short coated brown dog near trees

Preparing Your Home for a Puppy

Adopting a puppy will go smoothly if you anticipate and prepare for the coming of that small bundle of joy and energy into your house. However your puppy finds his way into your heart and home, there are a few helpful guidelines that can make the transition easier on all of you.

A puppy, like a human baby, requires more than his weight in equipment from the beginning.


Let’s look at the New Puppy Checklist of things you will need to own as soon as you chose your puppy:

  • Travel Crate or Soft-Sided Carrier. This will help you bring your puppy home and take him to the vet or visits to friends safely. The crate goes in the back seat or cargo area, preferably seat-belted in. 
  • Leash and Collar Or Harness. Expect to replace these as he grows, but it’s best to get a new puppy used to wearing his tags and walking on a leash. Apply for the ID tags as soon as you know your dog’s name. 
  • Food and Water Bowls. These should be sturdy and easy to clean as well as size appropriate.
  • Food. It’s a good idea to begin with the food your puppy’s previous caregiver used and then modify your choice as advised by your vet. See Puppy Feeding Schedule and Guide.
  • Bed. Every doggy needs a soft, washable snuggly place to call his own. 
  • Crate. If you plan to crate train, the crate should precede the puppy into the house. 
  • Piddle Pads and Newspapers. New puppies leak and, whether you are planning to train to pads or not, you will need some absorbent products for the first few weeks.
  • Toys. A variety of safe toys to chew and snuggle with make a puppy feel at home. 

How To Prepare Your Home For A Puppy

Inviting a puppy into your life provides a great opportunity for housecleaning on a major scale. Since puppies will chew and swallow anything, make sure the floor is very clean of debris. Elevate and secure electrical cords. Time to give up candles, a glass menagerie and candy jars on the coffee table for a while. Cigarette butts, chocolate, grapes and ant traps are toxic and dangerous for puppies, so get any random objects out of your puppy’s reach.

You can puppy-proof rooms your puppy shouldn’t enter with baby gates. Do not use the old accordion-style gates; they are as dangerous for puppies as they are for toddlers. Gates that open easily, secure tightly, and can be seen through will protect your puppy from dangerous areas and will save your special rooms from puppy accidents.

Remember, puppies WILL get into things. So you will need to behave differently than you did before. Do not leave grocery bags, purses, briefcases, backpacks or any easy-to-open containers on the floor. Block off stairs until you know puppy can go up and down without taking a tumble. Basically, think human toddler times 4.

Bringing a new puppy home is an exciting and special day that you can never forget. It could be the day puppy left his littermates and mom, or the day his wandering from foster home to foster home comes to an end, the start of the best part of his life, but also a frightening day of new faces and smells. Make his drive home as peaceful and quiet as possible to help him relax. Before getting in the car, make sure he goes to the toilet. You might place him in his crib, but a tiny, quiet puppy can be held by a family member or friend in a blanket. Make sure you converse with him the whole way home.

For him, entering your home should be a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Enable him to play and sleep according to his own rhythms by limiting his greeters to immediate family. Make certain he eats and drinks, and take him out enough so he can relieve himself. It’s not a bad idea to have his crate in your room at night so he knows you’re there and isn’t afraid. Companions are provided by a few plush toys in his room.

There are several puppy dog breeds to choose from. Learn all you can about each one so you can determine which breed’s inherent characteristics are best for your family. Do not be influenced by dogs in movies or cartoons. (Dalmatians aren’t like that at all.) Make a judgment based on the information you’ve gathered. Of course, you could see a mixed breed puppy in a shelter cage looking up at you, hopeful. And you could just fall hard for those puppy dog eyes and take him home believing that this is the puppy for you, big or tiny, noisy or quiet, sporty or couchy.

These Are The ‘Smartest’ Dog Breeds, According to a Canine Psychologist

There’s no easy way to rate dog intelligence. It can be focused on more than one thing.

As canine psychologist Stanley Coren wrote back in the ’90s, there’s adaptive intelligence (i.e., figuring stuff out), working intelligence (i.e. following orders), and instinctive intelligence (i.e. innate talent) – not to mention spatial intelligence, kinesthetic intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, and more.

Indeed, as animal behaviourist Frans de Waal has argued, humans tend to judge animal intelligence in limited and unfair terms and often bungle the experiment.

While labs at Yale, Duke, and around the world are studying this question, for now, we do at least have data on one metric: working intelligence.

Coren, in his book, The Intelligence of Dogs, featured the results of a lengthy survey of 199 dog obedience judges.

The responses, he said, were remarkably consistent; however, he noted that many judges pointed out that there are exceptions in every breed and that a lot comes down to training.

Here’s what he found:

Top tier – the brightest working dogs, who tend to learn a new command in less than five exposures and obey at least 95 percent of the time.

SmartDogs1Dan Kitwood (Getty)

1. Border collie

2. Poodle

3. German shepherd

4. Golden retriever

5. Doberman pinscher

6. Shetland sheepdog

7. Labrador retriever

8. Papillon

9. Rottweiler

10. Australian cattle dog

Second tier – excellent working dogs, who tend to learn a new command in five to 15 exposures and obey at least 85 percent of the time.

SmartDogs2Pmuths1956 (WikiMedia Commons)

11. Pembroke Welsh corgi

12. Miniature schnauzer

13. English springer spaniel

14. Belgian Tervuren

15. Schipperke, Belgian sheepdog

16. Collie Keeshond

17. German short-haired pointer

18. Flat-coated retriever, English cocker spaniel, Standard schnauzer

19. Brittany spaniel

20. Cocker spaniel, Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever

21. Weimaraner

22. Belgian Malinois, Bernese mountain dog

23. Pomeranian

24. Irish water spaniel

25. Vizsla

26. Cardigan Welsh corgi

Third tier – above-average working dogs, who tend to learn a new trick in 15 to 25 repetitions and obey at least 70 percent of the time.

