How to Choose a Yorkie Puppy

Yorkies are a toy breed.
Yorkies are a toy breed. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

The Yorkie, or Yorkshire terrier, is a toy-sized dog that was originally bred to catch rats. Today it's mainly kept as a companion dog, but it has retained its terrier characteristics, which make it energetic, feisty and brave. Once you've made the decision to get a Yorkie puppy, it's important you pick the right one from the litter. Choosing a healthy dog with a good temperament will make it easier to train and fit into its place within your family.

Approach the whole litter as a group to see how they react to you. Avoid any Yorkie pups that are barking at you or showing any nervous, aggressive or apathetic behavior. The puppies should be friendly, trusting and inquisitive about you and the rest of their surroundings.

Observe the order in which the puppies approach you. You don't want to choose the first dog that rushes up to you, as it's likely to grow up to be pushy and domineering. Conversely, you shouldn't choose the puppy that hangs right back, because it will be too timid or nervous. Choose from the puppies that are playful and curious, but not too precocious.

Ask to see each of the puppies that you're interested in on its own. Cradle the puppy to you. It may wriggle for a moment, then it should calm down, look at you and happily allow you to pet it. Avoid any puppy that whines, squeals, tries to get away from you and won't settle down.

Check the puppies for signs of ill health. If any of the puppies have discharge from their eyes, ears or nose, dull coats, fleas or are coughing or wheezing, you would be best off choosing a Yorkie puppy from a different breeder.

View the puppies' mother and father if the breeder owns it. If the mother has a bad temperament, it is likely that it already will have taught some of its undesirable traits to its offspring.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure you go to a reputable breeder who carries out health checks on both the puppies' parents. It may be cheaper to buy a puppy from a less thorough breeder, but it's likely you'll have an unhealthy pet and will ultimately end up paying out more in vet fees.

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