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The Ultimate Guide: Yorkshire Terriers

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The Ultimate Guide_ Yorkshire Terriers
By LITTLE PUPPY PAWS | March 5, 2023
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It is simple to understand why Yorkshire Terriers are one of America’s top ten most popular dog breeds. Yorkies make make the ideal pets for new dog owners because they are devoted, affectionate, and playful. But what makes this particular breed undeniably desireable?

If you are considering purchasing a Yorkshire Terrier as a pet, show dog, or breeding dog, these guidelines will give you all the information you need to know about how to care for the breed.

What are Yorkshire Terriers?

The Yorkshire Terrier, also known as the Yorkie, is absolutely adorable. They are some of the most fashionable dogs, and wherever he goes, people will notice them thanks to their long, silky coat and perky topknot. Due to their diminutive size, they frequently travels in style while being carried around by their owners in fancy dog purses.

The Yorkie’s long steel-blue and tan coat may be their most attractive feature, but their charming personality makes their family adore them even more. The Yorkshire Terrier is a big dog with a small body, oblivious to their small size, weighing in at no more than seven pounds, constantly on the lookout for adventure and perhaps even a little trouble.

As one would expect from a companion dog, Yorkshire Terriers are affectionate with their owners. However, keeping with their terrier heritage, they can occasionally be wary of strangers and bark in response to strange noises and intruders. It’s crucial to reduce their yapping and teach them when and when not to bark out of respect for your neighbors.

Additionally, they have a history of reacting strange dogs, and no squirrel is safe from them.

Yorkshire Terriers have a sensitive side as well, despite their bravado. They require a great deal of care and family time. They prefer spending extended periods with others. However, overprotecting your Yorkie is not a good idea because they will quickly pick up on your emotions. If they believe that the world is dangerous for them because of your actions, they may develop neurotic behavior.

Due to their size, Yorkshire Terriers perform better with older children who have been taught to respect them than with infants and toddlers. If startled or teased, they may exhibit snappish behavior.

Yorkies make excellent apartment dogs as long as they get some exercise each day, such as a good play session in the living room or a nice walk around the block.

They will get along with other dogs and cats in the house no matter where they live as long as they were raised with them. If a new pet is introduced into the home, Yorkies may grow possessive of their owners. Because they are terriers, they might want to challenge the intruder, and if a fight starts, the terrier spirit will go to the very end. When introducing a Yorkie to an unfamiliar animal, proceed with extreme caution.

Yorkshire Terriers Temperament

The Yorkshire terrier is a tough dog. They possess intelligence and confidence. Yorkies are like exuberant young children. They demand a lot of attention while being energetic and authoritative. The lap dogs enjoy spending time cuddling and playing with their owners. They enjoy being petted and spoiled as well. They like to please their owners and are possessive.

Yorkie puppies are also very possessive. They don’t like to share their belongings or their room. They frequently display aggressive behavior or engage in dog attacks, even on large dogs. They are unable to live in a pack with other breeds.

They get along well with other terriers, including Clydesdale, Skye, Toy Fox, Paisley, and Waterside. They are not afraid to defend themselves, even against a larger dog like an Australian shepherd or an older retriever.

They are typically cordial with kids. They enjoy playing with them and regard them as peers. The dog, though, might growl and bite a child if they do something the dog doesn’t like.

A Yorkshire terrier makes a great watchdog because someone not at the door or nearby can sneak up on you. Their excessive barking can be a nuisance if they are not adequately trained. They are barkers.

Where Do Yorkies Come From?

The Yorkshire terrier is thought to be a cross between the black and tan Manchester, Dander Dinmont, waterside terrier, Skye terrier, and maltase. However, it is still being determined where exactly they came from.

Some claim that the dog breed was created by Scotsmen who brought it to England, while others think it was created in England. Nevertheless, the Yorkies enjoyed high popularity in England during the Victorian era. They were used in mines to catch rats and get into fox burrows. Due to their tenacious nature, they were also utilized as hunting dogs.

The first Yorkie Terriers were much larger than the ones we are familiar with today. They were gradually made smaller through selective breeding until the late 19th century. As lovely companion dogs, they came to America in the late 1800s.

Size

Little dogs are called Yorkies. They are 2 to 7 pounds and 6-7 inches tall. There isn’t much size difference between men and women, although some men may be a little taller.

They have short, lean bodies. Their tail is docked up and slightly higher than the back, and they have a level back. This little dog breed has a medium-sized muzzle, a small head, and a flat top. They have upright, V-shaped ears.

Colors

Unlike the Bichon Frise, the Yorkshire Terrier comes in a variety of colors. 

Tan and Black 

They lack the genes that cause aging. The legs, chest, face, and interior of the ears are tan, while most of the torso is black.