27. Chesapeake Bay retriever, Puli, Yorkshire terrier

28. Giant schnauzer, Portuguese water dog

29. Airedale, Bouv Flandres

30. Border terrier, Briard

31. Welsh springer spaniel

32. Manchester terrier

33. Samoyed

34. Field spaniel, Newfoundland, Australian terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Gordon setter, Bearded collie

35. American Eskimo dog, Cairn terrier, Kerry blue terrier, Irish setter

36. Norwegian elkhound

37. Affenpinscher, Silky terrier, Miniature pinscher, English setter, Pharaoh hound, Clumber spaniel

38. Norwich terrier

39. Dalmatian

Fourth tier – average working dogs, who tend to learn a new trick in 25 to 40 repetitions and obey at least 50 percent of the time.

SmartDogs3Vadim Petrakov (Shutter Stock)

40. Soft-coated wheaten terrier, Bedlington terrier, Smooth-haired fox terrier

41. Curly-coated retriever, Irish wolfhound

42. Kuvasz, Australian shepherd

43. Saluki, Finnish Spitz, Pointer

44. Cavalier King Charles spaniel, German wirehaired pointer, Black-and-tan coonhound, American water spaniel

45. Siberian husky, Bichon Frise, English toy spaniel

46. Tibetan spaniel, English foxhound, Otterhound, American foxhound, Greyhound, Harrier, Parson Russel terrier, Wirehaired pointing griffon

47. West Highland white terrier, Havanese, Scottish deerhound

48. Boxer, Great Dane

49. Dachshund, Staffordshire bull terrier, Shiba Inu

50. Malamute

51. Whippet, Chinese shar-pei, Wirehaired fox terrier

52. Rhodesian ridgeback

53. Ibizan hound, Welsh terrier, Irish terrier

54. Boston terrier, Akita

Fifth tier – fair working dogs, who tend to learn a new trick in 40 to 80 repetitions and respond about 40 percent of the time.

SmartDogs4Stephanie Keith (Getty)

55. Skye terrier

56. Norfolk terrier, Sealyham terrier

57. Pug

58. French bulldog

59. Brussels griffon, Maltese terrier

60. Italian greyhound

61. Chinese crested

62. Dandie Dinmont terrier, Vendeen, Tibetan terrier, Japanese chin, Lakeland terrier

63. Old English sheepdog

64. Great Pyrenees

65. Scottish terrier, Saint Bernard

66. Bull terrier, Petite Basset Griffon, Vendeen

67. Chihuahua

68. Lhasa apso

69. Bullmastiff

Sixth tier – the least effective working dogs, who may learn a new trick after more than 100 repetitions and obey around 30 percent of the time.

SmartDogs5Capture Light (Shutter Stock)

70. Shih Tzu

71. Basset hound

72. Mastiff, beagle

73. Pekingese

74. Bloodhound

75. Borzoi

76. Chow chow

77. Bulldog

78. Basenji

79. Afghan hound

There are, again, exceptions. Coren talks in his book about a trainer who managed to win obedience competitions with multiple Staffordshire bull terriers (#49).

There are also, again, other ways of measuring intelligence.

Coren tells us about a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (#20) he owned that was in some ways too smart for competitions.

“He was so bright and attentive that he read my every motion, head turn, and even the direction that I was looking with my eyes, as a command,” he writes by email.

“That made him very difficult to compete with in obedience trials, since, for instance, a glance with my eyes in the direction of the high jump might be interpreted by him as a command and that would send him off, taking the jump beautifully of course, but nonetheless disqualifying us from that round of competition.”

De Waal, in Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are? spoke in defence of the Afghan hound (#79), noting that they may not be unintelligent but rather independent-mined, stubborn, and unwilling to follow orders.

“Afghans,” he wrote, “are perhaps more like cats, which are not beholden to anyone.”

A version of this story was first published in January 2017.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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adult tan pomeranian

GUEST POST: Importance of Grooming

For many of us, our dogs are considered beloved members of our family. They are constantly by our side and we know we can count on them even when it seems as though everyone else has abandoned us.

It is not surprising then that when it comes to caring for our dogs, nothing but the best will do. We care for them as we care for our own children by feeding them, loving them and giving them plenty of attention. We also need to care for them in one other important way: by grooming them on a regular basis.

In this course, we will show you how you can meet all of your dog’s grooming needs. From bathing and brushing to nail clipping and even taking care of those nasty anal sacs, we will provide step by step instructions for making sure you do the job right.

Despite what you may think, grooming a dog isn’t that difficult to do; all that you need are a few basic supplies, some patience and a handful of treats!

The Importance of Good Doggie-Grooming

Just as grooming is an essential part of a human’s daily routine, maintaining a regular dog-grooming routine is an important step in maintaining your dog’s health. Think about it: How quickly would your appearance deteriorate if you didn’t make a regular habit of washing and combing your hair, brushing your teeth or clipping your nails? In similar fashion, dogs that aren’t properly and regularly groomed will eventually look and smell dirty.

In addition to maintaining a pleasing outward appearance, regular grooming stimulates the blood supply to the skin which gives dogs healthier, shinier coats. This is because as you brush, you are spreading the dog’s skin oils throughout its coat. Regular brushing also helps to remove dead hair – and keeps that hair from accumulating on your rugs, furniture and clothing – as well as keeping matting and snarls to a minimum. It also helps to prevent unwanted parasites from taking up residence in your dog’s coat and keeps painful sores from developing.

Remember , good grooming habits go beyond simply giving your dog a regular bath and brushing its coat each day. Tasks such as nail clipping, ear and eye cleaning, and teeth brushing are important, as well.

