I had a little Yorkshire Terrier named Katie when I was growing up. She was my dog that I got to pick out from a litter of 5. She was my best friend, but she always seemed so sad and lonely when I had to leave to go to school or spend the weekends with my friends.
When she was about 7 years old my parents finally agreed to get a friend for my little Yorkie, a Maltese we named Angel. They quickly bonded and seemed so content having each other around.
Thinking about this has made me wonder is it better for Yorkies to have companionship? Could a Yorkie be lonely? I did some research and asked other Yorkie owners, here’s what I found out.
Your Yorkie could greatly benefit from the companionship of another dog in the house. It can provide them with a friend and a playmate that will take some pressure off of you for entertainment and attention. You will need to consider your motivation for adding another dog to your household, and you will need to choose carefully the sex and the breed of your additional pet.
If your Yorkie is not well behaved and you are wanting to get him/her a companion because you think that will help him be less bored, think again! I’ll explain why that might just add to your problems instead of helping. You will also learn about the best companion breed for your Yorkie and how to introduce them to each other successfully.
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How to Tell if My Yorkie is Lonely
You may be wanting to get a friend for your Yorkie if you think they are feeling lonely and need some companionship. Here are some clues that might indicate your Yorkie is lonely.
- Your Yorkie follows you around the house everywhere
- Your Yorkie howls or cries when you leave
- Your Yorkie is less interested in playing and sleeps more than usual
- Your Yorkie licks their fur so much that they start to lose their hair
- Your Yorkie is being destructive and getting into trouble
Why you Should Get a Friend for Your Yorkie
Yorkies can be energetic, feisty, and playful. Like most dogs they love nothing more than to play with and be part of a pack! Getting another dog for your Yorkie to play with and grow up with can be a great idea for many reasons but your Yorkie will need to be well socialized and trained before you bring home another pet. Having a playmate can help keep your Yorkie from getting bored, and can take some of the pressure off of you to constantly entertain.
Having more than one Yorkie can be a lot of fun for you. It was so much fun to see how my Yorkie and Maltese interacted together. We have countless pictures and videos of their playful antics. We also got lots of extra loves and snuggles. Animals are so fun to watch and their horseplay is always entertaining. Just think about how many hours you can spend on YouTube watching cute Yorkie videos.
If your Yorkie has separation anxiety and gets very lonely when you leave him alone getting him a companion to keep him company could be a great comfort and help to him.
Yorkies are so small and eat so little when compared to the rest of their doggy counterparts that adding another one really won’t be too much of an additional cost, although you do need to think about the cost of vet visits and possible grooming or training that you will need to invest in.
Why You Shouldn’t Get Another Dog for Your Yorkie
If you are thinking of getting a friend for your Yorkie because your Yorkie is bored and getting into a lot of trouble, think again! You shouldn’t get your Yorkie a companion dog if your Yorkie is not already well behaved. Finding that tipped over garbage can with chewed up tissue isn’t fun for any pet parent, but it will be double trouble if you add another puppy to the mix. You may think that he’s bored and his antics of getting into the garbage can or constantly barking at the neighbors indicates he needs a playmate, but that’s not necessarily true.
If your Yorkie is getting into a lot of trouble you may need to think about how much time you are able to devote to your dog. If you’re not able to give them several hours (not necessarily in a row) of your time each day to walk them, play with them, teach them etc.. then you are probably not ready to get another dog that will also demand more of your time and attention.
Yorkies can have a domineering personality which could potentially cause problems having them around other animals. Make sure your Yorkie is well trained and socialized first! Not only will this make it easier on you now, but it will also be easier if you do add another pet down the line. If you are successful with this then your Yorkie will be better able to handle the new transition, and he will also be better equipped to help you train a new dog the right way to do things.
If you aren’t prepared to deal with the financial cost of another dog then you shouldn’t get one just for the sake of your Yorkie to have a friend. Vet visits, vaccinations, flea treatments, grooming, treats, and toys can all add up. You don’t want to feel like you need to get a second job to pay for a second pet, that kind of just defeats the purpose.
If you have a very senior dog then getting a puppy might not be the right fit. Sometimes puppies can help keep a senior dog fit and active, but more often it can cause your senior dog stress, and be very bothersome for them.
Having a companion for your Yorkie can be wonderful, but if and when something happens to either dog and they pass away, it can be devastating and very difficult for you remaining dog to deal with. Often they will begin to feel very depressed and it could take a long time for them to get over the separation from their friend.
Do Yorkies Get Along With Other Dogs
This is a tricky one. If your Yorkie is very well socialized and has had a lot of practice around other dogs it’s likely that they will do well with another breed. The size and temperament of both dogs are big factors. Yorkies have very strong and willful personalities they tend to like being the Alpha dog, even around larger breeds. Because of this, it’s best to pair them with dogs who are more docile and calm.
Large Breed Dogs and Yorkies
If you have a gentle giant that is very aware of their space, completely non-aggressive, and you are confident your Yorkie won’t be harmed, then it could be a match made in heaven. Likewise, if your Chihuahua can be around other larger dogs and never show signs of aggression then you’re on the path to success.
