The Yorkshire Terrier or Yorkie comes from Yorkshire, where it was first recognized as a distinct breed in the mid-19th century. It was actually Scottish workers who brought the ancestral small terriers to the Yorkshire cotton mills. They were used to catch rats in the mills, and elsewhere. They are thought to have been crossbred with Waterside, Paisley, and Skye terriers to produce the familiar Yorkie of today. By the 1900s, breeders had managed tro bring the dog's size down to under 10 pounds. It is now one of the most popular terriers in the world.
Yorkies are fun loving, always on the move, and very affectionate. They are too hypewractive to be classic 'lap dogs'. They can become over protective of their owners, and they need plenty of socialization to stop this becoming a real problem. Puppy classes are vital and introducing them to strangers is very important. They make great good watchdogs, and not much gets past them! To be truly happy, Yorkies need to work or to have lots of physical and mental stimulation to substitute for 'real' work.
They are 'yappy', barking a lot if not sufficiently trained. Short walks are fine for this breed, and games of fetch in the house will keep them stimulated. They are independent, but hate being left alone for too long. Training-wise, they are quick learners and love company, which makes training easy. They minds need to be kept active, otherwise the dogs are prone to destructive behaviour. With proper training and socialization, they make good family pets. They are fine with strangers - again, after proper training. Small furry pets will always be chased and killed, though, so small mammals should be kept well away. Yorkies were bred to hunt rats and mice and excel at the job.
This breed sheds hair, but less so than the majority of other breeds. Their long coats will need daily brushing and many owners go for the shorter so-called 'puppy cut', and this certainly makes grooming easier. Many allergy sufferers report having no problems with Yorkshire terriers. They are a healthy breed, but obesity can be a problem if they are not sufficiently exercised.
Yorkies have bold and loving temperaments. They are feisty and active like many other small terriers, but have a totally unique personality (which is why they are classed as a ''toy'' breed). They are inquisitive and noisy, woofing frantically when someone knocks at the door. At the same time, they are comfort lovers who enjoy cuddles on the sofa. They are not particularly friendly with other dogs, but early socialization can help here.
Potential health problems include physical injuries, liver shunt (reduced blood flow through the liver), eye disease, heart disease, patella luxation (dislocation of the kneecap), Legg Calvé Perthes disease (deformation of the femoral head which can lead to lameness and joint swelling), epilepsy and skin problems.
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 12 - 15 years
- Weight: 4 - 7 lb
- Height: 8 - 9"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Long
- Grooming Requirements: Everyday
- Town or Country: Either
- Minimum Home Size: Flat
- Minimum Garden Size: No Garden
- Breed Type: Toy Dog
- Size: Small
- Energy Level: High
- Exercise Required: Up to 30 Minutes
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