In the case of nail clipping, in addition to protecting your wood floors from scratches, regular nail clipping will help keep your dog’s paws comfortable to walk on because as a dog’s nails grow longer, their balance can be affected. Regular – and careful – ear cleaning can help prevent painful ear infections. And, as you would expect, maintaining a regular oral cleansing schedule will help keep your dog’s teeth healthy and prevent that foul smelling “doggie breath.”

Good grooming habits also help to increase the bond between the dog and its owner. In addition to simply allowing you to spend time with your dog, a dog that is brushed on a routine basis will look upon that time as a source of affection and attention, two things that virtually all dogs crave.

Finally, one of the best indicators of a dog’s overall health is their coat. A shiny, thick coat can usually be taken as a sign that all is well internally. If you see that even with regular attention, your dog’s coat is starting to lose some of its luster, it could mean that there is something going on that may need the attention of your veterinarian.

What is “Regular?”

Here is where dogs and people begin to differ. While brushing the dog’s coat and performing teeth care (topics that we will explore in more detail later in this course) should be done on a daily basis, it is not necessary to bathe your dog each and every day. Likewise, ear and eye care and nail clipping are not considered to be tasks that must appear on your daily to-do list. Needless to say, the frequency with which you carry out most of these grooming tasks might increase if your dog competes in shows. Another factor that will likely influence how often you bathe your dog is whether the dog spends the majority of its time indoors or outside; outside dogs will likely need a little more grooming to keep them looking and smelling clean.

Under normal circumstances, a dog only needs to be bathed every few weeks. Occasionally, however, situations may occur that will warrant more frequent baths — such as an encounter with a skunk, an unplanned adventure into muddy areas, or an unfortunate encounter with tar or other messy substances. Dogs with chronic skin conditions may need either more or less frequent baths with specially medicated shampoo. Your veterinarian will provide you with specific instructions.

As for nail-clipping — any time you hear a dog’s nails clicking against the floor as it walks, you can assume that it is time. A good rule of thumb is to check the nails once a week and clip them as needed. As your dog grows older and their nail growth slows, this time frame may extend to every two weeks. We will discuss proper nail-trimming techniques later in this course.

Finally, it is a good idea to check the inside and flaps of your dog’s ears every couple of days to look for any loose soil or other debris. A good cleaning with special solution should be done once a week. Again, we will cover the specifics of this task later in this course.

Cleaning a dog’s eyes, particularly the so-called “tear stains” that appear beneath the eyes of small breed dogs such as poodles, cocker spaniels, and Shih Tzus, should be done on a regular basis as failure to do so can lead to infections and other potentially serious problems. For other breeds, the run-of-the-mill dirt and debris can be dealt with by gently wiping the area with a damp, clean cloth.

The Difference Between the Professionals and You

Based on what we know so far, taking care of a dog’s grooming needs isn’t all that difficult. So then, why do so many people delegate this task to professional groomers?

There are several reasons.

The first reason is one that most of us can relate to: a lack of time, or, in some cases, a perceived lack of time. Rather than spending the time bathing their dog, clipping their coat and trimming their nails, many folks prefer to simply let someone else take care of these tasks and use the time that would have been spent on grooming for something more enjoyable. As mentioned earlier, however, the time you spend grooming your dog presents excellent opportunities for bonding and simply being together; and after all, isn’t that at least part of the reason why you are a dog owner?

Helping you to find the time to groom your dog is beyond the scope of this course and as such is a topic that we won’t address, but we hope that by the time you finish the lessons contained here, you will realize that proper dog grooming isn’t as time consuming as you may initially have thought.

The second reason why people leave their dog’s grooming to the pros is that they simply lack the confidence to take on the job themselves. Here’s where we can help. In this course, you will learn what tools and supplies you will need, and how to complete basic dog grooming tasks, such as bathing, clipping, nail clipping and eye, ear, and dental maintenance. Of course, if you are planning to show your dog and want your dog clipped in a precise manner, you might want to opt for the services of a professional, but if routine dog care and maintenance is what you are after, then we can show you what you need to do and explain how to do it.

On the other side of the coin is the undeniable fact that a professional dog groomer can be expensive. And, while the proponents of the professional groomer will argue that the cash outlay required to obtain the tools needed to take on the job themselves doesn’t make doing it themselves cost effective, the reality is this is a one-time outlay. After this initial expenditure, you will save the per-visit expense of the groomer.

Specialized hair-cuts aside, there is very little that a professional dog groomer does that you can’t learn to do yourself; all you need is the confidence to get started.

When to Call the Pros

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, including those governing dog grooming. During the course of your dog-ownership, you will likely run into at least one scenario that will require the services of a pro, including:

–Unfortunate encounters with sticker bushes , burrs, and other difficult-to-deal-with vegetation can leave your dog with hundreds (or more) stickers, pickers, burrs, or other objects embedded in their fur. Removing these objects takes lots of time and patience; if you are short on either, you should enlist the services of a professional as leaving them in your dog’s fur can cause them a great deal of discomfort.

–Dogs who are not accustomed to regular grooming, such as those obtained from an animal rescue facility or shelter, may feel threatened and as a result will (strongly) resist your grooming efforts and — in some cases — turn on you. Remember, if your pet came from one of these environments, you probably won’t know a great deal about its background and will have no way of knowing how it will react.  Rather than risk harm to yourself and even potentially to your new pet, you might be better off leaving the initial grooming sessions to the seasoned professionals. Over time, it is likely that your pet will become accustomed to the routine and eventually, you can take over the grooming duties yourself.

–Clipper Anxiety . Let’s face it: not everyone has the confidence needed to handle a set of hair clippers. This is particularly true when precise lines are needed, such as in the case of poodles. Rather than taking the chance of botching the job, you might be better off turning the task over to a pro.


Yorkie Poo Health Problems

Yorkies have longevity on their sides -- a great trait to pass down.

Yorkies have longevity on their sides — a great trait to pass down.

