How to Choose a Yorkie Puppy
Yorkshire Terriers are a fun-loving, independent breed of dog. They were originally bred in Yorkshire England in the 19th century to catch rats in England’s clothing mills.They make great pets, but they also take a lot of responsibility. If you’re thinking of welcoming a Yorkie into your home, make sure that you're ready for the responsibility and can make an informed decision about which puppy you bring into your family.
Deciding to Get a Yorkie
Consider whether you are ready to make a time commitment to a new puppy.The average Yorkshire terrier can live anywhere from 12 to 16 years.This dog will be in your life for a long time, so don’t get a puppy if you’re not prepared to make a long-term commitment. Furthermore, dogs who don’t get enough care and attention on a day-to-day basis often develop behavior problems like excessive barking, chewing, and digging in the yard.While Yorkies don’t need as much exercise as other breeds might, they do need a lot of attention and love.
- If you don’t have the time to give your pet all the attention it needs to be happy and well-adjusted, wait until you’re ready to bring a dog into your family.
Calculate whether you can afford a dog.When you get a Yorkie, you’ll have to pay more than just the one-time purchase price. All dogs have ongoing needs throughout their life, including good quality food, toys, grooming, licensing fees, and routine medical checkups. You’ll also spend a lot of money during the first year on a crate, a carrier bag, training sessions, spaying/neutering, vaccinations, etc. The ASPCA estimates that in the first year, small dog owners will spend about ,314 on their new pet, then 0 yearly after that.
Decide whether a Yorkie is the right breed for you.There's a great deal of variation in size, temperament, and needs from breed to breed. Even if you love all dogs, you should think carefully about whether a specific breed will be a good fit for you and your family. Yorkshire terriers have many positive traits:
- They are a "Toy" breed, meaning they are small lap dogs that won't hog the couch or be able to overpower you when they get excited.
- They're highly adaptable, and do well in large homes and apartments alike.
- Though each dog will have its own personality, in general, Yorkies are cat-friendly.
- Yorkies are a highly intelligent breed, and take well to training.
- They're incredibly affectionate companions who love to be around their families.
Be aware of the drawbacks of the breed.Though there’s a lot to recommend the Yorkies, all breeds have drawbacks that might make them a bad fit for a particular household. Some things you should know about Yorkshire terriers before bringing one home include:
- These are territorial dogs who bark a lot. While this makes for a good watchdog, early training to curb excessive barking is important for a happy household.
- Though they love to relax and cuddle, Yorkies are very high energy and love to dash about the house.
- Their long coats mean owners must make a commitment to regular grooming and be willing to deal with shedding fur.
- They may be affectionate, but Yorkies can also be a bit snappy at times.
- This, combined with their small size, might make them a bad fit for families with small children in the house.
- All purebred breeds have health concerns. The Yorkie's include knee problems, collapsing trachea, dental issues, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.
Choose your ideal Yorkie size.There are no official variations in Yorkie sizes according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). A healthy adult should weight between 4 and 7 pounds. That said, "teacup" Yorkies — though not an official breed — are dogs that have been bred specifically for their small size. They may weight 1-3 pounds when grown. The size of the grown dog can only be estimated at birth, so there's no guarantee that your "teacup" Yorkie won't grow to be 5 pounds in adulthood.
- Note that breeding for the "teacup" size is often done at the expense of the dogs' health. You may have to deal with higher medical expenses with the smaller dogs.
Deciding Where To Get a Puppy
Decide what kind of source you want to get your Yorkie from.You have three options for locating a Yorkshire terrier puppy: breeders, breed rescues, and general animal shelters. Each of these sources has its own pros and cons:
- Breeders: a breeder can provide the dog's lineage if a strong pedigree is important to you. However, breeders can be expensive, and unethical breeders might not provide the best care for your puppy in its earliest days. A bad breeder may also breed unhealthy dogs.
- Breed rescues: look for Yorkie-specific rescue centers in your area. These animals need good homes, so if you want to save an animal, a breed rescue is a good option. However, you will not have access to the dog's pedigree, and many dogs might be mixed-breed. You may also find more adults than puppies.
- General animal shelter: it will be hard to find a purebred Yorkie in a general animal shelter, and you’ll likely find more adults than puppies. However, if the shelter’s a kill shelter, you might save your dog’s life. Furthermore, shelters are usually far cheaper than breeders or breed rescues.
Contact breed rescues and shelters in your area.Many rescues and shelters have websites that are updated regularly with the new dogs available for adoption. Keep an eye on these websites for the puppy you want to rescue.
- If you don’t see a suitable puppy on the websites, call the rescues and shelters to see if you can be put on a notification list. They may be willing to call you if a Yorkie puppy comes into their care.
