There’s no mistaking the Yorkshire Terrier with their stunning coat and ‘look at me attitude. But if you’re thinking of having a Yorkie puppy join your family, then it’s important to know what you’re letting yourself in for!
From personality and breed traits through to Yorkie colors and coat care, this guide will provide you with all the essential Yorkshire Terrier information you need to know.
The Yorkshire Terrier Personality
To talk about the Yorkies’ personality needs a little knowledge about their history.
That’s because this diminutive canine was originally bred to hunt rats! It’s thought that the breed was developed by crossing the English Toy Terrier with the Skye Terrier, but it’s likely that any small terrier that earned its living by keeping vermin at bay would have been added into the mix.
Though they were tenacious hunters, it was also important that the Yorkshire Terrier was easy to live with and showed no aggression towards their family. So, despite their humble beginnings in the homes of Yorkshire, it didn’t take long before that they became pets rather than working dogs.
However, not all Yorkshire Terriers know that they’re no longer working dogs, which can mean a feisty personality. This is a breed that will let you know when anyone walks past the gate, and that barking can become a problem.
The Yorkie can also become a little protective over their family, but with careful socialization and training as a pup, you’ll be able to avoid any problems developing.
You might know that the Yorkshire Terrier has two different coat colors, but did you know that all pups are born black and tan? As the puppy gets older, the adult coat comes through, and then their coats are either blue or tan.
The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America describes blue as being a dark steel blue. They also emphasize that the coat shouldn’t be silver-blue and that there should be no fawn, bronze, or black hairs
Tan, meanwhile, is much darker at the roots, then it gets lighter along the length of the hair until it’s a light tan at the tips. For this shade of coat, there should be no black hair mixed in with the tan.
However, that all said unless you’re planning to show your Yorkshire Terrier, it probably doesn’t matter too much if their coat color isn’t a perfect match with the breed standard.
We can’t talk about getting ready for a Yorkshire Terrier puppy without planning how you’re going to care for those long locks!
While the Yorkie coat might look as if it needs a lot of attention, it’s actually easier to maintain than some shorter coated breeds. That’s because it has no wooly undercoat and because it’s very similar to human hair.
If you’re keeping the hair long, you should be ready to commit time after every walk to make sure there’s no debris caught up that will then go on to cause mats.
Then you’re going to need to bathe them probably every week or so. That’s because the longer hair really seems to collect the dirt. Do be aware, though, that too much bathing can cause problems too.
If you’re going for a shorter coat, that will mean regular trips to the groomers. In this case, it’s important to introduce your pup to the groomers when they’re young so that they become used to the process and before any tangles begin to develop.
Yorkshire Terriers do have some health conditions that are associated with the breed. When you’re aware of what they are, then it’s easier to spot the signs and get the early veterinary treatment
If you imagine the trachea as being a flexible tube that’s a little like a vacuum cleaner hose. Its rings of cartilage keep the airway open which then allows your Yorkie to breathe.
When the cartilage becomes weak, then it starts to flatten out, and that then makes it difficult to breathe.
Sadly, small breeds of dogs such as the Yorkshire Terrier tend to suffer from tracheal collapse more often than larger breeds.
So, if your Yorkie seems to have a harsh dry cough, difficulty breathing, or seems wheezy, then these can all be symptoms that need to be checked out by your veterinarian as soon as possible.
When the patella or kneecap frequently becomes dislocated, then your vet may diagnose a condition called patella luxation. This is one of the most common orthopedic conditions that our dogs can get.
However, the American College of Veterinary Surgeons does say that the Yorkshire Terrier is at greater risk of the problem than many other breeds.
If you spot your Yorkshire suddenly carrying their leg for a few steps or shake their leg before they seem to get used to it again, then these might be signs of patella luxation.
Again, do check with your vet, as surgery might be an option to help your Yorkie keep mobile and pain-free.
The wonderful Yorkshire Terrier is, without a doubt, going to change your life forever. This is a breed that has no sense of its size. They love running through the woods and walks on the trails, and then at the end of the day, they’ll snuggle up close, making them the perfect companion.