Yorkshire Terriers, affectionately known as “Yorkies,” offer big personalities in a small package. Though members of the Toy Group, they are terriers by nature and are brave, determined, investigative and energetic. They have long, luxurious blue and tan coats. This portable pooch is one of the most popular breeds according the AKC® Registration Statistics.
A Look Back
Named for the English city from which they originally hail, Yorkshire Terriers were used in the nineteenth century to catch rats in clothing mills. Surprisingly enough, in its beginnings, the Yorkie belonged to the working class, especially the weavers; in fact, facetious comments were often made about how the dogs’ fine, silky coats were the ultimate product of the looms. Eventually, the breed left the workforce and became a companion animal to families of European high society.
Right Breed for You?
Yorkies are easily adaptable to all surroundings, travel well and make suitable pets for many homes. Due to their small size, they require limited exercise, but need daily interaction with their people. Their long coat requires regular brushing.
Puppies are born black and tan and are normally darker in body color, showing an intermingling of black hair in the tan until they are matured. Color of hair on body and richness of tan on head and legs are of prime importance in adult dogs, to which the following color requirements apply: Blue: Is a dark steel-blue, not a silver-blue and not mingled with fawn, bronzy or black hairs. Tan: All tan hair is darker at the roots than in the middle, shading to still lighter tan at the tips. There should be no sooty or black hair intermingled with any of the tan.
Dogs are pack animals and social creatures. They form strong attachments to other dogs and people. With an increase in those who are gone for long hours and have a busy schedule, it’s important to help your dog stay alone. It is critical that your dog understand that your absences are tolerable and temporary.
Separation anxiety occurs in the first hour of your dog being left alone. Keep in mind that your dog’s dependence on you is significant, and it is likely to cause anxiety when you leave. Although this might be flattering, it’s not fair to your dog to be so stressed by your absence. Signs of separation anxiety occur when your dog is prevented from being close to you. Like people, dogs cannot stay in an uncomfortable state of anxiety for too long, and will resort to doing anything to reduce the tension.
Here are some circumstances in which separation anxiety can occur:
- Too strong of an attachment to one person.
- Separation from his mother and littermates.
- Owners who let their dog follow them wherever they go and who bring their dog everywhere they go.
- A very exciting departure and welcome.
Here are some signs of dogs trying to reduce their separation anxiety:
- Destruction, digging, chewing, or excessive vocalization.
- Hyperactivity, depression, or aggression.
- Diarrhea/vomiting, urination/defecation.
How to help you and your dog cope:
- If all else fails, ask your veterinarian about drug therapy. A good anti-anxiety medication shouldn’t sedate your dog, but simply reduce his overall anxiety.
- Take your dog to a doggie day care facility or kennel when you have to be away.
- Leave your dog with a friend, family member, or neighbor when you’re away, or use a pet sitter.
- Take your dog to work with you, if possible.
- Use a pet door in conjunction with an invisible fence so your dog can get out of the house and run around. This will help him burn off some energy and anxiety..
How to treat separation anxiety:
- Ignore your dog when leaving.
- Mix the leaving routes (the back door, garage, and so on).
- Practice false departures.
- When you return, be as calm as possible. Do not display any excited behavior or rewards.
What won’t help:
- Punishment. Punishment isn’t effective for treating separation anxiety and can make the situation worse.
- Another dog. Getting your dog a companion usually doesn’t help an anxious dog because his anxiety is the result of his separation from you, and not just the result of being alone.
- Crating. Your dog will still engage in anxiety responses inside a crate, and he may urinate, defecate, howl, or even injure himself in an attempt to escape. Instead, create other kinds of “safe places” for your dog.
- Obedience training. While formal training is always a good idea, separation anxiety isn’t the result of disobedience or lack of training.
Here are some other tips:
- Leave clothes with your scent on them around the house.
- If your dog is left outside, hang an old bike tire, a bunch of dish rags knotted together, or a shoe from a tree so that your dog can play with them. Do not use a leash or tie-out, this can injure your pet when you are gone. It is better to use an underground dog fence or wireless dog fence to contain your dog safely.
- Put the radio on a talk station and leave it on while you’re gone. The noise muffles any other kinds of sounds your dog might worry about and it’s comforting. He hears the same sounds as when you are home.
It’s not fully understood why some dogs suffer from separation anxiety and others don’t. But it’s essential that you be as understanding as possible of your dog’s behavior. He needs your help with finding the best solution to alleviate the tension of your being gone and of him being alone.
The rule of thumb is that a puppy can hold her urine for the number of hours that correspond to her age in months, plus one. So a two month old puppy can hold it for three hours (2+1). Keep in mind this is the maximum time she can hold it but she may feel the urge before that. If you are unable to let your puppy out at the required time, you may want to consider using a dog crate to protect your carpeting and other belongings.
The rescue efforts in Haiti wouldn’t be possible without the work of search dogs. That’s a fact. Every day, TV news programs show video of dogs sniffing through the rubble for the sounds of people breathing or calling out for help.
One dog, a Border Collie named Hunter, and his firefighter owner, Bill Monahan, located three girls who had been trapped alive in the devastating earthquake. They were combing through an area near the Presidential Palace when Hunter detected the survivors’ scent under four feet of rubble.
Hunter alerted Monahan using a “bark alert,” and a rescue crew from California Task Force 2 dug out the girls and provided them with immediate first-aid.
Hunter and Monahan were trained by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, a nonprofit organization that partners rescued dogs with firefighters and trains them to find survivors from natural disasters.
Hunter and Monahan did great work in Haiti. Another reason we love dogs so much.
U.S. sales of pet products and services increased 4.8 percent to $54 billion in 2009, according to a report released Jan. 19 by market research publisher Packaged Facts.
“True to the market’s ‘recession resistant’ claim to fame, sales of all pet products and services rose 4.8 percent in 2009 to reach $53 billion, meaning that the market added $2.5 billion in the midst of the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression,” states the report, “Pet Supplies and Pet Care Products in the U.S., 8th Edition: Pet Health and Pampering: The New Value Equation.”
Sales of veterinarian services increased the most at nearly 10 percent, followed by pet food at 5 percent, other pet services at 4 percent and non-food pet supplies (which includes grooming products and bedding) at 3 percent, according to Packaged Facts.
The human-animal bond played a particularly important role in insulating the industry from recessionary cutbacks, according to Packaged Facts. The company pointed to an informal survey in which the majority of U.S. pet owners indicated that they value the comfort and security their pets offer more than ever. Packaged Facts suggested that this means pet owners are willing to invest in goods directly beneficial to their pets’ health, such as natural and organic pet supplements, heated pet beds and dog toys.
Premium demographics are also significant contributors insulating the market, because wealthier households are less likely to feel the financial pinch of a downturn as quickly or intensely, according to Packaged Facts. In addition, the company noted that wealthier consumers are more likely to read labels and pay attention to health claims. As a result, this group is said to consider higher priced products as worth the extra money.
Packaged Facts cited the growing clout of premium demographics as an indication of the success pet supply marketers have had in tapping into pet owners’ willingness and desire to pamper their pets with the healthiest products available.