Owning a Yorkie can be a wonderful experience. These tiny terriers originated in England in the mid-1800s, and they are full of energy and personality reflected in their black and tan, gray, and steel blue coats.
While these big-hearted dogs will bring a smile to your face, caring for them is a huge responsibility.
Here are some pros and cons you need to know before owning a Yorkshire Terrier.
1. Yorkshire Terriers Require Regular Grooming
Your Yorkshire Terrier may be a small dog, but it can grow hair two feet long. While they may look like adorable mops, they have trouble moving around and need frequent brushing.
If you choose to leave your Yorkshire Terrier pup’s hair long, try to keep it trimmed a few inches above their paws to help them walk. You can also go for a shorter haircut that requires less brushing.
No matter the length, you will need to trim the hair around their eyes, ears, and anal glands to keep them healthy. Furthermore, they need weekly baths. Due to the tiny size and long coats of Yorkshire Terriers, they pick up a lot of dirt and debris when traveling close to the ground.
While all dogs need teeth brushing, a Yorkie is particularly susceptible to plaque buildup. You only need to brush the outside since their tongue cleanses the inner teeth.
2. Owning a Yorkie Terrier is a Handful
Most dogs demand their owner’s attention, but a small dog like the Yorkie needs a lot. They want to be by your side at all times and play constantly.
Owning a Yorkshire Terrier is not the best choice for someone who spends most of their time away from home. They get separation anxiety and may destroy your furniture and clothes. Sometimes they will “revenge pee” from nervousness or boredom when left alone too long.
3. It’s Difficult to House Train Yorkies
When dog training, you may find potty training the most challenging aspect. Yorkies are one of the hardest to house train dog breeds.
They have stubborn personalities and walk close to the ground, so they do not want to go outside in bad weather.
Also, Yorkies cannot hold their urine for long due to their tiny bladders. If you cannot spend 24 hours a day with your dog, they will likely leave a few accidents in the house unless you get professional dog training.
By consistently and patiently teaching it where to go, your Yorkie will eventually learn.
4. They Have High Energy Levels
Despite their size, Yorkies have copious amounts of energy. They are active and love to run and play. You will need a plethora of toys to keep your Yorkie entertained.
If the weather is nice, they may benefit from a brief walk.
Yorkies prefer the indoors, but the exercise could calm them.
5. A Yorkshire Terrier Loves to Talk
Yorkie puppies love to bark and express themselves. They will bark when someone is at the door or around your house, making them excellent watchdogs.
However, they may start barking at random pets and animals they see from the window.
Barking partially results from excessive energy, so ensure your Yorkie gets enough exercise. You can try teaching them commands to get them to quiet. If the problem persists, you may need professional dog training.
6. Yorkies Do Not Need Much Room
Apartment dwellers, here’s a great dog for you! Yorkies prefer the indoors and take up little room, so you will not need a big living space or play area for them. You can let them walk around for exercise as long as you let them go outside to pee frequently.
7. They Think They’re Big
You could say that Yorkies have a Napoleon complex. These black and tan dogs weigh about seven pounds, but they would confidently approach large pets they did not like.
If they try to attack a dog with a gentle temperament, they might let the Yorkie dominate them.
Toy pups may compete with one another to be the top dog. If you have a big dog, they will likely give in to the Yorkie’s demands. In either case, you need to introduce them to the Yorkie gradually to avoid conflict.
Also, treat all of your dogs equally to prevent jealousy.
8. Yorkies Can Be Service or Therapy Dogs
Due to their friendly, playful, and loving personalities, Yorkshire Terriers can act as therapy dogs for veterans with PTSD or wounded soldiers. They can also help with neurodivergent young children.
Your small dog travels easily, so they make fantastic companions. You can transport these tiny dogs everywhere.
Yorkies can pull open doors, fetch items, open drawers, and detect oncoming seizures. Their high attention needs mean they love assisting you and make incredible service dogs.
9. Yorkies Have an Urge to Hunt
Despite being used as show dogs, Yorkshire Terriers have a primal instinct to hunt. Initially, they hunted rats in wool mills because of their speed, size, stubbornness, and courage.
In your home, they may attack hamsters, gerbils, rabbits, or birds. You will need to watch your Yorkie closely if you have small animals.
10. Yorkies Are Prone to Health Problems
While they have lifespans of 14-16 years, these tan, pure-bred small dogs can experience many health problems, such as:
- Kneecap dislocation
- Collapsing trachea
- Periodontal disease
- Legg-Perthes disease
- Retinal dysplasia
- Skin allergies
Stay vigilant of any changes in their behavior. Take them to the vet regularly for checkups, vaccines, and medications to keep them healthy. Some of these diseases are genetic, so try to research your dog’s pedigree before adoption.
11. Yorkies Do Not Always Like Young Children
If you have small children, reconsider owning a Yorkshire Terrier. Young children may play too hard with the dog, which can result in retaliation from the Yorkshire Terrier. Because of their size, a child could readily threaten or dominate them.
Yorkies will bark out of self-defense, which can scare your child. If your family has older kids, you will do fine with a Yorkie.
Owning a Yorkie – Conclusion
Adopting a dog comes with its hassles, and owning a Yorkie is no different. All dog breeds have their pros and cons, but you can manage them by understanding your dog’s behavior before bringing it home to your family.
If you love active, loving, and attention-seeking dogs, consider getting a Yorkshire terrier. These rambunctious small dogs are not for everyone, so thoroughly research the dog breed before settling on it.