Are Yorkies Good With Kids?

Yorkshire Terriers are adorable and small, just like children. They seem like a great match! How well do they mix? Are Yorkies good with kids? Here are some things you need to know if you’re thinking of bringing a Yorkie home with your children.

Yorkies can be territorial and may nip at small children if they feel that the child is invading their space. With proper training and supervision, however, Yorkies can make great companions for children.

However, it’s important to socialize them while they are young and to continue to supervise them when they are around children.

What are the boundaries you should set to ensure your children get along with your Yorkshire Terrier? How can you build a friendship between an overly-zealous child and an easily offended puppy? Although it’s not an easy task, it is possible.

Read on we will cover everything you need to know about Yorkshire Terriers and kids.

What You Should Know About Yorkshire Terriers And Kids

Yorkie Size

Yorkshire Terriers are tiny dogs. However, you should never leave your Yorkie alone with young children. Or, even older children if they are not extremely responsible.

Yorkies range from two to seven pounds on average, but bigger ones are common as well. They’re small enough that you could find one that weighs less than your child. 

If your child is under the age of six, you should never leave them unsupervised with any dog – Yorkie or not.


Yorkshire Terriers are loyal, loving, and protective. If they sense something is wrong with a person they trust, they will let you know. They make great watchdogs for this reason.

Yorkies can also be very jealous of their owners’ attention from other people, including children. This is a common trait in small dogs and it is important to train them well. For example, if you’re trying to take a picture with your child and the dog, teach the dog that good things happen when children are around you.


Yorkies are protective and loyal. If they decide that a child is not a friend, they may nip at them or try to run away from the situation.

Make sure your Yorkie knows that children are their friends from an early age. They need to know what behaviors are appropriate around children as well as how to interact with them. Yorkies are naturally playful, even as puppies.

However, they can still be territorial around smaller children if they feel it is necessary. This behavior tends to subside as the dog gets older though.

Yorkshire Terriers are demanding of their owners’ attention and can become attached to their primary owners. This can lead to problems. 

This trait is ingrained from birth and gives it its unique personality. Traditionally, Yorkshire Terrier’s personalities are rooted in the breed’s past.


Yorkies are small and active. They need a lot of exercise as puppies and this should continue as they get older. A Yorkie that doesn’t get enough exercise may become destructive.

Playing with your child is a great way to give your Yorkie the exercise it needs. It will also help to strengthen the bond between them.

Make sure you supervise your Yorkie around children at all times. If the child gets too rough or agitates them in some way, a Yorkie will not hesitate to nip back. 

Although they are small, it’s still a good idea to keep them on a leash when you introduce them to your child for the first time. That way, you can have better control over the situation.

Are Yorkies Kid Friendly?

Yorkies are good with kids when they are properly socialized. However, it’s important to understand that they can act differently around children than they do adults.

kids sitting with a yorkie

As long as you make your Yorkie aware of the boundaries with kids, both will be able to coexist happily together in your household.

However, children struggle to distinguish between an animal and a toy. Your Yorkie could get seriously hurt if your child treats it like a toy or rough.

Your child may also get bit or injured too.

Although it’s possible for your dog to get along with your child, it can be hard for toddlers and young children. Before you add a Yorkie to the mix, it is recommended that your children are at least 5 years old.

How To Make Kids And Yorkies Get Along?

Young Kids

Young kids should always be supervised when around any dog, no matter how well-behaved the dog may be. If you have a Yorkshire Terrier and you want your child to interact with it, there are some things you can do to make it successful:

  • Teach your child how to behave around dogs and what is appropriate. No yelling or roughhousing.
  • Teach your child how to pet and play with dogs in a gentle and appropriate manner.
  • Never leave kids unsupervised with any dog. Even the best-behaved dogs may act out if they feel threatened or provoked by children.
  • Spend time training your Yorkshire Terrier so that it knows what behaviors are good with kids.
  • Help your child to build a bond with the dog and teach them how to be gentle – this could be achieved by letting your child feed your Yorkie, under supervision of course.
  • Do not force your child to interact with your Yorkshire Terrier if they don’t want to or seem afraid of it.

Older Kids

Teaching older children how to behave around dogs is the best technique for them to get along with your Yorkshire Terrier. However, you will still need to supervise them together at all times until you know that both are safe around each other.

Regularly introduce your Yorkshire Terrier to new places, sounds, people, and situations. This will help you to get an idea of how your Yorkie may act around children in the future.

A playful activity like frisbee or catch is a great way to get your Yorkie and child running around and having fun together.

Make sure you always have treats handy to reward good behavior. This will help to reinforce the positive things your child is doing and help build a stronger relationship between your Yorkie and child.

The best way to have a happy home with kids is good communication about expectations on all fronts – with the kids, with the Yorkie, and with any other pets in the home. Just like any relationship, it takes time and effort to make it successful.

What Age Group Are Yorkshire Terriers Best Suited To?

