The Yorkie breed boasts a fascinating personality, as they seem to embody the confidence and spirit of a larger dog in a compact body. Despite their classification as a toy breed, these dogs possess a terrier’s tenacious personality and insatiable curiosity towards the world around them. In fact, their inquisitive nature can be likened to the old adage “curiosity killed the cat,” as they fearlessly explore and investigate their surroundings.
With a Yorkie in your household, you can expect an adventurous and affectionate companion who will bring joy to every member of your family. This breed’s well-rounded disposition makes them an excellent choice for any family seeking a loyal and engaging canine companion.
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Yorkshire Terrier History
Just like we said above, the Yorkshire Terrier was bred in the United Kingdom by breeding four different dog breeds together.
It is a unique combination of the Clydesdale Terrier, which is not extinct, the Paisley Terrier which is also extinct, Skye Terrier, and the Airedale Terrier. All together, these combined genes created the Yorkshire Terrier.
This dog breed was brought to England in the 19th century, where it got the job of being a ratter. A ratter is a dog that chases and kills rats inside the mills and factories. Eventually, noblewomen noticed the breed, and it went from working dog to lap dog.
More and more people wanted to have these dogs for lap dogs. This was because of this dog breeds beauty and cute simple size.
The Yorkie was brought to the United States in the early 1900s and swept the nation with its adorable size.
They even became a political symbol for a while because President Nixon had a pet Yorkie that also jumped its popularity.
Now almost everyone has heard of this breed, and they are even competing in the dog shows. They make an amazing pet for any family.
As you may already know the Yorkshire Terrier is categorized in the toy breed category because of its small stature. One of the Yorkies distinctive features is the long straight hair that falls down to the ground.
If you plan on using your Yorkie in show competitions, the long hair is a must for confirmation. The hair on the breed is more human-like, making it hypoallergenic. This is perfect for people who have mild allergies to dogs.
The Yorkshire Terrier will have small brown eyes with a cute little black nose. Some people get the tail docked on the breed to keep it looking like the standard version.
Owners that do not plan on showing their Yorkies will usually have dogs with shaggier shorter coats, and sometimes they don’t have the tail docked.
Yorkshire Terrier Size
Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs that are usually less than 15 pounds total. Yorkies are a dog breed that is very inconsistent in size. They can be different inches in height and can also weigh very little or up to 15 pounds.
The Yorkie is an average of 6 inches to 10 inches at their shoulder. Their weight can be anywhere from 4 pounds up to 15 pounds, so that is a huge range of size for the Yorkie. The most common weight is around 7 pounds.
If your Yorkie weighs less than four pounds, you may have the teacup Yorkie breed. Be careful when purchasing a teacup Yorkie because they have a known issue with health problems because of their little size.
The Yorkie has a variety of personality traits that make this breed so loveable! First of all, the Yorkie is extremely smart. They can tell when one of their family members is upset and will come over and care for them.
They want to please, so they really are curious about what their owners are doing. Yorkies are, without a doubt super cuddly! They are just like a cuddly bear, and they love to snuggle.
Some people say the male Yorkies are sweeter. I think it just depends on the dog, honestly. Male or female, it won’t matter; you will definitely have a dog who likes to snuggle.
Don’t let the Yorkies size fool you; this dog breed is mighty when they have to be. Yorkies have done some super incredible feats in the past few decades.
One is saving a woman from a burning building! The Yorkie is very alert and brave. At a moment’s notice, if they feel like someone they love is being hurt, they will turn to protect and care mode.
Some people may not like a quality like this, but I think it’s an absolute great quality for dogs to have. Make sure you are exposing your Yorkie to different experiences and socialization.
This is good for the breed because it helps them learn to communicate with the people in your home and guests.
Don’t get us wrong, the Yorkie is very sweet and lovable, but this dog breed can get assertive with its space. If there is another dog around that they are unfamiliar with they could bark and show that this is their territory.
Yorkies surprisingly make incredible watchdogs. This is actually a reflection of the Yorkies heritage back when they would work in the mills.
Of course, Yorkies are known for barking, and this is because they are either on watch or want some serious attention. If you train your Yorkie from a young age, this shouldn’t be a problem.
The Yorkie needs daily interaction with people because they thrive on attention and all the love they can possibly get. Depending on if you have your dog first before children, this breed could get very jealous when a young child comes along.
This breed is used to getting all the attention, and now they’re not getting the same amount, so it’s best to not have small children around this breed. Now, this is not the case with all Yorkies just most.
The Yorkie can come in different hues of color. The coat is very important to dog owners because the coat is what helps the Yorkie stand out in dog competitions.
The typical coat for this breed will be a long straight silky coat. The coat will be short in their puppy years, but owners like to grow it out down to their feet.
The coat color can be different colors such as tan, dark brown, and even have blue tints to it. Usually, the puppies will be darker and each year will lighten more and more.
What Colors Do Yorkies Come In?
The Yorkshire Terrier has a few different options when it comes to coat color they are:
- Blue Hues
The interesting thing about the Yorkis is it might not display its final adult color until after three years old. The color of the hair can change up until then.
