Yorkshire Terrier12 July 2023
Let's talk about... Yorkshire Terriers: what are they?
- Yorkshire Terriers, often referred to as Yorkies, are small and lively toy dogs that originated in Yorkshire, England.
- Yorkies were initially bred as rat catchers in the clothing mills of 19th-century England. They were valued for their tenacity and ability to fit into tight spaces.
- Despite their small size, they are known for their big personalities.
- Yorkies have a long, silky coat that comes in various colours, including black and tan, blue and tan, and parti-colours.
- On average, Yorkshire Terriers stand at around 20-23 cm tall and weigh between 2-3 kg.
- These little dogs have a life expectancy of approximately 12-15 years.
What is the temperament of Yorkshire Terriers like?
- Yorkshire Terriers are known for their feisty and confident personalities.
- They are intelligent, curious, and often have a big attitude packed into their tiny bodies.
- Yorkies are generally affectionate and form strong bonds with their owners.
- While they can be good with children, it's important to supervise interactions due to their small size.
- Early socialisation is crucial to ensure they are comfortable around other dogs and animals.
- Yorkies are alert and make excellent watchdogs, often barking to alert their families of potential dangers.
- However, without proper training and guidance, they can become yappy or overly protective.
How much exercise do Yorkshire Terriers need?
- Yorkshire Terriers may be small, but they still need regular exercise to stay healthy and happy.
- They typically require around 30 minutes to 1 hour of exercise per day.
- This can be achieved through short walks, interactive play sessions, and mental stimulation activities.
- Keep in mind that each dog is unique, so the exercise needs may vary based on their age, health, and energy levels.
- Yorkies are well-suited to apartment living and can thrive in urban environments as long as they have opportunities to stretch their legs and explore their surroundings.
- Yorkshire Terrier puppies are full of energy and curiosity.
- However, it's important to provide them with controlled and appropriate exercise to prevent injuries and support their growing bodies.
- Puppies should have several short play and exercise sessions throughout the day, totaling around 10-15 minutes per session.
- These sessions can include gentle indoor play, short walks in safe areas, and age-appropriate mental stimulation activities.
- It's essential to avoid excessive jumping or strenuous activities until they are physically mature, usually around 10-12 months of age.
- Your vet can advise on the exercise needs of your individual pooch.
Do Yorkshire Terriers need a lot of grooming?
- Yorkshire Terriers have a beautiful, long, and silky coat that requires regular grooming to keep it in top condition.
- Their coat is non-shedding and grows continuously, similar to human hair.
- Yorkies require daily brushing to prevent tangles and matting.
- Regular baths using a mild dog shampoo are necessary to keep their coat clean and free from debris.
- Many Yorkie owners opt for professional grooming every 4-6 weeks to maintain the desired coat length and style.
- Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Are Yorkshire Terriers easy to train?
- Yorkshire Terriers are intelligent dogs and can be quite trainable with the right approach.
- They respond well to positive reinforcement training methods, including praise, treats, and play.
- Consistency and patience are key when training a Yorkie, as they can have a stubborn streak.
- Start training from an early age and focus on basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, and come.
- Yorkies thrive on mental stimulation, so incorporating interactive toys, puzzle games, and training sessions into their daily routine can help keep them engaged and well-behaved.
What do Yorkshire Terriers eat?
- A balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for the overall health and well-being of Yorkshire Terriers.
- High-quality commercial dog food that is specifically formulated for small breeds should be provided.
- Most do well from being fed twice daily.
- Puppies have specific dietary requirements for growth and should be fed a specially formulated puppy food until they reach their full adult size, usually around 9-12 months.
- Puppies should be fed 3-4 times daily until 6 months, then reduced to twice daily.
- Treats can be given in moderation but should not exceed 10% of their daily calorie intake.
- It's essential to consult with your vet to determine the appropriate food, feeding schedule and portion sizes for your Yorkie.
Are Yorkshire Terriers healthy?
Yorkshire Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they may be prone to certain health conditions. Some of the health concerns that can affect Yorkshire Terriers include:
Bones and Joints
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease - a hip condition that affects the blood supply to the head of the femur bone, leading to breakdown of the bone, pain and lameness.
- Luxating patella - this is when a dog’s kneecap moves out of where it should normally be
- Periodontal Disease - a buildup of plaque and tartar on a dog’s teeth leading to inflammation, infection and tooth loss
- Cataracts - a common cause of blindness due to a clouding of the lens of the eye
- Dry eye - an ongoing condition where the tear glands in the eyes don’t produce enough protective tear film, which can lead to discomfort, infections and damage of the eye
- Distichiasis - when extra hairs grow on the inside of the eyelid and rub on the surface of the eye
- Primary Lens Luxation - the lens of the eye shifts from its normal position, which results in glaucoma and inflammation
- Diabetes - a condition where your dog can’t produce enough insulin to control their blood sugar levels
- Hypothyroidism - a condition where your dog does not produce enough thyroid hormone
- Tracheal Collapse - when a dog’s windpipe collapses due to the weakening of cartilage leading to a narrowing or closing off of their airway, often first noted as a honking cough
- Porto-systemic shunt (PSS) - when the blood circulation bypasses the normal cleaning processes of the liver resulting in signs like stunted growth and abnormal behaviours
- Bladder Stones - Stones form in the bladder which can be uncomfortable and cause a blockage
This list is by no means comprehensive, if you have any concerns about the health of your dog, or if you want to discuss further if a Yorkie is right for you, consult with your vet.
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Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian. Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive. If you ever have any concerns about your dog's health, contact your local vet.
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