Yorkshire Terrier (or Yorkie) originated in the late 1800s and is descended from several old English terrier breeds, including the Black and Tan English Terrier, Paisley Terrier, Clydesdale Terrier, and, most recently, Waterside Terrier. The breed originally was owned by working-class people and was used for vermin control as well as companionship, but it wasn’t long before this tiny terrier was appreciated by the upper classes and royalty.
The Yorkshire Terrier is very much a terrier even though he is small. He carries his head high and projects an aura of self importance. Standing 8 to 9 inches tall and weighing less than 7 pounds, he is well-balanced and square. The eyes are dark and full of personality; the ears are small, V-shaped, and carried erect. The Yorkshire Terrier coat is silky and long and, in adults, falls to the floor. The hair is parted along the backbone from head to tail. The coat colour is blue with tan on the head, under the tail, and on the legs. The tail is docked.
Grooming is a big part of a Yorkshire Terrier’s life, especially if you keep the coat long. The coat will tangle if not combed and brushed every day and again after outdoor play sessions. Many Yorkshire Terrier owners keep the coat trimmed to a shorter length simply for ease of care.
Yorkshire Terriers are active little dogs. They enjoy walks, play sessions, and hunting for critters in the backyard. Yorkshire Terriers can have difficulty with housetraining, but with supervision, persistence, and patience, it can be accomplished. Early obedience training can help channel this dog breed’s quick mind, giving the Yorkshire Terrier dog something constructive to do.
Yorkshire Terriers are bright and intelligent but can be a little stubborn. They do have a mind of their own. Many Yorkshire Terrier owners teach their little dogs tricks, as the Yorkshire Terrier dog breed is a natural showoff and loves to be the centre of attention. These dogs can also participate in canine sports. Many flyball teams want to include a small dog to keep the jump heights low, and ball-crazy Yorkshire Terriers make great competitors.
The Yorkshire Terrier dog breed is very attached to the family but can also become more strongly bonded to one particular family member, especially if more time is spent with that one person. They can be reserved toward strangers, but friends are greeted with enthusiasm. They can be good with children who are gentle and treat them with respect.
Yorkshire Terriers tend to bark at strange dogs and can put on an aggressive act, although they are too small to back up any threats. This behaviour should be discouraged, as larger dogs could easily harm them. Health concerns include dental problems, hypoglycemia, and knee problems.