The Yorkshire Terrier, nicknamed the Yorkie, seems quite full of himself, and why not? With his long silky coat and perky topknot, the Yorkshire Terrier is one of the most glamorous representatives of the dog world, sure to attract attention wherever he goes.
The Yorkshire Terrier is a small, toy-sized dog. The little head is rather flat on the top, with a medium-sized muzzle. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. The nose is black. The medium-sized eyes are dark with dark eye rims. The erect ears are V-shaped. All four legs are straight when viewed from the front. The round feet have black toenails.
The coat comes in a steel blue and tan color. The body and tail are blue, and the rest of the dog is brown. Puppies are brown, black and tan. The hair on the head is so abundant that it is almost always necessary to gather it in a band to keep from going into the dog’s food bowl and to give the animal maximum visibility.
Named after the English city from which they originally hail, Yorkshire Terriers were used in the nineteenth century to catch rats in clothing mills. Surprisingly enough, in its beginnings, the Yorkie belonged to the working class, especially the weavers; in fact, facetious comments were often made about how the dogs’ fine, silky coats were the ultimate product of the looms. Eventually, the breed left the workforce and became a companion animal to families of European high society.
Smart and self-assured, the Yorkshire Terrier is a combination of endearingly small size and adventurous terrier spirit. The breed displays a range of personalities. Some are cuddly and perky, wanting nothing more than to follow in their people’s footsteps throughout the day. Others are bad, outgoing, and into everything.
Yorkshire Terrier Temperament
Set limits and your Yorkie will be an excellent companion, but if you spoil him, watch out! Start training when they’re puppies, and you’ll have much better luck than if you let them have their way and then try to correct bad habits.
Yorkshire Terriers seem oblivious of their small size. They are keen for adventure. This little dog is highly energetic, brave, loyal and clever. With owners who take the time to understand how to treat a small dog, the Yorkie is an excellent companion! It is affectionate with its master, but if humans are not this dog’s pack leader, it can become suspicious of strangers and aggressive to strange dogs and small animals. It can also become happy as the dog does their best to tell you what IT wants YOU to do. It has a real terrier heritage and needs someone who understands how to be its leader. Yorkies are often only recommended for older, considerate children, simply because they are so small, most people allow them to get away with behaviors no dog should display.
Some Yorkies are prone to slipped stifle, bronchitis, eye infections, early tooth decay, poor tolerance of anesthetic, and delicate digestion. Exotic treats should be avoided. They sometimes suffer paralysis in the hindquarters caused by herniated disks and other problems of the spine. Falls or knocks can cause fractures of fragile bones. Abnormal skull formations in Yorkies measuring less than 8 inches (20 cm). Dams often have trouble delivering puppies and sometimes need to have cesareans. Be sure to feed Yorkies some dry food or bone to chew on to help keep their teeth clean and strong. They should get their teeth cleaned at the vet to keep them from falling out and creating the infection.
Yorkshire Terriers enjoy taking a walk with you or playing outside, but since they’re very active while indoors, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to keep them well exercised.
In general, Yorkies are receptive to training, especially if it brings them attention for performing cute tricks or performing in agility or obedience trials. They can be difficult to housetrain, however, because their “accidents” are so small and easy to clean up that people let it slide. That’s a mistake. It’s better to show them where to go from the beginning and reward them for doing their business in the right place. When you make the effort, you can end up with a very well trained Yorkie indeed.
They are house dogs and don’t tolerate extreme heat or cold well. Many people paper train their Yorkshire Terriers, so they don’t have to take them outdoors when the weather is too hot or cold.
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These are active little dogs that need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, it will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. If your Yorkie zooms around the house like a speeding bullet, it is a sign that he needs to go on more/longer walks where he is made to heel beside or behind the human. Remember, in a dog’s mind, the leader leads the way. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe, open area off lead, such as a large, fenced-in yard.
About 12-15 years
Children and other pets
Because of their small size, Yorkies aren’t suited to families with young children. Most breeders won’t sell puppies to people whose children are younger than 5 or 6 years old. It’s just too easy for children to drop them, step on them, or hold them too tightly.
Yorkies can get along well with other pets, including cats, if socialized to them at an early age. They’re bold in going after strange dogs, however, even those that outweigh them by a factor of ten, and protecting them from themselves becomes second nature to people with Yorkies.