This dog breed will have the traditional black-colored nose and brown eyes.
Yorkshire Terrier Grooming
This breed is not low maintenance when it comes to grooming. They really need to be brushed daily to keep their coat looking nice and straight. If they are not brushed their hair will get tangled and matted up.
Regular baths and trips to the groomer are completely necessary to keep your Yorkies coat up to maintenance. Most owners like to put little clips or bows in their dog’s hair at the top of their head.
Remember to clip your dog’s hair and sheer them to keep it easy to comb and brush their coat. Also, remember to clip nails when needed, and if you are not confident in your ability to clip them take them to your local vet to get them clipped properly. Also, make sure ears and eyes are clear of any stuff that could lead to making them sick.
Yorkshire Terrier Health Issues
Any breed can have health issues. The Yorkies have a couple that they could possibly get passed down from generations. In no way are we saying your Yorkie will get any of these issues. Just keep the issues in mind when checking any health clearances from a breeder.
Slipped Stifle – This is the dislocation of the patella bone from the knee joint. This can affect any dog breed but especially the little dog breeds. This can cause pain in the dog’s joints, so if you suspect this on your dog, check with your vet to get a clear answer.
Early Tooth Decay – This is when the dental tissues start to decay in your dog’s gums. This is a result from the oral bacteria on the surfaces of their teeth. As long as you take good care of your dog’s teeth, then this shouldn’t become a severe issue.
Hypoglycemia – This just like in people when your blood sugar drops and becomes too low you get hypoglycemia. This can be a life-altering thing for a dog because you may not know when this is happening.
Portacaval Shunt – This is when a weird connection forms between a portal vein and another blood vein collide and create a shunt around the liver. This can be acquired at birth or even gained later in life. If the parents of the dog you are buying have this, I would consider choosing a different dog because it can cause a lot of problems for the dog.
Hypothyroidism – This is when the thyroid gland does not create enough of the hormone that you need. This can change your dog’s metabolism, which means it will be slower than others. To check if your dog may have this issue, see your local vet.
Life Expectancy of a Yorkie
The Yorkies don’t tend to have too many health issues, so they can live quite a long time. The life expectancy of this dog breed is between 12 to 16 years.
Remember that each dog is different, so some may live longer, and some may live shorter than the expectant life span.
Yorkshire Terrier Exercise
This breed is extremely active for a little pup. They need to get plenty of exercise, or they will start display bad behavior. When they display bad behavior, it can be in many forms such as barking, peeing when they aren’t supposed to, or even disobeying orders.
Make sure you are giving your dog at least one 30 minute walk a day. Of course, the more walks the better, but if you don’t have the time, one should be sufficient enough. This will help expel their entire pint up energy, allowing them to be good.
Yorkshire Terrier Training
Training is one of those things that vary from dog to dog not breed to breed. Typically because of the Yorkies tiny size, when they make an accident in the house it’s small, so owners usually blow it off, which makes it very difficult to house train the Yorkie breed.
As I said, this is not true with every dog; each dog is different and learns things at a different pace. Once you start training your Yorkie, it should come easily as long as you keep at it.
Another thing the Yorkie breed needs to be trained on is how not to bark constantly. Yorkies do have a very yappy bark which can get extremely annoying to owners and other people.
Obedience training should help this issue. Remember to always reward good behavior with treats or toys!
Yorkshire Terrier Feeding
The recommended amount of food to feed a Yorkie is either a ½ cup or ¾ cup divided into two meals. If you feed them this much twice a day, it will be too much food so remember to divide it for breakfast and for dinner.
If your dog seems to still be hungry for more food than that, always consult your veterinarian. The size and build of Yorkies are different from others, so the food might be a little different depending on the size of your dog.
The quality of your dog’s food will also play a factor, so make sure you’re buying high-quality dog food that, if you were a dog, you would eat. Cheap dog food can contain harmful chemicals that can cause cancer and diseases in dogs.
Yorkie Living Conditions
The great thing about this dog breed is that it can adapt to your lifestyle. Whether you live in an apartment or even in a big house, your dog will be able to adapt easily.
However, this sweet little breed can develop separation anxiety, so it may not like to be left alone for hours. If you can, have someone stay home with the dog or watch your dog if you are going to be gone for long periods of time.
Also, this dog breed can be a lot of maintenance if you plan on leaving the coat long. This breed is just looking for a lot of love and a family or owner to devote a lot of their time with the dog.
Yorkshire Terrier Puppies
Yorkie puppies are very small at birth. They are smaller than most puppies, only weighing around one to two ounces. Each of their life they should gain a little of weight gradually.
Their hair is usually darker when first born, and they will lighten up as they age. They will just have small tuffs of hair when first born. Eventually, as they grow bigger get in the habit of starting to groom at a young age because their hair will need to be groomed every day when they are adult dogs.
Yorkshire Terrier Litter Size
Remember the Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog breed so a female will not have as many puppies as a large dog breed. A Yorkie can have between three to five puppies in a litter.
Again each dog is unique so a female may have more than five puppies in a litter.
Close relatives of the Yorkie
Here are some dog breeds that are very similar to the Yorkshire Terrier breed that you can check out next.