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Yorkshire Terrier Breed: Characteristics and History

If you’re looking for a small dog with a big personality, the Yorkshire Terrier might just be the breed for you.

These pint-sized pups are known for their silky coats, perky ears, and spunky attitudes.

Despite their small stature, Yorkies are full of energy and make great companions for families and individuals alike.

History and Origin

If you’re a Yorkshire Terrier owner, you might know that this breed has a rich history that dates back to the Victorian era.

Yorkshire Terrier Breed: Characteristics and History

Yorkshire Terrier in England

The Yorkshire Terrier was bred in the mid-19th century in the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire in northern England.

The breed was developed by Scottish weavers who migrated to England to work in textile mills.

These weavers brought with them small terrier breeds, which were used to hunt rats in the mills.

Over time, breeders began to develop a smaller version of the terrier, which eventually became the Yorkshire Terrier.

The breed was named after its place of origin and was recognized by the Kennel Club in England in 1886.

Yorkies in the United States

Yorkshire Terriers were first introduced to the United States in the late 1800s.

They quickly gained popularity among the wealthy and were often seen accompanying their owners to social events.

In 1900, the American Kennel Club recognized the Yorkshire Terrier as a breed.

Since then, the breed has remained a popular choice for pet owners and has even been used in dog shows and competitions.

World War II Influence

During World War II, many British families were forced to evacuate their homes and leave their pets behind.

This included Yorkshire Terriers, which were often left to fend for themselves in the streets.

After the war, American soldiers who had been stationed in England brought back Yorkshire Terriers as souvenirs.

This helped to increase the breed’s popularity in the United States and led to the establishment of many breeding programs.

Today, the Yorkshire Terrier remains a beloved breed around the world.

With its cute and compact size, friendly personality, and rich history, it’s no wonder why so many people love this little dog.

Physical Characteristics

Yorkshire Terriers are small and compact dogs with a unique appearance that sets them apart from other breeds.

yorkie on leash

Size and Weight

Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs, typically weighing between 5 and 7 pounds and standing about 7 to 8 inches tall at the withers.

They have a small, but sturdy build, with a long back and short legs.

Coat and Color

One of the most distinctive features of Yorkshire Terriers is their long, silky coat.

The coat is typically blue and tan or black and tan, and requires regular grooming to keep it looking its best.

The hair on the head is usually cut short, while the hair on the body is left long and flowing.

Teeth and Ears

Yorkshire Terriers have a set of small, sharp teeth that are used for biting and chewing.

They also have upright ears that are naturally erect, giving them a perky and alert appearance.

Personality and Temperament

yorkie playing with toy

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies as they are commonly known, are small dogs with big personalities.

They are known for their feisty, bold, and active temperament.

Yorkie as a Companion

Yorkies make great companions. They are affectionate and loyal to their owners and love to be around people.

They are also lap dogs and enjoy cuddling with their owners.

Yorkies are known for their playful and curious nature, which makes them great pets for families with children.

Yorkie as a Watchdog

Despite their small size, Yorkies make great watchdogs.

They are vocal and will bark at anything they perceive as a threat.

They are also fiercely protective of their owners and will not hesitate to defend them if they feel they are in danger.

However, it’s important to note that Yorkies can be prone to barking excessively, so it’s important to train them properly.

Yorkie’s Behavior

Yorkies are known for their busy behavior. They are always on the move and enjoy playing and exploring their surroundings.

They are also very intelligent and can be trained to do tricks and follow commands.

However, it’s important to keep them occupied and give them plenty of exercise to prevent them from becoming bored and destructive.

Health and Lifespan

As a responsible owner of a Yorkshire Terrier, it is important to understand the common health problems and the life span of your furry companion.

two kids with yorkie

Common Health Problems

Yorkshire Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues.