Black and Gold

They have a gene for graying, which lightens the tan areas of their bodies. They resemble black and tan Yorkies, but the tan parts are gold instead.

Tan and Blue

One gene for graying is also present in them. But rather than impacting the tan coat, it brightens the black areas, giving them a bluish appearance. Their coat is distinctive because it appears shiny and vibrant. Their tails are typically more colorful than the rest of their bodies.

Blue and Gold

They have two sets of genes that brighten the typical black and tan Yorkie colors as they age. In adult Yorkies, the coat color combination is quite prevalent. The coat has a darker root and a brighter tip.

Parti

They are primarily tan and brown, with white or chocolate patches across the body. A recessive piebald gene inherited from both parents gives the white color. Not all Yorkies with the piebald gene, though, have white patches.

Blue

While most Yorkies have one of the five colors mentioned above schemes, a few are born with a wholly blue coat. Unfortunately, most pass away within the first year of life, and those who survive are frequently sickly and miserable.

Black

Purely black Yorkies are not purebred. Those that do exist are typically hybrids.

Red Legs

These dogs’ legs, heads, tails, and chests are black with red accents. Recessive genes passed down from their ancestors in pairs are typically present in them. Their fur tends to be wiry and stiff.

Chocolate

A recessive gene called the b allele gene is responsible for their full brown color. Although chocolate coats can be found on purebred dogs, in some cases, they are a sign of crossbreeding.

Coats

Their coat is what makes them stand out the most. Yorkies have fine, long, and straight fur. Some Yorkshire terrier owners like to tie it with a ribbon to give their dogs a dapper appearance because it is longer at the top of the head.

Most of a Yorkie’s body is covered in a black coat, with tan patches here and there. However, depending on the genetic makeup of each Yorkshire terrier, the shade of the black and tan color may differ from one to the next. In some, the tan can be golden brown, while in others, the black tends to be bluish.

Yorkies can be divided into various types according to their size and color. You might only be able to tell your Yorkie’s actual color once they are mature because a Yorkie’s coat can take up to 3 years to fully develop.

How To Take Care of Yorkies?

Just like every other breed, there are some care tips that you might want to consider. While these dogs are incredibly tiny, they do have certain requirements that need to be met. 

Living Conditions

Puppies of Yorkshire terriers don’t need a large space because they are small. They thrive even in smaller apartments as long as they are adequately trained and given the necessities. Among these necessities are a comfortable bed, food, pee pads or mats, and toys. You might need to clean your house more frequently due to their shedding, especially during the peak shedding seasons.

As long as you make suitable accommodations, Yorkies travel well. In particular, they enjoy car rides. They do not enjoy being stored in the cargo hold, although you can bring them on a flight.

Health and Veterinary Care

Yorkies are typically strong, healthy dogs. Depending on their environment, anatomy, or genetic makeup, they may be predisposed to diseases.

Yorkies are susceptible to hypoglycemia, a condition where dangerously low blood sugar levels occur, like most toy breeds. Up to five months, old Yorkies tend to have it more frequently.

Puppies of the Yorkie breed are very active and energetic. As a result, ensure they are fed and well-hydrated throughout the day. To help keep their blood sugar levels in a healthy range, you could also give them sweetened water or syrup.

The potentially fatal condition of pancreatitis is highly prevalent in Yorkies. In most cases, a high-fat diet that results in pancreatic inflammation is to blame. Typical signs and symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, and appetite loss.

Due to their small jaws and crowded teeth, Yorkies are more susceptible to periodontal disease. Other typical health issues include luxating patella, hip dysplasia, Legg-Perthes disease, portosystemic shunt, and collapsed trachea.

A healthy diet, regular exercise, and a secure environment can all help to ward off the majority of Yorkie diseases. Visit a veterinarian immediately to diagnose and treat your Yorkie’s health problems if you notice any.

If your Yorkie has a genetic disorder like a portosystemic shunt, fragile bone, progressive retinal atrophy, luxating patella, or hip dysplasia, they will need close monitoring and frequent veterinary visits.

While some illnesses can be fully treated, others are chronic and require specialized care. Keep a record of your dog’s vaccinations and medical history. Make sure your Yorkie puppy receives all of its shots on schedule.

Grooming

Regular grooming is needed for Yorkies. It must have its hair brushed every day. Apply conditioner to the hair before brushing it since dry hair can break when brushed. Regular trimming is also necessary. Your Yorkie’s hair can become up to two feet long if you don’t take care of it, making it challenging to clean and brush.

Trim their nails and bathe your Yorkie every week. To stop tartar from forming on your Yorkie’s teeth, brush its teeth every day. Make grooming time enjoyable and rewarding for your Yorkie.

Training

Many dog owners find it difficult to train them because they are stubborn. However, if you begin training early, your chances of success are higher. The ideal age range is from 8 weeks to 6 months. You must exercise both firmness and patience when training them.

