- Lifespan: 12-15 years
- Group: AKC Toy
- Best Suited For: Families with older children, singles, seniors, apartments, houses with/without yards
- Temperament: Feisty, stubborn, cuddly, inquisitive
Originating in England as rat and small vermin hunters, the cuddly Yorkshire Terrier has become a go-to lap dog. It may have started out as a working-class dog, but its beautiful coat later made them a favorite in dog shows. Often referred to fans of the breed as “Yorkies,” this bold and fearless dog makes a great addition to a family. But if it’s a quiet and laid-back kind of dog you’re looking for, you’re out of luck with the Yorkshire Terrier. A feisty breed, the Yorkie loves attention and tends to bark.
But don’t let those character traits scare you off. The Yorkshire Terrier makes a great pet for families with older children and if properly socialized as a puppy, will make friends with the other animal members of your household. Read on to learn more about this enchanting breed and see if it’s a fit for your family.
Often referred to fans of the breed as “Yorkies,” this bold and fearless dog makes a great addition to a family.
The Yorkshire Terrier was first bred in the 19th century in the county of Yorkshire, England to catch rats and other vermin in clothing mills. The Yorkshire Terrier was owned predominantly by the working class, in particular, the weavers. An evolution of other terrier breeds, the Yorkshire Terrier can trace its heritage from the Waterside Terrier, Manchester Terrier and Paisley Terrier.
A part of the English Kennel Club since the club was started in 1873, the Yorkshire Terrier came to the U.S. in the 19th century where it has remained a popular breed. The portable pooch was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885, and has become a popular breed in North American thanks to its big personality and luxurious coat.
The Yorkshire Terrier is a relatively newer breed, making its appearance in the 19th century. It was bred from terriers such as the Waterside Terrier, Manchester Terrier and Paisley Terrier in order to achieve the small stature needed for chasing and catching rats.
Food / Diet
Since the Yorkshire Terrier is so small, it doesn’t need a large amount to food for its daily substance. Since the Yorkie is so cute, you may be tempted to feed it scraps or treats – but fight the urge! Over feeding can lead to a variety of health problems, including an overweight dog. Try a premium dry dog food, but stay away from soft food as it tends to rot its teeth. Feed your Yorkshire Terrier two or three times a day if possible – since this dog is so small, it won’t eat much at one time. This will also your Yorkie to regulate digestion.
Well known for its beautiful coat and lively character, the Yorkshire Terrier has become popular as both a pet and a show dog.
A smart little cookie, the Yorkshire Terrier has a mind of its own… which will make training interesting. To properly train a Yorkshire Terrier, keep it fun – these dogs should have a good time so it feels like it’s not being trained at all (pretty sneaky!).
Be sure to teach your Yorkie a few tricks – it’s something the breed excels at. Used treats as a reward, as you’ll find the Yorkie will pick the tricks up quickly this way.
But be wary – since the Yorkshire Terrier has a mind of its own, it may try to outsmart you. Sometimes a firm hand will be needed in order to train successfully.
The Yorkshire Terrier should only weigh six to eight pounds.
Temperament / Behavior
There’s more than one reason why the Yorkshire Terrier is a great house dog. Well known for its beautiful coat and lively character, the Yorkshire Terrier has become popular as both a pet and a show dog. A wonderful companion dog, this breed has a great sense of hearing and will act as a watchdog – the Yorkie never lets a thing like its small size stand in the way.
A devoted breed that loves to be close to its family, the Yorkshire Terrier loves attention. And even though the Yorkie makes a great family dog, it should be watched when around small children and larger dogs due to its size.
Don’t be surprised if your Yorkshire Terrier is a bit of a character. Mischievous and known to have a mind of its own, the Yorkshire Terrier often acts much larger than it is. Feisty and bold, the Yorkie will show off and do as it pleases. Perhaps it is its spirit that makes them so irresistible.
Common Health Problems
Common health concerns revolve around the Yorkshire Terrier’s size as a result from falls and jumps. This breed may also suffer from Portosystemic shunt, collapsing tracheas, Legg Perth’s disease, patellar luxation and progressive retinal atrophy.
Yorkshire Terriers have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
This toy dog is very active, as it loves to explore. Yorkshire Terriers like to be taken for walks and need to interact with both dogs and humans. Because it is small, exercise needs are minimal, but attention is most important. Be sure to play with your Yorkie and have an adequate range of toys available.
Feisty and bold, the Yorkie will show off and do as it pleases.
The American Kennel Club says this about Yorkshire Terriers: “Though members of the Toy Group, they are terriers by nature and are brave, determined, investigative and energetic. This portable pooch is one of the most popular breeds according the AKC Registration Statistics.”
Its most descriptive feature, the Yorkshire Terrier’s straight coat is silky and flows along the body. Its coat is a blue and tan color, and the hair on its head is usually tied up. Although it does have a long coat, the Yorkshire Terrier is not a shedder. Its coat does require daily brushing, as well as regular visit to the groomers for shaping and upkeep.
A cute bundle of hair, Yorkshire Terrier puppies are hard to resist. Be sure to start grooming rituals young and introduce them to other dogs as soon as possible.
Photo credit: Eric Isselee/Shutterstock