The Yorkshire Terrier is a small breed in the toy category. Playful and feisty, a Yorkie is a tiny, spirited bundle of energy.
The Yorkshire Terrier breed originated in the West Riding area of Yorkshire, England. In the 1800’s, craftsmen from Scotland came to the area bringing several varieties of long-coated terriers with them. Miners wanted to breed a dog that was small enough to fit into their pockets to be used for catching rats. It is not known for sure which breeds make up the Yorkshire Terrier breed, but it is probable it is a combination of Clydesdale Terrier, Paisley Terrier and Waterside Terrier. These were all working dogs used to control vermin in the mills and coal mines. The breed first appeared in a show in England as a Broken-Haired Scotch Terrier. It was introduced in the U. S. in 1872 and was first registered with the American Kennel Club in 1878.
The head of a Yorkshire Terrier is small and flat with a short muzzle. This dog has a narrow face and a black nose. The body of a Yorkie is well-proportioned and compact with a short back. The coat is long and straight, steely blue on the body and bright tan on the head and chest. Usually the tail is docked. Yorkies will reach about nine inches and weigh five to seven pounds. Regular grooming of the long silky hair is needed.
A Yorkshire Terrier is typically alert and playful. Intelligent and possessing a gutsy and brave nature, Yorkies will sometimes challenge dogs that are much larger than they are. But this breed of dog usually gets along well with other dogs and enjoys playing with them. Males may be very territorial. Many Yorkies are outgoing and friendly, although some will bark at strangers and may be aloof with new people.
Breeding to reduce the breed’s size has produced some health problems. Some Yorkies suffer difficulty with their digestive systems. Some experience paralysis in the hindquarters caused by herniated disks and other spinal problems.
The Yorkie’s small size means that injury can result from rough play with children or other dogs. For this reason, a Yorkie may not be a suitable pet for a household with very small children. Also, these dogs may nip because of their being bred to hunt and pounce.
This energetic and brave little dog is loyal and affectionate with its master. A Yorkie revels in human attention and is usually loving and sweet, although some can be snappish when frightened or teased too much. A bit of a stubborn nature may make a Yorkie difficult to train. Yorkies are active indoors and do well living in homes without yards. With a lifespan of about 12 to 15 years, a Yorkshire Terrier can be a playful, intelligent and loyal pet.