|Thoughts on buying a Yorkshire Terrier Puppy
There is so much to say about this fabulous breed. So beautiful, it's the only breed that has only one correct color combination and demand for silky hair. Compact, their small size has many advantages and they usually love to travel! As far as brains go, they are very very smart and this combined with playfulness and their sense of mischief makes them delightful little family "characters?" Just ask any Yorkie owner and then you'll hear story after story. Most Yorkie owners could barely think of owning any other breed and many of my calls come from people who've already had one.
Healthy, too, a well bred puppy should be healthy in mind and body and not need much veterinarian attention. The key is GETTING a healthy puppy, and I have much to say about that. The good ones are not inexpensive (I joke it's about a nickel a kiss!) but from a reputable breeder out of healthy stock you should have 12-16 years of enjoyment.
Price- there is a lot on this- stay with me and I'll try to make sense of it. Yorkies are not inexpensive but you have to look for what you are getting (value) more than price.
A $600.00 Yorkie that may need a lot of medical attention due to allergies, low thyroid, bad legs or teeth or worse will cost you a lot more than a higher priced dog that the breeder stands behind and has taken the time and effort to get the knowledge to avoid keeping or breeding from affected animals. Having purchased some myself, trust me it is no fun to be at the vet trying to correct things you would best have avoided. I personally feel a show breeder is your best bet to get a happy, healthy beautiful pet and I'll explain why.
As an example, a person who shows dogs for conformation or obedience wouldn't waste their time keeping dogs that have allergies or low thyroid. Temperament is partly hereditary and I wouldn't breed from an aggressive or shy dog. A Yorkie should appear happy and upbeat, not slink around nor bite. I can't show a dog that is too large, has a bad bite or has bad legs or hips. Some of these mentioned conditions are hereditary! A good judge would excuse us and we would not win- we would be wasting our time! Each dog we show involves years of commitment to train groom and show. Some breeders who do not show don't ever get to see their dogs behave with others, walk correctly or care whether the coats can grow long and healthy. They may breed nice dogs but there is no emphasis not to breed from "Harry, who is small, has a bad bite and a weak set of knees and poor quality coat." I often travel hundreds of miles to breed to the best sire for my gals- these breeders would find that too inconvenient and costly.
Three other BIG pluses
1) We do not know which one is going to be the show puppy in the litter (if we are fortunate enough to have one) so we spoil them all and encourage their personality as well as groom them a lot. So a 12 week old is usually well behaved for grooming and that can save you hours (or your groomer) of struggling when you try to adjust an older puppy to washing, nail clipping and the like...
2) They are kept clean- a puppy who can differentiate where he eats, sleeps or pees and poops is much easier to keep clean and housebreak.
3) I raise for confirmation- which is a little like a beauty show- so my puppies are bred for beautiful and pretty faces and long flowing coats.
The litter mate to one I keep will probably be at least almost as nice looking and as healthy and good natured.
A good breeder may have more puppies than he can show or need to keep for breeding. Sometimes they have minor flaws that prevent us from showing them - it could be coat texture or size (too small or too big) or something minor (even show dogs have flaws!) or they may not work to continue the line so we try to find the best pet homes for them. It's kind of like an adoption and our concern is that they are family members and be well taken care of. Due to their small size and small litters- my average is 3, and with stud fees and costs to raise a litter well over $1000.00 most puppies in my area from a "reputable show breeder" start at about $1200.00. It's a lot of money but if they are healthy you will save in the long run on vet bills- I'll explain later. My prices are usually around $1500.00 nowadays depending on how fine they are. Sometimes we know of puppies for less as they may be older or larger. A reputable show breeder does not mean you are getting a show puppy (we place them in show homes) but rather to me it means they have certain ethics and care to breed healthy, well tempered and beautiful dogs.
Buy from a breeder. See www.puppymills.com to see where stores or breeder representatives often obtain stock from. The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America (www. ytca.org) insists that puppies not be sold prior to 12 weeks of age. There are many reasons for this. Any person putting a less than 3 months old Yorkie on a plane to a truck to an unknown home has questionable motives and ethics- don't you think?
Also try to avoid imported pups. Often they are undernourished to keep their weight down and with other registry services, their background is questionable. They should be AKC the breeder should show you the sire or dam. I feel it's bess to go to a breeder who shows even though they are selling a pet and a member of the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America.