Like the staffy, Yorkshire Terriers are a small breed of dog, popular as pets in the UK partly due to their compact size and partly due to their general temperament.
Originally bred to be small enough to catch rats in the mills, Yorkshire Terriers are usually tan and black in colour. They are known for their loving and friendly nature and their size makes it very easy for them to become lap dogs. As they become older and less inclined to run around, they often prefer a cosy knee to sit upon and will happily stay there for hours if permitted.
They can ‘yap’ a lot if strangers enter the house as they are naturally rather territorial. This is something that you can train them out of to a degree, so that they do not annoy the neighbours every time the postman calls.
Bringing a Yorkshire Terrier Home
You may decide to adopt rather than buy your Yorkshire Terrier. If you decide to buy, look for adverts for Yorkshire Terriers for sale online or locally (adverts are often placed on noticeboards of local vets, for instance). If you do decide to buy from a breeder, make sure that they are happy for you to see the puppies in their normal environment, interacting with each other and with their mother. You can get a good idea of what the puppies’ temperaments will be like by observing the mother.
Alternatively, you could adopt a Yorkshire Terrier from an animal charity such as the RSPCA, which often have purebreds in their care. Yorkshire Terriers often end up in shelters because their owners have become too elderly or may have passed on; but they also end up in shelters because their previous owners could no longer afford the time or money to care for them properly. Sadder still, some end up in shelters because they have been abused, neglected or abandoned.
Adopting a puppy is cheaper than buying one, but you may not receive all the necessary pedigree paperwork from a shelter. However, as all puppies and dogs adopted through animal charities like the RSPCA your puppy will have been neutered or spayed in any event, to prevent unwanted pregnancies, so the paperwork is probably irrelevant anyway.
The one downside to adopting a puppy is that you probably won’t get to meet the mother. However, the staff at the shelter will have been trained to recognise and assess individual dogs’ and puppies’ temperaments to be able to give potential owners a good idea of what sort of dog they may be adopting. The staff are impartial and do not benefit financially from ‘selling’ a particular dog to an adoptive owner, so their advice can be trusted.
Yorkshire Terriers will generally live for 12 to 15 years, so be sure that you can commit to caring for your dog for at least that long, both in terms of money and time.