As we’ve mentioned before, Yorkies are good with kids when they are properly socialized. However, it’s important to understand that they can act differently around children than they do adults.

mom and baby with yorkie

Generally speaking, Yorkies are best suited to households with children who are 5 years or older. This gives both the child and the dog enough time to adjust to one another.

Also, it’s important for younger children to always be supervised when they are around dogs. This will help them learn good behaviors and not get in trouble with your Yorkie.

Yorkies tend to become less energetic with age, so older Yorkies are also better suited to living in households with children due to their low energy levels.

If your child is a little older again, say around 8 or 9, they’ll be able to help you with training your dog. This will teach the dog good behavior, build a bond, and also give them a sense of responsibility.

Tips To Prevent Yorkies From Getting Aggressive

Apart from socialization, there are a few more things you can do to prevent problems with your Yorkshire Terrier and children.

1) Make sure you are providing enough exercise for your Yorkie. A tired dog is less likely to act out.

2) Have plenty of toys around for your Yorkie to play with so they don’t get bored and resort to destructive behavior.

3) Make sure any treats you’re using to reward good behavior are healthy and not high in sugar.

4) Keep your Yorkie’s nails trimmed to prevent any accidents where they might scratch or bite a child by accident.

5) Keep in mind that small children can sometimes pet dogs too roughly, so keep an eye on them at all times.

6) If you have multiple dogs, introducing them together is a great way to prevent any problems from arising. You can use a similar technique for children and dogs, but it’s best if the older, more responsible child is the one who does this.

7) Keep your dog on a leash when they are around children. This will allow you to correct any bad behaviors as soon as they happen.

8) If your Yorkie is ever acting aggressively towards a child, seek professional help. This behavior should not be tolerated and could get worse over time without intervention.

9) Yorkies are known for being independent dogs, so don’t expect them to always be playful with kids – they may just want some peace and quiet and to be left alone sometimes.

10) Aggression is often a result of certain triggers, such as fear or dominance. Teaching them not to be scared or protective will help to eliminate this problem.

Tips To Keep Young Kids Safe From Aggressive Yorkies

It’s important to understand that Yorkies can act differently around children than they do adults. This is because the dog may view them as an equal or submissive rather than someone to be subservient to.

yorkshire terrier grooming

In this case, it’s important for all family members – both young and old – to always follow these 10 tips when an aggressive Yorkshire Terrier is around:

1) Always make sure your Yorkshire Terrier is on a leash, particularly if they are aggressive.

2) Never leave children unattended around an aggressive Yorkie.

3) Don’t allow young children to approach the dog – always have them ask first before petting or interacting with him.

4) Don’t interrupt an aggressive Yorkie when he’s sleeping or eating, especially if you have young children. The dog may instinctively view it as a threat to him.

5) Never allow your child to ride your Yorkshire Terrier – this will make the dog feel dominant and could lead to aggression.

6) Teach your children how to approach and pet a dog correctly, using gentle strokes and not pulling on the fur.

7) Make sure your child is aware of any signs that the Yorkie is uncomfortable or doesn’t want to be bothered – these can include growling, baring teeth, or barking.

8) Explain to your child that they should never tease or scare an aggressive Yorkshire Terrier, as this could lead to serious injuries.

9) Keep any young children away from the Yorkie when he’s eating or chewing on a bone.

10) Most importantly, always remain calm and in control when around an aggressive Yorkshire Terrier – this will help to keep both the dog and child safe.

People Also Ask

Are Yorkshire Terriers A Good Family Dog?

Yorkies can make great family dogs, but it’s important to remember that they have a lot of personalities and can be dominant.

Many Yorkies do well around children, but it’s important to socialize them early on and to keep an eye on their behavior.

Can You Train Yorkies To Be Kid-friendly?

It’s definitely possible to train Yorkies to be kid-friendly, but it will take time and patience.

You’ll need to start socializing them early on and use positive reinforcement methods like treats and praise. By teaching them properly, both you and your Yorkie can have a safe, enjoyable experience when around kids.

Why Do Yorkshire Terriers Think They Are Big Dogs?

Dominance is a problem in Yorkies, and it’s often displayed when the dog thinks they are bigger than their owners.

It’s usually displayed when it thinks he is dominant to his family or other animals in the household. You may notice this type of behavior beginning in puppies around eight months old.


Yorkies are wonderful little dogs that have gained a lot of popularity over the years. They are highly intelligent and affectionate, making them great companions for any family.

However, it’s important to remember that Yorkies have their own personalities and can be quite dominant with other people or animals around. It’s crucial to monitor their behavior carefully when around young children and to take the necessary precautions to keep everyone safe.

They need to be properly socialized from a young age. Make sure you introduce them to new people, places, and sounds regularly to help prevent any problems down the road.

Reward good behavior with treats and have patience – it’ll take time for both your child and dog to become accustomed to each other.

Do you have a Yorkshire Terrier? How does your dog get along with young kids? 

Let us know in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading!

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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