Yorkshire Terriers are considered high maintenance and there are several reasons for this: they need regular brushing, grooming and daily trips to the park. They also need dedicated obedience training to curb barking and separation anxiety.
This article lists everything you need to know about Yorkshire Terriers and provides tips on how best to care for them.
Table of Contents
- What Do You Need To Know About Yorkshire Terriers?
- What Makes A Yorkshire Terrier High Maintenance?
- Can my Yorkie be low maintenance?
- If Yorkies Are High Maintenance, Should I still get one?
What Do You Need To Know About Yorkshire Terriers?
Yorkshire Terriers, or ‘Yorkies’ as they are affectionately known, might be small but they are full of personality. Originally bred to seek out rats in the dank Yorkshire coal mines, it was not long before they became popular as highly-sought-after pets.
Yorkshire Terriers are true ‘toy’ dogs, weighing in at around seven pounds (3.2 kilograms) and usually standing between 7-8 inches (17-20 centimeters) tall. Friendly and protective, they are a great addition to any family.
They are one of the smallest dog breeds in the world and are easily recognized by their long, smooth and glossy hair. You’re most likely to see a black or blue and tan Yorkie, but they can also have silver, grey or blonde colored coats.
What Makes A Yorkshire Terrier High Maintenance?
Your Yorkie’s status as a high maintenance dog comes from aspects of its physical traits like long hair that needs regular brushing and unique set of behaviours including separation anxiety.
Your Yorkie’s high maintenance physical traits
The Yorkshire Terrier’s long, fine hair needs regular brushing to keep it from getting tangled. You can opt to take your Yorkie to a dog groomer to keep their hair trimmed and their nails short, but this will get expensive over time. Brushing every 1-2 days is a must, so do yourself a favour and learn to do it yourself and train your Yorkie too.
Yorkies also look their best with a bath every 3-4 weeks, which is enough time for their natural-produced body oils to develop. On top of that, you will need to clean their eyes and ears regularly. And just like us, their teeth need a good daily brush to keep their breath smelling fresh and the plaque at bay.
Your Yorkie’s high maintenance behaviours
Although they’re small, Yorkshire Terriers love their exercise and they need to visit the dog park at least once a day for a fun-filled play session with their furry friends and favorite humans. This helps keep them happy, healthy and stimulated.
And as the breed is prone to weight gain, it’s also a great way to make sure the pounds stay off! Yorkies have a reputation for being barkers but regular exercise helps them stay content and calm.
Yorkies are also known to suffer from separation anxiety, which means that they don’t like being left alone all day. While this may be true generally, it is not necessarily true for every dog. However, owners have found that it’s often better to have more than one dog in the house for company when there are no humans around.
Can my Yorkie be low maintenance?
The sure-fire way to make life with a Yorkie as low maintenance as possible is to keep them healthy and happy and the best way to do this is to build trust through training, correct feeding and stimulation. Here are 4 ways to keep your Yorkie as low maintenance as possible.
1. Commit to obedience training your Yorkie
Obedience training is a must. Ratters to the end, they’re happiest when they have something to do, especially if it’s with you, their favorite human.
Recognized as ‘spirited’ by The Kennel Club UK, they have a reputation as being difficult to train. This is just a myth – Yorkies are as trainable as any dog, as long as you have the patience to keep at it and positive reinforcement to spare.
2. Take the time to house train your Yorkie
That being said, it can take up to two years to house train your Yorkie. Thanks to their tiny bladders, they need to urinate often and owners might find it hard to take them outside as often as they need to.
But Yorkies are smart and they may well give you a sign when they need to go outside. This might be a bark or a nudge, or they might even stand next to the door. Stick with it, a little perseverance is all you need.
3. Feed your Yorkie regular, small meals
Being tiny dogs, Yorkies should receive 2-3 smaller meals per day rather than 1-2 larger ones. Without regular feedings, small dogs can get an upset stomach which will result in vomiting, or even low blood sugar (also known as hypoglycemia) and a trip to the vet!
4. Keep your Yorkie stimulated at home
Most of us don’t like being alone all the time, and your Yorkie is no exception. To keep anxiety and depression at bay, you should make sure your house is calm and secure and there are enough toys to keep your dog entertained.
Better yet, take your Yorkie for a good session at the park before you leave the house so it’s nice and tired. Perhaps even consider taking your Yorkie with you if you can!
If Yorkies Are High Maintenance, Should I still get one?
Yorkies are true terriers – bright, bold and brave. But they’re not for everyone. So how do you know if you should get a Yorkshire Terrier? Here are a few things to consider:
You should get a Yorkie if:
- You feel secure having a dog that will bark ferociously when someone rings the doorbell.
- You have the time and patience for obedience training.
- You love spending time with them at the park.
- You have allergies – their hair is hypoallergenic.
- You want years of companionship.
You should think about a different breed if:
- You don’t like daily brushings.
- You want to be able to leave your dog at home alone all day.
- You want an affectionate dog.
- You want a calm, easy-going dog.
- You don’t want a dog that needs ongoing obedience training.
- You are not prepared to keep your dog to a strict diet.
There’s no doubt that Yorkies make great pets. But they do need a lot of your time to keep them well-cared for. If you’re up for the task, a Yorkie will give you years of love, laughs and fun.