Often when people are interested in adopting a dog, they research specific breeds’ traits to learn more about their personalities, needs, and activity level. A valuable exercise since, through this process, a family can ensure that they adopt a canine that can blend in with their existing family. Many people interested in Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies) are curious to learn if Yorkies are a lazy dog breed or have a higher activity level.
Because Yorkies are a smaller dog, it’s easy to assume that they just lay around. In this article, we will examine precisely what the Yorkie breed is like and if they are lazy or not.
The Yorkies (Yorkshire Terriers) are not a lazy dog breed. These small energetic dogs require a great deal of mental and physical stimulation to be content and healthy. Yorkies love spending time with their family, both inside and outside, and thrive with regular exercise and socialization.
Yorkies have become popular in part because of their teeny tiny size and their cuteness. However, did you know that they started as a working dog breed? Before they warmed the laps of duchesses and queens, these energetic little dogs worked for their keep. Their hard-working origins have contributed to making Yorkies the bright, opinionated, and loveable dogs that we know today.
History of the Yorkie Breed
The Yorkshire Terrier dog breed developed in England during the 1800s when Scottish weavers kept terrier dogs at the woolen mills to keep the rat population under control. The Yorkie dog breed was recognized explicitly in 1870.
By then, these little dogs were becoming more well known as lapdogs for fashionable ladies worldwide and less well known for their vermin hunting abilities.
Today, the Yorkie breed is one of the most popular companion dog breeds globally and is frequently attend dog shows and agility events.
Yorkie Breed Characteristics
Yorkies are part of a group of dogs known as “toy” breeds because of their small size. An adult Yorkie will generally weigh anywhere from 4 to 6 pounds and measure 8 or 9 inches tall at the shoulder.
Yorkies do not have a thick fur coat and don’t do well when left outside for long periods. These outgoing personalities want to be inside with their people where they can let their social nature shine!
Yorkies have a smooth and beautiful black and tan coat that requires regular maintenance. Their silky coat can become matted and dirty quite quickly, so it’s essential to have them groomed and clipped regularly.
Most Yorkies have no idea how small they are. They have big personalities, and most Yorkies love to socialize with people and other dogs. If a Yorkie lives with other dogs, they are often the “top” dog, regardless of size.
Yorkie’s Physical Exercise Needs
Yorkies need frequent exercise to work off their abundant energy. The word lazy is not in the vocabulary of a Yorkshire Terrier! Outings and exercise are also important to keep these smart little dogs from becoming bored.
A bored dog leads to a dog that can exhibit destructive behaviors. If a Yorkie is acting out, they often start digging, sometimes even trying to dig in a carpeted room, due to their ancestral roots as a burrowing dog that chased down vermin.
If you want to avoid your yard (and carpet) being dug up frequently, make sure that your Yorkie gets lots of regular exercise and is socialized and stimulated.
It’s also important to keep in mind that while physical exercise is needed, a Yorkie should only be taken to a dog park if there is a separate area for small dogs and puppies.
These toy canines can get hurt easily when roughhousing with larger dogs, in part because they don’t realize how little they are.
Yorkies are often participating in flyball and agility events. Flyball is a perfect activity for these bright and active dogs to truly shine. They love working with their family members to catch and retrieve items.
Agility allows a Yorkie dog to run off some of its abundant energy, especially with the jumps and tunnels required in an agility course.
Check out the video below and see just how NOT lazy Yorkies are!
Yorkie’s Mental Exercise Needs
When it comes to physical exercise, a Yorkie will thrive with regular walks and outdoor time. But Yorkies also need mental stimulation to avoid becoming bored and neurotic dogs, not to get confused with being lazy.
Offer a selection of toys to your Yorkie at home so that they have ample opportunity for play. It’s a good idea to regularly rotate the toys available to ensure that the Yorkie doesn’t get bored with their selection.
Yorkies also love playing with their people, so consider playing hide and seek around the house with your dog. This kind of game can be as simple as running around a corner until they find you or throwing a towel over your head! A Yorkie will be so proud of themselves once they track you down and will demand cuddles. See, not a lazy bone in Yorkies.
Another way to keep a Yorkie engaged is to purchase food dishes that also serve as puzzles that the dog can navigate as they find all of the various pieces of food hidden in the dish. Kiki likes the PAW5 Rock N’ Roll Puzzle Feeder Dog Bowl (Found on Amazon). It keeps her busy and entertained!
You can also use a Kong Toy and add peanut butter or a dog treat to the center that the Yorkie has to then work out how to obtain. Another Kiki favorite is the Kong- Classic Dog Toy, Durable Natural Rubber-Fun To Chew, Chase And Fetch (Found on Amazon)
A regular daily schedule with a designated time for exercise works well with these smart dogs. A Yorkie who knows what to expect from their family daily feels more secure in their environment.
Consistency and predictability lead to a better-trained dog who understands that you are in charge. This dynamic is especially important to establish with the strong-minded and opinionated Yorkie dog breed.
Yorkies At home
While Yorkies need regular exercise and stimulation, they are perfect for a small home or apartment due to their small size. As long as they are with their beloved family, they don’t need a mansion.
However, keep in mind that these bright little pups can be protective of their home and family and will bark if they perceive a possible intruder.
It’s essential to make sure that your apartment building management and neighbors can tolerate the occasional bark coming from your suite or house.
Yorkies are typically often described as yappy dogs, and in most cases, this is extremely accurate. However, if you socialize your Yorkie well and ensure that they are well exercised and secure with a regular schedule, you can minimize the amount of barking that will occur.
Yorkies and Children
It’s tempting to think that an adorable little Yorkie puppy would make a great companion for your small child. Sadly, this is not the case. It is not a good idea or recommended that Yorkies live in a home with a small child for several reasons. First, these tiny dogs are prone to injuries by larger bodies, and a child could accidentally hurt them without even realizing it.
Second, Yorkies are high strung and energetic dogs that react quickly when they feel threatened. An unpredictable child could end up being bitten by a Yorkie who is feeling scared or confused.
Finally, these energetic dogs are known to nip when they are bossy with other animals and people. For these reasons, it’s best to let children wait until they are older to spend quality time with a Yorkie.
Yorkies and Other Animals
Yorkies generally get along well with other dogs and most cats. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that they have a high prey drive and high energy level. Therefore, this breed should not live with rodents or other small prey type pets.
A Yorkie residing in the same house as a rat is a recipe for disaster. This is because the breed was developed as a rat hunter in England’s woolen mills! Keep pet rats safe and a Yorkie from temptation, and don’t bring them into the same home.
Yorkies are easily distracted by a squirrel or a mouse when on outings. Therefore, considering their origins, as mentioned earlier as a vermin hunter, will become quickly evident!
For this reason, make sure to have a well-fitted harness on your Yorkie. And keep them on a strong leash when out for a walk. Otherwise, you risk losing your little dog when they take off after a speedy squirrel in the forest.
Are Yorkies lazy? The answer is a resounding no. Yorkies are a high energy little dog that requires regular physical and mental stimulation. They love to cuddle and will be very happy to hang out on your lap for long periods.
However, don’t be fooled into thinking that they don’t need regular exercise because of their love of laps. A happy Yorkie dog is one that spends time with its human family, complete with abundant opportunities for physical exercise and mental stimulation.
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