This month’s breed is small but mighty. Yorkshire terriers may just be one of the most adorable breeds on the planet, but they can be challenging at times. Here’s what you need to know about the Yorkshire terrier breed before you take one on as a pet.
History and origins
The Yorkshire terrier was originally bred as a rat terrier in England in the 19th century. The clever little dogs kept rats at bay in the textile mills and soon proved valuable enough to be bred across the country. The breed was introduced in North America in 1872 and was initiated into the American Kennel Club in 1885.
Personality and temperament
This particular breed of dog has a great deal of personality. Its diminutive size can barely contain its exuberance, which can often lead to overexcitement. One of the biggest problems owners may face is establishing themselves as ‘top dog’ without triggering an aggressive response from the Yorkie.
Too often, pet owners try to exert control of the breed by picking up the dog in order to force submission. This can and often does result in biting and other unwanted behaviours. Instead, pet owners are encouraged to use other methods including time-out periods to address this issue.
Additionally, these dogs tend to pick one member of the family that they feel they can dominate. This domination may appear to be fierce favoritism, but should the pet’s ‘favourite’ leave them alone, the Yorkie is likely to resort to barking and destruction of property to get them to come back.
Training and management
Yorkies take a lot of patience and energy, but the results can be very rewarding. You’ll need to take them on regular and frequent walks to keep their exuberance in check. You’ll also need to designate a safe ‘time out’ spot for when you need to leave them alone. They’ll need mental stimulation while you’re away, but steer clear of activities that can overstimulate them while they’re alone.
This breed has a reputation for being bossy and fearless. It’s likely because they were bred to be so, but don’t let them take control of your relationship. They can be aggressive with children, so despite their adorable looks and small size, they don’t make good pets for youngsters.
If you’re considering getting a Yorkshire terrier, or if you have one that needs some behavioural training, come and chat with the staff at Bark Busters for friendly, helpful advice anytime.