So, you’re thinking about getting a Yorkshire Terrier aka a Yorkie. The personality of a Yorkshire Terrier can be summed up in one word… Spunky. These toy dogs weigh in at an average seven pounds. But, they’ve been known to enjoy bossing around dogs ten times their size! When you own a Yorkshire Terrier, you are getting a small dog with a big attitude.
There’s a reason why Yorkies are always on the American Kennel Club’s top ten list of favorite dog breeds. They are curious, smart and loyal canines. There was even a Yorkshire Terrier who took up residence at the White House back in 1970. President Nixon’s daughter had a Yorkie named Pasha who was often pictured with the family.
These dogs are a great option if you live in an apartment or a home without a lot of extra space. They are happy living in small accommodations where they can be near you at all times. Yorkshire Terriers would definitely fall under the category of a dog who prefers people over other dogs. They can’t resist the spotlight. But, keep in mind that your dog is in the terrier family, so it needs regular exercise.
One of the best things about a Yorkshire Terrier is this canine gets along well with cats. This is a good thing if you happen to have some felines in your family. Before making a final decision on this dog, take a few minutes to check out 10 things you should know before owning a Yorkshire Terrier.
10Yorkshire Terriers Require Grooming on a Regular Basis
If left to grow, a Yorkie’s hair can grow to be two feet long! This would make it hard for a Yorkie to move around, to say the least! People who enter their Yorkshire Terriers in dog shows must brush their dog’s long hair every day keeping it free of tangles. You can choose to allow your Yorkie to have a long, silky coat while keeping it neatly trimmed so your little dog can walk without tripping. Or, you can go with a short haircut for your Yorkie which makes daily brushing a fairly quick process. Part of this dog’s grooming process includes trimming the long hair around its eyes so it’s able to see clearly. The ears also need to be trimmed so your dog will be able to hear the interesting sounds all around. In terms of grooming, the amount of time you spend brushing and combing your Yorkshire Terrier really depends on whether you want to keep your pup’s hair long or short.
A Yorkshire Terrier also needs to be bathed on a weekly basis to keep its skin and coat clean. This dog travels low to the ground, so it’s no surprise that it picks up a lot of dirt and dust as it walks or trots along. If your Yorkie has long, silky hair, then the bathing and drying process is going to take a bit longer than if your dog has a short, neatly trimmed coat.
9Yorkshire Terriers and Young Children Don’t Always Get Along
Yorkshire Terriers aren’t the best choice for a household with babies or young children. This is mostly due to the dog’s size. Young kids may be tempted to try to roughhouse with a Yorkie or approach it too quickly. These dogs can easily be stepped on which can cause them injury. This is exactly what makes Yorkshire Terriers wary of babies and young children. In fact, a Yorkie may growl or snap at young children if it feels threatened. A Yorkie doesn’t growl or snap out of meanness, but out of a sense of self-protection. These dogs do better with kids who are older and more aware of how to treat a small dog. Adding a Yorkie to a household with a baby or small children means you’ll have to supervise all of the interactions between the kids and the dog.
If you have young children visiting your home there are a few ways to make sure there are no issues with your Yorkie. You could opt to put your dog in another room out of the way until your young guests leave. That way, your dog wouldn’t have to interact with the children. Be sure to put a few toys in the room with your Yorkie so it won’t be bored. Or, you could slowly introduce your Yorkshire Terrier to the young children so you can calm your dog if needed and give the children guidance around your pup.
8Yorkshire Terriers Bark A Lot
Yorkshire Terriers are big barkers. But, if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Barking is the easiest way for a small canine to get the attention of its owner and other dogs. There are advantages and disadvantages to this fact. An advantage is Yorkshire Terriers make great watchdogs. They can alert you when there’s someone at your door, in your yard or even near your home. A disadvantage is some Yorkshire Terriers get into the habit of barking at everything without any discrimination. Your dog may bark at strangers as well as squirrels passing through your yard or even the mail delivery person putting letters into your mailbox. The right kind of dog training can help with your Yorkie’s barking habits.
The first step to training your Yorkie to bark only when needed is to figure out why it’s barking in the first place. Does it feel insecure or scared by something in your home? Does your Yorkie need more exercise to relieve some of the barkings that comes from an excessive amount of energy? The second step involves addressing the cause of the barking. Maybe you need to find ways to ease your Yorkie’s stress or make it feel more secure in your home. Adjusting the living environment in your home may be necessary. Figuring out why your dog is barking can help you or a professional dog trainer to tailor a program to help you control your Yorkie’s barking.
