The Yorkshire Terrier or Yorkie originated in Yorkshire around in the mid 19th century. Workers from Scotland brought small terriers with them to work in the cotton mills and the breed was developed from these. Used to catch rats in the mills, they are classed as a working dog. Probably cross bred with Waterside, Paisley and Skye terriers to produce the breed we know today. By the 1900's, the focus was on producing a smaller size under 10 pounds. They are one of the most popular terrier in the world.
Yorkies are fun loving, active and affectionate, but not your typical lap dog. They have a massive personality for such a small dog and can become over protective of their owners. Lots of socialisation is important to prevent problems down the line. Puppy classes are vital and introducing them to strangers is very important. Having said that, they are fun dogs, always on the look out for mischief and adventures. They are a busy and inquisitive breed, who are good watch dogs and will let you know when someone is approaching the front door. Yorkies need to work or at least have lots of physical and mental stimulation. They tend to bark a lot, but with proper training and enough walks and play, they will be content sitting on your lap. Short walks are fine and games of fetch in the house will keep them happy. They are independent, but do not like being left alone for long periods. With regard to training, they are very quick learners and thrive on company, so training is easy with Yorkies; this also keeps their minds active which will prevent destructive behaviour. With proper socialisation, they make good family pets and are fine with respectful children. Strangers are usually ok after proper training, but small furry pets don't stand a chance. They were bred to hunt rats and mice and they are very good at it. The pet hamster/gerbil will be tormented.
They do shed hair, but much less so than the majority of other breeds. Their long coat will need brushing daily and many owners prefer the shorter 'puppy cut' which makes grooming much easier. Many allergy sufferers have no problems with Yorkshire terriers. Yorkies are a healthy breed, but obesity can be a problem if not exercised enough. Patellar luxation is sometimes seen (as with many small dogs).
Yorkshire Terriers have a bold and loving temperament. Like most terriers in many ways but also totally unique (hence being classed as a ''toy'' breed). They are inquisitive and noisy being quick to alert you of any visitor but they are also comfort lovers who enjoy a cuddle on the sofa. They are not particularly friendly towards other dogs but it may be possible to curb this through early socialisation.
Health problems that may affect Yorkshire Terriers 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: 1.8 - 3.2 kg
- 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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