Yorkshire Terriers are known to be one of the smallest dog breeds in the world but they are oblivious to their size because they are energetic dogs that are always seeking adventure, love, and attention. It is the most popular toy dog breed in the United States and it has won a lot of fans with its devotion to its owners, its elegant looks, and as well as its suitability to apartment living. With this, let us know more about the Yorkshire Terrier dog breed.
The Yorkshire Terrier dog breed was developed in England, and it is no more than a hundred years old. Scottish workers during the Industrial Revolution in England, came to Yorkshire to work in the coal mines, textile mills, and factories. They brought with them a dog known as Clydesdale Terrier or Paisley Terrier. They are much larger compared to the Yorkshire Terrier we know today. These dogs were used primarily to catch rats in the mills.
It’s possible that the Clydesdale Terrier was crossed with other types of terriers, perhaps the English Black and Tan Toy Terrier and as well as the Skye Terrier. Also, the Waterside Terrier, a small dog with a long blue-gray coat, may have contributed to the development of the Yorkshire Terrier as well.
In 1861, there was a Yorkshire Terrier shown in a bench show as a “broken-haired Scotch Terrier”. In 1865, a dog named Huddersfield Ben was born and it became a popular show dog. It is also considered to be the father of the modern Yorkshire Terrier.
It was in 1870 when the breed acquired the name Yorkshire Terrier because that’s where most of its development have taken place. In 1874, Yorkshire Terriers were first registered in the British Kennel Club stud book and the first Yorkshire Terrier breed club in England was founded in 1898.
The earliest record of a Yorkshire Terrier that was born in the United States was in 1872 and they were able to compete in dog shows as early as 1878. In those shows, they were divided by weight such as under five pounds, and five pounds and over. But eventually, exhibitors decided to settle on one class with an average of between 3 to 7 pounds.
Today, the Yorkshire Terrier dogs are slightly smaller than the original breed and they are now considered as a fashion accessory than a hunter or a way for people to control pests.
Characteristics of Yorkshire Terriers
Average height: 8 inches – 9 inches tall
Average weight: 4 – 6 pounds
The Yorkshire Terrier belongs to the companion dogs breed and they can live up to 15 years. They should be 8 to 9 inches at the shoulder and should weigh no more than 7 pounds with 4 to 6 pounds being preferred. They are inconsistent in size and it’s not unusual for a single litter to have one Yorkie that weighs less than 4 pounds or one who grows to be up to 15 pounds. But you have to beware of breeders who offer “tea cup” Yorkshire Terriers because those can be prone to genetic disorders.
Yorkshire Terriers have long, silky, and perfectly straight coats. Show dogs even have hair that reaches the floor. Yorkie puppies are born black, with blue and tan coat gradually developing usually when they reach a year old. Their head is bright gold with tan hairs that are darker at the roots than at the ends. They also have tan legs but the color does not extend above the elbow. One of the interesting facts about Yorkshire Terriers is that they become lighter with age.
Yorkshire Terriers are smart and self-assured. They are a combination of endearingly small size and adventurous terrier spirit. They also display a range of personalities because some of them are cuddly and perky while others are mischievous and outgoing. They are also great companion and therapy dogs. In fact, a Yorkie named Smoky was a World War II hero and she became one of the first therapy dogs for injured American soldiers.
They can also get along well with other pets including cats if socialized to them at an early age. However, they are not suitable for families with children younger than 6 years old because they might drop them, step on them, or hold them too tight.
Caring for Yorkshire Terriers
Yorkshire Terriers are very active indoors and they also enjoy taking a walk and playing outside, therefore, it does not take a lot of effort to keep them well exercised. They also enjoy fetching toys that you throw for them.
When it comes to grooming, Yorkshire Terriers with long hairs are not for the faint of heart because they have soft coats that tangle easily. And even if you keep them short-haired, you still have to brush their coats gently every day to prevent mats and keep them clean.
You can bathe them weekly to keep their coats beautiful and shiny. There’s no need to rub the coat when you wash them. Simply wet the coat, apply shampoo, and then run your fingers through it to lift the dirt out. After that, apply conditioner then rinse thoroughly.
Yorkies are also prone to dental problems because they tend to form a lot of tartar on their teeth, therefore, it’s important to brush their teeth regularly and schedule a professional cleaning by your vet at least once every year. Also remember to trim their nails after each bath to prevent painful tears.
When it comes to feeding Yorkies, the recommended daily amount of food is ½ to ¾ cup of high-quality dry food divided into two meals. The amount of dog food will depend on your pet’s size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level.
The Yorkshire Terrier is certainly a fine breed especially for first time dog owners. As long as you are willing to commit to the daily care and attention that this breed requires, then you will be able to enjoy having it as a companion dog.