright sign that the dog is preparing for a fight. In such an instance, keep her away from any kids.
Growling with wide eyes; this doesn’t need much explaining as growling is a sign that your dog is unhappy. Therefore, if you don’t stand in and help, she could be prompted to take further action. In such cases, you may notice that the eyes to are wide open and the body may be firm and rigid.
Snapping and showing teeth; this is the other very likely step that a dog will take before taking a bite. Therefore, if you happen to see your dog in this state, be quick to remove the child from the situation. In turn, the dog will feel more comfortable and back down.
A bite or nip; if you are not quick to act, the signs that your dog is not comfortable could escalate very quickly. Before you know it, the dog could nip or bite the kid. A nip is usually a soft bite that will not draw any blood.
This is to say that she doesn’t really like whatever that’s going on. A bite, on the other hand, shows that the dog feels threatened and needs to protect herself. In such a case, just know that the dog perceives the situation as dangerous.
Tips for Maintaining Peace between the Dog and the Child
If you have a Yorkie and a child in the same house and you love both, here are a few things that you need to do in order to maintain peace. Below are some of the ways in which you can train the kids to respect and interact with the dog as well as some safety measures.
If Your Yorkie Snaps Or Growls At The Child, Remain Calm
Snapping or growling is the only way a dog knows to protect herself. For the first time, this could be very alarming especially when the dog reacts towards your little precious baby. The first reaction is that you will feel protective of your kid and in most cases you may forget that you need to watch out for the dog too.
First, understand that the dog snapped for a reason. Probably because she felt insecure, scared or uncomfortable. Also, it’s just their nature to react that way. If you jump into scolding or punishing your dog, she will only think that she is being punished for warning the child. In the future instead of sending a warning, she might move straight to the nip or the bite.
That is why in case this happens, you need to move quietly and calmly and move your kid away from the dog. Make sure your child is safe first and in future pay attention to the dog’s warning signs. Don’t let your child play with the dog unsupervised.
Let Your Yorkie Know You Can Protect Her
This is a very brave step and it could even mean separation of your dog from the rest of the family. It may sound somehow unkind but it will help the dog improve if she is under a lot of stress. Let the dog know that you are always in charge of every situation and that you will never let her get hurt.
When you handle the situation this way, the dog will never see the need to go to the extents of biting the kid. You can opt to take the kid always from the dog. However, this may not always work as toddlers could be overly interested in dogs hence they cannot stay away from them, for too long.
Sometimes you can remove the kids too so that your Yorkie doesn’t feel like she has to be moved every time. Let her feel comfortable and part of the family. When you are hostile to her, she will end up being anxious and may end up hurting you.
The whole point here is to show your dog that you are in charge of the situation. She really doesn’t have to stand up for herself.
Set Aside Somewhere The Yorkie Can Play/relax Without The Kids
There are times when your Yorkie may be craving for some alone time. Kids will not always understand this, and when they interrupt their peace, the dog may react badly/ therefore, it is always a good idea that you find somewhere private where the dog can relax and have some time alone.
Like, you could let her sleep behind the couch. This is a good place where the toddler’s hand will not be able to reach. Also, you can consider getting a baby gate that comes with a pet door. This way, your pet will always be able to retreat if they are not feeling comfortable in that situation. This is a safer bet as the toddler will not be able to follow the dog around to her safe zone.
Well, everyone always has that dream of their kids growing up with a pet dog that will tolerate all their craziness and share a bed. I’m sorry to say but a Yorkie is not one of those types.
But this is not to say that Yorkies cannot do well in homes with kids. They still can, only that it will be a little difficult. Yorkshires do best in homes with older children or no children at all. Therefore, hold on that thought of getting a Yorkie until your kids are at least 8 years of age.