How to Care for a Yorkie Russell

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Along with proper grooming, making sure your dog gets plenty of exercise is very important!
Along with proper grooming, making sure your dog gets plenty of exercise is very important! (Image: yorkishire terrier yorkie on a leash walking image by alma_sacra from Fotolia.com)

Yorkie Russells are a mixed breed dog, so caring for them must take into account the qualities of the breeds that make them up: the Yorkshire terrier and Jack Russell terrier. Your Yorkie Russell needs to have the right amount of food for its size, water, breed-specific grooming, lots of exercise and veterinary care. The Yorkie Terrier is an energetic breed due to its ancestors' energetic natures and is at risk for some of the problems that both Yorkies and Jack Russells are prone to.

Things You'll Need

  • Dog food
  • Slicker brush
  • Dog shampoo
  • Washcloth
  • Bath towel
  • Dog tooth brush
  • Dog toothpaste
  • Dog collar
  • Leash

Feeding

Feed your dog once or twice a day. Dog food bags are printed with a feeding guide. Split the amount of food recommended for your dog's ideal weight between the two feedings. Because the Yorkie Russell is a mixed breed dog, the ideal weight for your dog is best determined by asking your veterinarian.

Monitor how many treats you give your Yorkie Russell because small dogs have a low caloric requirement. Treats can provide additional nutrition, entertainment and teeth cleaning for your dog, but if you are feeding high-calorie treats such as liver treats or dog biscuits several times a day then it's best to slightly reduce the amount of dog food you are feeding by an equivalent number of calories. Treats made specifically for tooth cleaning are available at any pet store. Rawhide can cause stomach upset so it's best to avoid it.

Provide fresh, clean water for your dog at all times. The water should be changed at least once a day. Consider putting a water bowl in more than one area of the house to be sure that your dog will have access to water at all times.

Grooming

Brush your dog thoroughly daily and before bathing while its hair is dry. Use a slicker brush to untangle and clean the hair. Yorkie Russells can have courser hair like its Jack Russell ancestor or smoother hair like a Yorkie, but the slicker brush will untangle both. Because Yorkie Russells are mixed breed dogs, they are likely to have a coat texture much like a combination of its parent breeds', and the slicker brush is good for this.

Wash your dog once a month and as needed if your dog gets dirty. Make sure that the bath water for your dog is just slightly warmer than the temperature of your skin. Soak its hair completely but avoid the ears and eyes. Use about a quarter size amount of dog shampoo and spread it through your dog's coat, avoiding the face and ears. Dry your dog thoroughly with a towel. Due to their small size, Yorkie Russells may get cold easily so be sure to keep your dog warm until it is completely dry.

Brush your Yorkie Russell's teeth daily with a half of a pea size amount of dog toothpaste. These dogs are small and don't need a lot of toothpaste. Brush your dog's teeth gently with small circular motions. The Yorkie ancestor of the Yorkie Russell is prone to teeth problems so it is important to get the back teeth clean as well as the front and canines.

Health

Walk your dog on a leash daily for exercise. Yorkie Russells can have a lot of energy as both Jack Russell terriers and Yorkshire terriers are both active breeds. Provide dog safe toys for your dog to play with, which can be purchased at pet stores and pet supply websites. Playing fetch with your dog's toys is a means of exercising and entertaining your dog indoors.

Take your dog to the veterinarian when you first get it so that your dog can become acquainted with the vet. The Yorkie Russell is at risk for conditions that plague the health of its parent breeds, and regular exams by your veterinarian can help prevent these.

Monitor your dog's eating, sleeping and play. Strange behavior can be a sign of health problems and should be checked out by a veterinarian. Store cleaning chemicals and medications up out of your dog's reach and keep small objects away from your Yorkie Russell as ingestion of foreign objects can lead to an obstruction in the digestive tract.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your dog is reluctant about having its teeth brushed, get your dog accustomed to it by first letting it lick the toothpaste off your finger and then rubbing a little on his teeth with your fingers. You can slowly work up to fully brushing its teeth.
  • Dogs under 2 years of age may need more chew toys to prevent boredom so that they do not chew on your belongings.
  • Washing your dog more than twice a month can lead to dry skin.
  • Human toothpaste is not safe to use with dogs.

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