Is a Yorkshire Terrier the right dog for you?Small in size-big in attitude. The Yorkshire Terrier has inherited a dynamic personality, and enough courage to warrant a chest full of medals. But, contrary to its glamorous show ring image the Yorkie came from very humble beginnings.
Around the mid 19th century unemployed Scottish workers moved south in search of work, and they brought their little dogs with them. Cross breeding them with local terriers produced a dog capable of catching and killing the rats that infested the local mines and cotton mills.
That dog first appeared at a bench show as a " broken-haired Scotch Terrier" in the early 1860's. This fledgling breed finally became known as the Yorkshire Terrier in 1870.
The little ratters journey towards world popularity had begun.
Within a decade the Yorkie had clambered out of the gloom of the mines, and in to the lap of the most wealthy women in England. These terrier's quickly became the ultimate Victorian fashion accessory. Either carried in the crook of a Socialite's arm, or peeping out from her chic handbag.
The Yorkie was quickly embraced by American fanciers and was classified by the American Kennel Club as a member of the Toy Group. The breed standard requires the Yorkie to weigh no more than seven pounds, but no minimum weight is indicated. Dogs as light as one pound have been bred. But, as most responsible breeders point out, when dogs are bred to this size their health is being put at risk.
The Yorkshire Terrier has a long, silky, flowing coat of dark steel blue that parts along the spine to cover the body and tail. The head and legs are tan colored. Eyes are dark, and sparkle with intelligence, and the tail is usually docked to a medium length.
The Yorkie and apartment life go together well. A yard for him to explore and romp in would be nice, but he can live without it. Don't forget to give him a daily walk though. He needs his exercise as much as the next dog, even though he may be a fraction of their size.
This is a very playful and sociable breed. They enjoy family activity, and want to be right in the middle of it. If you have young children you need to be careful. Tough as the Yorkie is, he is tiny, and rough play could end in a serious injury.
They usually get along well with dogs and other pets, but they can be attention seekers, and consequently demanding. Some Yorkies can be stubborn, but they also like to please their owners. You should take advantage of this trait by following a good dog training program.
Socializing your puppy is equally important. Try to attend your local obedience classes with him. This will help him to get used to other dogs, people, and situations. It's also an opportunity for you to meet new people and their dogs.
Yorkies are a relatively healthy dog breed. Although, retained baby teeth, hernias and hypoglycemia can be problem areas.
Feeding these dogs will not break the bank. They do not have the most robust digestive systems, so do tread carefully with his diet. Feeding dry food will keep his teeth in a better condition, than if you feed him on canned food. You can mix the two feeds until you find the best blend.
Most Yorkies need regular brushing and combing to keep their coats in good condition, and to prevent matting. Dogs with very silky coats need slightly less grooming. You also need to brush your dogs teeth frequently, to alleviate the problem of early tooth decay that this breed is prone to.
The well bred and socialized Yorkshire Terrier is a pleasure to own. Of course, the Yorkie has its flaws like all dog breeds, but as a loyal and affectionate companion it has few rivals.