Yorkshire Terrier and Ragdoll Cat

If it were possible I would have a house full of pets (my husband thinks 3 cats is a house full already,) but seriously if it were possible, the two pets I have chosen for this week, would be members of my family.

The dog of the week is the wonderful Yorkshire Terrier. It is a feisty, funny, beautiful and goofy dog.

“Yorkies” originated in England and were bred to be ratters and companions for the elite.

The Yorkshire Terrier is a very small dog with an average height of 8 to 9 inches tall and weighing less than 7 pounds. Puppies are born black and tan in color and grow into an almost shiny blondish tan color on their head and legs with their bodies turning into a blackish blue color.

The Yorkie’s hair is silky smooth and grows constantly. They are non-shedding, but require daily grooming, if their coat is allowed to grow. Most owners tend to keep their dog’s coat cut a little shorter in an effort to keep grooming down to a minimum.

Most of the Yorkies that have touched my life have been quite healthy.

However, there are a few known health problems such as luxating patellas, Legg-Calve-Perthes, a collapsing trachea and a portosystemic shunt are the most common.

Luxating patellas is a common fault found in Yorkies.

When purchasing a puppy be certain that both parents are “certified clear” of this condition, as it can be hereditary. This condition affects the hind legs and it is like a dislocated knee and can be found in one or both hind legs. It seems to affect females more than males.

The condition, Legg-Calve-Perthes is caused by an insufficient blood supply to the thighbone (femur) causing it to begin to die and disintegrate creating a degenerative hip disease. This too, can be a hereditary disease.

A collapsing trachea is a weakness in the wind pipe and runs in the family blood lines. Be certain to check the background of the parents and grandparents for long life spans.

Portosystemic shunt can be a congenital or acquired liver condition, which allows the blood to by-pass the liver as it flows through the circulatory system. Without the detoxification of the blood through the liver it can eventually be fatal to the puppy.

During the development of the puppy, before birth, this is a normal process (blood by-passing the liver,) however, soon after birth there is a process where the by-passing stops and the blood begins the process of going through the liver for detoxification.

Congenital shunts are generally diagnosed in dogs less than a year old. Acquired shunts can occur at any age and are usually caused by a liver disease.

The symptoms may be poor weight gain, excessive sleepiness, frequent drinking, frequent urination, vomiting, blindness and/or seizures. Your vet has several ways to diagnosis this condition and provide proper treatment.

As in all situations, if you are in doubt about your puppy for any reason call your vet.

On a happier note, Yorkie’s have great personalities, they are friendly, loving, have a great deal of confidence and some are very vocal.

They are great with older children (8 and older,) younger children may be too rough. These dogs are small and can be easily hurt by rough play, which young children do not understand.

Yorkies are very trusting and need to be protected, as they believe everyone is their friend.

Do not leave your Yorkie in an unattended car or out in the yard where someone could pick it up.

On the negative side Yorkies are escape artists. Open doors, digging under fences and crawling under gates, all tempt a Yorkie.

They are extremely quick and as a safety measure every family member should be trained to pick up the dog before they open the door to go out and then set the dog down.

Yorkies were bred as ratters and as a result the breed loves to hunt and chase. Squirrels and other small animals are all fair game for a Yorkie.

They are not afraid of anything and need to be protected from larger dogs.

Housebreaking can be a problem with a Yorkie. For whatever reason, they take longer to housetrain than other breeds.

Their size creates a problem of frequency and it is possible that as busy as we humans tend to be, we do not notice the little puddles and piles.

This is where the newer products on the market can come in and play an important part in the housetraining schedule.

I have several friends with “small dogs” that are busy professional people, they thank their lucky stars every day for a wonderful product called WizDog it is really a doggy litter box and is the next best thing to sliced bread.

If your Yorkie gets used to using your carpet as a bathroom, it will take forever to change the habit. Keep your pet confined to a specific area during the housebreaking training.

With only a few bad habits to overcome, Yorkies get my vote as one of the best little dogs to have around.

They are protective, loyal , and ever so loving, what more can a person want.


The cat of the week is the Ragdoll.

Floppy, fun and precious, too, that is what a Ragdoll cat is.

The Ragdoll is a relatively new breed of cat. An experiment in the mid-sixties by a lady named Ann Baker created this wonderful cat and for that we are forever grateful.

Today the Ragdoll is one of the most popular breeds of cat, ranking 6th in a poll, taken several years ago.

What makes a Ragdoll so great?

It’s just because that’s what they are, ragdolls. Floppy, clumsy, playful and loving of its humans, what more could we ask for?

Along with being beautiful and smart, they are born comedians. A Ragdoll will keep you and your family entertained for hours or should I say tired out, as most Ragdolls are born retrievers and love to fetch things.

Some are even fascinated with water and may even want to join you in the tub or shower.

For people who are allergic to cats, a Ragdoll is a perfect pet. If you start bathing your kitten, when very young, a bath twice a month will keep the allergens down.

Grooming is relatively easy as Ragdolls have long coats that require little grooming, except in the spring when they shed. Their coat is non-matting and normally sheds very little.

Ragdolls can weigh between 15 to 20 pounds for altered males and 10 to 15 pounds for altered females.

These cats are truly people oriented and do not like to be alone. If you are a “working person” and gone for long periods of time you should consider another breed of cat.

Ragdolls are very trusting and adaptable and should be an indoor cat.

Care should be taken when introducing this breed to dogs or other pets as they are so trusting, they could be hurt by the other animal.

If you have young children (under 5 years of age) you need to supervise any playtime with the kitten (cat) in order to prevent the kitten getting hurt. A bad experience could destroy the cat’s trust of children.

Ragdolls are generally healthy cats with no known defects.

The best advice I can give you is to buy your cat from a respected breeder. Do some research on the breed and breeders on the Internet. Most breeders will not release a kitten until it is 12 weeks old and has been certified healthy by a vet.

If you want a lapcat and a cuddler, along with some entertainment, my advice is get a Ragdoll.

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