THE YORKSHIRE TERRIER
The Yorkshire Terrier was originally bred in the UK during the late 1800’s for the main purpose of controlling the rat population in cotton mills and mines in Yorkshire and Lancashire, England. This breed was popular amongst the working class and especially the weavers themselves.
This breed is said to be the creation of Scottish weavers who migrated to the English north country and brought their Scottish Terriers with them. The feisty pups eventually became a popular lapdog for English socialites during the latter part of the Victorian age. The Yorkshire Terrier was originally called a broken-haired Scotch Terrier, but was renamed the Yorkshire Terrier in 1870. This breed is a descendant of the Waterside Terrier, rough coated English Terrier, Old English Black-and-Tan Terrier, Paisley Terrier, and the Clydesdale Terrier. Many Yorkies had jobs in the coal mines as exterminators. The dogs first arrived in the US in the 1870’s and were recorded in the AKC in 1885.
Although small, this is far from a fragile breed. Feisty, determined and loyal, the Yorkshire Terrier is a well-balanced dog with square proportions and a superb head carriage. The Yorkie has a small and flat skull with a tapered muzzle. This pup carries its head high, which portrays a sense of adorable dignity and confidence — especially with the naturally erect V-shaped ears. With a long silky coat (parted down the back), the Yorkie gives the impression of vigor and of extreme self-importance, scaring even the largest of dog breeds. Today’s Yorkies are mostly clipped for easy maintenance and grooming. Yorkie pups are born black and tan and by age two develop their adult coloring of steel and blue.
The dainty Yorkie is a true terrier breed. Although small, this dog is tenacious, brave, loyal and fun to be around. Theu have lots of positive attitude and is always game to travel. This breed truly enjoys traveling by car, exploring local neighborhoods and getting plenty of attention. These are superb watchdogs, feisty diggers and need to be watched very carefully when out in backyards. Yorkies make for terrific best friends, but can become needy. They needs plenty of socialization and positive dog training classes starting at puppyhood.
The Yorkshire Terrier needs supervision around children and larger dog breeds. They also need moderate, yet regular exercise every day. This breed is extremely adaptable and does well with apartment living. Dental care and grooming are of vital importance. After all, they love being being pampered. The Yorkie needs a calm environment, and thrives on consistency with regularly scheduled feed times, walks and outings.
Possible Health Concerns
- Dental Problems – They need proper dental care, including preventative methods like daily tooth brushing to prevent gum, periodontitis and endodontic disease.
- Hypoglycemia –This breed may be prone to suffering from low blood sugar. It is common in Yorkies that are under 20 weeks of age, but can be corrected with a high-quality diet appropriate to the their life stage. Avoid stressful environments and excessive exercise to help prevent hypoglycemia.
- Legg-Perthes Disease – This is the deterioration of the top of the femur that is often seen in smaller dog breeds. It is characterized by a lack of blood supply and destruction of the blood vessels of the bone. It is a hereditary condition in some terrier breeds. The sudden loss of blood supply to the femur leads to the collapse of the top of the femur bone. Veterinary treatment usually involves the surgical removal of the affected femoral head and neck and physical therapy so as to stimulate limb usage.
- Luxating Patellas – This is a hereditary condition that is caused by the abnormal development of the kneecap (patella). X-rays will aid in seeing the severity of the displacement. Treatment usually involves surgery.
The Yorkshire Terrier needs moderate exercise with brief bouts of fast activity like running after a tennis ball. They should never be over-exercised. The breed benefits from a few daily walks at a moderate pace. They needs the socialization involved with going to the dog park, or out and about the neighborhood. If not exercised sufficiently, this breed can become overly cranky and nervous. Yorkies are smart and benefit from regular environmental stimulation.
As with every dog breed, a high-quality dog food appropriate for the dog’s life stage is always recommended. They can be picky eaters and tend to favor certain foods over others. This breed is particularly easy to prepare home-cooked meals for under veterinary supervision.
Their coats need to be maintained daily. Sometimes even twice a day if not clipped. Yorkies suffer from sensitive eyes, so the hair close to their brows needs to be tied up or trimmed. The Yorkshire Terrier should be bathed once a week and tends to enjoy a visit to the groomers. The ears also need to be checked often for signs of infection.
With a sweet and fun temperament, the Aussie makes a great dog breeds to adopt if you are active and have a large property. It’s not a good idea to adopt this dog breed if they will be cooped up indoors. The Aussie is too smart to do nothing all day and needs a job. Children often love this dog’s fun-loving temperament.
For all their talents, the Yorkie does not excel at being left home alone. With their feisty, affectionate personalities, they are more likely to try and escape out the front door or by the backyard if left alone for long periods of time — especially during the first few months after adoption. This breed adapts easily to new homes, but definitely needs a calm environment and plenty of attention.