Obedience training, house training, potty training, and socialization are all included in Yorkie dog training. Early beginnings, consistency, repetition, and positive reinforcement are essential components of a successful Yorkie training program. Eliminate distractions to improve the training environment. You or a specialist can train the Yorkie.

Nutrition

A wholesome, well-balanced diet is necessary for Yorkies. It should have a low-fat content and a high protein content. Wet food can upset the stomach, so dry food is preferred. However, if your Yorkie has trouble eating dry food, combine it with some wet food.

If your dog isn’t allergic to grains, add some of them to their diet in moderation, such as oats, quinoa, and barley. According to studies, feeding dogs a diet rich in grains can help prevent canine dilated cardiomyopathy.

Offer them quick, small meals several times throughout the day, ideally three. They can only eat small amounts of food at a time due to their small bodies, and going too long without food can result in hypoglycemia. Depending on their age and body size, ensure the diet provides them with the recommended number of calories per day.

Exercise

Yorkshire terrier puppies like to play and exercise because they have a lot of energy. They must exercise daily for at least 30 to 40 minutes. They enjoy playing with toys like fetching a ball and going for brisk walks or runs.

When walking the dog, use a harness instead of a collar because a collar can cause the trachea to collapse. To keep the dog from becoming distracted, keep your pace steady. Watch for signs of exhaustion and avoid over-exerting your dog.

How Do You Groom Yorkies?

Brushing a Yorkie’s long hair away from a carpeted floor is advisable, but it is not necessary to do so every day. Yorkies need to be bathed every week, and it’s best to start your puppy’s grooming routine early so that they become accustomed to it and tolerate it.

Yorkshire Terrier fur is typically styled in the show ring and given a tidy center parting from the head to the tail. Frequently, a clip or bow is used to hold their top-of-head hair up and away from their eyes. As well as giving them the desired appearance, this styling keeps their vision from being obstructed.

Great care must be taken to maintain their long coat’s silky and straight appearance when worn, and some owners even wrap the hair in a towel to prevent breakages. For pet owners, a slightly shorter cut or all-over clip will be much more practical and reduce the time needed for grooming. Going to the groomer frequently is beneficial for this breed.

What is the Health and Lifespan of a Yorkie?

Like most small dogs, Yorkie puppies have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. Nevertheless, it is common for some people to live up to 18 to 20 years. The length of their life depends on how well they are cared for and their health.

Yorkie pregnancies last 58–68 days, like other toy dogs. Younger Yorkies typically have one puppy per litter, whereas older ones can have up to three.

Unlike adult Yorkies, young Yorkshire terriers must have a cesarean section to deliver their puppies because they cannot do so naturally. Unfortunately, the procedure is risky for them because they do not tolerate anesthesia well.

With no senses and no ability to move, newborn Yorkie puppies rely entirely on their mother. In the first two to four weeks of life, their senses develop. They begin walking and barking at around five weeks. Beginning in week 8, they can be taken away from their mother.

Between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks, when they are still young puppies, they are easily overpowered by loud noises, which can cause them to go through a stage of fear. Once accustomed to their surroundings, they are eager to explore and learn. You can take them on outings in the car or outside.

The ages of adolescents range from six months to two years. They are now beginning to reveal their personality. They display both independence and power. Additionally, they might display sexual behaviors if they haven’t been neutered or spayed. You must train your Yorkie now if you haven’t already because it will be challenging to train it later on when it is an adult.

Puppies of Yorkshire terriers are regarded as adults after two years. Both their physical and psychological development are complete. The aging symptoms in Yorkies start to appear after the age of 10, and they include compulsive behaviors, loss of interest, forgetfulness, stiffness, sight loss, and deafness. In addition, they might get sick. During their senior dog years, they need more care and consideration.

Health and Care for Yorkies

The health conditions listed below are a few that you should be aware of. Some are mainly connected to their diminutive size. Health dangers for Yorkies to be mindful of:

Heart Problems

Yorkshire Terriers are prone to cardiovascular issues. In actuality, heart failure is the primary killer of older Yorkshire Terriers. Additionally, Teacup Yorkshire Terriers are more prone to this condition.

They are predisposed to mitral valve disease and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), among other conditions. A tiny vessel in the heart that didn’t close after birth causes PDA. As a result, fluid accumulates, and the heart is strained. A particular kind of heart murmur is present in dogs with PDA. Once found, it is frequently treatable with heart surgery. Coughing, breathlessness, exhaustion during physical activity and weakness in the back legs are all symptoms of this condition.

