Yorkshire Terriers are renowned as pint-sized warriors who keep their owners entertained. Dubbed Yorkies, these canines have captivated many admirers with their classy appearance, flexibility, and charming dispositions. However, despite their undeniable appeal, remember that there are some absolute no-nos when it comes to handling Yorkshire Terriers.  

Yorkies possess a glistening, extravagant coat that exudes an air of composure and refinement. But let’s not be fooled by their chic appearance, for these furballs are actually quite spirited, intrepid, and relentless. In their early days, they were vermin exterminators, diligently fulfilling their duty before transforming into pampered companions of high society ladies during the Victorian era. Hence, it is only inevitable that the true terrier spirit runs through their veins.

Fast forward to today, and these adorable creatures have conquered the hearts of Americans, ranking high as one of the most sought-after dog breeds. Now, let’s delve into the 10 rules for owning a Yorkshire Terrier.

1. Prevent Your Yorkie From Jumping Off Heights

Yorkies are adorable little pups with delicate bodies. So, leaping off the couch or any furniture can spell disaster for them. It’s like a high-wire act that could leave them with painful twists, muscle strains, or even a fractured leg. And imagine the toll on their precious knee, ankle, and hip joints if they keep hopping on hard and slippery surfaces. So, if you’re dying to snuggle with your furry friend on the couch, please take the time to teach them to wait for your help to climb down. Better yet, invest in some handy ramps or steps to ease their sofa adventures. 

2. Use a Harness When Walking Your Yorkie

Yorkshire Terriers commonly have issues with their trachea collapsing, which makes it super hard for them to breathe. So, to avoid this major health issue, you gotta be smart and put some gentle pressure on the neck. Instead of using a basic old collar, go for a trendy harness. That way, the pressure is spread out on their back, chest, and shoulders, keeping their precious neck safe and sound. Plus, bonus points, the harness gives you way more control over your furry friend. 

3. Schedule Regular Vet Checkups

Just like humans need regular checkups to stay healthy, Yorkies also need their own version of doctor visits. It’s crucial for these little pooches to get checked out by a veterinarian on a regular basis to ensure they’re in tip-top shape. Plus, a checkup can catch any health issues early on, increasing the chances of successful treatment. And hey, while you’re at it, it’s the perfect time to pick the vet’s brain about your furry friend’s diet, exercise routine, and all their quirks.

Speaking of which, if you’re thinking about getting a Yorkie, just be aware of some potential health concerns to keep an eye out for. These include fancy terms like patellar luxation, progressive retinal atrophy, p oort of the systemic shunt (yeah, we don’t know what that means either), and other pesky problems like low blood sugar and reverse sneezing. Oh, and let’s not forget about dental issues and eye infections. But hey, as long as you stay on top of their health, these little guys can live a good 12 to 15 years on average. 

4. Always Make Sure Your Home is Safe

Regardless of how old your Yorkie may be, it is absolutely imperative that you perpetually safeguard your humble abode against puppy mayhem. Canines possess an uncanny tendency to engage in oral exploration and gnawing, particularly when plagued by the tediousness of boredom. Thus, it is of utmost importance to ensure that all your treasured possessions reside far beyond the grasp of your four-legged companion. Exercise caution to prevent access to minuscule objects that may be choking hazards or obstruction of delicate canine intestines.  

Apart from ensuring the safety of your humble abode, you wouldn’t want to skimp on the coziness factor for your furry companion. If you happen to have a little pup, treating them to a plushy plaything can bring them a world of comfort. Believe it or not, there are some pups out there who grow old cherishing, carrying, and even catching some Z’s with their beloved plush toys.

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5. Socialization is Key

By familiarizing your canine companion with different individuals, sights, sounds, surroundings, and circumstances during their early stages, you are equipping them to maintain a composed demeanor when confronted with unfamiliar scenarios. This diminishes their inclination to exhibit undue aggression. Additionally, you can enroll your furry friend in puppy classes, where they can interact with fellow canines and humans, thereby enhancing their socialization abilities.

Nevertheless, even if your four-legged friend has received proper training and socialization, it is highly recommended to keep them leashed whenever you embark on walks together. This precautionary measure proves necessary as their instinctual prey drive may be triggered upon sighting one of those infamous squirrels. 

