Breed standard: The Kennel Club, FCI I Size: Small I Life expectancy: 10+ years I Temperament: Loyal, active, and enthusiastic I Coat: Short/Long I Origin: England.
The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog with long, fine hair. It charms people with its elegance and intelligence. Once a popular rat catcher in the county of Yorkshire in England, it is now an excellent companion dog.
The origins of the Yorkshire Terrier
The history of this adorable dog is closely linked to industrialization in England. When the workers at the time migrated to cities, they brought with them dogs such as Skye Terriers, which is among the ancestors of the Yorkshire Terrier. The Maltese is also another ancestor of Yorkshire Terriers.
Appreciated by workers in England
The Yorkshire Terrier is named after Yorkshire county in northern England, where the breed originated. At the time, in the late 19th century, this terrier was bred by workers who appreciated its agility and courage. Yorkshire Terriers were very efficient at chasing away rats and mice that infested the polluted streets.
Later, Yorkshire Terriers were used for illegal rabbit hunting and bloody “rat fights”. In these rat-fighting shows, the Yorkshire Terriers had to kill as many mice and rats as possible in a set amount of time.
Recognized for its beauty
Rat fighting came to an end towards the end of the 19th century. Professional breeding and standardization of pedigree dogs developed little by little. Then came the dog shows. The purest and most beautiful pedigree dogs from independent breeders were exhibited for these shows.
Workers in the county’s working class neighborhoods soon realized that breeding Yorkies could be profitable. To appeal to ladies and high society, the dogs needed to be lighter and smaller. The silky coat needed to be optimized as well. Breeders crossed several breeds to achieve these results. As early as 1886, the Yorkshire terrier was recognized as an independent breed. It very quickly became the favorite breed of the British.
The Yorkshire Terrier’s personality
Despite its small size and elegant appearance, the Yorkshire Terrier is much more than a cute pup. Behind its cute appearance is a real little fighter. They are confident and courageous dogs. This passionate little dog is not afraid to take on larger animals.
A loyal and courageous dog
The Yorkshire Terrier is a lively, curious and very intelligent little dog. It enjoys training sessions and follows training exercises willingly. Even though they sometimes have a tendency to lead, they are quick to submit to a pack leader or a consistent and strict master. With the right training, you will have a courageous and very loyal companion.
A small dog with big ambitions
Yorkshire Terriers sometimes overestimate themselves. When they meet other animals, these little dog thinks that they are bigger than they really are. They bark to make it clear that the territory is theirs. Like all terriers, Yorkies are willing to defend their family despite their small size. They must start their training early enough to control their need for domination and arrogance.
An active and adaptable pup
Despite its character, the Yorkshire Terrier adapts well to daily life in an apartment in the city or in the country. It is easy to carry around and is not very demanding for walks. However, with its past as a hunting dog, it requires regular physical exercise. They like to participate in dog sports such as agility or search and hunt games. The Yorkshire Terrier is a real ball of energy. They also love digging.
The physical characteristics of the Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog that measures between 18 and 23 cm (7 in and 9 in). Weighing about 3.2 kg (6.6 lbs), it is one of the smallest dogs in the world. Its fine, shiny coat hides a small, compact body that stands on small, straight legs. It has a straight back and well-sloped shoulders.
This dog has a small rounded head with a rather long muzzle although its long hair hides it. Its small, almond-shaped eyes are dark, wide-set and sparkling, which gives the Yorkshire Terrier a particularly cute look.
Its triangular ears are carried quite high on the skull and are covered with finer fur than the rest of its body.
Coat, color, and grooming
Some Yorkshire Terriers have very long hair that can sometimes reach the ground. However, the coat should not hinder their movements.
The Yorkshire Terrier standard accepts a single color combination. Their heads are tan and their chest is steel-blue coat. This color extends from their heads to the base of their tails. Their tan hair is darker at the root and lighter at the tip. Other color combinations are classified as false according to the breed standard.
Yorkshire Terriers are often portrayed as cute dogs with a long, silky coat and a small bow on their head. Their long hair requires a certain amount of care. For this reason, Yorkshire Terriers must be accustomed to daily brushing, bathing and regular nail trimming from an early age.
To care for the Yorkshire Terrier’s fine, long, and silky coat, use a wide-tooth comb. Yorkies also require weekly baths. Wash your dog from back to front with warm water and a mild shampoo for dogs. Start with the paws to remove any dirt that may have got caught in their fur during playtime. Cleaning their head with a sponge will prevent water from getting into their sensitive little nose.
Unlike other long-haired dogs, Yorkies don’t shed annually. This means that your carpet, sofa or dog beds will not be covered with hair. You should therefore remember to cut it. Ideally, it’s best to take your Yorkie to the groomer about 4 times a year.
To avoid injury, trim your Yorkshire Terrier’s nails about once a week. Brush their teeth regularly with a special toothbrush and dog toothpaste to keep them healthy, shiny, and white.
The Yorkshire Terrier at a glance
Size : 15 to 25 cm (around 6 to 10 in).
Weight : 2 to 3 kg (around 4 to 6 lbs).
Health : Like most small dogs, the Yorkshire Terrier is in excellent health. However, they can be prone to bone fragility and joint problems.
Life expectancy: 10 to 16 years.
Is the Yorkshire Terrier good with children? Although this dog breed is intelligent and playful, they can lose patience with children if they bother them too much. It is a lovely dog breed but can stubborn and impatient. For this reason, the Yorkshire Terrier is not ideal for a family with young children.
Is the Yorkshire Terrier easy to train? Since this dog breed has a strong personality, the Yorkshire Terrier requires firm and early training. It is best to train them not to bark too often.