5 Keys to Caring For a Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers or Yorkies are some of the most loveable toy sized dogs you’ve ever seen. While they might be small, they live for adventure as they are constantly energetic and looking for new sorts of trouble to get into. The problem is they are just clever enough to find it whether it is sneaking under a fence to go exploring or chewing a hole through a screen window to jump out and chase the critters out back. Yorkies act completely unaware of their size and will attempt chase other dogs or small animals. Furthermore, if not disciplined, they will attempt to communicate what they want you to do through excessive yapping. Tall or small, all terriers need to know the owner is the pack leader and this dog is no different. Being small and energetic can be fun at times but when it comes to hazards and health issues it is important to keep an eye on them and discipline them into developing good habits at a young age. Here are what I, as a previous owner, believe to be the most important things to know about caring for a Yorkie.

1.Discipline Them Young and Adapt Them To Your Environment

As mentioned above these little dogs can adopt the Napoleon state of mind (Small Dog Syndrome) and attempt to take over the house if you let them. Potty train them consistently and do not let them jump on furniture they are not allowed on. Use gentle leadership skills to let them know you are in charge. Make them sit before they are allowed to hop on the couch or bed with you. You can use the same method for feeding them and letting them play with dog toys as well. These dogs are quite stubborn in nature and not always good with sharing. Socialize them with people and other dogs while they are young to prevent confrontations with visiting dogs later on.

2.Groom and Bathe Often

The good news is that these dogs shed little to no hair. The bad news is their hair still needs to be trimmed regularly for their own good. Make it a point to always get their teeth cleaned when they go to the vet as those tiny things can be susceptible to tooth decay. Be sure to get the hair around the ears, eyes and anus on a regular basis. Do the ears because they are very susceptible to ear infections due to the build-up of wax and potential mites that get in their longer hairs. Use a wash cloth to wipe mucus from around their eyes daily because it can rot in their hair if not cleaned up. Last but not least, be sure to trim the hairs around the anus because it is very common for their hair to get matted with the faeces.

3.Make an Appointment With The Vet a Few Times a Year

With proper grooming and bathing this dog shouldn’t be that big of a problem health wise. Nonetheless, it is important to get them checked up regularly because they are so small and brittle. The smallest injury to these dogs might not be easily noticeable but as active and enthusiastic as they are about jumping up and down on things they can be prone to injury. I once took my Yorky, Oscar, in for a long overdue check-up and found that he had herniated disk. Pay attention to how they move because these dogs can develop spinal problems over time with all of their quick manoeuvring and hard landing.

4.Keep a Close Eye on What They Eat

Yorkies do not eat much at all and won’t eat unless they are hungry. It is important to make sure they are not regularly getting into something that could be bad for their already delicate digestive system. Be prepared to invest in nutritious food for this dog.

5.Keep Them Inside or Well Protected Outside

I kid you not; Oscar was once picked up by a HAWK. My mother was watching him that afternoon and frantically shouted at it, doing even the most pointless thing to get it to let go. Oscar was dropped and landed in the grass fortunately which didn’t irreparably damage any bones but I will never forget the talon marks under his rib cage. Yorkies are small but too brave for their own good and will chase down raccoons, squirrels, and any other small to medium sized creatures that find their way into a yard. They are excellent dogs for indoors, quite popular with apartments, and need some form of restricted area with shelter if you are not around.

By: Griff Haeger

Griff Haeger is dog aficionado. When he is not playing with his canine friends or fixing an air conditioner at work he writes about canine healthcare and various dog products.

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