This alert, intelligent terrier, like other dog breeds, has special characteristics and, therefore, some special needs. It is a spirited dog with a generally even disposition. Yorkshire terriers can be very noisy, so think about your neighbors when considering this breed as a pet.
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Be prepared to spend time on grooming and bathing this breed. Because they have long coats, Yorkies must have baths and their coats must be trimmed short or shaved for convenience and hygiene.
Brush your pet's hair daily to keep it free of tangles. Bathe him only when he is dirty, usually weekly. Brushing will keep the hair clean, except on the side of the body where urine collects on a male. Wash this area daily with a damp cloth and warm water. Brush the dog dry in front of a small hair dryer if you have one handy.
Wash mucus from the corners of the dog's eyes, daily if needed, with a cloth or wad of cotton soaked in warm water. Mucus will rot your pet's hair if it's not removed. Dry him off carefully.
Take special care to keep the hair around the Yorkie's anus clean. It is common for this hair to become matted with feces.
Keep the hair on the top third of the ear flaps trimmed very short. This way, excessive hair won't weigh down the ears before they are firmly "set," at around six months of age.
Get your dog's ears checked regularly for excessive wax and mites, and ask your vet to pluck the hair from inside his ears. Hair on his feet will need trimming occasionally.
Pay special attention to the Yorkie's eyes and teeth. Long hair should be kept out of his eyes. As with most toy breeds, Yorkies may have tartar buildup on the teeth ' so they need regular brushing. Ask your veterinarian to recommend the best products and method.
Get a little dog coat for the Yorkie for cold weather. Yorkies do not have an undercoat to keep them warm. A store-bought coat will keep your pet warm and cozy.
Invest in nutritious food for the Yorkie. These dogs eat very little, so their food needs to be healthful.
Note that terriers typically have little tolerance for other animals, including other dogs. Their ancestors were bred to hunt and kill vermin. Many Yorkies are eager for a spirited argument.
Expect a Yorkie to live a healthy 15 years if all goes well.
Tips and warnings
- Do not use a nylon brush, which will break the dog's hair. Use a soft comb with small teeth at one end and large teeth at the other end. Use the small end for whiskers and brushing around the eyes. Use blunt-nosed scissors for trimming hair on your dog's ears and feet.
- Use any good shampoo that you would use yourself and finish with a good conditioner, rinsing it out thoroughly. Wet tangles with warm water and work them out with your fingers as you bathe the dog.
- This is not a breed for young children, but it is an ideal choice for stay-at-homes. The Yorkie does make an alert watchdog, and its exercise needs are minimal.