How much is that doggie in the window?
If you’re talking about a purebred Yorkie pup, at least a grand.
You’ll be glad for every cent though, because in the case of this yipping fur ball of fun, money can indeed buy happiness. A Yorkshire terrier puppy is probably one of the best investments you can make in a companion. Its long history includes a long career as a popular show dog, a stint as Presidential pooch and even service in World War II (google Smoky and her owner, war photographer William A. Winne.)
Did you ever see one of those yapping little dogs that make you want to tear your ears off and never hear a dog ever again? This isn’t that kind of dog.
What Counts As A Yorkshire Terrier?
The Yorkshire terrier was bred in the 1800’s from Scotch terriers hitching a ride with emigrating workers in the area of Yorkshire, England. The workers’ original intention was to breed a dog that could chase and catch rats in clothing mills, undoubtedly there to steal the delicious puddings. Since it’s basically a genetically engineered anti-rat doggie commando, the Yorkshire terrier has boundless attitude for a small dog.
The American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1885. It weighs under 7lbs, has a long, silky coat and is topped by triangular, erect ears. Proper care of the coat is particularly difficult if you’re looking for a show dog, but as a house pet a Yorkie only requires daily brushing and monthly baths. Color varies, but they usually come in flavors of black, tan, white or gold, and they are widely available in the United States.
Yorkshire terrier pups will generally sit still and let you pet them, but as the breed ages they become more active. Looking at one brings to mind Shakespearean actors forced to star in a superhero movie- they’re dignified and intelligent, but they’re very willing to please with the right incentives. They are also very easy to train, but picking their favorite flavor of treat might take some trial and error.
Should I Get A Yorkie?
If you have limited space but don’t like cats, a Yorkie is a very good choice as a house pet. It gets along well with families and individuals alike. However, you should be prepared to spend a lot of time in training, especially in housebreaking and repressing their abundant barking. If you have young children in the house, you may want to pick a less assertive breed.
Unlike other small dogs, however, they are receptive, intelligent and result in a sweet, loyal pet. Teaching it a trick is also much easier, once you figure out what it likes.
So How Is This A Good Dog?
The Yorkie’s intelligence and temperament not only make it a very good show dog and house pet, but also a very good watchdog. Picking up a puppy of this breed means you should have plenty of time to work out how exactly to train it and let it accept you as its master; Yorkshire terriers can be extremely hostile to strangers and other dogs, but their loyalty and territorial nature is legendary.
Yorkshire terrier coats are also reportedly hypoallergenic, partly because their glossy hairs are extremely sturdy and do not shed as much dander as other dogs. This is by no means a guarantee that allergic owners will be safe around this breed, since saliva and even barking can trigger a reaction, but inhalants should be reduced to a minimum. Cleanup should also be less of a problem if their coats are properly maintained.
What Should I Watch Out For?
Your Yorkie will have a smaller lifespan than most dogs, roughly 10 to 15 years. As with all breeds, Yorkshire terriers are subject to a host of genital defects and diseases. The most serious are hypoglycemia, tracheal collapses and Porto systemic shunts, all potentially fatal and mostly due to their small size. Proper diet and attention usually prevents or predicts these conditions before they occur; that means your puppy’s health is entirely in your hands. If you cannot pay proper attention to it, the symptoms will not be apparent.
People buy dogs for all kinds of reasons, but if you’re looking for a beautifully silky, intelligent companion who will reward you for your diligence and love, you’re looking for a Yorkshire terrier. What are you waiting for? Go get a ball!