The Yorkshire terrier, well known for long flowing tresses, is a tiny but tough breed. Originally used to hunt rats, the Yorkie is a popular active pet.
The Yorkshire terrier has been one of the top breeds based on the American Kennel Club (AKC) tallies.
History and Origin
As Scottish weavers migrated from Scotland to England in the mid 19th century, they brought along various terriers used to hunt rats. Over time, these terriers were bred together until the Yorkshire terrier was developed.
Originally, the breed was called the "broken-haired scotch terrier." In 1870, a reporter at a dog show stated that the breed should be renamed the Yorkshire terrier since most of the breed development occurred in the town of Yorkshire.
The breed was originally used as a working dog but became a fashionable pet in England in the late Victorian era. In 1872, the Yorkie made his entrance into the United States and has since been a favorite.
Appearance and Size
The Yorkshire terrier is a member of the toy breed group. The ears are erect and the tail is docked. The best-known feature of the breed is the long flowing hair coat, which requires constant care. The long hair on the head is usually tied on top with a bow to prevent the hair from getting in the face and eyes. The hair coat is typically dark steel blue complimented with shades of tan.
The Yorkshire terrier stands eight inches at the shoulder and weighs three to seven pounds.
Yorkshire terriers are excellent watchdogs, readily alerting their family when strangers approach. In comparison, females tend to be better watchdogs than males. Male Yorkies tend to let the females do all the work.
Yorkies willingly share their homes and families with other breeds. They are primarily indoor dogs but, since they are terriers at heart, they can live a rugged outdoor terrier life. With proper care and attention, they can live anywhere.
Home and Family Relations
The Yorkie is generally not very tolerant of children but can do well if raised with them. They are affectionate and loyal to the family but can be aggressive towards strangers if not properly socialized.
The Yorkshire terrier is intelligent and easily trained in basic obedience.
Even though the Yorkshire terrier is generally thought of as a pet, they are still terriers at heart and readily chase and kill rodents. Yorkies should not be allowed unsupervised time with small pets such as hamsters, rabbits and guinea pigs.
The long hair coat requires daily care to prevent tangles and mats.
Common Diseases and Disorders
In general, the Yorkshire terrier is a healthy dog with few medical concerns. However, the following diseases or disorders have been reported: