Yorkies and Big Dogs: Can They Be Friends?

If you’re a Yorkie owner, you might be wondering if your pet can get along with big dogs. The answer is yes, but there are certain things you need to keep in mind when introducing your Yorkie to a larger breed. While Yorkies are small in size, they are known for their big personalities and can hold their own when it comes to interacting with other dogs.

It’s important to socialize your Yorkie from a young age to ensure they know how to interact with other animals. This includes big dogs, which can be intimidating to a small dog like a Yorkie. By exposing your pup to other dogs early on, you can help them develop the social skills they need to get along with dogs of all sizes.

But size does matter when it comes to introducing your Yorkie to big dogs. It’s best to stick with smaller breeds or toy breeds that are under 20 pounds. This will help prevent your Yorkie from getting injured during playtime. In this article, we’ll explore the topic of whether Yorkies can get along with big dogs and provide you with tips for introducing your pet to larger breeds.

Understanding Yorkies’ Temperament

Yorkies’ Personality Traits

Yorkies are known for their big personalities despite their small size. They are often described as affectionate, playful, and energetic. They love to snuggle with their owners and enjoy being around people. Yorkies are also known for their curiosity and can be quite adventurous, so they need to be supervised when outside.

Yorkies’ Tendency to Be Aggressive

While Yorkies are generally friendly, they can tend to be aggressive toward other dogs. This is due to their protective nature and their desire to establish dominance. It is important to socialize Yorkies from a young age and to teach them proper behavior around other dogs. It is also important to supervise them when they are around other dogs to prevent any aggressive behavior.

Overall, understanding the temperament of Yorkies is important when considering whether they can get along with big dogs. While they can be friendly and affectionate, they can also be prone to aggression toward other dogs. Proper socialization and training can help ensure that Yorkies can coexist peacefully with big dogs.

Factors Affecting Yorkies’ Interaction with Big Dogs

Size Difference Between Yorkies and Big Dogs

Big dogs are significantly larger than Yorkies, which can lead to a power imbalance during interactions. Yorkies may feel threatened or intimidated by the size difference, causing them to become defensive or aggressive. It’s important to supervise interactions between Yorkies and big dogs to ensure the safety of both animals.

Socialization and Training

Proper socialization and training can greatly affect how Yorkies interact with big dogs. Socializing Yorkies with other dogs from a young age can help them feel more comfortable and confident around bigger dogs. Training Yorkies to follow commands and respect boundaries can also prevent conflicts with big dogs.

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Environment and Context

The environment and context in which Yorkies and big dogs interact can also affect their interactions. For example, if a Yorkie feels protective of its owner or space, it may become more aggressive toward a big dog.

Additionally, if a big dog is aggressive or territorial, it can escalate the situation and lead to conflict. It’s important to be aware of the environment and context when introducing Yorkies to big dogs.

Tips for Introducing Yorkies to Big Dogs

If you’re considering introducing your Yorkie to a big dog, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a successful and safe interaction. Here are some tips:

Supervised Interaction

When introducing your Yorkie to a big dog, always supervise their interaction. Keep both dogs on a leash and under control to prevent any aggressive behavior. It’s best to have the dogs meet on neutral territories, like a park or a friend’s backyard. This will help prevent territorial behavior from either dog.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a great way to help your Yorkie feel more comfortable around big dogs. Reward your Yorkie with treats and praise when they interact positively with the big dog. This will help them associate good behavior with positive outcomes.

Gradual Introduction Process

Introduce the dogs gradually to each other. Start with short, supervised interactions and gradually increase the length of time they spend together. Watch for signs of stress or anxiety in either dog, such as growling, barking, or raised fur. If either dog shows signs of aggression, separate them immediately and try again later.

Remember, not all dogs will get along, and that’s okay. If your Yorkie and a big dog don’t seem to be a good match, don’t force them to interact. It’s important to prioritize the safety and well-being of both dogs.

