Who’d have thought that this tiny tyke is SA’s most popular dog?
The easily recognisable “little lions” have small, lithe bodies ranging from 6,5 cm* to 17 cm weighing between 116 g and 3,2 kg. Their colouring is a beautiful blend of black/blue and tan/gold. They are known for their human-looking hair which Dog Breeds Expert describes as “a single glossy fine-textured coat”. You’ve probably been entranced by their bright, intelligent gaze and or impressed by their alertness, quickness and courage. All these qualities gave Yorkshire terriers a place in both history and in our arms and lives today.
While they were selectively bred in the past “to catch and kill rats in factories and mines,” Pet Helpful notes, “they are now better known to be adorable, devoted and loving companions.”
They make amazing show dogs, looking like something out of a magical fairy tale when groomed and trained to enjoy the spectacle as well as be the centre of it.
They’re loving with their humans, good with children who have been taught how to handle dogs respectfully and get along well with other small dogs. They seem to prefer their own breed over others. When you consider what special companions they make, you may want to join the pack of fans who greatly adore these little, energetic four-legged ‘fluffies’!
Here are 3 big reasons that South Africa’s top dog might be an amazing addition to your family.
1. Yorkie perk # 1: Best mates – intelligent, individual, and easy to care for.
Dog Breeders Gallery describes them as “bold, confident, courageous, intelligent and independent”.
They love to cuddle as much as they enjoy careening around and exploring.
Being so small, they don’t require endless hours of exercise (though they must get moderate exercise every day) or a large garden, and won’t eat you out of the house. They’re also light to carry and easy to transport (in an approved dog crate, of course).
Yorkshire terriers are brave hearts at best; at worst they’re entirely unaware of their tiny stature and will take on large breeds without a second thought. Some guidance and training from you are important to manage this characteristic.
Their hair is about the only aspect of them that requires out-of-the-ordinary attention. It continues to grow if left uncut or not trimmed regularly which can interfere with limb movement. It can also get in their eyes, in their food, and head and ear hair may need to be tied back or safely trimmed. While you may not notice shedding, frequently falling hairs will need to be brushed out or they will cause matting, knots, or tangling in their fine covering. Regular visits to a kind, careful professional groomer are recommended as Dog Breeds Expert points out that “most other grooming tasks are typical of other breeds: nail clipping, teeth brushing, bathing, trimming the hair from the foot pads, and expressing the anal glands if needed.” Here’s how to prep your Yorkie for a pet parlour outing.
2. Yorkie perk # 2: They make wonderful watchdogs.
Being terriers, they are vocal companions, not shy to voice their opinions on just about everything that’s out of place, from their favourite cushion to a mouse in the pantry. Despite their smallness, they can make a very big noise when needed. Who’d think that a little one like this could be a powerful watchdog? Any thief who’s ever tried to sneak into a backyard with a Yorkie waiting in it. Best to get an adept (and larger) guard dog to complete the house-protecting canid team, though. Plus, we are fans of dog families, and will give you 15% off when you cover more than one pet with us**.
3. Yorkie perk # 3: Far fewer sneezes or scratches for you.
We’re not talking pollen and fleas (though you’ll treat your pup for the latter, right?), we’re talking the 3 Ds or allergens that contribute to human allergies – dust, dander and dead hair. Yorkies are hypoallergenic which means that if you or your human family suffer allergies or asthma and usually avoid dogs as a result, you’re all less likely to have a negative physiological reaction to the presence of a Yorkshire terrier. Yorkies have hair, not fur, so they carry and spread far less of the 3 Ds. What’s more, the valuable resource explains, while “many dog breeds have multiple layers of fur—an undercoat and an overcoat—which they shed off as new fur grows in,” Yorkies have a single layer of hair which means less mess all round. This doesn’t mean hypersensitive humans are guaranteed no allergic reactions, though. If one of these lil’ terriers suffer from Yorkie dry skin, your body might react badly. It’s a good idea to see the vet for regular check-ups to avoid this entirely.
Have we missed anything? We bet Yorkie fans can list lots of other reasons to love these little bundles of energy and we invite you to share your top 3 reasons on our Facebook pet page here.
Wondering what a pet – even a small pet like a Yorkie – will really cost to keep? We did some investigating on the real price of a new pet for you here.
*Dog Breeders’ Gallery reports that the smallest recorded Yorkie was a miniature, weighing 116 g and standing 6,5 cm ‘tall’.
**T&Cs apply and are obtainable by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.