The Yorkie Poo is not a breed of dog, but rather a hybrid of two well-known breeds, the Yorkshire terrier and the poodle. If you’re considering bringing one of these furry cuties into your life, some knowledge of health ailments that are common in them can go a long way.

Mixed Breed Dogs

Some people might erroneously believe that mixed breed dogs, due to “hybrid vigor,” are somehow exempt from illness and health problems, although that couldn’t be further from the truth. All dogs, purebred and otherwise, can experience medical issues. Just as a Yorkshire terrier can inherit a genetic condition from one of his parents, so can a Yorkie poo. Yorkie poos are often prone to the medical ailments that are prevalent in both breeds of their background. If something is common in miniature or toy poodles, then it could easily affect a Yorkie poo as well.

Although Yorkie poos and other mixed canines aren’t free from the possibilities of inherited medical conditions, they might have a little more protection against them. When you blend two distinct groups of genes, it often reduces the influence of the recessive genes that are responsible for certain medical woes.

Yorkshire Terrier

Keep your eyes open for signs of the various health ailments that are prevalent in Yorkies. Some big issues for Yorkies are the breathing condition collapsed trachea, the hip joint ailment Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, the hormonal disorder Cushing’s disease, the dislocation of the kneecaps, the inflammatory condition pancreatitis, bladder stones, low blood sugar and hypothyroidism. Yorkshire terriers are also especially vulnerable to problems with their teeth. As far as tracheal collapse goes, it’s more common in Yorkies than in any other dog breed, and by a significant margin. Older Yorkshire terriers who are at least 7 years in age also often have progressive retinal atrophy, the genetic eye ailment.

Miniature and Toy Poodles

Yorkie poos are a combination of Yorkshire terriers and miniature or toy poodles. Although toy poodles are a little smaller than their miniature counterparts, they are vulnerable to a lot of the same health ailments. These include progressive retinal atrophy, tracheal collapse, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, the brain disorder epilepsy, kneecap dislocation and the eyelid irregularity entropion. Toy and miniature poodles are susceptible to a handful of “tiny dog” medical problems that aren’t as common in their bigger lookalike pals, standard poodles.


Some knowledge of the average life expectancies of Yorkshire terriers, miniature poodles and toy poodles also might be helpful in predicting how long a precious Yorkie poo might live. Yorkshire terriers are often fortunate enough to live for roughly 15 years. The average miniature poodle life expectancy is anywhere between 10 and 13 years. For toy poodles, that range is 12 to 14 years. Note, however, that all of this depends on the level of loving care and attention you provide your dog. If you make sure that your Yorkie poo gets sufficient exercise, eats a complete diet and visits the veterinarian frequently, you’re on the right track for his longevity.

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The Not Small At All Yorkshire Terrier Breed FAQ Guide

  • Category: Toy (Terrier)
  • Indoor dog
  • Coat: silky, glossy, long and fine; no undercoat 
  • Colors: black when young but they attain the colors tan and blue as they mature
  • Height: between 8 and 9 inches 
  • Weight: between 3 and 7 pounds

Yorkshire Terrier: dog’s ancestry 

Scottish weavers came to England with little terriers bred to hunt rats in the 19th century. These dogs were crossed and created “broken haired” terriers. In 1870, a “broken-haired Scotch terrier” was named a Yorkshire terrier by a reporter for its namesake town. Yorkies as they are known were originally working dogs. In the latter part of the Victorian era, they became very popular lap dogs. Once they made their way over to the U.S.A. in the 1970s, they became one of the country’s most beloved little furry companions. Yorkshire terriers are playful and bright, two big personality traits that make them a beloved dog breed world-wide. 

Why are Yorkies such a Small Breed?

Why are Yorkies such a Small Breed?

Scottish laborers were not allowed to hunt. An old law dating back to the 11th century forbade laborers from owning a dog big enough to hunt. Dogs had to pass through small 7 inch hoops to be approved. Yorkshire terriers were originally bred to be a hunting dog that was small enough to bypass the 7 inch rule.

What Kind of Dog Mix Resulted in the Yorkshire Terrier?

During the Industrial Revolution, the Paisley Terrier, or Clydesdale Terrier was crossed with other types of Terriers. English black terriers, tan toy terriers and Skye terriers were brought to the mix. The Maltese breed was also crossed with these dog breeds to create smaller dog breeds with long coats. You can still see the similarity in shape between the Maltese and today’s Yorkies. However, there aren’t any records about the early pedigree to confirm these crosses.

Meet “Ben” Huddersfield: Grandad of the Yorkies

The father of the modern Yorkie is said to be a dog called Huddersfield “Ben”. Bred by Mr. Eastwood and owned by Mr. Foster; this was a very popular stud dog who had a great influence in the modern breed. He won many competitions and is believed to have set many of the standards for his breed type.

An Official Dog Breed Except for Teacup Yorkies

The British Kennel Club registered the first Yorkies in the British Kennel Club Stud Book in 1874. The American Kennel Club started recognizing Yorkshire Terriers as a breed in 1885. The breed standards for the Yorkshire Terrier have hardly changed. Some of the cross breeding which results in tiny “teacup” varieties can cause health problems for today’s Yorkshire terriers. Often their skulls are too small and this results in a range of respiratory problems. Dot buy teacup yorkies, the breeding practices to get these dogs cause a lot of health and behavioral problems.

Buying a Yorkshire Terrier Puppy

Buying a Yorkshire Terrier Puppy

Make sure you have a clear idea of exactly what you want before you start looking for a breeder. Male or female? Dominant or quiet and shy? What does your lifestyle look like? nant or quiet puppy? Your lifestyle and resources will play a large role in your choices.

Please steer clear of pet store puppies: dogs sold in pet stores are often breed in poor conditions and are not socialized well. Choosing a reputable breeder is important to avoid puppy mills. A health guarantee is needed to help prevent issues.

