Finding a Reputable Breeder

Finding a Reputable Breeder

Once you have decided that you want a Yorkie puppy the next step is finding a reputable breeder. A good breeder can make all the difference in the world when it comes to getting a healthy and happy puppy.  So how do you go about finding a breeder that genuinely cares about their dogs and isn’t just running a puppy mill?  Here are some tips on finding a great breeder.

Start Local

Yorkies are common enough that you can probably find a local breeder or at least find one that is close enough that you can visit and see the puppies yourself before you take one on.  Start making a list of local breeders you can find them on classified sites like Craigslist, you can check Yorkie groups on Facebook or even just do a Google Search.  You should also check with a local vet and see if they recommend anyone from their patient list.

Visiting a Breeder

If you are lucky enough to have a couple of local breeders you should take the time to go and see them in person.  If the breeder doesn’t want to allow you in then that is a big red flag.  Take a look around and look at the conditions the dogs are living in.  The area the dogs are living in should be clean, with clean water and food bowls.  If the dogs have their own crates they should be clean and not crowded.  The dogs should be healthy looking, there should be an area where they can get regular exercise.  The breeder should also be able to provide references.  Female Yorkies should have time to rest between litters, otherwise it is just a puppy mill regardless of the good condition of the home.

Registered Breeders

If you can find a breeder that achieves the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America’s standards, so much the better.  Your breeder should be familiar with them at the very least.  The YTCA is who sets the standards for a breeder to be registered with the AKC, they also frown upon breeders who call their dogs “teacup” or who have puppies available all the time.  Your breeder should be very familiar with health issues and characteristics that are common to the breed.

Getting a new puppy, especially a pure bred pup is a big expense and commitment, so do your research before handing a breeder over your cash.  Find a breeder that genuinely loves and cares for their dogs and doesn’t just want the money that comes from puppies.

Dealing with a Yappy Yorkie

Dealing with a Yappy Yorkie

Small dogs have a reputation for being yappy and sometimes that reputation is well deserved.  There is nothing more irritating than listening to a yapping dog when you are trying to sleep at night.  If you are the dog owner then it is in your best interest to deal with your dog for your own sanity and before the neighbors start complaining.  Dealing with a yapping Yorkie isn’t fun but you can minimize your dog’s barking.

Why Does Your Dog Bark

Dogs bark regardless of size or breed, they will bark because they are scared or excited.  The problem with Yorkies is they get carried away and never seem to stop.  Some breeds are meant to bark, they were hunting dogs and barking was how they alerted their masters than they found prey.  Barking comes naturally to Yorkies it is their method of communication and you need to remember that.  When your dog starts barking you should also look at their body language to see what they are trying to communicate.

Reducing the Barking

You are never going to stop your dog from barking completely but you want to reduce it to a manageable level.  Your dog should never bark endlessly but having the dog warn you it needs a potty break or is scared is perfectly acceptable. Here are some ways to reduce the unnecessary barking.

  • Exercise Your Dog: Yorkies are high energy dogs and when they get bored they will bark endlessly.  Make sure your Yorkie gets regular walks and time outside so it can burn off that energy.
  • Don’t Scream at the Dog: It can seem natural to yell at your dog to shut up but it doesn’t actually work.  Yelling at your dog just leaves it confused, they don’t understand they are doing something wrong and you making noise doesn’t teach them that.  Shock collars and punishment is cruel and there are better ways to stop your dog from barking.
  • Train Your Dog: Teaching your dog basic commands will go a long way to stopping the unnecessary barking. Make sure they understand commands like sit, lie down and stay.  You can use these commands to distract them from whatever they are barking about.
  • Reinforce Good Behavior Outside: Your dog should behave the same way outside your home as it does inside.  If your dog is in the backyard or at a park barking endlessly you need to stop that behavior too.  Distract them from barking both inside and outside your home to stay consistent.

Dealing with barking is part of being a responsible dog owner.  You can teach your dog when barking is appropriate and when it isn’t.  Not only will you have happier neighbors but a happier dog too.

Where Do Yorkie’s Come From?

Where Do Yorkie's Come From?

