The Yorkshire Terrier - tiny dog with big personality
The Yorkshire Terrier breed - History
The Yorkshire Terrier (nicknamed the Yorkie) is a toy-size breed that originated in England's Yorkshire area, during the mid-1800s. These dogs started as ratters in Yorkshire mills and mines during the Industrial Revolution and today are one of the most popular companion dogs. The original Yorkshire terriers were a bit larger than those of today but still small enough to get into holes and catch rodents. During the Victorian era, Yorkies became extremely popular among the royalty. They became a symbol of wealth.
FUN FACT: In World War II, a noble Yorkie named Smoky was a war hero because she saved the lives of soldiers by dragging a communications cable through a 60-foot long culvert that was only 8 inches wide. If you want to read about Smoky’s life and heroic act, you can read a book written by her owner, Corporal William A. Wynne. The book is called Yorkie Doodle Dandy and you can find it here. Smoky also worked as a therapy dog and as an actress in various TV shows.
The Yorkshire Terrier - Grooming
The Yorkshire Terrier is 7-8 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs around 7 pounds.
The Yorkshire Terrier’s coat long, silky and straight. The coat sheds very little so these dogs are considered to be a good choice for people with allergies. Yorkies are born with black fur, and they gradually develop the blue and tan coat, usually after they're a year old.
FUN FACT: The hormones can also affect your Yorkie’s coat color. Females in heat are usually lighter during the heat, and then they darken again afterwards.
Although they don’t shed a lot, Yorkies require daily brushing (especially show dog Yorkies that have longer hair) because the texture of their coat is similar to the texture of human hair and thus tangles into knots if the owner doesn’t brush it every day. Shorter coats are easier to maintain so many owners opt for a “puppy cut”. This means that they cut the entire Yorkie’s hair to an even length. Many of them leave long hair only on the top of Yorkie’s hair (often pulled up into a topknot) and this is one of their main characteristics. The rest is basic care – trim the dog’s nails regularly, and every few days check his ears for any sign of infection. Also, Yorkie is a small breed, and small breeds are prone to dental problems. This is why you should pay special attention to your Yorkie’s teeth and should schedule a professional cleaning by your vet at least once a year.
The Yorkshire Terrier - Temperament
Yorkshire Terriers are lovely, curios dogs, always ready for an adventure. Yorkshire Terriers are highly energetic but indoor activities can satisfy their exercise needs in great amount. A couple of moderate walks during the day, or a session of chasing after a tennis ball will probably be enough for these dogs to burn off energy. The Yorkshire Terriers are maybe small-sized dogs, but they will often try to take down a much larger dog. They are extremely self-assure and brave and they even earned a nickname “the tomboy toy”.
Yorkies make great apartment dogs and should never live outside. They are sensitive to cold and are prone to chills so they should always be protected from bad weather. They don’t tolerate extreme heat either.
Yorkies love their family and are eager to please them. They are not recommended for families with young children because of their size. They are small-sized and very delicate. A child can squeeze a dog too hard, accidentally step or fall on a dog and literally break him. Yorkies get along with other pats if they have been properly socialized at an early age. Sometimes, their “big dog in a small body” state of mind makes them aggressive towards strange dogs, often those are much bigger dogs. Of strangers Yorkies are sometimes suspicious and they will bark at any new, strange sound or sight. They are prone to excessive barking so it is important to teach them immediately when and when not to bark.
FUN FACT: Yorkshire Terriers are difficult to housetrain so a lot of patience for the owner is needed.
The Yorkshire Terrier - Training
Early training and proper socialization are very important. Socialization will help keep their “big personality” from getting out-of-control. Training needs to be regular and filled with positive praises. Most of Yorkies are easy to train because they just love the attention they get during the training. Generally, they love being the center of attention. Being left alone is not for them – they may develop some bad habits or become destructive.
The Yorkshire Terrier - Health
The Yorkshire Terrier has a lifespan of 11-15 years. As all breeds are, this one is also prone to certain health conditions. These health conditions are: patellar luxation (a dislocation of a kneecap), progressive retinal atrophy (a degenerative eye disorder), portosystemic shunt (an abnormal flow of blood between the liver and the body), hypoglycemia (caused by a low blood sugar), collapsed trachea, reverse sneezing, etc. Reverse sneezing is a condition that is often confused with a collapsed trachea. Collapsed trachea is a congenital abnormality and a common cause of airway obstruction. Reverse sneezing, on the other hand, is a far less serious condition that happens usually when a dog is too excited or tries to eat and/or drink too fast, and then inhales repeatedly and forcefully through the nose, making a loud, honking sound.
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