Common Yorkshire Terrier Health Issues

Yorkshire Terrier most commun health issues

  • Alopecia: hair loss 
  • Cataract: loss of vision 
  • Cryptorchidism: a testicular disorder
  • Dwarfism 
  • Entropion: eyelid disorder
  • Glaucoma: increase pressure within the eye
  • Hydrocephalus 
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca: a reduction of tear production 
  • Low blood sugar 
  • Patellar luxation a kneecap issue
  • Portosystemic shunt: accumulation of blood toxins in the liver
  • Urolithiasis: urinary tract infection causing bladder stones 

How to Care for Your Yorkshire Terrier 

  • Ears and eyes must be cleaned and checked regularly. 
  • Dental hygiene is a priority
  • They should have a regular play time
  • They would really need your attention and companionship

Temperament and Common Questions

Content to be stroked and petted, your Yorkshire Terrier will gladly take up residence on your lap. Yorkies have a keen sense of adventure. They are brave and loyal and seem to be oblivious to their diminutive size. They are great apartment dogs.  

Why Are Yorkshire Terriers So Aggressive?

These little dogs are territorial, assertive, independant and really value their privacy. These traits, coupled with their fearless nature can lead to aggressive behaviors. When properly trained, these dogs can be very affectionate and tolerant of other pets in the home. 

Why Does My Yorkshire Terrier Smell?

Why Does My Yorkshire Terrier Smell?

Your Yorkie requires daily grooming otherwise their fur will start to smell bad. Make sure you bathe your yorkie regularly to keep them from being stinky!

Why Does My Yorkshire Terrier Shake?

Yorkies are also prone to a medical condition that can cause them to shake: hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can be caused by stress, lack of nutrients and being the runt of the litter.

Why Do Yorkshire Terriers Bark So Much?

Yorkshire terriers have a natural tendency to bark due to their nature. They are terriers and hunters. They bark to show excitement, to communicate or when they get agitated.

Why does my Yorkie Sleep So Much?

Adult Yorkies are very active little dogs. However, just like all dogs, they require more sleep than us humans. On average, a Yorkie will sleep on average 13 to 18 hours a day. A lot of Yorkshire Terriers will snooze when their owners sleep as well so you shouldn’t miss out on your puppy playtime too much!

Why Does my Yorkie Snort?

Yorkies sometimes snort. It’s a bit weird but it’s called reverse sneezing. This is a fairly common respiratory occurrence with dogs. It is often caused by irritation or inflammation of the nasal, pharyngeal, or sinus passages. If your dog reverse sneezes when running around or being excited, please, call your vet and have them checked out. It could be something benign, an allergy or something that requires a medical intervention. You never know so please call your vet before panicking or ignoring this snorting.


10 Most Common Health Problems In Large Breed Dogs

While no breed is immune to health problems, some have more than others and, most importantly, they have different kinds. The major health problems commonly found in large breed dogs are different than those found in small breeds, so it’s important to know what you’re up against should you decide to go with with a large breed. Here we’ll discuss some of the most common problems large breeds are susceptible to.

#1 – Hip Dysplasia

shutterstock_41147368shutterstock_41147368Hip dysplasia seen in X-ray of a 14 month old Hovawart.

Hip dysplasia is an orthopedic condition in which the hip joints don’t fit correctly into or are located outside of the hip joint, depending on the severity of the condition. Although it’s unknown what exactly causes hip dysplasia, large breed dogs are at a higher risk for the disorder. While some dogs live normal, healthy lives with bad hips, others need surgery to even allow them to walk around. Fortunately, there is testing for canine hip dysplasia and breeders are working hard to eliminate the disease.

#2 – Elbow Dysplasia

shutterstock_171729416shutterstock_171729416Severe canine elbow dysplasia seen in X-ray.

Just like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia happens more often in large breed dogs than it does in smaller ones. Dogs can live normal lives with elbow dysplasia, or may need surgery to allow them to live without pain. Although elbow dysplasia is the result of various abnormalities in the development in the elbow joint, it’s still unknown what exactly causes the disorder. There are tests to rule out unhealthy breeding stock, however, and breeders are consciously working towards eliminating the disease. 

#3 – Panosteitis

8092361274_acda12d5b9_z8092361274_acda12d5b9_zPhoto by Jinx McCombs via Flickr.

Panosteitis, or Pano, is a type of bone inflammation often found in growing dogs in large breeds. It typically happens before the puppy is 1 year of age and appears as sudden pain and lameness in one or more legs. Interestingly, Pano can jump from leg to leg with one getting better while another gets worse. It’s unknown what causes Pano, but speculation leaves professionals to believe that it has to do with rapid growth and high-protein foods often fed to large breed puppies. 


#4 – Bloat & Torsion



Bloat happens when the stomach fills with air, while torsion is when the stomach actually flips over on itself. This condition, known as Gastic Dilatation-Volvolvus, is an emergency situation as it is very shortly life-threatening. While the causes of GDV are still unknown, the condition does arise in large, deep-chested breeds far more than smaller dogs. If you own a large breed, it is very important to recognize the signs of GDV so you can get you dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible. 

#5 – Dilated Cardiomyopathy



Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a very serious heart condition in which the heart becomes inflamed and doesn’t function properly. This diseases causes the chambers of the heart to increase in size while the walls of the heart are stretched too thin. There is no cure for Dilated Cardiomyopathy and affected dogs will need careful attention and medication their entire lives. However, there are special tests available for breeders to rule out breeding dogs with this disease so they can eliminate it in future generations of their large breed dogs. 


#6 – Aortic Stenosis

5830118982_94997b6000_z5830118982_94997b6000_zPhoto by El Coleccionista de Instant via Flickr.