Yorkies have some pretty distinct features compared to other dog breeds so it can make one wonder, where do Yorkies come from?  The short answer is Yorkshire but their history is more complicated than that.  These dogs are clever, cuddly and perfect for someone that has allergies to dander.  The dog breed does originate in Northern England and you can trace the breed back to the early 1700’s.  Initially they were ratters, bred to catch and kill rats in the textile mills in and around Yorkshire.

Yorkie the Hunter

Yes, it is hard to believe that these adorable little pups were actually hunters.  Migrant workers that travelled south from Scotland to Yorkshire to find work in the mills brought with them several breeds of small terriers as hunters and companions.  While there are no existing breeding records on how the Yorkie came about, they are similar to Skye, Paisley and Clydesdale Terriers, indicating common ancestry. Your cute little Yorkie didn’t just go after rats, they used to be sent after badgers and foxes too.  The Yorkie, despite its size is pretty fearless and isn’t afraid of animals bigger than them.

Becoming a Pet

Fast forward to the Victorian era and this is when Yorkies became pets.  Small dogs that you could carry around were pretty trendy at the time, that still goes on today, Royalty and the aristocracy loved Yorkies.  While there were other small breeds around at the time that were also popular, Yorkies were sought after for their long coats and quickly became a status symbol.

Becoming a Breed

The breed became official sometime in the 1870’s and given the official name of Yorkshire Terrier, but the breed was actually defined and recognized a decade earlier.  A Yorkie named Huddersfield Ben was prominent in the dog show circuit and ratter competitions.  Because of this dog’s success his characteristics became the defining factors of the breed.

Yorkies have remained popular to this day with one pup, Smoky becoming a mascot of sorts for American troops serving in New Guinea during the Second World War.  She accompanied troops on more than 150 missions while soldiers trained her to do tricks and help them on various missions.  Today they are among the most popular breeds of toy dogs and are found in loving homes all around the world.  Yorkshire Terriers are amazing companion dogs being both fierce and affectionate. If you are considering a small dog, then you should definitely consider a Yorkie, you won’t regret it.

Should You Get a Male Or Female Yorkshire Terrier?

Should You Get a Male Or Female Yorkshire Terrier?

Once you have chosen the Yorkie as the breed of dog you want your next decision is should you get a male or female Yorkshire Terrier? There are perks to both but you should know the different characteristics between the two to come to the right decision.  Even if you plan to have your dog fixed and not breed them, they will still have different temperaments, albeit not as pronounced.  Pet owners are often tempted to pick the cutest puppy in the litter with little regard to gender, not a great idea.  Let’s look at the differences to help you decide.

Male Puppies

The male Yorkie will be a bit larger and heavier than the female but Yorkies are such small dogs you may not even realize the difference.  They may be an inch or so taller than the females of the litter.  Males will be far more aggressive and don’t always socialize well with other dogs, even if you get them neutered.  Males will display sexual tendencies far earlier than the female, you will notice this if there is a female dog in heat around a young male.  Males also tend to be more possessive of their owners and other female dogs.  If you plan on breeding Yorkies then you really need to watch the males when it comes time to breed.  Lastly, male dogs are harder to train, that shouldn’t stop you from getting male but you will need extra patience. If you are looking for a family dog then a female might be a better choice.

Female Puppies

Female Yorkies are a bit smaller and they are much less aggressive, unless they are protecting their puppies then they will be more aggressive than a male. At least twice a year your female Yorkie will go into heat and it will last about three weeks each time. During heat the female will discharge fluid meant to attract a mate.  Yes, this can be messy.  If you are going to breed your Yorkie then there are products you can buy to help with the mess. If you don’t want to breed your dog then you need to seriously consider getting her spayed.  Females are easier to train and they get along with other dogs far better than males.  If you have other pets in your home, then a female might be a better choice.

Both males and females are going to require your time and attention and you need to prepare for that before you get a puppy.  Both will require vet care, vaccinations and regular grooming.  Think carefully on the gender of the puppy you want, it is every bit as important as the breed you have chosen.

