The Yorkshire Terrier, nicknamed the Yorkie, seems quite full of himself, and why not? With his long silky coat and perky topknot, the Yorkshire Terrier is one of the most glamorous representatives of the dog world, sure to attract attention wherever he goes. Because he’s so small he often travels in style — in special dog purses toted around by his adoring owner.
The long steel-blue and tan coat may be the Yorkie’s crowning glory, but it’s his personality that truly endears him to his family. Oblivious to his small size (weighing in at no more than seven pounds), the Yorkshire Terrier is a big dog in a small body, always on the lookout for adventure and maybe even a bit of trouble.
Yorkshire Terriers are affectionate towards their people as one would expect from a companion dog, but true to their terrier heritage, they’re sometimes suspicious of strangers, and will bark at strange sounds and intruders. In consideration of your neighbors, it’s important to tone down their yappiness and teach them when and when not to bark.
They also can be aggressive toward strange dogs, and no squirrel is safe from them.
Despite their bravado, Yorkshire Terriers have a soft side too. They need lots of attention and time with their family. Long hours of being left alone is not for them. It’s not a good idea to over-protect your Yorkie, however; they’ll pick up on your feelings very quickly, and if your actions say the world’s a dangerous place for them, they can become neurotic.
Because of their size, Yorkshire Terriers do better with older children who’ve been taught to respect them than with toddlers and small children. They can become snappish if they’re startled or teased.
As long as they get some exercise every day — perhaps a good play session in the living room or a nice walk around the block — Yorkies make fine apartment dogs.
No matter what home they live in, they’ll get along with other resident dogs and cats — so long as they were raised with them. Yorkies may become possessive of their owners if a new pet is brought into the house. Being terriers, they may want to challenge the “intruder,” and if a fight breaks out, the terrier spirit is to fight to the death. Take a lot of care when you’re introducing a Yorkie to a new animal.
A glamorous coat, small size, spunky personality, and undying loyalty to his people. Is it any wonder that Yorkshire Terriers are the second most popular dog breed in the U.S. today?
Yorkshire Terriers are known for being difficult to housetrain. Crate-training is recommended.
Yorkshire Terriers don’t like the cold and are prone to chills, especially if they’re damp or in damp areas.
Because of their small size, delicate structure, and terrier personality, Yorkshire Terrier generally aren’t recommended for households with toddlers or small children.
Some Yorkshire Terriers can be “yappy,” barking at every sound they hear. Early and consistent training can help. If you don’t feel qualified to provide this training, consult a professional dog trainer.
Yorkshire Terriers can have delicate digestive systems and may be picky eaters. Eating problems can occur if your Yorkie has teeth or gum problems as well. If your Yorkie is showing discomfort when eating or after eating, take him to the vet for a checkup.
Yorkshire Terriers think they are big dogs and will try to pick a fight with a big dog if allowed. Be sure to keep your Yorkie under control. Even better, try to socialize your Yorkie at an early age by taking him to obedience classes.
Yorkies tend to retain their puppy teeth, especially the canines. When your puppy is around five months old, check his teeth often. If you notice that an adult tooth is trying to come in but the baby tooth is still there, take him to your vet. Retained baby teeth can cause the adult teeth to come in unevenly, which may contribute to tooth decay in later years.
To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they’re free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Yorkshire Terriers should be 8 to 9 inches at the shoulder and weigh no more than seven pounds, with four to six pounds being preferred.
Yorkies are inconsistent in size. It’s not unusual for a single litter to contain one Yorkie weighing less than four pounds, one who weighs five or six pounds, and one who grows to be 12 to 15 pounds.
Beware of breeders who offer “tea cup” Yorkshire Terriers. Dogs who are smaller than the standard are prone to genetic disorders and are at a higher health risk in general.
Smart and self-assured, the Yorkshire Terrier is a combination of endearingly small size and adventurous terrier spirit. The breed displays a range of personalities. Some are cuddly and perky, wanting nothing more than to follow in their people’s footsteps throughout the day. Others are mischievous, outgoing, and into everything.
Set limits, and your Yorkie will be a wonderful companion, but if you spoil him, watch out! Start training when they’re puppies, and you’ll have much better luck than if you let them have their way and then try to correct bad habits.
Like all dogs, Yorkies needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they’re young. Socialization helps ensure that your Yorkie will be a friendly, well-rounded dog.
Because of their small size, Yorkies aren’t suited to families with young children. Most breeders won’t sell puppies to people whose children are younger than 5 or 6 years old. It’s just too easy for children to drop them, step on them, or hold them too tightly.
Yorkies can get along well with other pets, including cats, if socialized to them at an early age. They’re bold in going after strange dogs, however, even those that outweigh them by a factor of ten, and protecting them from themselves becomes second nature to people with Yorkies.