If you're considering bringing a Yorkshire terrier into your home, choosing a reputable breeder is vitally important. Good breeders strive to prevent common health and behavioral problems and are invested in the well-being of the puppies they sell. Yorkies can be wonderful dogs, but they also have some genetic predispositions that you'll need to ask a breeder about. A reputable breeder will happily answer your questions and will continue to provide help and support even after you take your new Yorkie home with you.
No breeder can guarantee that your Yorkie will never have health problems, so you should steer clear of breeders who say otherwise. However, a breeder should be able to give you plenty of information about the health of the puppy's parents. Ask the breeder what health tests have been done on the parents. A good breeder will have tested their hips, thyroid and eyes. You should also ask about any congenital defects the parents and grandparents have. Be sure to find out if any of the puppy's relatives have died prematurely.
Medical Treatment Questions
A good breeder will provide your puppy with shots and de-worming appropriate for the puppy's age. Ask the breeder what vaccinations your puppy has received and when the last de-worming was done. If the breeder doesn't know or hasn't done any of these procedures, steer clear. You should also make sure the breeder has had your puppy checked out by a vet. Ask the breeder for the vet's report on the health of your puppy.
A puppy's personality is a combination of genes and environment. The early environment provided by the breeder can have a lifelong impact on how your puppy behaves as an adult. Ask the breeder if he has provided the puppy with socialization. You should also ask about the personalities of the puppy's parents. A good breeder will also be able to provide you insight into your puppy's unique personality. Be sure to find out if the puppy has shown any signs of aggression or fear.
Reputable breeders are invested in the lifelong well-being of the puppies they sell. Ask what kinds of guarantees your breeder offers. You should be able to call your breeder if there is a problem for the rest of your puppy's life. And if you are unable to care for the puppy for any reason at some time in the future, the breeder should take the dog back. If the breeder doesn't do this, choose a breeder who will. No ethical breeder would allow a puppy they sell to end up in a shelter because its owners could no longer care for it.
- "The Ultimate Yorkshire Terrier Book"; Patricia O'Grady; 2009
- RaisingSpot.com: Questions to Ask a Dog Breeder
- "Yorkshire Terriers"; Wendy Bedwell-Wilson; 2006
Brenna Davis is a professional writer who covers parenting, pets, health and legal topics. Her articles have appeared in a variety of newspapers and magazines as well as on websites. She is a court-appointed special advocate and is certified in crisis counseling and child and infant nutrition. She holds degrees in developmental psychology and philosophy from Georgia State University.