Yorkie: More than a purse dog

Published 10:12 pm Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Yorkshire Terrier, or Yorkie, is named for the area where they were popular at the end of the 19th Century- Yorkshire, England.

Yorkies are protective, affectionate, cute, and love to look good. Whether it is their easy-to-tote size or their big dog in a small body personality, they have won Americans over as one of the most popular toy breeds.

Yorkies were originally bred to catch rats in clothing mills. As time passed, they left the working class and became companion animals to European elite.

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They were recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885. To fall within the AKC standard they must weigh between four and seven pounds.

Yorkies usually get along well with cats and other dogs and easily adapt to their surroundings.

They make great apartment dogs, because of their size and their low need for strenuous exercise.

Because of their hunting nature, they do need some mental stimulation and regular walks. They naturally have a long coat that requires daily brushing.

If brushing is not your thing, keep him groomed short in a puppy cut.

It is important to realize that you are not buying a fashion accessory. You are acquiring a lifetime of brushing and grooming appointments.

A neglected Yorkie coat quickly becomes a ball of matted fur. Not only does this not look good, it is unhealthy for the tiny dog. A well maintained Yorkie has a beautiful, silky coat.

A warning to current and potential Yorkie owners: Many veterinarians recommend using only harnesses for walks.

A pulling Yorkie can easily damage their delicate trachea. A choke chain would not be a good obedience tool for this fragile breed.

When looking for the right Yorkie, start by finding a good breeder. A reputable breeder will not sell a Yorkie pup before 12 weeks of age.

Larger breed dogs can usually be placed a little earlier. Smaller breed dogs, like the Yorkie, develop more slowly and need more time with siblings and the mother for proper development and socialization.

While you may think that a good bred pup will come with a large price tag, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Most people are surprised that a puppy from a good breeder will be healthier, better adjusted, and much cheaper than a pet store.

Yorkies have a great big personality stuffed in a tiny body. If you can get through the puppy stage and housetraining, you will have a great lifetime companion.

Remember, every dog deserves to be treated like a show dog.

Tony Barker

The BARKer Shop