6. Training is Crucial for a Yorkie

Yorkies were originally bred to be savage ratters, so it’s no surprise that they have a strong prey drive. If you want to avoid any embarrassing public escapades, you better get that under control. Starting from a young age, these furry guys need some serious training. And let me tell you, it’s not for the faint-hearted. You need to be one tough cookie of an owner – firm, consistent, and patient as a saint. But hey, it’s not all doom and gloom!

We can’t forget the power of positive reinforcement. Treats, praises, and a boatload of time are all essential to make this training business a success. Never use harsh punishments such as yelling and hitting when training your dog as it will only lead to them being shy or aggressive, which is not ideal for any dog, regardless of the breed.

Additionally, these dogs’ small size allows them to comfortably live both in an apartment and homes with a large yard. However, because of their tendency to be yappy and loud, they can cause disturbance to your neighbors. Fortunately, if they’re given enough exercise and are trained well, they can learn the quiet command.

7. Take Care of Your Yorkie’s Teeth

One more thing to bear in mind about Yorkies is their risk for dental troubles. Neglecting the toothbrush can result in pesky bacteria making a home in those pearly whites, leading to tooth decay, gum disease, infection, and sadly, tooth loss. So, while your pup is still at a tender age, get them acquainted with the ritual of daily brushing. Since Yorkies are little cuties, you can opt for a teeny toothbrush designed specifically for dogs, or even a fancy fingertip brush. And don’t forget to use toothpaste made especially for our canine friends. Now, you may be familiar with dental chews, which do pack a punch, but remember, they’re meant to be sidekicks to brushing and sprays, not replacements. 

8. Ensure Your Yorkie’s Food is High Quality

Be ready to cough up some dough to raise your Yorkie like royalty! You see, the cheap dog food out there is a hot mess with all sorts of sketchy ingredients. They can wreak havoc on your pup’s health, from short-term tummy troubles to long-term ailments. We’re talking allergies, weight gain, and even messed-up brain stuff. But fear not! If you’ve got some kitchen skills, whip up some homemade meals for your furry companion. That way, you’re the boss of what goes into their bellies, and you can cater to their picky tastes. But hold your horses, not sure where to start planning your Yorkie’s meals? No worries, just call up your pup’s doctor or nutritionist to ensure they’re getting all the good stuff they need. 

9. Excercise Your Yorkie Daily

Alright, listen up folks. Those Yorkshire Terriers may be small but don’t underestimate their need for exercise. These little pups require a solid 40 minutes to an hour of walking a day. If you’re lucky enough to have a yard, give ’em a game of fetch or let ’em run wild (safely enclosed, of course). We don’t want any escaping shenanigans. Indoors, it’s all about the toys. Keep those furry friends entertained so they don’t resort to being joyful little destroyers. Trust me, nobody wants chewed-up furniture or non-stop barking.

Regular exercise is key for both you and your doggo’s physical and mental well-being. It’ll keep their minds sharp, their hearts healthy, their metabolism revved up, their digestion on point, and their bones and muscles strong. So get out there and have some active fun with your fur baby! 

10. Brush Your Yorkie Regularly

As previously mentioned, Yorkshire Terriers sport a luxurious flow of fur that grazes the ground. Despite their minimal shedding, it’s imperative to give them a good brush to avoid any unsightly knots and keep their coat in tip-top shape. Even if you decide to give them a trim, brushing is still a must-do on a regular basis. Don’t forget to pamper them with a weekly bath too! When those adorable little nails start getting a touch too long, give them a trim, and keep an eye out for any redness, inflammation, or potential infections in their eyes, ears, and skin. Ultimately, Yorkshire Terriers thrive in households that shower them with heaps of attention, quality time, and a whole lot of love. These pups were made to play! 

For those lucky enough to fulfill their every desire, these dogs will be the epitome of charm, amusement, and endearment. Are you confident in your capabilities to nurture a Yorkshire Terrier? 

Hopefully, these quick tips can help you with the journey of owning a Yorkie. We have plenty of other articles on training to review if you have questions about other forms of training. 

Looking for more amazing Yorkie facts that will open your heart to these wonderful little dogs? Stay tuned with us for more informative and fun posts on all things Yorkie related. If you are looking for a journal to track your life with your Yorkie, we have you covered with The Yorkie Times Dog Journal! We also have a wonderful Facebook community that you can join as well!

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