History & Overview
The Yorkshire Terrier belongs to the Toy Breeds and is descended from terrier bloodlines. As the breed name suggests, these dogs were bred to go to earth (terra is Latin for earth) for rats and other vermin that generally are pests to man. A favorite of British miners in the Yorkshire part of England where he was used as a ratter in the coal mine, the Yorkie has retained all of the hardiness and tenacity that his working-dog origins demanded of him. The Yorkshire Terrier was not recognized by that name until sometime in the 1880s.
The breed evolved from a variety of regional terrier types:
The first Yorkshire Terriers were much larger than those we see today, many of them weighing as much as 15 pounds. In 1886 the Yorkshire Terrier was officially recognized by the British Kennel Club. The British Yorkshire Terrier Club was formed in 1898 and established the official breed standard. The early breeds could be as large as 6 kg and were used, similar to other terrier breeds, to kill rats. Over time, breeders produced a smaller, more beautiful dog that was a household pet and show dog, rather than a rat killer.
This tiny dog with engaging personality and courage has endeared himself to pet lovers all over the world. His qualities as a companion are unsurpassed, for he is intelligent, highly trainable, fearless and affectionate. He likes long walks which makes him ideally suited to country living, and he also can exercise himself in a reduced space which makes him adaptable to all lifestyles.
A Yorkshire Terrier is born completely black with tan markings on the face and legs. As an adult, he must have well-defined tan markings at the sides of the head and ear roots, on the muzzle, down the back of the neck, on all four paws and under the tail. All traces of the black or sooty puppy hair must be outgrown. The profuse, flowing coat of the Yorkie is the hallmark of the breed, and it demands constant care which should begin while the dog is only two or three months of age.
At A Glance
Country of Origin:
FCI Classification: Group 3 – Terriers; Section 4 – Toy Terriers
AKC Classification: Toy Group
Up to 7 pounds (AKC, UKC, CKC, NZKC, ANKC, KC(UK) Breed Standards)
Blue and gold, blue and tan, black and gold, or black and tan. The following colors are NOT recognized by the AKC Breed Standard: all gold, born blue, liver (also known as red or chocolate), and parti-colors.
9 – 15 years
Yorkshire Terriers require daily brushing to maintain their long silky coat in good condition. Ears and teeth should be cleaned regularly.
The Yorkshire Terrier has an independent and lively spirit, but it is also a very loyal companion and a good watchdog. He loves to run and play around.
Yorkies usually get along with other animals. Problems between canine housemates are more likely to occur among dogs of the same sex or age.
Suitability for Children:
Yorkshire Terriers are not suitable for families with young children. They are tiny, fragile dogs and should be treated with care.
0 – 20 minutes walk daily.
Can be hard to house train.
Health & Behavioral Issues:
Yorkshire Terriers are quite sensitive to many medications. They don’t like cold or rain and should wear a sweater in cold weather. Most common health issues include: