You will not find a cuter, more interesting, spirited little canine than a Yorkshire Terrier. With their long beautiful coats and winning personalities, they make excellent family pets.
Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies) originated in the Yorkshire territory of the United Kingdom and are a combination of several different breeds that have evolved into a four to seven-pound, steel-blue/gold, black and tan terrier. They were originally bred to be ratters in textile mills.
Yorkies weren’t brought to the United States until 1872 and became recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885. Originally they were called Broken-Haired Scotch Terriers but became known as Yorkshire Terriers two years before they were brought to the U.S.
The Yorkshire Terrier is a big dog, held captive in the body of a little one, bursting with bravado and self-importance. As a member of the toy dog category, they tend to be quite energetic and are known to bark more than some breeds. Yorkies are very loyal to their people and will surge to the challenge of protecting a family member from an aggressive larger dog or other imminent threat. For this reason, training is a vital protective measure for their safety.
Yorkies do well when socialized with children at a very early age. It is important, though, for family members to remember that Yorkies are very territorial with their people, space and toys. Children should be taught this early on.
Yorkshire Terriers can adapt to almost any environment, and this makes them excellent apartment dogs. They travel well in cars, and their exercise requirements adapt to their surroundings.
The Yorkie Coat:
Yorkies have a high maintenance coat. Bathing them once a week and brushing their hair daily will ensure that it stays beautiful and healthy. After bathing, spraying their coat with a diluted leave-in hair conditioner will make it easy to comb through and much easier to maintain. If you don’t have the time to bathe and brush your Yorkie’s coat, a dog groomer can give him a puppy cut that is very easy to maintain.
Yorkies do well on any good dog food, and should not be given table scraps as these can cause them to have sticky stools. Dry food is preferable for adult Yorkies. Puppies should have two wet meals a day, supplemented with dry puppy food.
It’s important that Yorkie puppies be watched for hypoglycemia. This breed, in particular, is susceptible to sudden drops in blood sugar levels. Sometimes this is carried into adulthood. Hypoglycemia can be remedied quite easily by feeding your Yorkie a small amount of NutriCal when he exhibits slower than normal or listless behavior. If the NutriCal doesn’t help him to perk up shortly, you should take him to the veterinarian.
Yorkies should never wear a choke collar, as they are highly susceptible to larynx problems. Occasionally, they will make a snorting sound – which is their way of correcting the difficulty. Usually, it will remedy itself on its own. When you walk your Yorkie, put him in a harness instead of a neck collar. Yorkies are slightly more susceptible to hernias than other breeds. Even with these health concerns, Yorkies are generally very healthy little dogs that live 12 to 15 years.
Potty Training is more difficult in Yorkies, with males being more difficult to train than the females of this breed. Other than that, Yorkies are highly intelligent, easy to train little canines. Diligence and consistency work the best.
If you decide that the Yorkie is for you, it’s important to get him from a reputable breeder. The American Kennel Club has strict guidelines on the frequency a female Yorkshire Terrier can be bred. This is to ensure optimum health and temperament of her litters. Be sure that the breeder is willing to provide you with information on obtaining your new Yorkie’s pedigree papers.
Yorkshire Terrier owners are as fiercely loyal to their Yorkies as their Yorkies are to them. Yorkshire Terriers are excellent family pets that provide never-ending entertainment, affection, and companionship. Even though – at times – Yorkshire Terriers can behave like little divas, once you have a Yorkie, you won’t want to adopt anything but another one. (I should know because we have three!)