The Yorkshire Terrier, also known as a "Yorkie", is a small dog, often weighing in at less than seven pounds. This dog breed falls firmly into the "toy" category at kennel club shows, and longer-haired versions of the of dog are often groomed elaborately.
This dog breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. It was originally bred as a mouse and rat hunting dog by laborers in northern England, who created the breed by mixing breeds like the Manchester Terrier and the Maltese with the local Leeds Terrier. Over time, the smallest dogs were selectively bred, bringing the size of the breed down and allowing them access to badger or fox burrows for hunting purposes.
Yorkies will typically live between 12 and 15 years and are extremely active dogs. They are also known for their boldness, despite their small size, and will often confront larger dogs. These dogs are active indoors, but can live well inside a small apartment or house. While they still require regular walking, they are not partial to cold climates or inclement weather.
The size of the dog combined with its loyalty led to its use as a fashion accessory for many women, who carried them in handbags or under their arms. While these dogs are very affectionate toward their owners, they do not display typical "lap dog" characteristics as they age.
Yorkshire Terriers are subject to a number of pet health concerns, including bronchitis, eye infections and early tooth decay. It is recommended that dry food be fed to these dogs and regular tooth check-ups administered in order to ensure that their teeth remain healthy and do not fall out.
Yorkies are also prone to paralysis of the hindquarters due to slipped discs or as a result of bones broken in a knock or fall, and have a delicate digestion requiring regimented food intake