Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed at a Glance
The Yorkshire Terrier dog breed, also known as the Yorkie, is a small dog with spunk. A favorite companion lapdog in the United States, the Yorkie is affectionate and fearless, despite its size. It will bark if there is an intruder, making it a good watchdog, but it won’t scare anyone off. Separation anxiety may occur if it is separated from its owner for long periods, and it needs plenty of attention. It fares better with older children rather than young ones because of its tiny size. The Yorkie is a great companion for new owners who don’t have dog ownership experience, and those prefer dogs that don’t shed.
Breed Group: Toy / Terrier
HISTORY of the Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed
Originating in England, and a cross between the Scottish Clydesdale Terrier and the English Black, the Skye Terrier, and the Tan Toy Terrier, the Yorkie of yesteryear was believed to be a rat catcher.
Origin: United Kingdom
The Yorkie is an energetic and playful dog that likes and needs attention from its family. This is not a dog to leave at home alone for hours on end. Despite its small size, it is courageous and independent and tends to bark frequently. It is very intelligent, alert, and loyal, with a low hunting drive but may wander away, so keep it on a leash when out and about.
Physical Characteristics of the Yorkie
The common colors of the Yorkie are black and tan, and blue. Their coat is fine and silky, much like human hair. Its small size allows for it to travel without difficulty.
The Yorkshire Terrier weighs between 4 and 6 pounds, and stands between 8 and 9 inches, regardless of gender.
Shedding is minimal with the Yorkie. It is a hypoallergenic breed.
HEALTH and CARE of the Dog Breed
The life expectancy of the Yorkshire Terrier is between 12 and 15 years, although can reach up to 16 years, which is much longer than the average for small dogs.
Common Health Concerns
Each dog breed is susceptible to certain health issues and diseases. The Yorkie is considered a healthy dog although is at a high risk of developing:
- Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
- Patellar Luxation
- Portosystemic Shunts
and at a medium risk of developing:
Check and clean the ears of the Yorkie regularly to avoid wax buildup that can lead to an infection. As a small dog, it adapts well in any home and requires limited exercise. It is also at a low risk of gaining weight. It does NOT fare well in cold temperatures, so dress your dog accordingly.
Feed your Yorkie between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of kibble each day.
The Yorkie’s grooming needs are relatively high. It requires daily brushing, regular professional grooming, and the occasional bath to keep its coat clean and in top shape. Yorkies have fast-growing nails that require regular trimming with a nail clipper (or grinder).
The Yorkshire Terrier dog breed was recognized by the AKC in 1885.