Yorkshire Terriers - The Big Dog of Little Dogs

  • 01/10/2016

The Yorkshire Terrier was bred to keep down the rat population in clothing factories in Yorkshire, England during the Industrial Revolution. This history contributes to the present day dog and its attitude toward the world. They enjoy being around people and will happily follow the owner around all day and at night climb up in the lap and rest. The breed is very outgoing and being a terrier, they do not realize their small size. At 8 to 9 inches tall and weighing in at 7 pounds or less, the Yorkie thinks it controls it's world! It is very outgoing, self assured, overly protective, active, curious, and fond of attention. This combination does not make for a dog to have around children younger than eight. The dog will tolerate other pets, if it is raised with them. Introducing a new pet into an established Yorkie household can be a challenge! The breed is a great apartment dweller and will enjoy the close contact with the people, however, it is prone to be a bit "yappy" and is known to bark at many things. This makes it a good watch dog, but can be disturbing to apartment neighbours. the dog can be suspicious, protective, and hesitant with strangers. Daily exercise is not really required and can easily be accomplished by playing with the dog. They prefer to be indoors and do not tolerate temperature extremes, either direction, very well. Yorkies are more easily trained than many breeds due to their intelligence and desire to please and interact with people. They require mental stimulation and do not do well if left alone for long periods of time. This is one reason you frequently see them being carried with owners on daily outings.

Yorkies live for about 12 to 15 years, however, they do have several health issues. The breed is known for not losing its baby teeth. The problem is common around 5 months of age. This can lead to problems with adult teeth being uneven and contributes to tooth decay in the adult teeth. Another major issue for the breed is Hypoglycemia. Due to the small size and little muscle mass, the dogs may not have adequate glycogen stores. When they have low blood sugar, they can also develop dehydration and low body temperature, resulting in seizures. This can be severe enough that the dog may need to be force fed or have IV fluids and can require hospitalisation. Yorkies are known to have a delicate digestive system. As with many smaller dogs they are prone to knee and hip problems, tracheal problems, and eye problems.

Most people readily identify the Yorkie by the long, ground length, silky, flowing, and beautiful coat. This is one of the most striking features of the breed. However, this does not happen without work! The good news is that despite the long fur, there is little shedding of hair. Also the coat is a single coat. Some people believe the breed to be hypoallergenic, however, this is an ongoing discussion among vets and medical personnel. Caring for the coat is a daily event! Brushing the long fur is required daily, a fact that your Yorkie will love, but you may not! Tangles lead to matting of fur, which can led to skin problems and the need for cutting out the mats. This then leads to a hair cut to keep the coat looking nice. Weekly bathing will help keep the coat looking it's best. Spritzing with conditioner will also help maintain a great looking coat. Additionally, you need to keep checking the dogs nails, ears and teeth.

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