The Temperament of a Yorkshire Terrier
A Yorkie is first of all intelligent, extremely bold for its size, courageous enough to tackle an intruder, inquisitive, alert and independent. This is the nature of the dog, but of course there are exceptions to these characteristics when they are badly handled.
The first question that many people ask is:
Is a Yorkie good with Children?
The answer depends on you. As far as a small breed goes, they are arguably the best of all small dogs to have with children.
The reason that they are so good with children is because of their inflated opinion of themselves, their natural confidence and playfulness. The fact that they are not normally nervous and scared makes them excellent with children, without the tendency to snap. Of course, it is an absurd idea to have the tiny Teacup Yorkie around very young children.
The bigger questions to ask, if you want to know whether a Yorkie will be good with children is to ask:
- Can your children be with a Yorkie?
- Will I treat my Yorkie as a dog should be treated, and not let it rule the house?
This is crucial, for example:
If you had a Rottweiler, would you let it sleep in your bed? give it food each time it begged? sit on the best couch in the house, and threaten anyone else who may disturb him? If you did allow a Rotty to do these things, a child would be in real danger, you should never own a Rottweiler, and if you treated a Yorkie in that way it will most likely also learn to snap at children. Yorkshire Terriers and Rottweilers are both dominant breeds in nature.
Yorkshire Terriers are most happy when they understand clearly what their position is in the house. Yes, you can treat them differently to other dogs, they are different, but when you notice a nasty character trait, don't blame the dog, rather correct it. Correcting bad behaviour with any dog is crucial, so that everyone can keep appreciating your Yorkie as much as you do and your Yorkie will remain as happy as he should be.
Yorkshire Terriers are GREAT with children!
How is a Yorkie with Other Dogs?
Again the greatest determining factor is how you treat your Terrier.
The idea that he may get, if you will always protect him from the other bigger dogs, can actually put his life in danger. When you shield him, he doesn't practice submission to larger dogs, and depending on what kind of dogs they are, it can quickly prove damaging, even fatal. When you are around your dogs, does your Yorkie come and stand with you, feeling invincible? They start to take chances with the larger dogs that they shouldn't, this can lead to squabbling and unpleasantness in the ranks.
In general a Yorkie is intelligent enough to work out his or her own capabilities, when we don't interfere. When we interfere we confuse this process while they are supposed to be working out who the top dog is.
The Yorkshire Terriers extreme dominance, that it has a reputation for, is manufactured by stupid humans. They are capable of being very submissive and of working along well with a well structured canine pack.
Does a Yorkie like to play?
Yes they do, they tend to be very playful. Again though, it depends on how you treat them. If you always praising your Yorkie when he is on your lap, he will probably become a real lap-dog and won't play very much, but if he gets rewarded for catching a mouse, he can even become a useful hunting dog. A Yorkie is often very capable to become an alert alarm dog, you can train him to bark at certain things that you choose.
The main thing that I have learned with breeding Yorkshire Terriers, is that no two dogs are exactly alike, each one is an individual. The amount of attention and effort you put forth to encourage the characteristics that you appreciate will always be rewarded.
The best small breed dog, with the greatest temperament, has to be.... wait for it... the Yorkshire Terrier!