Can Yorkies Get Along With Big Dogs? Conclusion

If you are considering getting a Yorkie and already have a big dog, they can get along. However, it is important to socialize them early and supervise their interactions.

It’s also important to consider the temperament and energy level of the big dog. A calm and gentle big dog is more likely to get along with a Yorkie than an energetic and playful one.

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When introducing your Yorkie to a big dog, make sure to keep a safe distance and reward good behavior with treats. If you notice any signs of aggression or discomfort, separate them immediately and try again another time.

Remember, every dog is different and there are no guarantees that they will get along. Be patient and take the time to properly introduce them to each other. With proper socialization and supervision, your Yorkie and big dog can become the best of friends.


Why do Yorkies bark at big dogs?

Yorkies are very territorial and they tend to be quite vocal about it. Despite how they act, they likely understand that they are small dogs and this makes them feel the need to be more aggressive.

Unfortunately, this can go poorly for them, so you need to keep an eye out for larger dogs that they haven’t met before. This way you can try to avoid conflict from starting in the first place, as a large dog can easily hurt or even kill your brave little Yorkie.

Are Yorkies aggressive to other dogs?

Yorkies can be quite aggressive when it comes to other dogs and even small children. This can end poorly, with someone getting hurt or worse, and is often the result of very little socialization as a pup. When your Yorkie is young, they learn from their mother and the other puppies about getting along with other dogs.

This includes sharing, how hard to bite, and introducing themselves to outside dogs. If your Yorkie tends to get aggressive around other dogs, then a little socialization training is a good idea before it becomes more of a problem. Check with your vet regarding socialization trainers or start socializing them a little on your own.

Play with other dogs at a local dog park can help your dog to relax a little or making friends with a friend’s or neighbor’s dogs can help even more. They should also meet your friends, and giving them treats for your dog can help endear them to your pet very quickly.

Once they’ve calmed down a little and gotten used to other people and animals, your dog will bark less and subsequently be in less danger when new dogs or people are around.

Will a big dog try to hurt my Yorkie?

While many large dogs are friendly and gentle, this is not the case with all of them. As such, when you are walking your Yorkie you should try to go around or better yet, avoid larger dogs completely whenever possible.

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Yorkies sometimes can’t help themselves when it comes to barking at bigger dogs, as their stress and desire to protect you will make them more aggressive in the hopes of scaring away the bigger dog. Unfortunately, all it takes is one strike from a bigger dog to harm your Yorkie or worse.

For this reason, it is best to avoid larger dogs that your Yorkie has not befriended already unless the owner is present to help ensure that both dogs can meet each other safely.

Should you pick up your Yorkie if you see a big dog?

No, do NOT pick up your Yorkie if you see a bigger dog. The other dog may take this as an aggressive act and could attack both you and your dog.

Instead, you can try moving your dog away far to the side and out of reach or simply turn around and go the other way if you cannot convince the owner to move away while you do the same.

What dogs do Yorkies get along with?

Interestingly enough, Yorkies seem to get along quite well with herding breeds. Labradors, Mastiffs, and Golden Retrievers are all good examples of dogs that Yorkies just seem to naturally like to hang out with. Likely it is the docile nature of these shepherding breeds, but whatever the case, Yorkies seem to get along quite well with herding dogs.

How do I get my Yorkie to be nicer around other dogs?

One easy trick that can help your Yorkie to get used to other dogs is to keep some treats ready, and when your Yorkie sees another dog, immediately tell them to ‘sit’. When your dog does, give them the treat, along with some praise and love.

Get them to sit for a little while before they meet the other dog and you will see a huge difference, plus your dog will learn from your actions whether or not a new dog should be viewed with caution.

Do Yorkies think that they are big dogs?

No, but it’s hard to tell from the way they bark at anything larger than them. This behavior is quite common in small dogs, who are aware that they aren’t gigantic but brave enough to turn that stress into aggression in hopes of scaring the other animal off.

Proper socialization training is a good idea, as not all other animals will take this behavior kindly!

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