|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. 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. This breed was registered with the AKC in 1936.
The ultra long, fine, silky coat parts along the spine and falls
straight down on either side. It is steal blue on the body and tail,
and tan elsewhere. Puppies are usually black & tan. The tail is
usually docked to half its length. If the dogs are not for showing,
the owners usually go for the shaggy look. The Yorkie has a flat
head, medium-sized length muzzle, a black nose, and regular teeth.
The eyes are extremely vivacious and the ears are v-shaped, erect or
semi-erect. The tail is docked to medium-length and is carried level
with its back. Its limbs are straight with round feet and black
nails. The hair on the head is so abundant that it is almost always
necessary to gather it in a band to keep from going into the dog's
food bowl and to give the animal maximum visibility. Some owners
choose to trim the hair on top of the head.
Such is the popularity of the little Yorkshire Terrier that he has
the honor of being at the number two position on the AKC breed
popularity list. One of the world's smallest dogs, the Yorkshire
Terrier is a cheerful, sociable, and adaptable little creature.
Affection and loyal, yet courageous and confident, this is a dog
that is suited to both experienced and inexperienced owners. These
dogs make great companions and loving pets, with their love for
being pampered or cuddling up with their owner. Yet, in true terrier
style they have plenty of spirit, are agile, and have a very
inquisitive nature. Training the Yorkshire Terrier shouldn't prove
too much of a problem, as he is very intelligent and quick to learn.
Housebreaking, on the other hand, can be quite a different matter.
The Yorkshire Terrier can be very possessive of his food and
belongings, and some have a tendency to bark too much. These little
dogs will certainly bark to raise an alarm, making them effective
watchdogs. Early socialization is recommended with the Yorkshire
Terrier to promote stability and confidence. Although he is not
overly demanding in terms of exercise, he does have plenty of energy
and will appreciate a place to frolic and play. However, this must
be a secured and safe place, as he is inquisitive, agile, and an
avid chaser, all of which could spell trouble should he escape. He
can also be easily injured or bullied by larger dogs, so he should
not be allowed off his leash when out and about. Despite his size,
the Yorkshire Terrier will often try to dominate other dogs. They do
tend to get along fine with other pets. When it comes to children
they are best suited around older, gentle kids. These are very small
dogs that can get easily injured and scared by rough, boisterous
children. The Yorkshire Terrier is a versatile creature that is just
as happy dashing around the garden and playing as he is cuddling up
and getting thoroughly pampered.
The Yorkshire Terrier's coat requires daily grooming. The hair on
top of the head, if grown long, is usually secured with a band or
bow. However, if the Yorkshire Terrier is not being used for show,
then the coat may be clipped short. Ears and eyes must be cleaned
daily. Dental hygiene is also important.
Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The life expectancy of the Yorkshire Terrier is around 12-15 years,
and there are a number of health problems to look out for with this
breed. This includes luxating patella, liver problems, inflamed
pancreas, low blood sugar, allergies, dental problems, and
sensitivity to chemicals and drugs. He does not fare well in cold
weather and should be provided with a jumper if out and about in the
rain or cold. He must also be protected from rough handling and
heavy object because of his size and fragility.
The Yorkshire Terrier requires minimal exercise. They are suited for
short walks and ideal for apartment living or homes with small
yards. They love to chase shadows, lay in sunbeams, and tug of war.
The more attention this breed receives the better.