7Yorkshire Terriers Can Be Difficult to Housetrain
No one likes to get up in the middle of the night only to step into a soggy mess made by an unapologetic Yorkie. Did you know that Yorkies come in second on the list of the 16 most difficult dog breeds to housetrain? Yep. But, why are Yorkies so difficult to housetrain? Well, there are a couple of reasons. One, Yorkies are known for their stubborn temperament. This means that once they get used to relieving themselves wherever they want in your home, it’s difficult to get them to change that habit. Secondly, a Yorkie walks low to the ground which means your pup may not want to go outside in wet or snowy weather. A large, tall dog can walk on wet grass or in the snow without getting soaked. Alternatively, a Yorkie that walks into a rain puddle or a couple inches of snow gets its paws soaked along with its underbelly and even its face! These things work against an owner’s efforts to housetrain a Yorkie.
It’s difficult, but not impossible to housetrain a Yorkie. When training your Yorkie, it’s important to be consistent. Even the most stubborn Yorkie will learn to go outside to relieve itself when you show it what to do again and again. Use treats and lots of praise when your Yorkie starts to get the idea of what it’s supposed to do when it needs to relieve itself. Remember housetraining a Yorkie can take up to six months.
6Yorkshire Terriers Need A Lot of Attention
The fact that Yorkshire Terriers are social dogs and need a lot of attention is a plus for some owners and a minus for others. Yorkies are not dogs that settle down in a corner of the kitchen to take a nap for hours on end. Instead, your Yorkie will likely want to sit in your lap and nap while you’re watching television or working on other quiet activities. If you’re going out of the house for work, errands or other reasons, your Yorkie will want to go with you. When you get a Yorkie, you are taking on a furry companion that will want to be at your side most of the time. If you’re looking for a social dog, then a Yorkshire Terrier may be the perfect choice for you.
If you work a lot or spend a lot of time out of your home you may want to rethink the choice to get a Yorkie. These dogs can suffer from separation anxiety which comes from being left alone for long periods of time. They can become destructive to your household. You may come home to find your favorite pair of shoes chewed up, the toilet paper pulled off its spool and other items chewed and destroyed. Also, you may find urine or feces on the floor even though you’ve housetrained your Yorkie. In other words, a Yorkshire Terrier demands attention from its owner because of its social nature.
5Yorkshire Terriers Are Prone to Some Health Problems That Effect Toy Dogs
Kneecap dislocation is an example of a health problem common to many toy dogs including Yorkshire Terriers. Watch any Yorkshire Terrier move down a sidewalk and you’ll see its little legs working like pistons. This can be hard on its knees. A kneecap dislocation is when the kneecap moves out of the knee joint. Ouch! Not surprisingly, if this happens you’ll definitely know it. Your Yorkie will cry out and begin limping right away to keep the weight off that slipped kneecap. Fortunately, there are remedies to this condition including giving your Yorkie some rest and taking it to physical therapy. Sometimes surgery is needed to correct this condition depending on how severe it is.
A disease called Legg Perthes is another condition that many Yorkies deal with. This is a degenerative disease and is genetic. This makes it all the more important to check up on the history of a Yorkie’s parents and siblings before purchasing a dog from a breeder. Essentially, a lack of blood flow around the hip joint causes it to become deformed. This makes walking and even moving around painful for a Yorkie. This disease is slow-moving and takes about four to six months before causing obvious symptoms. Some of the symptoms to watch out for include limping, whimpering when walking, loss of appetite, weight loss, loss of energy and more. Surgery is the only remedy for this condition in Yorkies.
4Yorkshire Terriers Have a Napoleon Complex
Yorkshire Terriers are toy dogs that weigh an average of seven pounds. Sometimes they can weigh up to 13 or 14 pounds. Despite their small size, Yorkies are not hesitant to get up into the grill of a 100-pound Labrador retriever or another large dog. If you see this, you may expect trouble. However, if a large dog has a gentle temperament, it is likely to allow a Yorkie to dominate it. This Napoleon Complex or, small dog syndrome, is an important consideration. If you have a big dog, it may experience domination by your new Yorkie. Or, if you have other toy dogs, they may struggle against the iron will of the newest addition to your household causing you to stress whenever they get together.
If you already own a big or small dog and you still want a Yorkie, there are things you can do to clear a path to peace among the pets in your household. Gradually introducing a Yorkie into your home can help to establish a calm atmosphere. Also, treating all of your dogs equally can help to keep the peace in your home. Dogs naturally establish a hierarchy within a household. So, if you see this happening, understand that it is normal. Your Yorkie may end up being at the top of the hierarchy. If this is the way it works out, then simply accept it and enjoy all of your dogs.
