Is the Yorkshire Terrier the Right Breed for You?
Is the Yorkshire Terrier the right breed for you? A Yorkshire Terrier is just about one of the cutest canine specimens to ever grace the species. But there's more to the breed than just good looks. You need to think about the pros and cons of Yorkshire Terriers and whether this breed is a good fit for your family.
The pros of owning a Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkies are small dogs that are bred to be companions. Originally bred for chasing down and killing vermin, they tend to be clever, brave, determined, feisty, energetic, and have little tolerance for other animals — big or small, including other dogs.
You can think of Yorkies as no-nonsense, cut-to-the-chase kind of dogs trapped in mama's-little-baby, cute-as-buttons packages. Primp, polish, and beribbon them all you want, but love them for their personalities. That's where the real gold is.
Yorkies are such popular dogs and make such good pets for several reasons. Here are a few:
They're small: Their size makes them easy to carry around, walk on a leash, or hold in your lap.
Yorkies, like many other Toy breeds, make good pets for people; they're especially good for senior citizens, people with medical issues, and those who may worry about the size and strength of a larger dog.
They adapt happily to apartment living: Just about any size living space is big enough for Yorkies, and you can potty train them to go indoors or outdoors.
They're easier to travel with than larger dogs: Yorkies usually fit within the weight restrictions placed on pets. They're also usually less expensive to board than larger dogs.
They require less food than larger dogs: A half to three-quarters cup of kibble a day is usually enough to keep your Yorkie well fed, which makes them cheaper to maintain.
They're loving, devoted, and very affectionate: This makes them great personal companions and good family pets. They love interaction with their humans.
Although Yorkies are considered hypoallergenic, this doesn't mean that you won't be allergic to a Yorkie. Find one that you can hang around or visit for a while and see if you have an adverse reaction before making the purchase.
In general, small dogs live longer than large dogs: Yorkies, as a rule, have an average life span of 12 to 14 years.
The cons of Yorkie ownership
As wonderful as Yorkies are, they're not the dog for everyone. If you're still determined that a Yorkie is the dog for you, at the very least, keep these points in mind so that you can avoid potential problems:
You have small children. Kids who haven't yet learned to be gentle with animals or who like rough-housing with the family pet are also problematic. Yorkies love chasing games, but rough-and-tumble play is out.
You have larger dogs. Yorkies think they're bigger than they are. They're territorial and not particularly tolerant of other animals. For these reasons, a Yorkie will very likely challenge your larger dog at some point, oblivious to the size disadvantage.
You travel a lot and can't take your dog with you. Yorkies need the companionship of their families. They don't handle being kept in a kennel for boarding very well.
Potty training takes a little longer. The myth that Yorkies can't be housetrained isn't true. But they won't learn in a week, but with consistency, patience, and a lot of positive reinforcement you can potty train your Yorkie.
You want a guard dog. Although you can count on your Yorkie to bark up a storm if an intruder approaches, let's face it — a yipping 7-pound dog with a red bow on its brow isn't going to fight off a burglar.
You don't have time (or the desire) to groom. The Yorkie's coat is a lot like human hair, and you need to brush it daily. But if the only "grooming" task you're up for is scratching your dog behind the ears, then a Yorkie isn't for you. (Although you can cut down on the upkeep by keeping your dog's hair short.)