The Yorkshire Terrier is a small breed of dog originating from the terrier group. In the past, it was developed for the purposes of catching rats in clothing mills and it was quite successful at it due to its size.
The breed was developed in Yorkshire, England as its name says and it is also popular to call it Yorkie.
In modern times, the Kennel Clubs label this dog as a toy terrier and view it as a companion dog. Thanks to its small size, lovely appearance and cheerful manner, the Yorkshire terrier has become quite a poplar family pet.
History & Origins
The origin of the Yorkshire Terrier goes way back to the 19th century. Scottish coal mine workers coming to Yorkshire brought with them dogs that we recalled Clydesdale Terriers or Paisley Terriers.
These dogs were significantly bigger than the Yorkie and were mainly used to catch rats and vermin. It is assumed that these dogs were crossed with other terriers, most likely the English Black and Tan Terrier and the Skye Terrier and even the Waterside Terrier in order to create a smaller type of a breed.
After that we have records of breeds called “broken-haired Scotch Terrier,” seen first in 1861 and Huddersfield Ben in 1865.
The latter would be considered as the forefather of the modern equivalent of the Yorkshire Terrier that we have today. In 1874 we have the first record of the Yorkshire terrier being registered with n the British Kennel Club while in the US it was accepted and registered in 1878.
Yorkshire Terrier Characteristics & Temperament
The Yorkshire Terrier is a rather small dog, but always has an air of importance to it. They seem like extremely proud dogs and are often active, curious, overprotective and very fond of attention.
But they are not often submissive as you might thing. They may not look the part, but they are not recommended for homes with young children.
Yorkshire terriers are far more suitable for homes with elderly people where they act as companions. But when it comes to very young children, it is advisable to keep them around 8 or older. This usually happens with improper training of your pup a well.
Yorkies are very smart and intelligent dogs and they follow commands quite well. This means that they are highly trainable and can be adapted to homes in various situations.
As far as training them goes, it can be done really easy due to their background of being a working dog. But you have to provide them with both physical and mental stimulus. Giving them long walks will account for their exercising and will also help them with their mental well-being.
Yorkies can adapt to various kind of surrounding pretty easily, but sometimes they can be loud and tend to bark. This is why it is not always advisable to keep them indoor. However, it all depends from each dog individually as some of them are not as prone to do that.
Yorkshire Terrier Appearance, Colors, Size
When looking at the Yorkshire Terrier, expected breeders always put an emphasis on its coat. They always look for color, texture and quality. They coat of the Yorkie has to be silky, glossy, fine and straight.
Standard indicate that the hair has to be grown out and combed so it parts in the back. You also have to watch that the hair does not cause problems for the dog moving.
According to certain standards the coat color on the back should be from dark grey to completely black. The head, upper part of the chest and legs should have a brighter and richer tan color which are darker towards the roots than to the top.
What is also important is that darker hairs should not intermingle with lighter hairs. This might even disqualify the dog from a competition. There are also other coat colors and different coat types as they can also become wooly.
The accepted size of a Yorkie is between 8 and 9 inches in height and they usually weigh 4 to 6 pounds.
Yorkshire Terrier Health
The usual and average lifespan of a Yorkshire Terrier is somewhere between 12 and 15 years. A really healthy dog may live even beyond the given life expectancy but it all depends on the conditions you keep your dog and how you decide to take care of it.
Nevertheless, there are some established conditions which the Yorkie breed is susceptible to. These include such conditions and illnesses like bronchitis, lymphangiectasia, portosystemic shunt, cataracts, and keratitis sicca. You should also know that they have delicate digestive system, which could result in vomiting and diarrhea if your dog consumes any food outside its regular diet.
Grooming & Shedding
Grooming a Yorkshire Terrier is only for the bold. They are not heavy shedders but their coats are a nightmare to maintain. They have long and nice coats which have to be taken care of, particularly if you want to showcase them.
First thing that you have to do is to clip the hair regularly so it does not impeach the dog while moving. This is one of the standards when showcasing a dog. You can do it by yourself but a lot of people opt for a professional groomer.
Brushing is very important as well. Yorkie’s coats can get quote long and may tangle. In order to prevent that, brush the coats frequently and prevent any additional shedding.
If you are taking your Yorkie to any dog shows, you have to prepare it by giving it a bath. In other cases baths are not so much needed but when it comes to preparing your dog well, they more frequent ones will do. Also be careful with the dental hygiene and brush its teeth and also do not let their nails to get too long.
Yorkshire Terrier Price and Breeders
Today, getting a Yorkshire Terrier is easy. Many original breeders are still present in England and more have spread in Canada and America. What you get with this dog is a perfect family pet and a lot of people are interested in it just for those reasons.
The Yorkie costs somewhere between 1,200 and 1,500 dollars, depending on its origin and background.
Of course, rescue groups that allow you to adopt a Yorkshire terrier are also available. These organizations have taken it on themselves to save dogs that are in need of rescue.
The offer is unfortunately for the dogs quite big. But fortunately for you there are a lot that you can choose from. Just check the pages of Rescue Me Yorkie Rescue, United Yorkie Rescue and YTCA Rescue, Inc. to see how it all looks like.