The Yorkshire Terrier or “Yorkie” is a small dog breed known for its beautiful blue and tan coat and small size. While Yorkshire Terriers are popular as show dogs, dog owners have become increasingly interested as Yorkies are great companion dogs. However, just like any other dog breed, Yorkshire Terriers come with their own needs and issues that any loving owner should be aware of.
The Yorkshire Terrier is famous for its silky coat. Yorkies are easily recognized in dog shows as the coat is kept long over the entire body. However, any dog show owner or trainer will agree that this coat requires hard work, a lot of time, and a lot of attention. Typical care includes oiling of the hair once a month and hair wrapping to prevent breakage and damage (in addition to daily brushing and monthly bathing). For recreational dog owners, trimming the coat and keeping the hair short is a much easier and less time-consuming option.
Although cutting the hair saves time, Yorkshire Terrier owners should still be aware of the dog’s needs. Whether the hair is short or long, daily grooming and monthly bathing are required in order to maintain a Yorkie’s silky coat. Owners should also be aware of atypical coats in Yorkshire Terriers. Some Yorkies have extra-fine or coarse coats, and while this may feel and look different, it actually isn’t a reflection on the quality of the coat or individual dog. Yorkies with atypical coats are just as good companion dogs as those with silky coats; however, its recommended that atypical coat dogs are not bred as the different coat or coat color could be caused by a genetic health defect.
Yorkies are among the various dog breeds that are deemed “hypoallergenic”, meaning they produce less allergens then other breeds. While the level of allergic reaction depends on the owner’s individual allergies, many families have found hypoallergenic dogs, such as the Yorkie, to be a great solution. To ensure a good fit, many breeders recommend testing a person’s allergic reaction to the dog before buying.
Yorkshire Terriers are notorious for their high energy and boldness. While Yorkies are great companion dogs as they love to cuddle, they’re also great for families with small children. However, due to their picky behavior (and possibly due to their boldness), Yorkies are difficult to train. Owners with little to no dog-training experience should consider puppy school or dog training classes for their Yorkshire Terrier. Not only will the dog receive proper training, but owners will also learn valuable training tips and techniques. Other owners who want to train their dogs on their own should remember to be diligent and consistent in their training. Yorkshire Terriers are also picky about what they eat, so owners should try different training treats to figure out what their dog best responds to.
Finally, owners with children should be cautious if buying a Yorkshire Terrier puppy. As Yorkshire Terriers weigh an average of seven pounds when fully grown, Yorkshire Terrier puppies weigh next to nothing and tend to be more fragile than they look (or act).
Caring for a Yorkshire Terrier can be hard work and seem endless at times. However, owners who care well for their Yorkie (or any dog for that matter), will end up with a loving, affectionate, and loyal companion for many years to come.