The Yorkshire Terrier is one of the smallest dog breeds in the world, yet they seem oblivious to their minute size. They are an energetic dog breed that is forever seeking adventure, love and attention. The Yorkie has a bold and stubborn nature. He is by nature inquisitive, and if given the chance, can get into plenty of mischief.
The Yorkshire Terrier makes a wonderful, devoted companion and watchdog. With a little research, you may discover that a Yorkie is the perfect dog for you.
Yorkshire Terrier History
The Yorkshire Terrier breed is no more than 100 years old and was developed in England. Originally the Yorkie was bred for the purpose of catching rats in mines. They were also used for hunting to borrow underground after badgers and foxes.
The ancestors of the Yorkshire Terrier are the Waterside Terrier, a small Scottish breed with a long blue-gray coat. The Waterside Terrier was brought to Yorkshire, England in the mid 19th century.
The Yorkie made its first appearance in England in 1861 during a bench show. At this time they were known as the “Broken-haired Scotch Terrier”. The Yorkie kept this title for 9 years until during one show a reporter commented that the breed should be known as Yorkshire Terriers, because the breed had improved so much since their arrival in Yorkshire.
The Yorkshire Terrier dog that owners know and love today is slightly smaller than the original breed, and is now considered more of a fashion accessory than a hunter or a way for people to control pests. The Yorkie loves to be pampered by his owner, yet he still enjoys activity and remains a terrier at heart.
Yorkshire Terrier Facts
The Yorkshire Terrier has many wonderful traits, and is one of the most popular dog breeds today. He is very small in size, only standing to about 9 inches at the shoulders, and weighs between 5 and 7 pounds. Because of his small size, the Yorkie is considered apart of the Toy breed group and not the Terrier. The Yorkie has many of the Toy characteristics, such as his alert, active, clever and inquisitive nature.
The Yorkshire Terrier is a sociable breed and is anything but shy. They are bold and not afraid of anything. They love their family, and will bark if they sense danger. This makes them ideal watch dogs. However, understand that while their barking can be a great quality, it can also be annoying. Therefore, you need to be prepared for it; Yorkies love to bark.
Children and Yorkshire Terriers do get along, but it is best if they grow up together. While Yorkie’s are tolerant of children, a child needs to know how to properly play with the dog and show him respect. Yorkie’s won’t think twice about snapping at a child if the child is unintentionally abusive or is teasing the dog.
For the most part, Yorkshire terriers do not get along well with other animals including dogs unless they grow up with them. If you have other pets, make sure you socialize the dogs well. Furthermore, keep in mind that Yorkies, regardless of how well they are socialized with dogs, are not usually compatible with cats, and never with rodents of any kind. Remember, the Yorkshire Terrier was bread to hunt rodents, this is part of their natural instinct and can not be trained out of them.
As far as training goes, Yorkies are a very intelligent breed and learn quickly. They do well with basic obedience, and should be trained so they can grow up a credit to their breed. The last thing you want is an over-protective, over-aggressive and spoiled Yorkshire Terrier.
You will need to give your Yorkie the exercise he requires. Although his small size may lead you to believe otherwise, the Yorkie needs to run and be taken for at least a good 10-15 minute walk every day. However, if you are not always able to take your dog out for walks, you will discover that he is active indoors and will find ways to amuse himself. A Yorkshire Terrier does well in both the city and country, and can easily adapt to apartment living.
Exercise is an important part of your dog’s physical growth and overall health. It will help to ensure that your Yorkie lives to his expectant lifespan of 14 – 16 years. You should also take your Yorkie to the Vet for regular checkups so he can be tested and watched for common illnesses and specific health problems that affect the breed such as knee, eye and liver problems.
Yorkshire Terriers do not shed, but they do require daily grooming. They have very long, silky hair that needs to be brushed and combed to prevent mats. The hair on the top of the Yorkie’s head is usually tied up with a rubber band or ribbon to keep it out of his eyes. If the long hair is too much effort, the dog will need his hair clipped every few months, and will still require daily grooming.
In essence, the Yorkshire Terrier is a fine breed for the first time dog owner, permitted the owner is willing to commit to the daily care and attention the dog requires.