One of the most popular breeds in the world, the Yorkshire Terrier is an intelligent and loyal lap dog
History of the Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier, commonly known as the Yorkie, was bred in 19th century England from several different early breeds of terriers including the modern-day Airedale. Yorkies were originally bred for catching rats in clothing factories. A dog of the working class, the Yorkie eventually became a companion of upper society, where it's popularity spread worldwide.
Yorkshire Terriers are currently the 6th most popular breed in the United States and the 2nd most popular breed worldwide.
Traits of a Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkies are smart and always looking for an adventure.
A Yorkie's owners are the center of its life. Since they're so smart and eager to please their owner, they're easy to train. They love people so much that they don't like to be left alone for long periods of time.
A Yorkie loves to play games and run. They're so small that they can get most of their energy out around the house.
Despite their small size, Yorkies will assert itself with any big dog.
Visual Characteristics of Yorkshire Terriers
Yorkies are considered a toy dog, growing to no more than eight pounds in weight and nine inches high at the shoulder. They are born with a black and tan coat that changes to blue and tan as they age.
Naturally, Yorkies have a long coat. Many owners prefer to keep this coat cut short in what's commonly called a puppy cut. Either short or long, the Yorkie's coat requires a good amount of care, needing to be groomed almost daily. Their coat consists of more human- like hair than the fur of most dogs, making them a breed that is considered hypoallergenic.
Medical Issues of Yorkies
Most Yorkies experience a condition called pharyngeal gag reflex. This reflex is caused when the dog quickly intakes air through the nose, causing it to gag and make a sound similar to a honking goose. While this sound can initially be alarming, it is generally harmless to your dog.
Their small bones can be fragile and special care should be taken to outfit your Yorkie with a harness instead of a collar, which can put pressure on its fragile throat muscles.
Yorkies are also prone to tooth and gum disease. To learn more about how to prevent tooth decay in your dog, read our Smarty Pets Knowledge Center article, Four Steps to Healthy Teeth for Your Dog.
On average, the Yorkie has a lifespan of 13 to 15 years.
The Breed for You?
Yorkies are great for owners who are looking for a cuddly, loyal lap dog who’s energetic, feisty, and easy to train. They do well in all types of weather. They also make great dogs for apartments, since they can get most of their energy out just running around inside. They can be a good option for people who suffer from allergies, though time should be spent with the dog before bringing it home to ensure that it doesn't cause an allergic reaction.
Yorkies prefer human company most of the time, so they aren't a good option for those who are gone for long periods of time during the day. They make a good companion for adults, but they can be unpredictable around children, snapping or even biting them, so they aren't the ideal dogs for young families.
Yorkshire Terriers are one of the most popular dogs for a reason. Their feisty personality, love for their owners, and little size make them an irresistible combination. A small dog such as the terrier may require a little extra equipment- like stairs or ramps to your bed if she wants a morning snuggle, or even a dog door so they can let themselves outside to use the bathroom.
Dog gates can keep your furry friend from venturing into areas of your home that are off-limits to dogs.
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