Yorkshire Terriers are one of the most popular breeds in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club. This means you probably have friends or family with a Yorkie, and maybe that has made you think you want one, too. Their adorable expressions and strong personalities are definitely good at charming those around them. Adding a dog to your household is a long commitment – with a Yorkie, it could even be 15 or 16 years (or more)! So be sure you are ready by asking yourself these following 5 questions before getting a Yorkshire Terrier.
#1 – Am I Willing To Groom Him?
The Yorkie’s fine, silky coat is similar to human hair and tangles very easily. Owning one means being able to keep up with grooming – either daily brushing for a long coat, or regular clips to keep them mat-free and healthy. Grooming fees can add up, so be sure you can afford it before adding a Yorkie to your family.
#2 – Am I Ready For A Long Commitment?
Like most small breeds, Yorkshire Terriers can live for a fairly long time. The average lifespan is 16 years, with some living to be close to 20, so be sure you can provide a stable home for close to two decades before bringing one home. If you aren’t sure, fostering through a Yorkie rescue is a great way to enjoy a Yorkie in your home without needing to know your long-term plans. Not to mention, it helps rescue dogs!
#3 – Am I Willing To Train Him?
Yorkies, like all terriers, definitely have a mind of their own. It’s a good idea to start training early to avoid listening problems as they become teenagers and adults. Basic obedience is a must, but Yorkies are smart and many excel in performance events including agility, obedience and barn hunt.
#4 – Do I Have Time For Exercise?
Although a small dog, the Yorkshire Terrier still needs exercise. Daily walks will probably be enough, though many Yorkies like a game of tug or fetch. Be sure you will have time for at least one walk a day to keep your Yorkie happy.
#5 – Can I Commit To Proper Socialization?
In order for your Yorkshire Terrier to be well-adjusted and friendly, he needs to be properly socialized. This means meeting other dogs, kids, people, and (safely!) being around bikes, cars, etc. They should not be carried around like a purse all the time. He needs to learn to accept the world from the ground. Proper socialization means making sure he has positive interactions with new things. If you are rescuing a Yorkie, keep in mind that re-socialization can be even more work if he has had negative experiences in the past. Be sure you are ready for the time and training this can take.
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