Question breeders in your area over the phone.If you choose to buy your puppy from a breeder, you should conduct a thorough investigation into how ethical the breeder is. There is no license for breeding — anyone with a litter of puppies can call him- or herself a breeder. You want to make sure you only buy a puppy from someone who takes the responsibility of breeding animals seriously. A quality breeder will let you ask questions even if they don't have any puppies for sale. They may be able to refer you to someone who does have puppies at the moment.
- Ask the breeders how long they’ve been breeding Yorkies, and whether they’ve seen any health issues in the dogs they’ve bred.
- Don't limit your questions you have for the breeder. You want to make sure your puppy comes from a responsible place.
- Do their dogs have a good pedigree, and will the breeder provide pedigree papers to ensure the puppy doesn’t come from an inbred line?
- Do they dock, or cut off, their puppies' tails? Docking is an unnecessary cosmetic procedure that’s illegal in some countries. This is a form of mutilation, and that breeder should not be encouraged in any way.
- If you want to raise Yorkies yourself, ask if the breeder requires you to spay/neuter their puppies.
- Do they have a return policy, in case your situation changes or you discover a health issue in your dog?
- Have they already begun the litter’s vaccination program? What shots have they had, and what will you have to get them?
Visit each breeder who seems like a good fit.A breeder can say whatever they’d like over the phone, but you should visit your top choices in person to see for yourself that they are trustworthy operations. A good breeder will socialize puppies from a young age so they trust humans. Though some puppies might be shyer than others, in general the litter should be comfortable around people. Ask to see the whole litter with its mother to make sure the family is kept together and happy, and that the puppies weren’t weaned too early.
- Make sure the facilities are clean, and that each dog has comfortable living quarters with its own food and water bowl.
- You should not see more than 1 or 2 Yorkies crowded into a single kennel.
- Check that the dog areas are tidy and free of feces or urine. A good breeder will clean their kennels daily.
- If the operation seems unprofessional or questionable, cross that breeder off your list.
Do not support puppy mills.Puppy mills breed and sell large numbers of dogs for a profit. Because they are more interested in money than the quality of the dogs’ lives, they do not provide adequate care for the animals in their care. Puppies from mills often come home with giardia, parvovirus, and other diseases that would be addressed by a proper breeder. They often overbreed and inbreed their dogs, resulting in genetic health conditions that will reveal themselves as the puppy grows up. Because puppy mill breeders don’t spend time with their animals, mill puppies are often unsocialized, and even fearful of humans.
- Puppy mills are inhumane. Do not, under any circumstances, support a breeder who treats his or her animals improperly.
Choosing Your Yorkie Puppy
Visit with all the puppies in a litter.To find the right Yorkie, you need to see how they act with their siblings. Check the puppies for shyness. If 4 out of 5 puppies run away or act afraid of you, they may have a genetic predisposition for shyness. Odds are the 1 brave puppy has the same genetic coding, so you should look for the perfect Yorkshire Terrier in another litter or with another breeder.
- Watch the puppies play with each other. Normal puppies are curious, friendly, and like to play.
- Look for warning signs: is the puppy anxious? Fearful? Aggressive?
Assess each puppy’s health.Ask the breeder if you can spend some time with each of the available puppies individually. To find the right Yorkie, you need to make sure the puppy is healthy and evaluate how they act when not surrounded by their siblings.
- Inspect the puppy's fur, eyes, rear end and ears. A healthy Yorkshire Terrier puppy will have clear eyes, a clear nose, a shiny coat, and clean ears. An ill puppy may have a matted or shabby coat, discharge, a cough, a potbelly, and dirty ears.
- Test the puppies' hearing. Make a loud noise and see if the puppy reacts. A puppy with good hearing will react right away and then become curious about what caused the sound.
Ask about the litter’s medical history to this point.Puppies require frequent vet visits for vaccinations and checkups in their early months. Have the puppies already been treated for heartworm and parasites or been given their vaccinations? If not, you will have to pay for all of those procedures out of pocket.
Choose your puppy.Remember that you are choosing a Yorkie puppy, the puppy is not choosing you. If you select the puppy that runs right up and jumps all over you, you may end up with the most energetic puppy in the litter, and have regrets later on. Choose the puppy that has the best personality and is not too bossy nor too timid. A Yorkie with a good nature will wag its tail, not bully its siblings, and not growl or bite.
- Do not choose a puppy that has any behavioral or health concerns.
QuestionMy male Yorkie is taller than the breed standard. Does this mean he's not a true Yorkie?
Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsVeterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsExpert AnswerBreed standards exist as a guideline to the average height, weight, lifespan, etc. However, these are just an average so some true purebred dogs can be taller (or indeed smaller, in the case of the teacup Yorkie), than average. This means height alone does not rule him in or out as a true Yorkie. Check out his other features such as body shape, coat type, and coloring. If you are desperate to know then there are some excellent home DNA kits that should give you a definitive answer.Thanks!