Aortic Stenosis is a serious heart disease in which the area just above the aortic valve becomes narrow, obstructing blood flow. While dogs with mild Aortic Stenosis may live normal lives, dogs with severe cases are at a high risk of sudden collapse and death. The disease is hereditary, particularly in large breed dogs, and can be seen on cardiac evaluations by veterinarians, so breeders can eliminate these dogs from their breeding programs and ensure healthy animals in the future. 


#7 – Spondylolitheses



Spondylolitheses, also known as Wobblers, is a malformation of cervical vertebrae that cause weakness and unsteady gait in dogs. There are a number of different ways Wobblers can develop, but the disease is hereditary and found very often in some large breed dogs. Unfortunately, the disease is progressively and the dogs will soon lose the ability to move around normally. Treatment can be either medication to control progression or surgery to correct the spinal malformation, but in either case the prognosis is guarded. 


#8 – Cruciate Ligament Tears



Cruciate ligament tears are typically the result of trauma due to excessive activity or sudden movements. Large breed dogs are more susceptible to the injury. They have heavier bodies and sharp turns or poor lands from jumping can cause a twisting of the legs and tear the ligaments. It’s important to exercise your dogs carefully. Make sure they’re in good shape before training or competing in any dog sports. An overweight dog is more likely to be injured than one at a healthy weight. 

#9 – Cherry Eye



Cherry Eye is a condition most often found in Mastiffs, but it does occur in other large breed dogs too. It’s a condition in which the third eyelid protrudes from the eye. It forms a mass that becomes increasingly more irritated and inflamed. If left untreated, the condition can become painful and infected, causing a variety of other eye conditions. Luckily, if caught early enough, Cherry Eye can be treated without surgery.


#10 – Arthritis



While all dogs can and do develop arthritis as they age, certain diseases and injuries can increase the chances. Large breed dogs are more susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia and cruciate ligament tears. This makes them more likely to develop painful arthritis at a younger age. Larger dogs also age faster, causing arthritis to come on sooner. 

The major health problems commonly found in large breed dogs are different than those found in small breeds. See this article on the 10 Most Common Health Concerns For Small Breed Dogs.


7 Reasons Why Dog Obesity is Dangerous

Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a traveling, board-certified surgeon in Allentown, PA. His website is He is the co-author of “Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound” (

Kelly Serfas, a Certified Veterinary Technician in Bethlehem, PA, contributed to this article.

Dog being weighted at the vetPet lovers often take overweight or obese dogs casually. Yet these dogs are at a greater risk for a number of serious consequences. Here are 7 examples of such consequences.

1. Arthritis
Extra weight puts extra pressure on a dog’s joints. The cartilage in the joint deteriorates, which leads to arthritis. Sure, we can give pain medications, but weight loss helps significantly.

2. ACL
Too much weight is a well-known risk factor for tearing the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), an important ligament in the knee. A torn ACL must be repaired with surgery.

3. Heart and breathing conditions
Weight gain can cause heart disease and high blood pressure. It’s also linked to breathing problems. Overweight dogs are more prone to a collapsing trachea and laryngeal paralysis.  Untreated, these airway conditions could lead to a respiratory crisis which could be fatal if not treated.

4. Anesthesia risk
The heart and lungs of overweight and obese dogs have to work harder during anesthesia. The dog struggles to breathe because he has difficulty expanding his chest. Dogs often sleep too deeply or not deeply enough. In addition, overweight dogs may take a long time to wake up after anesthesia.

5. Tumors
Obesity may increase the risk of certain tumors such as benign fatty tumors (lipomas), as well as breast and bladder cancer (transitional cell carcinoma).

6. Skin diseases
Overweight dogs have extra skin folds, which can cause irritation and infection by bacteria. This can lead to scratching, body odor and skin redness. Overweight dogs often have an unhealthy looking coat because it’s harder, if not impossible, for them to groom effectively.

7. Quantity and quality of life
Obesity can take up to 2 years off the life of your dog! Quality of life is also lower. Carrying extra pounds around takes a toll; overweight dogs are slow to get down and up, they get winded or tired quickly and are less likely to play.

How can I keep my dog trim and healthy?
Schedule an appointment with your family vet so you can tailor a weight-loss program to your dog’s needs. There are no miracles to losing weight: eat less and exercise more. Eating less will involve sticking to a balanced weight-loss food. It’s also reasonable to cut down on treats and “people food.” However, it’s not considered ideal to cut down on the amount of food unless your veterinarian suggests it. Starving a pet is just as bad as overfeeding.

The other requirement for losing weight is more exercise. Fortunately, this is the good part! It involves more time having fun with your dog.

Overweight or obese dogs aren’t beyond saving. The situation can be corrected. Your family vet can provide you with the tools and the knowledge to help your dog live a long and happy life. You simply need to have the awareness and the motivation to act. Hopefully, having a happy and healthy dog is enough motivation.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian — they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.


Common Health Problems in Rhodesian Ridgeback Dogs

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a tough and loyal breed of dog that was originally developed to hunt lions. But even with this rough exterior and mighty history, this breed does have some drawbacks including disorders and diseases that may come into play during ownership. All breeds of dogs are susceptible to illness and the Rhodesian Ridgeback is no exception. If you are considering on acquiring one of these exceptional dogs, you should know about certain health conditions that this breed is prone to genetically.


Cataracts are found in the eyes. It will appear as an opaque spot on the lens and those that are quite apparent will be seen as a cloudy gray film just behind the pupil. There are many dog breeds more susceptible to acquiring cataracts including the Rhodesian Ridgeback, Cocker Spaniel, and the Boston Terrier, among others. However, cataracts can occur with any dog regardless of breed and generally appears as the dog ages.

Treatment for cataracts is usually decided on a case by case basis which can depend on the dog’s age and/or the severity of the blindness. The cataracts can be treated with surgery by removing the affected lens. When the lens is removed, vision can be blurred but objects in the dog’s environment can be seen thus allowing the dog to move about more freely.

