New Owner's Guide to Yorkshire Terriers


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Yorkshire Terriers are true terriers, originally developed as ratters. They are bold and energetic, and need training and exercise to bring out the best in them. Untrained Yorkies tend to run around madly, yapping, yet this breed is capable of performing well in obedience classes, and isn't usually intimidated by the presence of much bigger dogs. Yorkie pups are tiny, and are often overindulged because they are so little and cute. It's worth teaching them bite inhibition and socializing them like bigger dogs, since they do have a tendency to nip if left untrained.

They tend not to be as motivated by food rewards as many dogs, but recall can often be improved by using squeaky toys, or by making a sound that is like a squeaky toy. Well-trained Yorkies are fine with children who respect them. There is a risk that smaller children could try to manhandle these dogs, and that an untrained Yorkie could nip, though they are agile and fast-moving, so it's less easy for a small child to catch them than many breeds. They usually get on well with other dogs, though they do need careful socialization with pups that don't play too roughly, since they are generally the smallest pups in a socialization class. Yorkshire Terriers are quite capable of reprimanding much larger dogs, however, including Irish Wolfhounds! They are excellent watchdogs, and can be barky, especially if they don't get enough exercise.

Yorkies need active, off-leash play every day, and like daily walks, though they can get by with plenty of games in the garden. Yorkies do need a fair amount of grooming, and benefit from a trim, which cuts down on the time needed to groom them, as well as allowing them to see and collect less mud on walks. Well-groomed Yorkies don't shed much.

Common health problems include patella disorders, fractures, digestive problems, and bronchitis - Yorkshire Terriers tend to feel the cold and like to have a little jacket when they go out.. They can also be extra sensitive to veterinary pharmaceutical products, like anaesthetics. This is generally a long-lived breed, but Yorkies have suffered a little from its popularity, and it is worth checking the longevity of the ancestors of any pup you are interested in. The very small Yorkies tend to be more prone to health problems than the larger versions, and the smaller dogs can also be nervier. Some Yorkshire Terrier bitches have trouble giving birth.

This book is a helpful breed guide for new Yorkie owners, which gives a clear picture of the breed, as well as a lot of useful advice on choosing and caring for Yorkshire terriers. There is also helpful advice on general care, including health care.