Posted: 04/17/2023 | BY: Content Writer
Yorkshire Terrier Breed Profile
Best suited to quieter households with smaller living spaces.
- Small (20cm to 23cm)
- Typically weighing between 1.5kg and 3kg
- 12 to 15 years life expectancy
The Yorkshire Terrier, also known as a “Yorkie,” falls firmly into the toy breed category at Kennel Club shows, and longer-haired versions of the dog are often groomed elaborately.
This breed is characteristically bold, bright, and fearless. Their loyal and spirited nature makes them the perfect house pet for people of all ages.
Yorkshire Terriers are mischievous characters though, so training from infancy and an owner with a stern attitude is essential to keep this dog in line. They are also known for their boldness, despite their small size, and will often confront larger dogs.
These dogs are active indoors, and while they still require regular walking, you may find that your dog isn’t partial to cold or wet weather. They make great apartment dogs because they are so small and do not require a lot of space.
The size of this breed, combined with its loyalty, has led to its use as a fashion accessory for many women, who carry them in handbags or under their arms.
Overall, this popular dog breed is considered a healthy dog with a long life. The life expectancy of a Yorkie is 13 to 16 years old and the most common cause of death is heart failure.
These dogs are very affectionate toward their owners and they make wonderful companions. Yorkies are probably the most popular dog breed that is considered a toy breed.
History of Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier dog was developed in the 1800s in the English counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire, which is where it got its breed name.
It started as a working-class dog originating from Scotch Terriers mixed with Clydesdale Terrier also known as Paisley Terrier or Silk Coated Terrier, and Waterside Terrier. Those breeds are extinct but believed to be the original Yorkshire Terriers.
They were originally used by the Scots as small dogs that could squeeze into nooks to chase rodents in textile mills. It is a joke that their silky coats were made in the textile mills. Originally they were named the Broken Haired Scotch Terrier.
Yorkies later became fashionable lapdogs in Victorian times by the English. In 1886, the English Kennel Club recognized the breed and their popularity grew as a ladies’ companion.
The modern Yorkshire Terrier standard became smaller over the years due to its new job description: luxury lap dog.
The first American Kennel Club recognized Yorkie was named Belle in 1885. Since then, pet Yorkies have consistently been one of the most popular toy breeds.
Characteristics of Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terriers are small breed dogs with a black and tan coat. Sometimes Yorkshire terrier’s coats can be black and gold or even blue and gold, but overall their classic look is pretty recognizable.
A Yorkshire terrier’s coat can become floor-length and require a lot of grooming. They must be brushed so that their fur does not become matted. Some owners prefer to keep their hair short, but others like to keep their hair long and lavish.
Yorkshire Terriers are often great dogs for those who suffer from allergies because a Yorkie’s coat is more like human hair than animal hair.
This small dog breed often does not realize its own size and doesn’t always get along with other dogs. In fact, they can often bark at other dogs, posing a risk for themselves if the dog is much larger.
Yorkshire Terrier’s personalities can often be described as feisty because of this. This is why it is essential to take your Yorkie to obedience training from a young age.
Yorkshire Terrier puppies can weigh between 3 and 5 ounces when they are born. Yorkie puppies grow quickly and by four weeks are almost 1 pound. An adult dog stands between 8 to 9 inches tall and should not weigh more than 7 pounds.
Adopting A Yorkshire Terrier From A Breeder Or Rescue
When adopting a Yorkshire Terrier puppy, it is recommended to find reputable breeders to avoid inherited health conditions. It is best to avoid pet stores that sell puppies. A puppy from a pet store often comes from a puppy mill, which is not considered responsible breeding.
You want to adopt from a reputable breeder that is recognized by the Yorkshire Terrier Club, the American Kennel Club, or National Breed Club. There are toy Yorkshire Terriers, standard Yorkshire Terriers, and now even teacup Yorkshire Terriers, which is just a variation in size and weight.
You can sometimes find Yorkshire Terriers at rescues or even shelters, but they are often mixed with other breeds.
Exercise And Nutrition of Yorkshire Terrier Dogs
Yorkshire Terriers do not require a lot of exercise, so up to half an hour of walking per day should be enough to keep them happy and healthy. Don’t let their small size fool you; they are very active little dogs.
They have a strong desire to hunt and love playing games outdoors. This is a great way to bond with your Yorkie as they love the praise they receive from mastering tricks.
You should feed your Yorkie high-quality dog food, twice daily, to keep them happy and healthy. If you are unsure about how much to feed your dog, then consult your veterinarian for advice.
Common Health Problems And Illnesses Of Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terriers do have their share of health issues, which is why it’s a good idea to take out dog insurance for your Yorkie while they’re still a puppy.
Cushing’s disease is an issue that commonly affects Yorkshire Terriers. The condition affects how the body regulates itself and causes an overproduction of cortisol. The common signs of this condition include patchy hair loss, excessive thirst, and a change in toilet habits.
Consult your veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms and they will be able to advise you on the best course of treatment.
Diabetes can also affect Yorkshire Terriers. Symptoms include lethargy, weakness, confusion, and unsteadiness, increased urination habits, an increase in appetite, and weight loss.
If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, then take them to your veterinarian for a check-up as soon as possible. Treatment is available to help manage the condition over the course of your pet’s lifetime.
Pancreatitis is a condition that causes severe stomach upset in Yorkshire Terriers. Watch out for symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. If these symptoms appear in your pet, then take them to your veterinarian for advice on how to best treat the condition.
Lens luxation is a condition that causes your dog to dislocate the lens in their eye. This can cause a block within the drainage channels within the eye. The build-up of pressure in the eye can be painful, and if it is not treated, then there is a chance that your dog could go blind. Take your dog to your veterinarian if you notice any changes in their eyes, and they will be able to diagnose any potential problems and prescribe the best course of treatment.
This is a blood clotting disorder that can be found in humans and in dogs. This disease can often be found in Yorkshire Terrier dogs.
Many dogs do not show evidence of the disease until they are having surgery or giving birth. Uncontrollable bleeding can lead to death.
Fun Facts About Yorkshire Terriers
- During the mid-1800s, Yorkshire terriers were used to hunt rats, badgers, rodents underground and in tight nooks and crannies.
- When Yorkie puppies are newborns, they can weigh as little as 70g!
- Yorkshire Terriers love to sit on people’s laps, making them excellent therapy dogs or companions for children.
- It’s not a good idea to let your Yorkshire Terrier off the leash; their bold character means they love to chase after things!
- Yorkshire Terriers can develop Separation Anxiety, which can make them scared or stressed when left alone.