Older dogs are more likely to develop mitral valve disease. Backflow of blood is the result of weak heart valves. The heart is strained as a result. Medication and yearly heart exams are frequently effective ways to manage this condition. Breeders should not breed dogs with PDA or mitral valve disease and should have documentation of comprehensive cardiac evaluations of both parents.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

The retina degrades as a result of PRA. Blindness is rendered as a result. Dogs between the ages of 3 and 9 can begin to exhibit symptoms. Night blindness is frequently the first observable symptom. Reputable breeders should conduct genetic screenings for PRA because it is hereditary.

Legg-Calve-Perthes

The degenerative orthopedic condition Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is uncommon but severe. Small-breed dogs are more likely to experience this hip issue. And between the ages of 5 and 8 months, it frequently manifests in Yorkie puppies.

The femur’s head is degenerating on its own, which is what is causing the symptoms. The long bone in the back of the leg that fits into the hip socket allows the person’s leg to swing freely. Although there is no treatment for this unpleasant condition, it can be controlled with painkilling surgery and medication.

Patellar Luxation

Small dogs, like the Yorkshire Terrier, are prone to patella luxation, which can manifest as early as four months of age. The dislocation of the knee joint is the result of a knee malformation.

A bow-legged appearance, an abnormal gait, and pain are all warning signs. When the knee dislocates, there may be an audible “pop.” Surgery, a knee brace, or applying pressure to the knee may all be necessary for treatment. If your dog has patellar luxation, you shouldn’t allow them to jump or overexert them.

Congenital Portosystemic Shunt (PSS)

The term “liver shunt” also applies to the portosystemic shunt. Yorkies are genetically predisposed to this problem, which is nasty. In less than 0.2% of all purebred dogs, congenital portosystemic shunts are present at birth. Of all breeds, Yorkshire Terriers have the highest prevalence of this illness.

Anomalies in the development of the affected dogs’ veins result in abnormal blood flow. The liver is partially surrounded by blood. The body cannot develop or function properly without an adequate blood supply. Additionally, the liver is insufficient for toxin removal.

Growth retardation, seizures, and behavioral problems are all possible outcomes. Diet and medication are sometimes used to treat PSS, but surgery is occasionally necessary.

Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease is more likely to manifest in Yorkshire Terriers. Overactive adrenal glands that overproduce steroid hormones are the root cause of this disease.

Excessive drinking and urinating, a pot belly, increased appetite, reduced activity levels, thin skin, and hair loss are all signs of Cushing’s disease. Medication must be carefully monitored during treatment to ensure your dog receives the proper dosage.

Hypoglycemia

Every toy dog is susceptible to hypoglycemia. If this condition is not identified and treated, it could be fatal. Dogs are most vulnerable after exercise or an exciting time and if they skip a meal.

You must feed small dogs more frequently than larger breeds, especially in the first few months of life, to prevent this severe drop in blood sugar levels. Seizures, collapsing, and weakness are some signs and symptoms. Call your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of these symptoms in your pet.

Tracheal Collapse

The severe condition known as the tracheal collapse is another one that Yorkies are predisposed to. One of the three breeds most likely to be impacted is theirs. The malformed cartilage rings in the windpipe are the cause of this condition. Because they are then incapable of supporting breathing, this could be disastrous.

The symptoms include wheezing, exhaustion or collapse after exercise, and breathing difficulties. If you smoke next to your dog or if your dog is overweight, the risk of developing this condition rises. While less severe cases of this condition might only need medication, more severe cases might necessitate surgery.

Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE)

Any breed may be afflicted by the idiopathic disease known as GHE. The Yorkie is one of the smaller breeds where it is more prevalent. If untreated, this acute, severe disorder can be fatal. Additionally, it can suddenly appear in an otherwise healthy dog.

Large amounts of bloody diarrhea, loss of appetite, fatigue, pain in the abdomen, and fever are all signs of this illness. A vet’s diagnosis might necessitate a lot of testing. Additionally, intravenous fluids, potassium, and electrolytes are frequently used in the treatment. Additionally, medications such as antibiotics and others might be given.

Skin Allergies

Just like people, dogs can experience allergies. Atopy is a typical skin allergy that can affect Yorkies. Ear infections, frequent face rubbing, and persistent licking are all symptoms of allergies. If you believe your dog has allergies, speak with your veterinarian.

Dental Problems

Like many other dogs, Yorkies can develop minor health problems like dental disease and skin allergies. Dental-related illnesses can be avoided by giving your dog a weekly dental cleaning with toothpaste approved by the vet.

Do Yorkies Make Good Pets?

If you have older kids, Yorkies make better family pets. Children under the age of eight should be closely supervised around Yorkshire Terriers. Accidental rough treatment of pets by children under eight is common.

Although Yorkshire Terriers are typically patient dogs, they have been known to snap or nip, especially in response to unpleasant handling. It is always a good idea to give dogs their own space from children when they need it.