Training Your Yorkie Puppy

Training Your Yorkie Puppy

If you want your Yorkie to be an affectionate well-behaved companion then training your pup is key.  These are really smart dogs so training your Yorkie puppy isn’t hard but it does require consistency.  If you got your pup from a reputable breeder then the chances are they have started some basic training and if your dog is older than 8 weeks it may already be housebroken, but don’t count on it.  You will still have to train your puppy to socialize with other dogs and to behave well the rest of the time.  Small dogs are harder to train and owner’s tend to let them get away with bad behavior more often than they should, because they are cute and harmless, but that should never be encouraged.  Let’s look at easy ways to train your pup.

Positive Reinforcement

You want to build a special bond with your dog based on love, trust and obedience, hurting or hitting your dog won’t allow this bond to form and just damages your puppy.  You can’t train any puppy that is terrified of you.  Instead you want to use positive reinforcement for good behavior and just a sharp “NO” for bad behavior.  This encourages your dog to earn your praise and attention.  As was said your breeder may have already introduced some basic commands so you want to ask what type of training they have done if any.

Consistency is Key

Consistency and routine will help your puppy embrace the training and become a more affectionate obedient dog.  You need to start with just short sessions that are free from distractions.  Pups have a short attention span so take them away from other activities so they can focus on you.  Start with basic commands like sit, and stay.  Once they grasp these commands in a quiet area then start teaching them the same commands when others are around.  Give plenty of praise and treats for good behavior.

Crate Training

Crate training is actually very good for your dog, it gives them a safe place to go when they are scared or nervous.  The crate gives your dog a place to call their own and makes them less yappy as they get older.  The crate should be big enough for the dog to move around and be prepared for accidents to happen, especially in the beginning. Put in a blanket or dog bed that is easily washed and you should be fine.

Training your puppy is good for both you and your dog.  Yorkies have tons of energy and that energy can turn destructive if they aren’t properly trained.  It will require consistency and discipline from you but that is part of being a pet owner.

Keeping Your Yorkie Well Groomed

Keeping Your Yorkie Well Groomed

Keeping your Yorkie well groomed is a big part of the responsibility of owning a high maintenance dog.  Your Yorkie needs to be groomed at least twice a week, If you want to keep your Yorkie looking healthy then it will need to be brushed regularly.  Not only does your Yorkie’s hair get tangled easily but it makes them extremely uncomfortable and unhappy.

Taking Care of Their Coat

A Yorkie’s coat is closer to your own hair than it is to most other dog’s fur.  It grows like hair and needs to be brushed, trimmed and maintained like hair. As was stated your Yorkie needs to be brushed at least twice a week, but more won’t hurt.  Use a soft comb and you can brush them regularly while they are cuddling on your lap.

Bathing Your Yorkie

Your Yorkie will also need a bath regularly to keep clean.  You should head to your local pet store and grab shampoo as well as conditioner that is suitable for their breed and coat.  Good conditioner will make brushing their hair easier.  Your Yorkie can end up having as many grooming products in the bathroom as you do.  Fill the tub with just a couple of inches of warm water and wash your pup starting at the top.  Take care to make sure you don’t get any shampoo in their eyes.  Yorkie’s have fairly thick coats so rinse thoroughly to remove all of the shampoo, leftover shampoo can make their skin dry and itchy.  Towel your Yorkie dry by simply patting them down with a towel, if you rub then you risk tangling their coat.

Grooming

Grooming is more than just brushing their coat, there is more to looking after your Yorkie.  When you give them a bath you will want to check their eyes to make sure there is no mucus built up, wipe it away gently with a clean damp cloth if there is any mucus.  You also need to check their ears, dogs can get ear infections as often as people do.  You should trim the hair around their ears it easier to do when the hair is wet.  Check their nails and see if they need to be trimmed.

Clean Their Teeth

Yes, your puppy does need to brush their teeth.  Yorkie’s get tartar buildup pretty quickly and that can turn into painful infections.  Pet supply stores have a wide variety of “toothpastes” for your pup, it will help their teeth and freshen their breath.

Keeping up with the grooming needs of your Yorkie can be a lot of work, you may want to take your pup to a professional groomer regularly to handle most of this for you.