Yorkies with Others
Yorkies may be small in size, but they're large in spirit. If not taught otherwise, they may think they rule the world, including everyone and everything in your household. From other pets to small children, no one is exempt from enduring a haughty Yorkie's mood swings. However, if you politely but firmly lay down some rules, Yorkies can learn the ropes while still retaining their spunky personalities.
Where dogs are concerned, household cats are pretty much in charge of their own destiny. If the cat runs, the dog will give chase. If the cat stands up for herself, perhaps delivering a swipe to the dog's nose, the dog will learn not to bother her. Once an understanding is reached between the two animals, they will usually coexist peacefully.
Yorkshire terriers are every bit as willing to chase the family cat as any larger dog would be. You'll need to take some time introducing the cat and dog, because the cat is well equipped to defend herself. One swipe of the cat's claws across the Yorkie's face could cause a serious injury. (See Chapter 6 for more information on introducing the two animals.)
Pocket pets such as hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs could arouse the dog's ratting instincts. To avoid tragedy, these small pets should be kept safe in their own cages — not roaming loose in the vicinity of a Yorkie. Cages should also be elevated on secure platforms so that the dog isn't tempted by the sight of the animals.
Larger dogs in the home may pose a greater danger to the Yorkie. Sighthounds may be excited by the rapid movement of a small Yorkie and attack the dog as a predator would prey. Other large dogs may unintentionally injure a Yorkie with rough play. So to keep your Yorkie safe, a smaller companion is preferable.
Yorkies and Children
Because they are so small and so intent on being near their families, you'll often find Yorkies underfoot. This is not a very safe place for them to be, especially when there are small children around. Being inadvertently kicked or hit with a swinging door and other such misadventures can result in serious injuries to the Yorkie. Children may not mean any harm, but they move quickly and don't always look where they're going. Children also have the desire to pick up and carry around small dogs. A drop, even from only a few feet up, can cause a Yorkie significant pain.
Aside from children's clumsiness, another danger exists when it comes to Yorkies and children. Due to their in-charge attitude, Yorkies may have limited tolerance for children. They don't appreciate rough handling and may be overstimulated by the quick, jerky movements of younger children. An adult household, or one with older, more responsible children, is a more appropriate place for a new Yorkshire terrier.