Here are some of the most common health problems that Yorkies may face:

  • Hypoglycemia: Yorkies are prone to low blood sugar, which can cause weakness, seizures, and even death if left untreated. It is important to feed your Yorkie small, frequent meals throughout the day to prevent hypoglycemia.
  • Dental Disease: Yorkies have small mouths and crowded teeth, which can lead to dental problems such as gum disease and tooth decay. Regular dental check-ups and teeth cleanings are essential for maintaining your Yorkie’s oral health.
  • Patellar Luxation: This is a condition where the kneecap moves out of its normal position, causing pain and discomfort. Yorkies are prone to this condition, and it can lead to arthritis if left untreated.
  • Liver Shunt: This is a condition where the liver is unable to filter toxins from the blood, leading to a buildup of toxins in the body. Yorkies are prone to this condition, and it can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Life Span of a Yorkie

The life span of a Yorkshire Terrier is typically between 11 and 15 years.

However, with proper care and attention, some Yorkies have been known to live up to 20 years or more.

Female Yorkies tend to live longer than males on average.

To ensure that your Yorkie lives a long and healthy life, it is important to provide them with proper nutrition, exercise, and veterinary care.

Regular check-ups and vaccinations are essential for maintaining your Yorkie’s health and preventing illness.

In addition, it is important to monitor your Yorkie’s temperature and blood sugar levels, as they are prone to fluctuations in these levels.

By taking good care of your Yorkie, you can help ensure that they live a long and happy life by your side.

Care and Grooming

Taking care of a Yorkshire Terrier involves regular grooming, exercise, mental stimulation, socialization, and training.

Here are some tips to help you keep your Yorkie healthy and happy.

yorkie in bath towel

Bathing and Brushing

Yorkies have long, silky hair that requires regular grooming to maintain its shine and prevent matting.

Brushing your Yorkie’s coat every day with a slicker brush and combing out any tangles will help keep their coat healthy.

You can also trim their hair every four to six weeks to keep it from getting too long.

Yorkies should be bathed every three to four weeks, using a mild dog shampoo.

Be sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid any residue that could irritate their skin.

After bathing, dry your Yorkie with a towel or hairdryer set to low heat.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Yorkies are a small breed, but they still need exercise to stay healthy.

Two 20 to 30-minute walks per day or a short play session in the yard can help meet their exercise needs.

Indoor activities like fetch or obstacle courses can also provide mental stimulation and keep your Yorkie entertained.

Socialization and Training

Yorkies are affectionate and playful dogs, but they can be wary of strangers and other dogs.

Socialization from an early age can help them develop good behavior around other people and pets. Positive reinforcement training can also help with obedience and behavior.

Yorkshire Terrier Breed Classification

When it comes to dog breeds, Yorkshire Terriers are classified as toy dogs.

These small breeds are known for their compact size and silky coats that come in various colors such as blue and gold, black and tan, black and gold, or blue and tan.

woman training yorkie

Yorkie as a Toy Dog Breed

As a toy dog breed, Yorkshire Terriers are known for their small size and playful personalities.

They are often referred to as lap dogs and are great companions for those who want a small dog that is easy to care for.

These dogs are also hypoallergenic, making them ideal for people with allergies.

Yorkie in Kennel Clubs

Yorkshire Terriers are recognized by various kennel clubs around the world, including the American Kennel Club.

They are often shown in dog shows in the toy group category.

In the past, they were also shown in the rough and broken-coated, broken-haired Scotch and Yorkshire Terriers category.

Despite their small size, Yorkshire Terriers have a rich history and are a beloved breed among dog enthusiasts.

They originated in England in the mid-1800s and were developed from terrier breeds brought by Scottish weavers who migrated there during that period.

Some breeds that contributed to the development of Yorkshire Terriers include the Silky Terrier and the Maltese.

Overall, Yorkshire Terriers are a popular choice for those looking for a small dog breed with a big personality.

They are playful, affectionate, and make great companions for those who want a lap dog that is easy to care for.

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National Canine Research Association of America