If you currently have a Yorkie and are planning to bring home a large breed as a puppy, you will need to be very careful to always monitor the puppy around your Yorkie. Puppies have a lot of energy and it takes several years to train them (up to 3 years). It’s best if bringing a large dog home to your Yorkie to get an older dog that is already socialized and trained to be good with smaller dogs.
When I asked Yorkie owners what large breed dogs they have that work well with their little guys Here’s what they told me. These gentle giants are able to be trained to play softly and kindly with your Yorkie.
- Great Dane
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Standard Poodle
- German Sheppard
- St Bernard
- English Mastiff
I asked Yorkie owners what breeds get along best with their Yorkies and got over 200 replies:
Here is what they said: If a Yorkie is well socialized he can get along with any pet, he loves to play chase so expect that from him no matter what! I’ve also found out that in a house full of dogs where a Yorkie can be found you can expect your Yorkie to act as if he’s the boss!
I was quite surprised at the variety of combinations owners have. Often owners had not just 2 dogs, but entire packs up to 5 or even 7! There were too many combinations to list them all, but here are some of the most popular ones.
- Yorkie Pairs
- Chihuahua & Yorkie
- Maltese & Yorkie
- Shih Tzu & Yorkie
- Small breed mix & Yorkie
- Pomeranian & Yorkie
- Dachshund & Yorkie
- Toy Poodle & Yorkie
- Westie Terrier & Yorkie
- Pug & Yorkie (I had 1 owner say this combination didn’t get along)
- Bichon & Yorkie
- German Shepard & Yorkie
- English Bulldog & Yorkie
- Jack Russell Terrier & Yorkie
- Havanese & Yorkie
- Blue Heeler & Yorkie
The combinations are endless! The main take away:
It all depends on Personality…. Training….. and socializing!
A good way to test how your Yorkie does with other dogs is carefully and safely putting them in situations where they can practice being around other dogs. Dog parks, going to the pet store, walking in busy areas are all good things to try. It could also be a good idea to invite some friends and family members to bring their dog to your house to get an idea of how your Yorkie will react to another dog being in their territory.
Does Age and Sex Matter When Getting a Yorkie Companion
Does age matter when thinking about getting another dog? Why not just get 2 puppies from the same litter, or even just 2 puppies at the same time? Well, there is something called littermate syndrome which you can read more about here, but basically, 2 puppies can get so attached to each other that it can cause extreme anxiety and behavior problems for one or both of them. This will cause a lot of extra care and work on your part to fix.
In order to avoid littermate syndrome, Behaviorists recommend waiting until your puppy is at least 1 or 2 years old and has some good solid training before adding another addition.
For older dogs, it could go one of two ways. If you have a relatively healthy older Yorkie then having a puppy around could be great for keeping them playful and youthful, but if you’re older Yorkie has health issues and doesn’t have a lot of energy having a puppy around could cause a lot of added stress for them, either way, you will want to have space where your older dog can go to escape and be alone when they want a break.
What about Gender? Generally speaking dogs of the opposite sex to best with each other. This is because they can both be the Alpha of their own gender, so you will most likely have less squabbling and fighting. If you do end up getting two of the same gender, two males usually do best together.
How to Introduce Your Yorkie to a New Pet
You may be thinking getting a friend for your Yorkie sounds like a great idea and it’s worked well for a lot of other owners…. Piece of cake! Well…. even if your Yorkie is really well behaved it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be smooth sailing. Most of the owners I talked to say it takes a bit of time and planning to make things turn out successfully. It also takes some patience and understanding that your new dog and Yorkie will most likely not instantly become best friends.
So here’s what you can do to help foster a healthy friendship!
Prepare Before hand:
You will want to have a separate space for your new dog where he can feel safe and secure in a new environment.
- separate feeding bowls in different areas
- separate crate of playpen
- separate sleeping area
- separate toys and chew things
Your dogs will hopefully end up sharing a bed, and possibly other things as well, but to begin with, it’s important that the dogs have no reason to feel threatened by each other. They need to know that they are not going to miss out on anything by having the other one around. Also if you are bringing a puppy home they will need more confinement as they are learning to be trained as well as a separate space to sleep since their sleep cycle will be very different than an older dog.
Carefully Introduce Them:
It’s best to let them meet each other on neutral territory. Somewhere outside the home, or even in your front yard (away from your front door), a neighbors yard, or a nearby park with no one around or limited distractions.
Have them both on a leash and harness and let them smell each other on their own terms. Don’t force it. If they start showing signs of nervousness or aggression, it’s best to back off and try again later when they are calmer and in a quieter place with less distraction. Praise and give rewards to both dogs for positive interactions.
Once they have had a good first meeting you can bring the new dog inside and take a chance to show them around. You’ll want to keep them separated at first and closely monitor interactions while introducing them to each other a little at a time. Some dogs will get along right away, others will take a little longer.
It’s best to have a backup plan if the meeting doesn’t go well or your new dog doesn’t get along with your existing one. If you are able to have the new dog or puppy on a trial basis to make sure things work out that would be the best option. That way the breeder or previous owner is prepared to help find another family if needed. If you have another family member that can get involved and take and care of the new dog, that could be another option for a backup plan.
Chances are with the right environment and loving care your new addition will get along fabulously with your little Yorkie and they will be on their way to a long-lasting and wonderful friendship!