History of the Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier didn’t begin as the fashionable and glamorous breed that they are today. They are a combination of so-called terrier breeds evolving from various terrier breeds. It is widely thought that the Yorkshire was a crossbreed forming for the Waterside Terrier, Manchester Terrier, and Paisley Terrier. It got this name from Yorkshire, a county in England where breeding took place. In 1873, the kennel Club of England was formed. The Yorkshire Terrier joined the 40 selected Non-Sporting breeds under the name of Broken-Haired Scotch and Yorkshire Terriers. In the late 19th century the Yorkie made its popularity to the United States. Since then it has remained one of the most popular dog breeds.
The Yorkshire Terrier does not shed, but their long coat is prone to mats and tangles, daily brushing and regular professional grooming are recommended. For a small dog, this can be very time-consuming so both the dog and the owner need to display patience. Yorkie hair is more like human hair than other dog hair. Because of this, Yorkies do not experience hair loss throughout their life. They do not undergo the cyclic shedding of fur most other popular breeds experience. Yorkshire Terrier’s hair continuously grows like humans, so the need to keep the hair trimmed to maintain a healthy coat length is a requirement for owners of this breed.
The breed standard color for the Yorkshire Terrier is a two-tone, silky coat of black and brown shades. The depth and richness of this coat color depends on the age and genetics of each dog. Younger Yorkies will have much deeper black and brown hues, but as they age these colors will fade. More silver or grey hairs will appear and lighten the color of your furry friend resulting in a more blue and tan coat.
Yorkie Personality Characteristics
Yorkshire Terriers are adventurous little dogs. They do not require a lot of daily exercises but do enjoy going on walks. They need plenty of attention and playtime to balance the dog’s energy level, which is a great way to exercise these small dogs. They love room to run but might need to stay in a restrained area. There are so many hazards existing to such a tiny animal. It is always a good idea to keep various toys around for them to play with. These toys will help keep your dog’s activity level high and let them release energy by acting on their natural prey drive. They will mostly enjoy any game that interacts with their owners.
They are fearless watchdogs and have a great sense of hearing and can usually hear someone coming long before they get to the door. Typically, they are unaware of their small stature, often taking on dogs 5 times their size and rarely backing down. Most will prefer to share your bed if you allow. Full of energy they can keep up with kids. Because of their small size, they might need more supervision with smaller children.
Yorkshire Terriers are very intelligent, but they can also be a little stubborn
Keeping the training happy and fun is a great way to get through to this breed and prevent bad habits. They may tend to get bored and it is important to make it a fun, positive experience for them. One way of teaching your Yorkie new tricks is by holding a small treat in your hand. Treats and lots of praise tend to be effective training techniques with these little dogs.
Yorkies are a generally healthy breed, however, they still are prone to certain health conditions. There are a few health issues associated with this breed that owners should be made aware of and they include:
- Portosystemic Shunt – also known as a liver shunt, can occur while the pup is still in its mother’s womb.
- Collapsing Tracheas – The cartilage rings that normally hold the windpipe round, begin to deteriorate.
- Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease – The breakdown of the head of the femur where it attaches to the hip.
- Patellar Luxation – or “floating” kneecaps. The kneecap or patella actually slips in and out of place.
- Hip Dysplasia – Hip joints which are underdeveloped causing dislocation of the joint.
These health risks are often genetic, so be sure that you are working with a reputable breeder when searching for your next best friend.
Yorkshire Terriers are not immune from other common health concerns either. Allergic reactions are a very common condition for any dog. When these reactions occur, be sure to note any new item or environment your dog has come in contact with to identify the cause.
Older Yorkies are very prone to poor joint health and dental disease. Starting your pet on joint supplements and proper exercise early in their life can help prevent joint issues later on. Dental disease can cause a variety of dental symptoms including tooth decay and gum irritation. Proper dental care will help to keep your dog happy and healthy for longer.
Despite all these issues, Yorkshire Terriers can live healthy lives with proper care. The life expectancy of the Yorkshire Terrier is between 11-15 years of age and is average for a dog of a similar breed and size. Owning a Yorkie is a long-term commitment with endless benefits.
We all love our Yorkies!