Dermoid Sinus

Dermoid sinus is the most common genetic disorder inherited by the Rhodesian Ridgeback. These formations begin while the puppy is in the womb. Dermoid sinus is a mass-type formation that is located just below the skin along the back and can sometimes be connected to the spine. As the puppy is developing in the womb, the tube that creates the spine does not separate correctly from the skin thus leading to this disorder. This disorder can be corrected with surgery but can typically just be observed if the dog is asymptomatic (having no signs/symptoms).

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Rhodesian Ridgebacks can suffer from both hip and elbow dysplasia. Hip dysplasia occurs in the rear leg joints while elbow dysplasia will affect the front legs. Both disorders can be inherited but can also occur from injury and both can lead to lameness. The joints are closely made just like with humans – ball and socket. When these do not align correctly, it can cause the bone to deteriorate.

Treatment will depend upon several factors including the severity and the dog’s age. Medications can be prescribed to reduce inflammation and pain and in severe cases, surgery may be needed to correct the disorder. Breeders highly advise against breeding dogs with a history of dysplasia.


Hypothyroidism is a disease of the thyroid gland. This gland produces hormones which control the metabolism rate. Dogs with this disorder have low metabolic rates and it is one of the most common endocrine skin diseases in dogs. A common sign of hypothyroidism is inadequate hair re-growth. There are no cures for this disease but it can be treated with hormone therapy drugs.

Compared to some other breeds, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is considered a healthy breed of dog. To help prevent these problems, individuals should only purchase from a reputable breeder and preferably one that has the parents on site. At the first signs of these disorders in your dog, seek veterinary care to discuss the treatment options that are best for you and your pet.


DOG OWNER’S HOM VETERINARY HANDBOOK, Fourth Edition, copyright 2007.


The Truth About Teacup Dogs

By Helen Anne Travis

After Paris Hilton introduced the world to Tinkerbell the Chihuahua on the TV show “The Simple Life,” veterinarians say there’s been an increased interest in “teacup” dogs—animals bred to be so small they could fit in a designer purse.

But the practices used to breed these tiny dogs could lead to a host of medical problems, and owners should know what they’re getting into before plunking down big bucks for a small dog.

What Is a Teacup Dog?

Teacup dogs are animals that have been bred to be as small as humanly—or shall we say caninely—possible. Most dogs considered to be teacups weigh 5 pounds or less, says Los Angeles-based veterinarian Dr. Patrick Mahaney.

You’ll find teacup versions of many already-small dog breeds, including teacup Poodles, teacup Pugs, and teacup Yorkies. Other popular teacup breeds include Maltese, Pomeranians, and Shih Tzus.

To create teacup dogs, breeders pair the so-called “runts” of the litters to make the smallest animal possible, says Dr. Cathy Meeks, a board-certified internal medicine specialist and a group medical director at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa, Florida. But sometimes the dogs selected for breeding are small because of a birth defect or other medical condition.

“Health risks for these tiny dogs are significant,” says Dr. Judy Morgan, a holistic veterinarian and author of several books. “This is not a natural breeding situation. It is an unnatural practice by breeders looking for a marketing edge.”

The edge comes with a price. Teacup dogs can cost thousands of dollars.

Perceived Advantages of Owning a Teacup Dog

Having a dog that fits in a pocket has potential advantages. You can take them anywhere, they get lots of attention from friends and family and—when they’re healthy—their small statures mean they don’t need large quantities of food and/or preventative medications. This can keep yearly costs low.

Small dogs are also appealing to pet owners who live in facilities with pet size restrictions or can only provide short walks or other forms of exercise.

But doctors say the breeding history of teacup dogs can make these tiny canines more predisposed to certain health issues.

Health Risks for Teacup Dogs

Doctors say common health issues for teacup dogs include hypoglycemia, heart defects, collapsing trachea, seizures, respiratory problems, digestive problems, and blindness.

The breeding practices can also lead to an increased risk for liver shunts, says Meeks. Liver shunts are often congenital birth defects in dogs that affect the liver’s ability to flush out toxins. Treatment for liver shunts can cost up to $6,000, and some types of shunts don’t respond well to therapy regardless of the cost.

Many small dogs are also predisposed to developing dental and gum issues, says Mahaney. Their baby teeth don’t always fall out on their own, and it’s not uncommon for doctors to remove all the baby teeth when the animal is spayed or neutered.

Another size-related health problem is patella luxation, or sliding kneecap, which can affect a teacup dog’s ability to walk. The condition also often makes the animal more prone to arthritis.

In addition, teacup dogs may also be predisposed to developing hydrocephalus, also known as “water on the brain,” says Mahaney.

“When you breed for the way the dog looks instead of for the healthiest genetic stock, health problems emerge,” he adds.

More Potential Dangers for Tiny Teacup Dogs

Owners of these pint-sized pups have to stay vigilant.

If the dogs miss even one meal, their blood sugar levels could drop dangerously low and cause seizures and even death, says Meeks. They also have trouble keeping their bodies warm in cooler weather, which is why you see so many teacup dogs in sweaters.

The dogs’ small bones can break easily, which means owners have to be on alert not to step on them or allow them to jump from too-high surfaces.

“Traumatic events can be life-ending for these dogs,” says Morgan. “Surviving a traffic accident, a fall from the furniture or the owner’s arms, or an attack from a larger dog is less likely.”

Teacup dogs’ low blood sugar and body temperature can also lead to problems in the operating room. Doctors have to make sure the operation doesn’t outlast the animal’s blood sugar reserves or provide them with the necessary supplements. They also have to work hard to keep the animal warm as body temperature drops under anesthesia.

“They’re harder to treat,” says Meeks. “Can you imagine putting an IV in a 3 pound dog?”

Meeks says she would prefer if breeders stopped trying to create the miniature pups because of their potential health problems. But if pet owners absolutely have to have one, they need to make sure they’re working with a reputable breeder or rescue group.