3Yorkshire Terriers Are Hunters
The word hunter may not be the first word that pops into your head upon seeing a Yorkshire Terrier perched on a pillow on the living room sofa. But, these dogs have a hunting instinct. Back in the nineteenth century, they were bred to chase down rats in the wool mills in England. Their small size and speed made them perfect for running beneath looms and other pieces of equipment in these mills. The courageous nature of Yorkies combined with their persistence in pursuing their prey made them valuable additions to a mill or factory with a rodent problem.
It’s been a couple hundred years since Yorkies have hunted rats in wool mills over in England. However, this doesn’t mean they no longer have the urge to hunt rodents. This should be a consideration before adding a Yorkie to your household. Maybe you have an aviary of canaries in your backyard or your child has a pet hamster that likes to play outside its cage. If you have small animals around your house, getting a Yorkie means you have to be vigilant when your Yorkie goes into the same area as those small pets. Of course, your new dog doesn’t have a vendetta against hamsters, birds, and other small animals. But, that hunting instinct is liable to take over if your Yorkie sees a hamster playing on the carpet. This could result in a lot of tears along with a deceased hamster.
2Yorkshire Terriers Need to Have Their Teeth Brushed
Most dogs need to have their teeth brushed in order to enjoy good dental health. This is especially important for small dogs like Yorkies. These dogs are vulnerable to a buildup of plaque and bacteria on their teeth and gums. This plaque and bacteria can lead to periodontal disease. The bacteria on a Yorkie’s teeth and gums can travel to its vital organs including its kidneys and heart causing illness or serious disease. So, keeping bacteria off its teeth can benefit your Yorkie in a lot of ways. Another advantage of brushing your Yorkie’s teeth each day is you can see if there are any changes in its gums or teeth. If you see any changes in color or any growths forming, you can take your Yorkie to the vet right away and possibly prevent a more serious issue.
It’s best to start brushing your Yorkie’s teeth as soon as you get it. This gives your pup the chance to become accustomed to this awkward, somewhat confusing process. Get a toothbrush specially designed for the smallmouth and teeth of a Yorkshire Terrier. Also, it helps to start brushing for thirty seconds, then gradually build up to a five-minute brushing session. Choosing a toothpaste for dogs that have a delicious flavor is also helpful. You only need to brush the outside of your Yorkie’s teeth. This is because a dog’s tongue can clean the inside of its teeth very well on its own.
1Yorkshire Terriers Are Used as Therapy Dogs and Service Dogs
The affectionate, playful nature of a Yorkshire Terrier makes it an ideal choice as a therapy dog. These dogs can have a calming influence on wounded soldiers or those with PTSD. Plus, some Yorkies are used as therapy dogs for children with autism who are nonverbal. The size of a Yorkshire Terrier doesn’t prevent it from being a valuable helper to individuals in need of calming therapy due to traumatic experiences or medical conditions. Another reason Yorkie’s make great therapy dogs is they can be moved from place to place easily and even like to travel. So, if a Yorkie is visiting a hospital or clinic, it is at ease with moving from room to room to see different patients. Some might even say that Yorkie’s are a big fan of the spotlight!
When you think of a service dog you may picture a Labrador retriever or a Golden retriever as opposed to a Yorkshire Terrier. But, Yorkies can be excellent service dogs as well. If a person needs assistance around the house, a Yorkie can help in opening drawers, pulling open cabinet doors or retrieving small items. Or, if an individual has a condition such as epilepsy, a Yorkie can be helpful in detecting oncoming seizures and alerting the person. This can help the person prepare and go to a safe place so as not to be injured during the seizure. Not only are these dogs cute and cuddly, but they are also of practical use in many households as well.
So, there are the 10 things you should know before owning a Yorkshire Terrier. Like all dogs, there are positives and negatives connected with this breed. One of the best ways to figure out whether a Yorkie is right for your household is to think about your daily life. Is there someone at home most of the time? This would be a plus knowing that Yorkies are social dogs that dislike being alone. Do you like the idea of having a dog that pops up into your lap while you’re typing on the laptop or reading a book? If so, then a Yorkie would be a sure winner in your household! If you don’t have the time or desire to groom a dog every day, then a Yorkie is not an ideal choice for you. If you have a limited budget for dog food, then a Yorkie would be a good choice considering it’s a small dog that doesn’t eat much. Think about what kind of a home you could provide for this vivacious canine.
After considering all of the factors, you decide to get a Yorkshire Terrier. Hooray! You’re going to discover why this canine is so popular in many types of families throughout the world. You’re going to love the playful antics of this beautiful, feisty toy dog. Your new Yorkie is sure to become the beloved center of attention in your household.