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Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier

Beneath the dainty, glossy, floor-length coat of a Yorkshire Terrier beats the heart of a feisty, old-time terrier. Yorkies earned their living as ratters in mines and mills long before they became the beribboned lapdogs of Victorian ladies. The Yorkshire Terrier is a compact, toy-size terrier of no more than seven pounds whose crowning glory is a floor-length, silky coat of steel blue and a rich golden tan. Don’t let the Yorkie’s daintiness fool you. Tenacious, feisty, brave, and sometimes bossy, the Yorkie exhibits all the traits of a true terrier. Often named the most popular dog breed in various American cities, Yorkies pack lots of big-town attitude into a small but self-important package. They are favorites of urbanites the world over. Yorkies are long-lived and hypoallergenic (the coat is more like human hair than animal fur), and they make fine little watchdogs. This is a true ‘personality breed,’ providing years of laughs, love, and close companionship.

The Yorkshire Terrier was developed during the mid-1800s in the northern English counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire. It became a fashionable lapdog for proper English ladies in late Victorian times, but its beginnings were distinctly working-class. The breed is said to be the creation of weavers from Scotland who migrated to the English north country and brought their Scottish terriers with them. (We pause here to make the distinction between Scottish terriers, that is, terriers of Scotland, and the particular breed designated as Scottish Terriers.) Several breeds of now-extinct Scottish terriers are a part of the Yorkie’s genetic mix, along with such still-extant terriers as the Skye and Dandie Dinmont. One historical source suggests the addition of Maltese blood. The Scots weavers were proud of their tough little terriers, bred small enough to squeeze into the nooks and crannies of textile mills in pursuit of rodents. Jokes were made about the Yorkie’s long, silky coat, inferring that its finely textured hair was a product of the looms. The Yorkie’s home region was a center of mining as well as textile making, and many Yorkies were employed in coal mines as exterminators. The turning point in breed history came in 1886, when the Kennel Club (England) granted the Yorkie recognition. With this splash of publicity, the Yorkie became fashionable as a ladies’ companion. And, as the Yorkie’s popularity among the fashionable increased, its size decreased to better meet its new job description: adorable, amusing companion sitting in the lap of luxury. Yorkies were first seen in America in the 1870s, and the AKC recorded its first Yorkie, a female named Belle, in 1885.

The Yorkshire Terrier is a feisty and lovable dog breed that loves its family. They are playful and have loyal and brave personalities with a very caring and easy-going demeanor. This breed has a long and proven history of making a fine family pet. They do great with children and other pets within the household. They also adjust well to apartment-style or conventional-style housing. There are many reasons why this breed has remained as popular as it has for generations.

Yorkshire Terrier puppies need eat frequently. As puppies, they are active and constantly growing. From the age of three months to twelve months, they tend to do best with four small meals a day. This will help distribute the energy they need, which will greatly help their mental and physical development. Using high-quality dog food is highly recommended. Meals should also be evenly spaced throughout the day, ideally provided at the same time each day to form a good routine.

The Yorkshire Terrier’s coat is very similar to human hair and should be treated accordingly. If the coat is kept long, it needs to be brushed daily. To avoid eye irritation, the hair on the upper part of the head should be trimmed short or pulled up into a topknot. The Yorkie will need a bath every week or so. Check the ears weekly for any debris or signs of infection. The breed’s national parent club, the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America, provides detailed grooming and bathing instructions on its website.

Even small dogs require exercise to stay healthy, both mentally and physically. Yorkies will benefit from both moderate exercise, such as walks with their owner at a steady pace, as well as occasional short bursts of activity, such as chasing after a tennis ball in the backyard. A short walk twice a day will likely be enough for your Yorkie to see new scenery and burn off energy. Participating in dog sports such as obedience or agility also will provide beneficial activity to keep him healthy, while challenging his mind as well.

Yorkies love their owners, and are very intelligent and eager to please. Offering effusive praise and treats for good behavior will work far better with the Yorkie than harsh corrections. Starting from an early age, the Yorkie should be socialized to strange situations, people, and other dogs. Take him into new situations slowly, and always in a calm and happy atmosphere. These should be positive experiences. Despite their small size, Yorkies can participate in and excel at canine activities such as rally, agility and obedience, and many Yorkies serve with their human partners in roles such as therapy work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dogs love bones and this breed is no different. However, you shouldn’t overdo it especially with bones they can’t easily chew on.  Beef bones and pork bones are often ok. Poultry bones should be avoided and your puppy should be supervised when chewing any bone or edible item.

Yorkshire Terriers, affectionately known as “Yorkies,” make for excellent family pets due to their compact size, versatile adaptability to various living environments, and vibrant, playful personalities that charm both children and adults alike. Their boldness and confidence inspire a comforting presence in the home, while their minimal shedding and hypoallergenic coat cater to families with allergy concerns. Furthermore, their keen intelligence simplifies training, enabling a seamless fit into family life. However, families with very small children should supervise interactions to ensure the safety of both the child and the pet. Given these traits, Yorkies stand out as delightful companions for families, whether living in bustling cities or quiet neighborhoods.

Yorkshire Terriers, commonly known as Yorkies, are known for their minimal shedding. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Yorkies have a fine, silky coat that is more similar to human hair than traditional dog fur, which contributes to their low shedding. This characteristic makes them an attractive option for pet owners who are particularly sensitive to allergens or simply prefer a cleaner home without dog hair everywhere. However, it’s important to note that while Yorkies do not shed a lot, their coat requires regular grooming to prevent tangles and maintain its health and appearance.

The Yorkshire Terrier has a life expectancy of between eleven to fifteen years.

Yorkshire Terriers, with their vibrant personalities and diminutive size, are generally considered to be healthy dogs. However, like all breeds, they do have a predisposition to certain health conditions. Yorkies are known to commonly suffer from patellar luxation, which is a condition where the kneecap dislocates. Hypoglycemia, particularly in puppies, can also pose a significant concern, alongside portosystemic shunt, a liver condition, and retinal dysplasia, an eye disorder. To safeguard their well-being, it’s crucial for Yorkie owners to adhere to preventative care measures. These include regular veterinary check-ups to catch any health issues early on, a well-balanced diet, monitoring for signs of hypoglycemia in puppies, ensuring a safe and stress-free environment , and being mindful of their physical activities to prevent injuries.

The Yorkshire Terrier can grow to reach heights of six to seven inches and weigh around seven pounds.

Yorkies, are often cited as a better choice for allergy sufferers, though no dog breed is completely hypoallergenic. The distinction between Yorkies and many other breeds lies in their hair, which is more akin to human hair than typical dog fur. This characteristic means Yorkies are less prone to shedding, thereby reducing the spread of allergens that can trigger allergic reactions. Additionally, their lack of an undercoat means there is less dander, which is one of the primary culprits behind pet allergies. Coupled with the recommended regular grooming and bathing, these factors significantly minimize the allergens from Yorkies, making them a more suitable option for people with allergies compared to many other dog breeds.

Harnesses are recommended while your Yorkie is young as they support the whole dog instead of putting pressure on the trachea.  Harnesses are also a good choice to secure your pup to a doggie car sear or booster seat.  Many Yorkies will wear a harness for walking purposes for their entire lives. Collars are useful for attaching an identification tag and rabies tag to your puppy.  Neither harnesses nor collars should be worn by your puppy when it is in its crate.

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