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Yorkshire Terrier, or “Yorkie” puppies, are irresistibly cute and have the ability to melt your heart into a million tiny pieces. Before you run out to your local Yorkshire Terrier rescue group to bring this adorable pup into your life, there are a few things to know about the breed.
Yorkshire Terriers are an easy dog breed to train. This results from their own nature to work without human assistance. They are naturally smart and quick to learn with many being food and or praise motivated. Because they were developed as a working breed many need a lot of both physical and mental stimulation—with both long walks/runs but also indoor games and training to keep their mind busy. They are known for being yappy, but many have reported that a contented Yorkie is a quiet one—that will happily curl up on your knee in the evening. However, they are all individuals, with some being much more laid back than others and the breeder should ideally be able to advise on the needs and temperaments of their particular line. Yorkies are easily adaptable to all surroundings, travel well and make suitable pets for many homes. Due to their small size, they require limited exercise but need daily interaction with people. They thrive on attention and love. Many however are more timid around other dogs and prefer to stay close to their humans for comfort.
Yorkshire Terriers do tend to bark a lot. This makes them excellent watchdogs, as they will sound the alarm when anyone gets close. However, this barking problem can be resolved with proper training and exercise
Yorkshire Terriers are small, long-haired toy terriers with compact and well-proportioned bodies. The coat is long and silky and should be steel blue and gold. All puppies are born black with tan points, and mature into their adult coats after one year. The hair is parted down the dog's back and grows to the flow. The head is flat with a medium-length muzzle. The bright eyes are dark with dark rims, and the button nose is black. The ears are small, triangular and erect. The tail of the Yorkshire Terrier is customarily docked to half the original length.
The average height for a Yorkshire Terrier is 7.5 inches at the shoulder, and they should do not weigh more than 7 pounds.
Soft haired Yorkshire Terriers are prone to tangles, so brushing should be a daily occurrence to prevent mats and to keep the coat clean. Silky haired Yorkies need to be brushed at least three times per week, but their hair is not as prone to tangling. Regardless of coat texture, if the dog is not being shown, there is no practical need to keep the hair long, and many owners opt to clip the coat short in order to reduce maintenance.
Check the ears on a weekly basis for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build up. Cleanse regularly with a veterinarian-approved cleanser and cotton ball. Brush the teeth at least once per week to prevent tartar buildup and fight gum disease. Small dogs are prone to dental problems, especially later in life, so the more the teeth are brushed at home, the better. Additionally, nails should be trimmed once per month if the dog does not wear down the toenails naturally.
Their coat is their distinguishing feature and must be fine, silky, perfectly straight and have a high gloss. The hair on the face is very long; the topknot between the ears typically is tied with one bow in the center or parted in the middle and tied with two bows, while the long hair on the muzzle is kept natural. Coat color is of prime importance in adult Yorkies. The body (from the back of the neck to the root of the tail) must be a dark steel-blue, not a silver-blue and not mingled with bronze, fawn or black hairs. The tail typically is a darker shade of the same color. The head, chest and lower half of the legs must be a rich golden tan, with individual hairs being darker at the roots, shading to lighter, brighter color at the tips.
Puppies are born with a black coat, and as they mature, it changes to blue and tan. Individuals who lighten before they are a year old are usually gray at maturity, rather than blue. The blue hair runs from the back of the head to the tail tip. The head is gold, as is the headfall. The hair at the base of the ears and on the muzzle is slightly darker, and no tan should reach beyond the ears. There is tan on the legs, but it should not go above the elbow.
The long and silky coat of the Yorkshire Terrier is one of the trademarks of the breed. If your dog’s hair feels dry and brittle, or begins to fall out, there is likely a problem with his diet. In order to maintain a healthy coat, a Yorkie’s diet should include fish. The omega fatty acids found in fish keep skin healthy and thus keep the coat silky and shiny. Omega fatty acids also help the body absorb other essential vitamins and nutrients.
Many Yorkshire Terriers are prone to stomach upset. In order to prevent vomiting and diarrhea, avoid dog foods made with corn and soy, which can agitate the digestive tract.Very small Yorkies can be prone to a condition known as hypoglycemia, which is a drop in blood sugar due to lack of food. In order to maintain blood sugar levels and prevent hypoglycemia, feed a Yorkie three meals per day, spread out as evenly as possible. Hypoglycemia can be a life-threatening problem, so speak to your veterinarian about the symptoms and signs, and learn what to do in case you notice those signs in your dog. It can be very easy to overfeed or underfeed a Yorkshire Terrier. It is important to remember that they have very small stomachs, and can only handle a little bit of food at a time. It is also important to remember that the breed is prone to blood sugar issues and obesity, so you never want to overfeed a Yorkie. Proper portion size and nutritional balance can help Yorkshire Terriers maintain health and happiness into old age.