When looking into any variety of animal, one must ask themselves if they are going to be paying close attention to them or not. While some dog breeds like the Border Collie, Hungarian Puli, or even the Siberian Husky are truly high maintenance, some people wonder if a Yorkie takes a lot of support as well.
So are Yorkies high maintenance? The Yorkshire terriers are relatively low to maintain compared to other dog breeds. However, the amount of care needed for this breed of dogs can still be daunting to some people, especially when it comes to grooming.
Now you may have more questions about the Yorkshire Terrier breed, such as how to groom properly and if they are the right breed for families with small children. We will walk through these questions and more below.
How To Properly Maintain Their Coats
Yorkies have this wonderful steel or grey-blue hair that can go from the back of their heads to their tails while being a nice smooth brown on the rest of their bodies. Yorkies also tend to shed very little or not at all making them overall very clean pets. However, they will need to be brushed with their long hair 3 to 5 times a week with a stiff bristle brush to keep their coat nice and pretty.
Long Or Short Hair?
If you decide to let them have short or long hair, brushing is something you need to do almost every day. It is highly recommended to use brushes meant for small dogs with coats of hair, not just fur, due to some pins and bristles may damage the hair of your Yorkie.
Another central part of taking care of a Yorkshire, or any dog for that matter, is bathing. For Yorkies in particular, you should aim to give them baths every three weeks. This is typically the average amount of time it takes for your Yorkies’ natural body oils to set in enough that they should be washed and start over with clean skin. When bathing them, try your best to massage the shampoo of choice into their skin. Aim to use the shampoo needed depending on your Yorkies’ skin issues, like itchy or dry skin.
Nails also need to be groomed on your Yorkies. They will need to be trimmed or filed down every six weeks to help prevent them from breaking or scratching themselves when they are itching themselves. You can do this with typical dog nail cutters or files. You can also make weekly visits to the groomer to care for a vast majority of your Yorkshire Terriers grooming needs. However, brushing is something you will still need to practice with your dog.
Yorkies Can Be Hard To Train
Yorkies are notoriously difficult to potty train or house train. Small breeds tend to be very difficult to house train, but Yorkshire Terriers are one of the most challenging species to do so, even by tiny breed standards.
This could be in part due to a Yorkie’s propensity towards separation anxiety. The Yorkshire Terrier also has a small bladder and requires somewhat longer training than other dogs, often up to around their second year.
Not only this, but this particular breed is also well known to be a “yappy” breed of dog, barking at the door and at every unidentified sound they hear. This means that a Yorkie living as a pet needs excellent and consistent training from an early age to avoid developing this problem.
How Do You House Train a Yorkie?
Because of all this, it is imperative to house train your Yorkshire Terrier consistently and from a very young age. Many owners use one house training method to bring their Yorkie outside, often at regular intervals. An example is going every ten minutes, then every hour or two, until their Yorkshire Terrier gets the hang of house training and starts to get their owner’s attention.
People commonly house train their Yorkie to tape a small bell to the lower half of their door that the Yorkie can bat at to signal that they need to go outside.
This makes it much easier for the owner to notice when their Yorkie needs out. But a Yorkie often gives other signals when they need to go outside. They might scratch your arm, come over and stare at you, scratch at the door leading outside, stand at a door leading outside, or even bark or growl at you.
They Are Extremely Talkative Animals
Yorkies tend to be one of the most talkative breeds globally, much like Pomeranians or Chihuahuas. However, there are ways to train your Yorkies and even other breeds to stop barking so much.
If your Yorkie is barking because they are scared, try picking them up, petting them, and telling them that they are alright. Then, start to say “quiet” gently. If your Yorkie stops barking when you say this command, reward them with a treat. After this, it should be easier to get your Yorkie to stop barking. You won’t even need to give them something tasty anymore, but be sure to make a fuss about what a good dog they are.
Another reason your Yorkie barks is when someone comes to the door or rings the doorbell because they are excited. If this is the case, you could set up a separate area that your Yorkie goes to calm down. Their bed or crate is a good option. Then, engineer the cue for them to go in that area when they start to bark. You may need someone else to ring the doorbell or come to the door deliberately to get this to happen.
When your Yorkie rushes over, barking, direct them to this area for calming down. You could pick them up mid-run, put them in this area, or verbally command them to go to bed. When they are in the area and stay there for a while, reward this behavior with a treat. After this, continue verbally commanding your Yorkie to “go to bed” when they start barking.
Can Yorkies Be Left Alone During The Day?
Other people may have told you that Yorkies can not be left alone. This may be from having separation anxiety and that they are a very nervous breed. These traits are not traits of the species as a whole but are characteristics of the dog themselves. Ultimately how long you can leave your adult Yorkies alone depends on the dog and their personalities themselves.
They do need far more attention and care than Yorkies are over a year old as for puppies. Puppies need to be fed more often and taken outside for potty breaks as well. They will also need much more attention and social interaction as it is crucial for them to form a bond with you as they grow up. Ideally, a young Yorkie puppy should only be left alone for short periods, no longer than 2 to 3 hours at a time.
Are Yorkies Good Family Dogs?
While Yorkies aren’t suitable for families with young children, older kids are another story. Once children are old enough to understand how to approach and handle a small dog, they can bond with a Yorkie. Since Yorkies are often quite playful, they can make good companions for older kids who know better than to roughhouse with a tiny canine. Yorkies require extensive grooming, which offers one way for kids to learn to care for these dogs.
Yorkies are overall excellent and animals. While not perfect for young children, they can be great for families with older kids. They require a lot of attention, especially when it comes to training and grooming, and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods. That being said, Yorkies are a great pet if you believe you can take care of them properly. However, if you are looking for a small breed that works well as a family dog, there are far better options out there.