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Other names: Yorkie
Dog Group Kennel Club: Terrier (AKC, KC)
Yorkshire Terriers are compact in size with a straight back, dark eyes and and a dark nose.
They are most recognised for their glossy, fine and silky coat, which is parted on the back from nose to tail. The fur around their face is usually tied in a top knot to keep out of their eyes Coat colour: the body is a steel blue with rich tan markings on the head, chest and legs. Puppies are born black and tan, but their colour changes with age.
Weight: 4 – 7 lbs
Average Life Span: 13 – 15 yrs
Yorkshire Terriers are intelligent, playful, loyal and affectionate. Although they have the typical terrier independent trait they are people-oriented and do demand a lot of attention. They make wonderful devoted companions. Yorkies are not suited for families with young children as they can easily become injured. If the most well intentioned toddler could simply fall on this little dog and cause serious injuries. The may only be a little dog but they will alert you of strangers making them excellent watchdogs. Yorkies get along well with other dogs as long as they can become boss. Even with a Great Dane as a family member the Yorkie will want to be in charge! These dogs are terriers so bear in mind they are not suited in homes with small pets such as hamsters, rabbits etc.
They are easy to train as long as training is firm and consistent. It is recommended for this breed to be properly socialised from early puppy-hood so they do not become aggressive with strangers.
If you don’t have the time to groom this dog daily or pay regular visits to professional dog groomers this is not the breed for you. Keeping the trademark long silky coat is high maintenance. The coat needs to be brushed daily using a brush and comb to ensure all tangles are removed. Show dog owners visit dog groomers on a regular basis to keep the coat trimmed and shaped. Some pet owners prefer for their dogs coat to be kept short and visit the dog groomers on a regular basis to be clipped.
Yorkies are not just lap dogs they have bundles of energy and need to be walked daily.
Yorkshire Terrier Health Issues
Portacaval Liver Shunt: This is where the blood is directed around the liver instead of through it. This creates an array of extremely serious medical problems. The condition can be detected as early as 6 months of age, and surgery to rectify the problem is highly recommended.
Luxating Patella: Slipping knee joints (also referred to as luxating patellas, slipped stifles) are a common problem in small breeds. In this condition, the kneecap slips out of its groove and moves against the thighbone (femur) instead of along its natural groove. Although this has been found to be a heritable condition, small, active breeds are likely to aggravate it through the course of their natural activities (jumping up and down) around taller objects such as furniture.
Hypothyroidism: an endocrine disease that results in the abnormally low production of thyroid hormones. The symptoms of hypothyroidism include lethargy, mental depression, weight gain and a tendency to seek out warm places. Hypothyroidism can also affect the coat and skin, causing hair loss and excessive dandruff.
Cataracts: cause a loss of the normal transparency of the lens of the eye. The problem can occur in one or both eyes and can lead to blindness.
Yorkshire Terrier History
The Yorkshire Terrier originated during the mid 19th century in Yorkshire, the North of England. This was the time of the Industrial Revolution, where coal mines and factories brought about families from the country side to look for work in the towns. Many weavers of Scotland brought their families and dogs with them to Yorkshire when they left their homeland. The dogs that accompanied these families were breeds such as the Scottish Terrier, Paisley and Clydesdale Terrier. These dogs were used to keep the vermin under control in the textile mills and coal mines.
The exact bloodlines used to develop the Yorkshire Terrier are uncertain but it has been speculated that dogs including: Scottish Terrier, Paisley and Clydesdale Terrier, Black and Tan English Terrier, Waterside Terrier, Maltese and Skye Terrier are all possibilities. In 1874 the first Yorkies were registered in the British Kennel Club stud book. They were then referred to as “Broken Haired Scottish Terriers” or “Yorks.