The Yorkshire Terrier is an adorable dog that might just melt your heart when you see the long silky coat or recall images of a yellow brick road. However, before deciding if the Yorkie is the right breed for your household you must first understand its unique characteristics.
The Yorkshire Terrier became a recognized breed in the late 1800’s in Yorkshire county, England. The Yorkie was first bred as a working-class vermin hunter forthe clothing mills and mines. This is where the ferocious, courageous, and loyal temperament developed.
Yorkies fall into a group of dogs known as the Toy Group by AKC standards. Although they are very small they have a big personality! They don’t need a lot of exercise but they do require an owner who will offer good leadership or else your little Yorkie will become the boss of the house. They need good socialization. Getting into a training class as soon as possible is an important step towards proper socialization and learning how to curb bad behaviors and promote the good behaviors you want. They need plenty of time with people and will most likely not want to leave your side. The Yorkie can adapt to many situations and other pets but their terrier instinct is still alive. Take precaution to properly introduce a Yorkie to new family members and keep them away from rodents like squirrels because the terrier instinct is to fight to the death.<
That luxurious coat requires daily brushing, ears need regular cleaning, and nails must be routinely trimmed. A regular trip to the groomer’s is also important to keep their coat clean. They don’t shed or drool much. A show Yorkie can spend hours on the grooming table but even a companion dog will need regular bathing and brushing. It’s a good plan to get them accustomed to enjoying their “spa days” as early as possible. This way, the time you both spend together for grooming can be enjoyable, fun even, and bring you closer together.
Basic grooming will keep eyes, ears, and teeth clean and avoid infection. Not a fan of colder temperatures, it’s a good idea to invest in sweaters for these little ones to keep them warm on chilly days. Although generally a healthy breed, they can be susceptible to certain conditions including bronchitis, digestive sensitivities, eye disease, and patellar luxation. The small size of this breed also means they risk developing a collapsed trachea. It’s best to use a harness whenever possible and train them not to pull on leash. It may seem trivial that your 5 pound dog is pulling – after all, they aren’t pulling you anywhere – but constant strain on the trachea can lead to collapse over time. Making sure you find a responsible breeder will aid in avoiding health (and temperament) issues.
Armed with the knowledge of all the Yorkie can bring to your household you can make the right decision about whether or not adopting one is right for you!