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Do Yorkies Make Good Pets?

Kiki the Yorkshire Terrier

Do Yorkies make good pets? If you’re thinking about getting a dog, a Yorkshire Terrier might just be at the top of your list. But do Yorkie’s make good pets? With their spunky personalities and the lack of shedding, these dogs make great pets. And they’re small, so it’s okay to get one if you live in a small apartment. There are a few things you should know about our little furry princes and princesses before you make the decade or more commitment.

Yorkies make great pets. Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, as many of us call them, are an adorable and hypoallergenic breed. They do not shed, but they need to be groomed. The dog’s hair grows and grows without end.

But, it doesn’t shed off, so there is little to no hair mess with this spunky small dog breed.

A Yorkshire Terrier is sort of similar in a lot of ways to a chihuahua. Let me tell you why I’ve come to feel this way by telling you a bit about my experiences with my Yorkshire Terrier, Kiki.

My Experience With A Yorkshire Terrier

Do Yorkies Make Good Pets? Here's Kiki as a young pup.
Our dog, Kiki, was a wonderful soul. We loved her very much. Here she is as a young pup guarding her bone.

If you’ve taken a look at the Dog House Times TV videos, you might have caught a glimpse of Kiki (‘The Wonder Dog’ as I like to call her). She is nine years old at the time of writing this article. She is a suck and a princess and also a brave little trooper.

When my wife and I brought Kiki home 9 years ago, we had no idea what we were in for. I mean, Kiki is a beautiful and sweet little dog. She is kind and caring, and like many dogs, she can sense when you’re not feeling well and does her best to console you when you’re upset.  

Kiki has been through two types of cancer, a radical mastectomy, and now has a pretty severe case of Cushing’s Disease, which will be bringing her sweetness to an end sooner than any of us would like. So, when I say we had no idea what we were in for, I mean in terms of health problems. And none of these health problems are those which the breed is known for having.

With that in mind, I don’t think it’s a Yorkie issue, I just think my sweet dog was stricken with some terrible luck in the health department. Moving on to brighter things, let’s talk more about how Yorkies make good pets.

Yorkies Are Pets Similar To Other Small Breeds

I also like to call Kiki by the name of ‘Shadow’ as she is ALWAYS underfoot. That leads me to a bit more of how this breed is similar to the Chihuahua. The Yorkie is a dog that requires companionship. They are not a breed that is okay being left alone. These dogs prefer the company of their family to be alone. It’s this dependence that makes me feel as though they are similar to the Chihuahua, which shows the same sort of support, although to a more extreme degree.

Day To Day Pet Yorkie Life

Yorkies are spunky little spitfires. They have a lot of energy and need to use it. I can tell you that our Yorkie has more toys than I do or did. If you’d like to know a little more about the Yorkshire Terrier’s energy and vitality, then read on because I’ve got a bit of a funny story for you.

My wife and I used to live in an apartment on the second floor of a multi-plex. That was before we bought the house where we live now. Anyway, we had this sofa in our living room, and the dog would go tearing through the apartment and leap up onto the couch and one more bound up and onto the back of the sofa. All this with her plush toy in her mouth.

Just a small sample of Kiki's plush dog toy collection.  Yorkshire Terrier's love their toys.
Just a SMALL portion of Kiki’s extensive plush dog toy collection.

Just imagine a little 12” tall Yorkie excitedly leaping onto the sofa and then up onto the back of the couch. Then she would launch like superman off the back with her little legs spread out as though she were trying to fly like the man of steel himself. And tearing off down the hallway, she went.  

We were always afraid she would break her little legs, but she never hurt herself once. The dog had the energy of a young, exuberant child. It was quite a sight to see.

A Yorkshire Terrier will be happiest when accompanying you all day on every single little thing you do. My Yorkie loves to garden with me and has a bit of a thing for bean plants. And of course, when gardening is over, she would love to climb up and sit in my lap.  

