Common names: Yorkie
Dog Breed Group: Toy Group
Life span: 10-18 years
Weight: 3 to 6 pounds
Height: 6 inches to 9 inches tall at the shoulder
These Scottish weavers who migrated to England during the Industrial revolution took their Terriers to Yorkshire. The weavers crossbred their terriers with local dogs creating the small and feisty Yorkshire Terriers people love today. A dog named Huddersfield Ben became a popular show dog and is mulled over to be the father of modern Yorkshire Terrier. It was known as Yorkshire Terrier named after where most of its development had taken place.
Yorkies are cuddly at the same time they are also mischievous; they thrive on attention, love, and adventure. Like other companion dogs, Yorkshire Terriers are affectionate to people but because of their terrier heritage, they are aggressive toward dogs and sometimes suspicious to strangers making them good watchdogs.
From the back of the neck to the base of the tail, the coat is dark grey to black, and the hair on the tail should be a darker black. On the head, high chest, and legs, the hair should be bright, rich tan, darker at the roots than the middle. In adult dogs, there is no black hair visible. The typical fine, straight, and silky Yorkshire Terrier coat has been listed as hypoallergenic. Though high-maintenance pooches, they do not shed to an intense degree. The long silky coat and perky topknot may be the Yorkie’s crowning glory, but it is his personality that truly endears him to his family.
This breed requires expert veterinary attention because this tiny dog may also come with big health problems including breathing difficulties collapsed windpipe, luxating patellas, photosystemic shunt, hypothyroidism, cataracts, and keratitis. Dental care is also a necessity on the small dog, whose jaw size makes for weaker teeth. Although daily brush might prevent problems but feeding a dental diet or using dental chews is an effective approach for owners to avoid consequences of periodontal diseases. Hypoglycemia on Yorkshire Terrier is also a possibility but it can be avoided with adequate nutrition and frequent feeding; on the contrary, like in other breeds, overfeeding can lead to obesity and may result in increased rates of joint injuries, tracheal collapse, chronic bronchitis, and shortened lifespan. Owners should keep tabs on their dog’s overall condition and consult their vet with any questions or concerns that may arise.
The Yorkshire Terrier’s coating is long, silky, and perfectly straight. They have a single coat and shed very little. A good going-over with a stainless comb or rounded tipped brush to help prevent mats help and keep it clean is also commended. Bathe weekly or as needed to keep the coat beautiful and shiny. When drying the Yorkie, spray the coat with a light conditioner. To avoid eye irritation, the hair on the upper part of the head should be trimmed short or pulled into a topknot. Like other dogs, nails should be trimmed regularly and teeth brushed frequently for good dental health.
Energetic and active, Yorkie doesn’t need a lot of effort to keep them well exercised. Yorkshire Terrier can do well on long walks, slow jogs and indoor activities. Avoid extreme heat or cold, and always provide plenty of cool, fresh water after exercise. A short walk twice a day should be enough for Yorkie to see new scenery and burn off energy.
These dogs are recommended to have a daily amount of ½ to ¾ cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. Yorkshire Terrier should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether it is commercial or home-prepared as long as it is supervised and approved by the vet. They are prone to obesity, therefore calorie consumption and weight level should be monitored often and clean fresh water should be available at all time
Though they are smart, Yorkies are difficult to house train due to their stubbornness. One thing for sure is that they adore the attention given to them; so positive praise and foods are the key to training this breed. Crate-training is recommended.
- Yorkies tend to become lighter with age. Hormonal changes can also affect the color. Females in heat go lighter and then darken again after the season is over.
- Yorkie may be tiny, but their bravery is legendary; Smokey, a World War II hero, managed to pull 70 feet of wire through an underground tunnel. Oliver, who lived in upstate New York, saved a woman from a mauling by diverting the other dog’s attention.
- The Yorkie’s coat has a similar texture to human hair. Many breeders recommend that owners keep their pet Yorkies in a “puppy cut”, which is short and easy to maintain.
- Yorkies have blue-collar backgrounds. They have a rather unglamorous background of catching rats and other vermin in underground tunnels
- Yorkies may have been the inspiration for Toto in the original drawing of L. Frank Baum’s book “The wonderful Wizard of Oz”, which depict Toto as what some say seems to be a Yorkie.