Their tiny stature and gorgeous flowing hair make Yorkshire terriers attractive to would-be dog parents. It also doesn't hurt that they are friendly, energetic little pooches who love their people. If you've never had a dog, or your only experience is with bigger breeds, you should consider what is involved in living with a Yorkie before adopting one. They don't need a big yard for exercise, but they do want some of your attention. Yorkies elegant hair requires maintenance. Use caution if you have children as Yorkies are fragile.
You Have the Time
Yorkshire terriers love their human family and require daily interaction. The DogChannel.com advises the little terriers will be miserable if they're left alone for hours at a time. However, if you travel a lot and can take your Yorkie with you, she'll be a terrific traveler. They are smart little dogs who will benefit from and enjoy training. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, training can help manage behavior issues such as barking and aggression.
Your Residence is Small
Because they're such small dogs, Yorkshire terriers are perfect pets for smaller homes. Yorkies can get plenty of exercise chasing a ball back and forth in the living room or down the hall. If you do have a yard, DogChannel.com advises that you make sure it is fenced in and that the fence doesn't have gaps, holes or any openings that your tiny dog can squeeze through.
You Enjoy Daily Grooming
If it's the long hair that appeals to you, know up front that maintaining that mane will require time. It needs daily brushing and monthly bathing. You can opt to have her hair cut short to help manage grooming, but you'll still want to brush her at least once a week.
You Don't Have Small Children
Despite -- or because of -- their size, little dogs may not make good pets for families with small children. Tiny dogs are too delicate to be subjected to the rough-house play of young kids. Whether it's accidental or on purpose, Yorkies can be injured if they're not handled properly.
You Understand Terrier Traits
They may be tiny, but Yorkies are terriers and they carry the breed's traits. These include being reputedly difficult to potty train as well as train in general, being aggressive with larger dogs and people, and being known to dig holes in the yard or even in the carpet. Terriers also have a predatory drive to chase so, if you have a cat, don't be surprised if your Yorkie wants to chase her. Barking is another Yorkie trait. The ASPCA says that small dogs in particular love to communicate and are known to be chatty little barkers.
You Want a Long-Term Companion
There's no guarantee how long any individual dog will live, but if you want a pooch who is likely to live longer than 10 years, a Yorkie may be the right dog for you. DogChannel.com's Fast Facts on Yorkshire terriers lists their typical life span to be 13 to 16 years.
- American Kennel Club: Get to Know the Yorkshire Terrier
- DogChannel.com: Are You a Yorkshire Terrier Person?
- ASPCA: Living With Small Dogs
- Yorkshire Terriers for Dummies; Tracy Barr and Peter F. Veling
- Veterinary Partner: Terrier Traits
- The Dog Trainer's Complete Guide to a Happy, Well-Behaved Pet; Jolanta Benal
- DogChannel.com: Yorkshire Terrier
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.