Now since she has Cushing’s, the lap-sitting has stopped as she is having issues getting comfortable (as I noted, we aren’t far from the rainbow bridge). In her youth, she was always trying to climb up and curl up in our laps. Yorkies can very much be lap dogs.

Yorkies And You

Yorkshire Terriers are lovely, if not manipulative companions. They know, as many dogs do, just how to give you those looks that tug on the heartstrings. My Yorkie has a tendency to attempt to manipulate me into giving her food. Of course, she doesn’t understand that she is not getting certain foods that are dangerous to her health. But, it doesn’t stop her from trying.

These dogs are great little companions, as I’ve mentioned. They are quite intelligent as far as small dogs go and use it to their advantage whenever it presents an opportunity. They are loving, and I highly recommend the breed for anyone looking for a high-energy companion dog that is small enough to be easily carried around. Oh, and don’t let them get too used to that, or you’ll be their new horse.

A Note On Yorkie Health

Now, I’m no veterinarian. I just want to say that right off the bat. I don’t want to scare you off from getting a Yorkie with my tales of Cushing’s Disease. This is not a disease that Yorkies are prone to in particular, that I am aware of. This disease can strike any dog breed as far as I know. Don’t let it dissuade you from thinking a Yorking could make a good pet. But, I do recommend that you get your Yorkie looked at regularly and take all the veterinarian’s advice about the best care for your dog.

These dogs can be more susceptible to certain cancers if certain steps are not accepted in their life, such as either getting the females to have pups or having the dog spayed or neutered. There are also breed-specific things you need to watch for. These might include watching to make sure your dog doesn’t get too winded. We found that when our Yorkie got too excited, she would start coughing. Yorkies have a known issue with their trachea and have been known to experience tracheal collapse. This happens with many small breeds, but Yorkies are known for it, so you have to be careful and keep a close eye on your dog to ensure their good health.

Traveling With A Yorkie

When you decide to get a Yorkie, you’re going to need a decent carrier. You shouldn’t allow the dog to sleep in your lap while traveling in a motor vehicle. This is actually illegal in some places, so it’s all the more important to make sure the Yorkie is used to a carrier from the beginning.  

Some Yorkies also experience motion and or car sickness. My Yorkie Kiki used to get sick in the car and did so for the first few years of taking her in a car despite doing it semi-regularly. This is another good reason to have the dog in a carrier. I like to have a good quality carrier that is easy to clean and will last a while. I just put a dog blanket in there, and the dog will curl up on it in her carrier. If she has an accident or gets sick, I can just throw the blanket in the wash after and all is well. This is much desired compared to no cover and liquid getting onto your car seats or upholstery. So, a good carrier is a good idea.

I found a perfect carrier that I couldn’t find in a big box store that only had those cheap cat carrier types of pet carriers. You know, the cheap ones with the crappy plastic clips that always break. Anyway, here is the carrier I like because it is built to last and is easy to clean.

My Favorite Travel Crate For A Yorkie

Dakota 283 Kennebec Kennel – Dakota 283’s Original Tough Dog Travel Crate

What I really like about the Dakota 283 is that it is a one-piece body. None of this top half and bottom half sort of thing. And the body is molded and thick. This travel dog crate looks like it might just be tough enough to withstand some pretty heavy abuse.  

The door is strong, and the locking mechanism is also decent. You really get what you pay for, and this dog crate doesn’t leave you wondering if it will come apart in the middle of the trip. And having a pet carrier come apart during a trip is the last thing you or your pet needs.

I would even use this same crate for cats. It’s just an excellent pet travel crate. I strongly recommend it. Did you know I used to have one of those clamshell top and bottom half kinds, and the clips broke off? I was holding it together with twist ties. It was quite ridiculous, to be honest. But this travel crate will last for the rest of my life. Anything built to outlive your pet is built to last, in my opinion. Not to bring it to such a morbid point, but let’s be real here. Most people who have a small dog will likely have another later in life. Do you want to have to buy another carrier when you could have just bought one good one in the first place?

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