Yorkshire Terriers are one of the most popular breeds and one of the most common in homes with pets. They are very small, cute and easy to care for dogs. But, contrary to what most people think, they are not the calmest or the most skittish dog breed: they are active, temperamental and very barky. Learn about their origin, their character and much more by reading below.
Yorkshire Terrier breed history
It was created in the county of Yorkshire, England, in the mid-nineteenth century when Scottish workers arrived there looking for work with several terriers. Crosses were used between the black and tan Terrier, the Maltese, for the abundance and texture of the coat and the Skye Terrier, to preserve its terrier temperament.
It was in 1870 when the name and the breed became official, from a specimen named Huddersfield Ben, considered the “father of the breed”.
The breed soon became popular among the country’s wealthy and influential families, being the most famous and beloved in the United States in 2002.
What are the Yorkis like?
It is a doggy with clear intelligence, long and silky hair and an extremely affectionate character, although quite jealous. The Yorkshire always wants to be the center of attention and to obtain the love of his owners, which makes him possessive. He has the boldness and courage of terriers, which makes him very guardian, and because of his size he can live perfectly well in a small apartment.
If you are consistent, they are an easy breed to train and teach. They are often mistaken for the classic lap dog and, far from it, they have an independent nature and a territorial and courageous behavior. They are also very barky and somewhat distrustful dogs if not well socialized. Barking can become a problem if it becomes excessive.
Education is FUNDAMENTAL in the Yorkshire Terrier so that they do not become capricious and spoiled dogs. Their small size and fragile aspect causes, in many occasions, an overprotection on the part of the owner that does not allow them to interact with other dogs for fear of being hurt. This is a big mistake and will turn the Yorkie into a fearful dog.
General appearance of the Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire has an upright carriage and an important air, very small, slightly elongated body and long hair. The weight of the breed is around 3.5 kg.
The head is rather small, flat and covered with long golden tan hairs, longer on the muzzle area. The skull is not too prominent or rounded. The nose is black; the medium-sized eyes are set in a frontal position, very dark, bright, with dark eyelid rims and an intelligent look. The ears are small and V-shaped, not too wide apart, erect or semi-erect, covered with short hair of intense tan.
The body is very compact, with horizontal dorsal line. The limbs are well plumed, covered with dark tan hair, with lighter shades on the tips. The feet are round with black nails. Formerly, the tail was amputated at half its length, but this is a horrible mutilation for aesthetic reasons only and is now forbidden.
The coat of these dogs is dark steel blue, with a darker band running from the nape of the neck to the root of the tail; bright tan on the chest, head and feet. The coat is straight, glossy, fine, silky and darker at the roots than in the middle, fading towards the tips. It needs daily and thorough brushing if you want to keep its coat long, healthy and shiny. It is a breed that does not shed much hair and is considered one of the hypoallergenic dog breeds.
How is your health?
Like many small breed dogs, they tend to have a lot of dental tartar, so they need regular teeth cleanings at home.
Other health problems associated with the breed are cardiac pathologies, bronchitis and cataracts. In many occasions, they also have a delicate digestive system that we must take care of if we do not want them to vomit or have diarrhea.
A well cared for Yorkshire Terrier can live up to 20 years, although the normal is around 16. However, yorkies considered toy or mini breed, weighing less than 1.5 kg, have a shorter life expectancy as they tend to have more congenital diseases due to selection and indiscriminate breeding.