Yorkie adoption is a long term commitment, so getting it right the first time is very important. This article is written as a starting point to aid in the yorkshire terrier adoption process before you adopt a yorkie. This article is also written with the assumption that you will buy a yorkie puppy from a breeder and not a pet store. There are a lot of advantages to buy from a breeder as opposed to a pet store as this article will point out, but a pet store can have an advantage when it comes to convenience (location) and being able or willing to backup itís guarantee. Reading Choose a Breeder may help in finding a reputable yorkie breeder.
Ask yourself ďWhat do you want adopt a yorkie puppy for?Ē
Once you know what you want a yorkie puppy for itís time to do your homework. You should not buy a yorkie puppy until you know and understand the AKC Yorkshire terrier standard. By understanding the standard you will begin to be able to recognize a high quality yorkshire terrier puppy (yorkie) from a low quality Yorkshire terrier puppy. Click here for the AKC Yorkie Standard or visit the AKC web site or the YTCA web site.
Next you need to start applying what you have learned by going to dog shows and yorkshire terrier breeders in your area. Talk to the exhibitors, but not until after theyíre finish showing. Ask them why the dogs placed the way they did in the show and compare what they say to how you felt the dogs should have been placed. Visit other yorkshire terrier breeders in your area and compare their stock to what you saw at the dog show. The more Yorkshire terriers you see the easier it will be in determining a quality yorkie.
Now that your confident in your ability in determining a quality yorkie youíre still not ready for adoption. Most people will adopt a yorkie puppy between 8 wks. to 12 wks. of age. At these ages the puppy is only 1/3 to 1/2 itís adult size and no telling what that yorkie puppy will look like as an adult. So if your going to buy a yorkie puppy at these ages there are some addition things you must do to increase the odds of the high quality puppy growing up to become a high quality adult yorkie.
You need to see the sire and the dam of the yorkie puppy. If the sire and the dam are the quality of an adult yorkie you want then you have a greater chance that the yorkie puppy will also be the quality you want as an adult. You will find times that the sire is not on the premises and this is not uncommon because breeders will often use another oneís stud to improve their own yorkie line. If the dam isnít there I would start to get suspicious. Actually seeing any dog that is related to the puppy or dogs from a previous litter, can help in making a wise decision and we like seeing all their dogs if possible. When we want to acquire new stock we like seeing all the breeders stock. If all of the breeders stock is of high quality you just have a better chance of getting what you want. There still isnít any guarantee, you just are increasing the odds in your favor.
Another tool that can help increase the odds of determining if the puppy will become a quality yorkie as an adult, is itís pedigree. By looking at the number and where the champions occur in the pedigree can sometimes help in determining if the puppy is going to be a quality yorkie as an adult. If all the champions occur in the sixth generation and there are none in the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd generations, the number of champions isnít of much importance. The exception to this would be if a breeder had taken champion dogs and breed them into his line, to improve their line. So if the first few generations are the breeders dogs and the overall quality of their dogs is high you have a good chance of producing quality dogs. A word of caution, donít buy a puppy based only on a pedigree. The pedigree should be used as a conformation of what you visually see.
If you want a show quality yorkshire terrier puppy or have the highest chance of a high quality puppy, you need to what until the puppy is between 6 mo. to 9 mo. old before adoption.
By adopting your yorkie from a pet store you typically have no way of seeing the sire, dam or any relatives and they may or may not have a pedigree for the yorkie puppy.
One area that isnít talked about in much detail is temperament. The only mention about temperament in the AKC standard is ď The dog's high head carriage and confident manner should give the appearance of vigor and self-importance.Ē Our experience has been that yorkies that donít have this quality are more prone to health issues. We believe a yorkshire terrier that is timid and shy is more susceptible to stress related health issues such as hypoglycemia. A dog with self-importance tends to have a presence about themselves as if to say, ďI am the one!Ē This dog does not plead for recognition. It knows it is best and has no doubt that you must agree. If you donít, that is your loss in its eye. This dog conveys an "air of self importance" or in terrier language "stands over its ground".