Top Dog Breeds in South Africa: Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier is a small breed dog developed to catch rats in the mills in Yorkshire, England. This has become an easy to own pet due to its size, devotion to its owner and its great appearance.  The coat is silky and does not shed. Allergic reactions are most often triggered by the dog's dander and saliva.

Top dog breeds in south africa, yorkshire terrier, yorkie

This curious, over protective doggie who loves attention is not suitable with children under the age of 8 years old in the family.  They are active and love mental and physical stimulation.  Travelling with a Yorkie is also fun, because they adapt to their surroundings easily.  Make sure your Yorkie is well stimulated to keep him from becoming a yapper and could make you unpopular with a neighbour.  On the positive side of the barking, you know you have a good guard dog for keeping you informed when trouble is near.

Hypoallergenic (Prone to allergies) : Yes
Mass:3 kg
Life span: 12 – 20 years
Origin: England
Temperament: Bold, Confident, Courageous, Intelligent, Independent
Colours:.Tan, blue, chocolate, black.

Top dog breeds in south africa, yorkshire terrier, yorkie

The Yorkie is known as the favourite doggie to own for most South Africans, but they do have many ailments that are common to the Yorkshire breed:

  1. Dental problems. Tooth problems can start at an early age when Yorkies fail to loose baby teeth when adult teeth erupts. This leads to a double row of teeth which will need extraction under ga. Yorkies have relatively big teeth for a weak jaw and are not that effective in chewing. If home oral care (brushing at least 3x/week) is not implemented at an early age Yorkies will need repeated (in most cases yearly) veterinary dental care including extractions.
  2. Collapsed trachea. Weakening of the cartilage rings keeping the airpipe open causing a honking cough. This is a difficult condition to manage and a last resort will be specialist surgery.
  3. Portosystemic shunt. This is a liver condition and congenital where the blood supply to the liver is abnormal leading to toxic waste products building up in the blood stream leading to neurological symptoms. Difficult condition to diagnosis and often needs specialist surgery to correct.
  4. Legg Calves Perthes disease, many small and toy breeds are predisposed to this disease at a young age where the blood supply to the hip joint is compromised leading to the femoral head malformation and pain. Surgery necessary to remove abnormal femoral head.
  5. Patella luxation (loose knee-cap) developmental abnormality with genetic link will often need corrective surgery if causing pain. Affected joints will be more prone to arthritis.
  6. Being small and delicate Yorkies can easily be injured. Fractures are common.
  7. Some Yorkies have difficulty regulating blood sugar which results in hypoglycaemia which can lead to coma. They also high risk patients under general anaesthetic
  8. AlthoughYorkies are  not one of the top 3 breeds at risk for disc prolapse, their long backs make them more prone then dogs with a short back.
  9. Sensitive gastrointestinal tract leading to vomiting and diarrhoea.
  10. Although not commonly seen Yorkies are more prone to bladder stones than other common small breeds.


Thank you to our online vet Dr Adel for sharing with us ailments which she is exposed to as a vet on a daily basis.

Other Top Dog Breeds in South Africa:

English Bull Terrier, English Bulldog, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Shetland Sheepdog, Miniature Schnauzer, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, Chihuahua




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