You have to do your homework to find the healthiest animal possible, says Mahaney.

“Nobody likes to see a pet suffer and no one likes to see an owner struggle under the cost of medical care,” he says. “I think there are healthier options out there.”

See Also:


Dog Coat Colour Genetics

Unlike in many species, there are very few colour-associated health problems in dogs, and most are avoidable through careful breeding.

Double Merles and High Whites

A homozygous (or “double”) merle is one with two copies of the merle gene, and if the merle is a longer length (see Advanced Merle page), then this severely impairs the dog’s ability to make pigment, leaving large areas of the dog pigmentless (white). Pigment is actually necessary for certain parts of the body to function correctly, so lack of pigment can cause issues.
Dogs with large amounts of white caused by the homozygous piebald allele (sp), such as Bull Terriers, Boxers and Dalmatians, can also have some of the same health problems as double merles, particularly deafness (which is a big problem in Dalmatians).

Deafness is caused by lack of pigment in particular parts of the inner ear, and can be unilateral (just one ear) or bilateral (both ears). It is commonly claimed that dogs with white ears are always deaf, but in fact it’s been shown that whether or not pigment is visible on the outer ear does not affect whether or not the dog can hear. In other words, a dog may have coloured ears but still be deaf, and a dog with white ears will not necessarily have any problems, because the part of the ear that is affected by the lack of pigment is not externally visible. However, Dalmatians with ear or head patches do appear to have a lower rate of deafness than those with no patches at all.

The merle gene can also cause eye deformities when homozygous. This is because the location of the eye cells in an embryo happens to be the same place that pigment starts to appear. If there is a problem with the pigment, this can therefore affect the development of the eyes. Problems include irregularly-shaped pupils, subluxated pupils (not positioned in the right place), microphthalmia (abnormally small eyes, usually with impaired vision), and other, less visible abnormalities causing blindness and bad vision.

Lack of pigment anywhere on the dog can make the skin much more sensitive to the sun. This is a particular problem on the nose, as it is so exposed, but any area of pink skin is susceptible to sunburn and skin cancer. The same problem occurs with any animal that has little or no pigment. White cats are probably the most well-known example. Skin cancer rates in white cats are extremely high and a surprising proportion of cats with white ears end up having their eartips amputated to stop the spread of cancer. The main way to prevent sunburn in animals is the same as with humans – apply suncream!


There is a common misconception that dilutes are in some way naturally sickly – this is not in fact the case. As with most recessives, the dilute allele is in some way “faulty”, but it is only faulty in its ability to distribute melanin evenly along the hair shaft (the uneven distribution causes the paler appearance).
This does not affect the health of the dog at all, simply its colour.

That said, the idea of dilutes as unhealthy most likely has its foundations in Colour Dilution Alopecia. This is an apparently genetic disease causing hair loss and skin problems. A dog with this disorder will typically appear “mangy” and have partial hair loss. It is usually reported from blue dogs, particularly Dobermanns, but presumably it affects isabella dogs too (diluted livers). Any colour can carry CDA but only blues and isabellas will have symptoms.

CDA does not occur on all dilutes and its frequency varies between breeds. It is particularly common in Dobermanns, occuring in up to 80% of dilute dogs. Dilutes in other species such as mice are caused by the same gene, and yet CDA is not known in these, implying it is not an unavoidable consequence of dilution.
CDA can theoretically be bred out of most lines by careful breeding of only blues with healthy coats. Breeding blue x blue is one way to ensure CDA is eliminated.

This blue German Pinscher appears to have mild alopecia. Its coat is dull rather than having a healthy shine, and it seems thin and patchy.

The same problem can also occur (albeit more rarely) on black or liver dogs, and is known as Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia. It affects black/liver hairs only, leaving all other hairs as normal. Because this condition is so rare, it often goes undiagnosed. I used to know a Jack Russell Terrier mix who was white except for a black patch on his back, which was hairless. His condition puzzled a whole string of vets and skin specialists, who suggested various types of mange and allergies, and he was never properly diagnosed as having Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia. Unfortunately for dogs with genetic hair loss conditions, there is no cure, although these conditions do not generally cause the dog to be itchy or uncomfortable and so are mostly harmless.

Dalmatian Kidney Issues

The modifier that causes ticking to become Dalmatian spots is thought to also be responsible for the kidney issues that affect a large proportion of Dalmatians. This gene (SLC2A9) causes an abnormality in the urinary system, where affected dogs excrete uric acid instead of the substance most mammals excrete – allantoin. The high concentration of uric acid leads to the formation of kidney stones, and it is estimated that up to a third of Dalmatians die from kidney failure or infections. Interestingly, humans are one of the only other examples of mammals that excrete uric acid, and this is also the cause of many of our own kidney stones and infections.

Grey Collie Syndrome

Grey Collie Syndrome, also known as Cyclic Neutropenia, is an autoimmune disease causing an extreme drop in white blood cell levels, leading to an increased risk of infection. Affected dogs are a pale grey colour, but are not genetically dilutes. These dogs are generally smaller and weaker than littermates, and rarely live long. Cyclic Neutropenia is a recessive gene and carriers (one copy of the allele) are not affected. Only Collies are known to carry the allele, and it is most common in Rough and Smooth Collies, appearing only rarely in the other Collie breeds. Thankfully, genetic testing is available for the Cyclic Neutropenia allele.

Note that there can sometimes be confusion between Grey Collie Syndrome and atypical merles, which can also be an unusual greyish colour. Atypical merles are not associated with any health problems and have normal development, so the difference should be clear even in very young puppies.

** Please note that I am not a research scientist, and the information on this page comes from my own knowledge and observation of dogs, observational and testing data provided via e-mail by site visitors, any research papers linked on the page, and the information provided by Dr Sheila M. Schmutz on her excellent website

For further genetics resources, see the Links page