About Yorkshire Terriers
By just looking at this adorable little dog you wouldn’t think that they were originally trained to be vicious hunting hounds. Well, mostly for hunting rats and similar rodents, but hounds none the less.
This history means that Yorkie is quite easy to train, has good composure, and is a very playful dog. Their small stature is what makes them a good emotional support animal and a good household pet, as they are can be easily carried around and held in the lap if needed.
As the name suggests, Yorkshire Terriers were first bread in Yorkshire, England, and as a relatively new breed of dog they do have several health issues as well as dietary needs, but for those who can comply with all of the requirements this will be an awesome dog to have by your side, even if not really sized to be a guard dog.
As Yorkies are relatively small dogs, they do not require a lot of food each day, but any Yorkshire Terrier owner must ensure that any food they do receive is of good quality and that it is well balanced between protein, fat, carbs and other nutrients.
Generally, this breed requires around 400 calories a day while they are growing and still a puppy, which falls down to 200 calories after their first birthday. As with most dogs, their diet should consist mostly of meat protein, but unlike some more demanding dogs, this can be just about 60% of the nutritional value in the dog’s diet. The rest can be split between carbs, fat, and fiber, with the last ingredient being very important for good digestion of food.
Dry kibble is probably the easiest choice when feeding a Yorkie, as it is easy to manage the weight, but any owner should inquire on the dog food packaging if there are any minerals and vitamins included. If there are no vitamins, those should be supplemented as tablets or treats.
While Yorkie grooming does require a bit more work than other dogs, their temperament makes the experience quite fun and relaxing. Yorkshire Terriers will need a haircut about every six weeks, with regular trimming under the tail and around the anus. Regular brushing is very important as their hairs may become tangled and impossible to brush out later.
A Yorkie puppy needs somewhat less trimming that an adult dog, but still more than most dogs. Regular bathing is also required, and for this, the owner must make sure that they are using a mild shampoo as not to irritate the dog.
For such a small dog, this breed is very athletic, with even a Yorkshire Terrier puppy wanting to take walks very early. They are not very intensive as far as the tempo goes, but they should go out at least once a day. Preferably, you will be able to make two rounds of half-hour walks daily, one being in the early morning and one being in the evening. This will give the dog enough exercise to develop properly and not to suffer from multiple ailments that are connected with the lack of activity in this breed.
This dog breed loves playing catch as do all terriers, but due to their small size, they are unable to do that with anything. Having a toy or a ball that is good for their size, as well as playing somewhere where that object will not be hidden in the grass will be perfect, and the dog will enjoy playing with you very much.
As Yorkshire Terriers are a very active breed, they are easy to train if you can stay consistent and patient. While Yorkie puppies can be trained to perform all sorts of tasks, preparing them to be service animals will not be useful as their small stature will prevent them from being very efficient.
Basic obedience training should start as soon as possible, with a light harness and loads of positive reinforcement. You will need to be consistent with the praise and treats and never reward bad behavior. Also, you shouldn’t punish the dog for not being able to do a specific task, as they do not respond to negative reinforcement or physical punishment.
Once you are satisfied with the obedience training, you should keep playing with the dog as if you are training, giving treats for good deeds. This will make the Yorkie internalize all of the information and answer to commands instinctively when they are older.
Yorkshire Terriers have several important health issues that you should consider and for which you should check as often as possible.
Hypoglycemia is a common occurrence in toy breeds and should be treated at once. Additionally, some Yorkies might develop Legg-Perthes disease, skin allergies, retinal dysplasia, liver shunt, kneecap dislocation, collapsed trachea as well as pancreatitis.
Your vet should inform you about the possibility of these medical issued, and you should ask your vet to tell you if there are any health problems and if there are any ways to resolve them.
Finally, if you see the puppies struggling to walk correctly, you might want to do a hip x-ray as to check if they have any type of hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia.
The Bottom Line
If you want a little tea-cup Yorkie either as a pet or as an emotional support dog, you will be pleased with their intelligence, independence, confidence, and courage. This is a remarkable breed as such a feisty spirit is packed in such a small dog.
If you groom your Yorkshire Terrier properly and provide them with a well-balanced diet, they will live for a long time exchanging love, affection, and emotional comfort for treats and belly rubs.