If you’re looking for a loving, affectionate dog with a mischievous side, you might have met your perfect match in the Yorkinese. 50 percent Yorkshire Terrier, 50 percent Pekingese, and 100 percent themselves, this designer dog breed has a lot to recommend it. But be warned: Yorkinese’s might be small, but they’ve got huge personalities… personalities that can easily prove a headache if you’re not careful. Find out more as we uncover ten things you didn’t know about the Yorkinese.
1. Their origin is a riddle
As PetGuide notes, despite being one of the most popular designer dog breeds around, the origin of the Yorkinese is something of a riddle. Legend has it that they were developed in the US around 30 years ago, but so far, no breeder has come forward to shed any further light on their mysterious beginnings.
2. They’re a crossbreed
While we might never know exactly why, when, or how the Yorkinese first came to be, what we do know is that they’re a cross of purebred Pekingese and purebred Yorkshire Terrier. The Yorkshire Terrier (or the Yorkie, as it’s affectionately known) was developed in Yorkshire, England in the 19th century. Confident, mischievous, and with a dominant streak a mile wide, the Yorkie can be hard work but ultimately, very rewarding. The Pekingese, meanwhile, is an assertive, proud dog who first came to fame as the favorite pet of the Chinese nobility. Loyal, loving, and full of character, these small dogs have huge personalities. As a first-generation mix, the Yorkinese is exactly one-half Pekingese and one-half Yorkshire Terrier. As a result, their characteristics can vary hugely, depending on exactly which parent’s genes are the most dominant. Some litters resemble the Pekingese almost exclusively, while others have more in common with the Yorkshire Terrier.
3. They make excellent watchdogs
If you’re looking for a tiny watchdog, the Yorkinese could be just the thing. Like many small breeds, they’re incredibly inquisitive and alert. Giving the opportunity, they’ll spend most of their life at the window, alerting you to each and every passing stranger. Although it can be handy at times, their tendency to bark at anything and everything they consider a threat can get tiring, especially if you live in close proximity to your neighbors. To stop their territorial instincts from getting out of hand, plenty of training will be needed from a young age.
4 They’re tiny
Neither the Yorkshire Terrier nor the Pekingese is exactly what you’d describe as big. Their offspring is no different. As an average, most Yorkinese dogs stand at around 8 inches tall and weigh about 10 pounds, at least a few pounds of which is made up of the cloud-like hair that surrounds them. Other distinguishing features include a semi-square head, a short black nose, folded or cocked ears, a bushy tail, and a very impressive mustache and brow.
5. They’re high maintenance
As Wagwalking.com notes, due to the nature of their coat, the Yorkinese is considered a high maintenance breed that requires daily brushing to prevent matting and tangling. Although a wide variety of different brushes and combs can be used, take care to avoid over-vigorous brushing, which can easily result in hair breakage. If you find that their hair breaks easily no matter how gently you brush, use a conditioning treatment beforehand. Depending on their hair length and activity levels, aim to bathe them around one to two times a month. As their ears are prone to bacteria build-up, make sure the surrounding hair is trimmed regularly to avoid infection. Like most small breeds, the Yorkinese is inclined to dental problems. To minimize any issues, their teeth should be brushed several times a week.
6. They’re prone to small dog syndrome
They may be affectionate and lovable, but don’t underestimate just how headstrong this little dog can be when it puts its mind to it. Like a lot of small breeds, the Yorkinese can be relentlessly stubborn and difficult to train. Left uncurbed, their natural tendencies can easily give way to Small Dog Syndrome, an unpleasant attitude and behavioral problem that displays itself in poor social skills, disobedience, and even aggression. To nip the problem in the bud, you’ll need to keep on top of their training and make sure they’re properly socialized from a young age.
7. They need a moderate amount of exercise
Some people make the mistake of thinking that smaller breeds need next to no exercise. While it’s true that the Yorkinese doesn’t need as much exercise as a breed like the Border Collie or Labrador, they still need a good amount of healthy activity to stay fit and happy. As globaldogbreeds.com (globaldogbreeds.com/yorkinese.html) writes, expect to give your Yorkinese a medium amount of exercise on a daily basis. Although needs will vary according to age, aim to walk them for around 20 to 30 minutes a day. If you can factor in a few playtime sessions in addition to that, so much the better.
8. They can live for up to 15 years
If you’re looking for a pet that’s going to stick around for the long haul, the Yorkinese could be your ideal match. Although longevity depends on factors such as exercise, diet, veterinary care, and the like, the Yorkinese is generally considered to be a remarkably healthy little dog with a good lifespan. Raised with proper care, they can live anything from between 12 to 15 years on average.
9. They’re very adaptable
If you live in a studio apartment, you’ll know how tricky it is to find a breed that can adjust to apartment living. Thankfully, the tiny Yorkinese copes as well with apartments as it does with family homes. In fact, the breed often prefers living with single owners or couples than it does large families. Although it can make a good family pet if it’s trained and socialized from a young age, most Yorkinese dogs will naturally prefer to be the sole focus of attention.
10. They don’t have any genetic health problems
While pedigree dogs are often beset by health problems, mixed breeds tend to be robust and healthy. In that, the Yorkinese is no exception. However, that doesn’t mean you can afford to be lax. To give yourself the best chance of nipping any problems in the bud, keep an eye out for any health issues that their parent breeds are known to suffer. As PetLifeWord notes, some of the most common problems include collapsed trachea, brachycephalic syndrome, entropion, leg-calve-perthese disease, skin fold dermatitis, patellar luxation, portacaval shunt, reverse sneezing, heart disease, mitral valve disease, and hypoglycemia.