Yorkshire Terrier - Yorkies
YorkiesClick thumbnail to view full-size
History Of the Yorkshire Terrier
At first, the Yorkshire Terrier was by no means a toy terrier breed, as they had ad average weight which ranged from 12 to 14 pounds. Through selective breeding, the terrier has a much more reduced size. Unlike most breeds of its time, the Yorkie was the dog of the common man, as they were used to hunt rodents in small spaces and to chase them out of their burrows.
The Yorkie originated in Manchester and Leeds counties in the northern part of England. When Scottish merchants and trades-people began moving to England during the Industrial Revolution, they brought the Skye Terriers and Paisley Terriers (a now extinct breed). Breeding both of the terrier breeds with the Waterside Terrier, created the combination that it is today, the Yorkshire Terrier.
Around the 1880s, the breed was introduced to American breeders, but even still their weights were highly variable, ranging from 2 to 13 pounds.
In America, the Yorkie was not a popular breed until the 1960s when clubs and breeders started showing up around the country, causing the breed to flourish, but it caused over breeding, which can lead to behavior problems and health concerns.
The general appearance of a yorkie is that of a long haired terrier, with a blue and tan coat that parts from the base of the skull to the end of the tail. The head, chest, legs, and belly are tan, while the tip of the head to the root of the tail is a rich blue coloration.
The body is compact and well proportioned.
The head is high and held in a confident manner, giving the appearance of vigor and self-importance.
The muzzle it round and not too long with even jaws, neither overshot or undershot.
Yorkies have dark, medium sized eyes that hold a sharp and intelligent expression.
Usually the tail is docked to a medium length and is carried slightly higher than the level of the back.
With fine, glossy hair, the coat is the most important part of a show Yorkie.
Temperament of Yorkies
Being a toy breed, yorkies retain much of their terrier ancestry. Although, individual personalities will vary, in general the breed is intelligent, independent, and courageous. They are quick to determine their pack, and behaviors to those outside the pack will vary. They are inclined to bark at strangers.
Where some yorkies are outgoing and friendly towards new people,others are withdrawn and aloof. Depending on how much socialization and training you are willing to put into your yorkshire terrier, proves the differences in your yorkie towards new people.
Most yorkies are bold, but some can be very timid. In general, the breed is confident, vigorous, and self-important.
When considering bringing a yorkshire terrier home when you have children, I would seriously consider your other options. Yorkies, as with most small breeds, must less terriers, can be nippy, boisterous, jealous, energetic, and sometimes possessive. This breed has more bad apples in the bunch versus most other dog breeds, so finding a reputable breeder is a must.
The following characteristics can be found to some degree in all yorkies.
Yorkies are known to be assertive towards other dogs. In some cases the yorkie may feel dominant over the other dogs, which can prove to be a bad thing. Because they are inquisitive, self confident, and protective, yorkies tend not to be too fearful. Many yorkies suffer the "Napoleon Syndrome" or "Little man syndrome" in which he believes he is larger than he truly is.
Yorkies are energetic, but do need their quiet time. The more you pamper your yorkie, the more clingy it will become. Although, they are very intelligent, they can prove difficulttotrain because of their independence. Yorkies have proved themselves the hardest breed to house train.
Yorkshire terriers have been tested as one of the top working breeds. It has been proven that the average yorkie can understand a new command after about 15 repetitions. The problem begins when the yorkie, being a terrier, gets bored of the same command and behavior after just a few repetitions.
Yorkie Playing Fetch
How to Train Yorkies
Yorkshire Terrier Health
Common health problems with yorkie's include bronchitis, lymphangiectasia, hepatic lipidosis, cataracts, and keratitis sicca.
In many cases, Yorkies can have reactions at injection sites, where you may see signs of inflammation and/or hair loss at the site of the injection.
Due to their delicate digestive systems, they can suffer vomiting and/or diarrhea. Make sure to not stray frpm their normal diet.
And, on that note, yorkies can be picky eaters, so finding a food that they will eat can be tricky. In some cases, you may have to mix foods.
Average yorkies can have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.
Smaller yorkies, such as teacup yorkies, tend to have a shorter lifespan, because they are prone to health issues like as chronic vomiting and diarrhea, are more sensitive to anesthesia, and are easily injured.
As with many and most purebred dogs, Yorkies are prone to several genetic disorders. The most common congenital disorders include:
Distichiasis of the eyelashes is caused when an abnormal spot in the duct in the gland at the edge of the eyelid, which can irritate the eye, scratching it and even scarring it.
Hydroplasia of dens non-formation of the pivot point of the second cervical vertebra, which leads to spinal cord damage, causing signs ranging from neck pain to quadriplegia.
Legg-Perthes disease is the result of the top of the femur (thigh bone) to degenerate due to insufficient circulation to the area around the hip joint.
Patellar luxation (knee dislocation) is caused by weak ligaments and tendons in the knee or malformed (too shallow) patellar grooves, which allow the patella to slip out of its groove sideways.
Portosystemic shunt causes some of the dog's blood to bypass the liver, and the "dirty" blood goes on to poison the heart, brain, lungs and other organs with toxins before it has been cleansed.
Tracheal collapse is caused by the progressive weakening of the trachea walls.
Gifts for Yorkie Lovers
As mentioned earlier, Yorkshire terriers are very intelligent. More dominant dogs in the breed can be harder to train, especially the down command, as laying down is a sign of submission to dogs.
For the most part, yorkies, as a breed, are very trainable and tend to catch on quick.
But, as mentioned above, yorkies are very hard to house train. Crate training is probably the best was to house train a yorkie, but you must go into it with patience and love. It can take some people a full year or so to fully house train a yorkie.
Pictures of my YorkieClick thumbnail to view full-size
All Yorkie pictures on this page are original. Other pictures can be found at flickr.com.
More by this Author
Is it really a good idea to have a wolf hybrid as a pet?
Whether you're looking for a show-stopping American Pit Bull Terrier who's born for the show ring or just a loving pet who lives to roll in the mud and sleep on your bed, the first step is finding a good-quality puppy...
Learn some of the signs of infected belly-button piercings and what to do about them.