Breed Introduction: Yorkshire Terrier

Loving companion for an elegant creature!

Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed

Small in size but big in personality, the Yorkshire Terrier makes a feisty but loving companion. The most popular toy dog breed in the U.S., the “Yorkie” has won many fans with his devotion to his owners, his elegant looks, and his suitability to apartment living. The Yorkshire terrier, nicknamed the Yorkie, seems quite full of himself, and why not? With his long silky coat and perky topknot, the Yorkshire terrier is one of the most glamorous representatives of the dog world, sure to attract attention wherever he goes. Because he’s so small he often travels in style — in special dog purses toted around by his adoring owner. The long steel-blue and tan coat may be the Yorkie’s crowning glory, but it’s his personality that truly endears him to his family. Oblivious to his small size (weighing in at no more than seven pounds), the Yorkshire Terrier is a big dog in a small body, always on the lookout for adventure and maybe even a bit of trouble. Yorkshire Terriers are affectionate towards their people as one would expect from a companion dog, but true to their terrier heritage, they’re sometimes suspicious of strangers and will bark at strange sounds and intruders. In consideration of your neighbours, it’s important to tone down their happiness and teach them when and when not to bark. They also can be aggressive toward strange dogs, and no squirrel is safe from them. Despite their bravado, Yorkshire Terriers have a soft side too. They need lots of attention and time with their family.

Vital Stats

Dog Breed Group: Companion Dogs
Height: 8 inches to 9 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 4 to 6 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 15 years

Origin

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During the Industrial Revolution in England, Scottish workers came to Yorkshire to work in the coal mines, textile mills, and factories, bringing with them a dog known as a Clydesdale Terrier or Paisley Terrier. These dogs were much larger than the Yorkshire Terrier we know today, and it’s thought that they were used primarily to catch rats in the mills. The Clydesdale Terriers were probably crossed with other types of terrier, perhaps the English Black and Tan Toy Terrier and the Skye Terrier. The Waterside Terrier may also have contributed to the development of the Yorkshire terrier. This was a small dog with a long blue-grey coat. In 1861, a Yorkshire Terrier was shown in a bench show as a “broken-haired Scotch Terrier.” A dog named Huddersfield Ben, born in 1865, became a popular show dog and is considered to be the father of the modern Yorkshire Terrier. The breed acquired that name in 1870 because that’s where most of its development had taken place. Yorkshire Terriers were first registered in the British Kennel Club stud book in 1874.

Characteristics

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Yorkshire Terriers are known for being difficult to housetrain. Crate-training is recommended.

Yorkshire Terriers don’t like the cold and are prone to chills, especially if they’re damp or in damp areas.

Because of their small size, delicate structure, and terrier personality, Yorkshire Terrier generally aren’t recommended for households with toddlers or small children.

Some Yorkshire Terriers can be “yappy,” barking at every sound they hear. Early and consistent training can help. If you don’t feel qualified to provide this training, consult a professional dog trainer.

Yorkshire Terriers can have delicate digestive systems and may be picky eaters. Eating problems can occur if your Yorkie has teeth or gum problems as well. If your Yorkie is showing discomfort when eating or after eating, take him to the vet for a checkup.

Yorkshire Terriers think they are big dogs and will try to pick a fight with a big dog if allowed. Be sure to keep your Yorkie under control. Even better, try to socialize your Yorkie at an early age by taking him to obedience classes.

Updated: September 21, 2017.

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