Congratulations on adopting a new puppy! This puppy is like a baby human and will always crave your approval and love. There are a few things to learn about toy dogs that I wish to share with you that I learned about Yorkies over the years.
Yorkie Babies MUST eat
Yorkies are toy dogs and all toy dogs can have problems with sugar dropping by not eating. Your Yorkie MUST EAT to keep the sugar level up. If he or she is homesick or has a stomach ache, it is up to you the pet parent to make sure they get sugar. You do this by either giving a serving of Nutri-Cal or mixing light Karo Syrup into some water. (Nutri-Cal is like toothpaste and all the pet stores have it. Itís always safe to have it on hand in case you need it. Give it by dabbing a small amount in the side of their mouth so they have to lick it off their gums.) Molasses in cottage cheese is also good. Ice cream works for some if they will eat it. If these fail, make sure your baby sees a vet before he or she gets really sick. Yorkies can go downhill VERY FAST if sick, so always take him/her to the vet immediately.
If he is homesick, tempt him/her with fantastic treats. Cut one Ĺ thin slice SPAM into tiny little cubes, OR cut up 1/4 a slighty warmed weiner into tiny pieces and offer those. Once they sniff that, most will eat those.
The Yorkie Shuffle
The Yorkie shuffle is way of walking as to not step on the tiny dog. It is important to walk where your feet never lose touch with the floor. Walk this way until the puppy learns not to walk in front of or between your legs. They are smart enough to figure out that they will be stepped on if they get under your feet. They will learn this in a short time, but until they do, you will have to learn the Yorkie Shuffle. Very serious costly injuries can happen if the Yorkie Shuffle is not learned as soon as your new puppy comes home with you. I also attached a little bell to a tiny cat collar to always know where the Yorkie is. Mine wore this bell until they learned to stay away from our feet.
Superman canít really fly-neither can your Yorkie
Some Yorkie puppies love to leap and try flying especially when playing. One of mine did this. They jump and expect that you can always catch them. You canít. Especially be careful holding them in your arms if they see something like a toy on the floor they want. Some are jumpers in their enthusiasm. Always carry them firmly so that if they do try to jump they donít escape your grasp. Also be careful that they donít climb up on furniture when they are so small. A leap from the sofa or a chair is too much for a tiny puppy.
Never put collars on toy dogs and lead them around with a collar like you would a regular big dog. A collar can break their little necks or cause trachea collapse. Instead use a harness that does not encircle their necks. Most clothes for puppies have a harness built in. If you must use a collar for the bell for instance or tags, use a cat collar. Dog collars are too big for baby Yorkies. You can buy a cat collar and harness. Also I have heard that ferret harnesses will fit. Yorkies have such tiny tracheas they sometimes make a honking noise as they breathe. You can help by stroking their throats and the episode will soon pass.
Harness and leash- make them fit.
I buy a regular extra small dog harness when my puppies are full grown. Then I take them up and SEW them to fit the dog as even the extra small harness is too big for my Yorkies. Harnesses can slip back to a bigger fit if you do not sew them so they canít slip. As the puppy grows you can pop out the stitches and restitch.
When a Yorkie grows up they weigh too much for the clothes with the harness built in with the Velcro underneath. I do not trust the Velcro. Always look for some type of harness with the fasteners on top of the Yorkie for older dogs. I do not have a fenced in backyard so my Yorkies always walk on leash. My Yorkies NEVER go outside without a leash. A dog can be distracted by a squirrel or cat and chase it right into the highway. I never let them have that option because they are always leashed when outside.
I have started housebreaking puppies to pads. They are not to go outside until they are a certain age and have had all 4 vaccinations, so newspaper was a plus. There are books and webpages on housebreaking, but I will say that it is easier if someone is home with the puppy all the time. Never scold a puppy so that you make them fearful. They will hide from you to do their business from then on. They should know you disapprove but not be in fear of you about it. They canít hold it for hours like an older dog can. When my puppies were small, I kept paper in every room, so that they always could get to the paper. I reduced paper piles to 1 as they grew and could hold themselves. Now all I have are emergency papers for snowy days or middle of the night emergencies. Puppies have instincts but learn from you. You cannot fully trust a puppy until they are a year old. They simply canít hold themselves the younger they are.