QuestionWill a female Yorkie love you exclusively, if you are the only one who takes care of her?
Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsVeterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary SurgeonsExpert AnswerYorkies are a lot like other dogs when it comes to sharing their affection. Most have a special place in their heart for their main carer, but a well-adjusted dog will be happy and pleased to see other people. Indeed, it's possible to make a dog overly dependent on just one person, but this results in separation anxiety when you can't be with the dog, so be wary of this.Thanks!
QuestionI am 75 and a widow - do you think a Yorkie terrier will be too much for me? I do have walking problems; my legs won't let me walk far; and a bad back. But I thought a puppy would be a good companion. What do you think?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI don't think a Yorkie would be too much, considering they don't need to be walked assuming you have an adequate yard. You might consider getting an adult dog instead of a puppy, as it would probably be more relaxedThanks!
QuestionIs it better to get a male or female Yorkie?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt all depends on what your preference is. Female Yorkies tend to be more independent, but still love to cuddle. Male Yorkies like to be around their owners all the time, and tend to get separation anxiety.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the best age to get a yorkie?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you are a person who loves energetic animals and has the time to properly exercise it, I suggest getting a 9-week-old puppy. If you are a person who likes to relax, then try getting an adult, as they are more calm, relaxed, and easily-trained than puppies.Thanks!
QuestionIf I want to choose two puppies, what is the best combination of genders?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMale/Male or Female/Female. The only reason for that is that the female can be quite aggressive towards male yorkies and express dominance, at least in my experience.Thanks!
QuestionOn weekdays, my family leaves the house at 7:15 and comes back at 4:40. We have children who are older than 10. Would a Yorkie be a good choice for us?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, a Yorkie is a great breed for a family like yours. However, no dog can be left alone for 9 hours at a time, so you will need a dog walker or someone who can come over at some point during the day to take the dog out. A puppy needs to be checked on and walked more frequently than an adult dog, so take that into consideration when making your choice.Thanks!
QuestionWhere can I find a Yorkie if I never see them for sale?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThere are plenty of shelters out there with tons of dogs. Bookmark the ones that are reputable and also email them so you can be first in line if one comes in. Also, be open to other breeds. There are a ton of great dogs out there looking for a home.Thanks!
QuestionIs it true that Yorkies do not shed?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo, that is not true. Yorkies do shed.Thanks!
QuestionCan I go to middle/high school while owning a Yorkie?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can still attend school while owning a Yorkshire terrier. However, you might need a parent or friend to take care of the Yorkie while you're away as Yorkies do NOT tolerate being alone. If you're planning to train your Yorkie, it would be best to do so in the summer when you have more time and attention to dedicate to the training process.Thanks!
- Male Yorkies may make better family pets, but may mark areas with their urine. Female Yorkies may be less inclined to engage in a dominance war, but may cost more. Every Yorkshire Terrier puppy will have its own unique personality, and it may be best to go in with an open mind and choose a puppy based on its personality rather than its sex.
- An average Yorkshire Terrier is approximately 7 inches (17.78 cm) to 8 inches (20.32 cm) tall and weighs between 3 lbs. (1.36 kg) to 7 lbs. (3.17 kg). "Teacup Yorkies" and "Tiny Toy Yorkies" are just cute names used by some breeders for smaller Yorkies. Larger Yorkies may be sturdier and have fewer health issues.
- Some breeders provide puppy training at an additional cost. You can verify the training by asking the breeder to demonstrate commands, such as sit, stay and down. However, taking your Yorkie to training school has the additional benefit of providing a bonding experience for you and your puppy, while educating you on dog training basics.
- Yorkshire Terriers usually live to be 12 to 15 years old, and may cost between 0 and ,500. A Yorkie with championship bloodlines may cost as much as ,000.
- Yorkshire Terriers are often crossed with other breeds. Many crossbreeds make wonderful pets. If you decide you want a mixed breed, find out what the other dog breed is, and research the pluses and minuses of the mix before purchasing the puppy.
- If you plan on showing your dog, be sure to obtain a Yorkshire Terrier puppy with the proper colors and registration papers.
- Remember, a breeder may have a pretty website, but you should still check reviews and any reports on the breeders as they may be a puppy mill breeders. Also, be sure to ask lots of questions and, if possible, visit the breeder in person to ensure that you can find and adopt the best puppy that you can get.
- When getting any breed of puppy, a reputable breeder will allow you to meet the parents of the puppy which will give you an idea of how your new puppy will look and how big or small it will grow. A reputable breeder will also allow you to see the nursery which should be clean and free of bad smells.
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