I am home all day with my Yorkies so we go on walks 4 times a day. As the pups get older, they will adjust to your schedule and hold themselves until you can take them for a walk (unless they are paper trained.) Dogs sleep most of the day so do not worry about them getting bored. Just like humans, after a nap they like to visit the bathroom. They like a set schedule as they look forward to going outside.
Grooming and shaving the puppy hair
From experience I recommend that you take the puppy to a groomer and get the puppy hair shaved off when it starts to mat. It will grow back beautifully with no mats, but you must comb it everyday. I know how stressful puppy mats can be.
Always change foods by mixing the new with the old for about a week so that the puppies system gets used to the new food. You will also have to clip the hair on the butt around the anus if you do your own grooming. You do this for two reasons. One is to prevent dingleberries (pooh stuck in hair) and two is getting plugged. No one told me about the need to trim the hair or that I needed Wet Ones to make sure the area was cleanedÖ.now I know, and you do also. Dogs poop twice a day. You will need to make sure he/she does.
Ears standing is the normal for Yorkies, however some ears will not stand. Groomers cut the hair on the ears short too, as heavy hair can make the ears flop. Groomers usually shave the top third of the ear and trim around the ears with scissors. I have seen many Yorkies with one floppy ear and one standing.
Clothes and Yorkies
Yorkies do not have regular dog fur. They have hair. Yorkies only have one coat of hair; they have no undercoat to keep them warm in cold conditions. So you will see them shiver in many cold situations, even in the house, and they do appreciate wearing warm clothes. Just as we humans appreciate a layer of clothing for warmth, so do they. Yorkies do not shed as other dogs do. Their hair only gets longer like humans. I have taught my puppies to be used to having clothes put on them. They especially like coats in the rainÖÖÖ.
Good Quality Kibble-teeth-free feeding
Always feed good quality kibble. My dogs eat Bil-Jac with some Pro-Pac mixed together which is full of vegetables and they love it. While the puppy is a baby he needs baby food, but as he grows, kibble (hard dry food) is just fine and is better for him. Hard crunchy kibble helps his teeth. (Toy dogs have tendencies to have bad teeth that are painful) Yorkies can eat puppy kibble their whole life. Mine, like most Yorkies, free feed which means there are always bowls of kibble for them to eat whenever they are hungry. They eat on their schedule, not mine.
Tiny little Legs and small children
Yorkies have tiny little legs and are not easily repaired. In my personal opinion, vets find it easier to amputate. As Yorkies get older they can get arthritis, so take good care of their tiny legs while they are young. Small children are often too rough for a toy dog. It is not recommended that any Yorkie puppy be in a home where small children are present. Always caution young visitors and better yet, never let them play with your Yorkie unsupervised. Your Yorkie IS your baby.
Most Yorkies love to sleep in the bed with their owner. Most owners buy a set of doggie steps that enables the Yorkie to get up and down off the high bed. You have to teach your Yorkie how to use the bed stairs, but once they do, they will use it and it saves their little legs.
Predators-hawks, bigger dogs
Your Yorkie is a toy dog, so he/she is very small. But to a hawk he is a rabbit and a meal. If ever you see big birds in the sky, do not take your Yorkie outside. I have heard dusk and dawn are the big feeding time for hawks so I do not take my Yorkies outside then. Yorkies also seem to have the instinct that big birds are predators and will look toward the sky when hawks are there. Bigger dogs naturally seem to NOT like Yorkies because they honestly do not know what a Yorkie is, friend or foe. Yorkies are a man made dog having no undercoat as most animals have, so possibly they do not quite smell like a dog. To a big dog, a Yorkie may be viewed as a cat or rabbit or even a big rat. I do not allow my Yorkies to associate with big dogs they do not know very well and I am always cautious even then.
If you do not want your Yorkie running out open house doors, back-back is the first command they need to learn. My dogs will not run out the door every time it is opened because of this command. I taught Rusty by bumping him with a door when he was a puppy. (not hard enough to hurt him of course) He learned that doors are dangerous and he stayed back from them. Cheyenne learned mostly by watching Rusty.
Ugly duckling Stages
Puppies do go through stages of being an ugly puppy. They grow out of this stage and look like lovely swans. Do not be alarmed when your puppy enters one of those stages as he/she will be beautiful when the stage is over.
Every doggie I have ever seen had a motivator, something they can not resist. Most doggies it is food, so they are food motivated. Some liked rubs and being loved on, your puppy may have other motivators. Toys are a motivator in some cases. I have seen some that were motivated by a certain toy, such as a ball or squeaky toy. Figure out what motivates your puppy and you can train him/her much, much easier.
When to spay and neuter
Females and males can be sterilized upon reaching 6 months old, but you can wait a few months longer. Females must be sterilized before 7 months and boys before 4 months if you do not want him marking territory in your home.
Wet and dry foods
All dogs enjoy both wet (canned) food and some dry food (kibble). Puppies especially like wet food for breakfast. Do not give them too much wet food, just a few bites is enough. This helps their bowels not be so hard and excites their palates too. Dogs are much like humans in wanting variety. You could mix a few bites wet into their kibble for an extra treat. Good choices are Cesars, Mighty Dog and Pedigree Puppy.
Please buy some distilled water for your puppy or use a Brita filter. As the puppy is a baby, the distilled water is free of many chemicals found in tap waters. Some puppies get eye boogers by drinking tap water and distilled water eliminates this problem.
Yorkies need once a month grooming, but you can go 6 or 8 weeks between them, but realize that the puppies nails will be long and he may scratch you.
Bumps under skin
You may feel bumps or marble sized balls on the back of the neck. These are NOT tumors or something else. They are simple medicines in the baby shots which are absorbed by the body gradually, so there is no need to worry.
A well baby check
Your first visit to the vet should be for a well baby check. You will also need a fecal stool test performed. Puppies get 4 baby shots. The times given are 6 weeks, 9 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks. At 17 weeks state law requires a rabies shot. Never let a vet give your puppy more than one shot at a time, especially the rabies shot. If your puppy does have a fever after a shot, you may give him a little liquid Benedryl for Children pain and fever reducer. A quarter of a teaspoon will be enough. Most fevers from rabies shots will abate on their own in about 3 hours though.
A housetraining tidbit
Please put down 2 training papers in the house for the puppy. It does not matter that these papers may be side by side. The reason for this is that I have owned several dogs and they always peed in one place and poohed in another. I have noticed that my 2 outside dogs do the same, so to save you a lot of hassle and work with the dogís instincts.
Puppies will chew. Thatís what dogs do, so if you leave something within his reach, he thinks it is fair game to be chewed up. So, put everything you donít want chewed out of his reach. Buy toys of different textures to satisfy his chewing yearnings.
Cover on crate
If you are crate training, or he is in his crate when no one is home or at night, please cover the crate with a blanket, cloth or special made cover to give him some privacy. Dogs are den animals and he will love his own little den that is private. Place a bed pillow in the bottom for a comfy little bed. Use wire crates, not plastic.
For treats my puppies are used to dry Cheerios, Baby carrots, Lean beef pupperoni, Chicken Pupperoni, and liver treats, flattened out so they will not choke on the liver treats. Never give rawhide as Yorkies canít digest rawhide. Use treats for training tricks.
Buy inexpensive Beef Liver and Chicken Gizzards/Hearts in the supermarket and cook them for your puppy. Cut the beef liver into small pieces. Keep all in the refrigerator. These are really good for them, chock full of vitamins and minerals and the puppies love them.
Bath water temperature
Temperature of bath water should be cooler than what we humans would use ourselves. Dogs have higher body temperatures so need a lesser water temperature.
Between 4 months and 7 months they will be cutting their adult teeth so just like a human baby, needs things to teeth on. Anything frozen is good. Frozen carrots or big flavored ice cubes of frozen chicken broth are good.
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