Yorkshire Terrier Breed
The Yorkshire Terrier is without doubt one of the best companion breeds! With their lovable qualities, cutesy appearance and their adaptability for apartment-living, they come high on the list of desirable dogs to have around the home.
Yorkies are a wonderful blend of high energy, sass, and affection; they have extremely loving personalities and that’s what makes them one of the most popular toy dog breeds in the world today.
Any Yorkie owner will proudly tell you that these little guys can switch between the extremes of energetic tricksters to cuddly nap-on-your-knee in the time it takes you to blink!
With proper puppy socialization and consistent, patient training, a Yorkie can make the perfect addition to any family.
An Origin of Practicality pooch
Originally debuting in Yorkshire, England, Yorkies were initially bred to thin out rat populations that were overtaking the coal mines in their home country. They had much value and skill in this role.
It is unclear exactly how the Yorkie came to be, but it seems that a few breeds were phased out in the process of creating the Yorkshire Terrier. It is believed that the process involved breeds such as the Skye Terrier, Waterside Terrier, Maltese, Paisley Terrier, Clydesdale Terrier, Welsh Terrier and The Old English Black and Tan. The breed was ultimately dubbed the “Yorkshire Terrier” in 1870, and these little balls of fluff and fun have only gained in popularity since.
A Beautiful Package
Yorkshire Terriers are small, but don’t let that fool you; they are mighty little dogs. They are well balanced, muscular, and quick on their feet. It will soon be no surprise to see your little Yorkie strutting around your home with full confidence and a high head. Their twinkly, dark, intelligent eyes are infact windows to their expressive personalities.
Their most shining physical quality is their beautiful, soft, silky coat. Yorkie puppies start out with a gleaming black and tan coat which eventually develops into a flowing, steely blue.
One definite perk is that Yorkies very rarely shed, as they lack an undercoat, but this means that they will need little jackets to keep them warm in cold climates, and their flowing fur will need lots of consistent, careful grooming and brushing to keep them at their best. They area lso thought to be more hypo-allergenic than many other breeds as they’re not prolific shedders, so if someone in your family suffers from dog allergies, they may still be fit to snuggle a Yorkie.
A Dazzling but Sharp Personality
Every Yorkie is truly an individual. This means that socializing them when they are young and giving them firm, proper training is vital in determining what kind of temperament and behavioural habits they will have as adults. Without proper socialization as puppies, Yorkies can be a little standoffish, suspicious and even snappy towards other dogs and people. A good breeder will begin the socialization process for you.
Yorkies are by and large a bubbly, outgoing, and gregarious breed. They are typical terriers in personality and temperament, and form a strong bond with their human family. Yorkies are always alert and can be a little territorial. The silver lining here is that they make top-notch watch dogs who will bark a triumphant alarm at the slightest disturbance, even if it is just the postman delivering a package at the door. Their bark is surprisingly great for their size.
Sadly, many Yorkie rescue operations have their hands full because of preventable and treatable problems that some families just do not have the patience to deal with. These problems are easily mended, but some just don’t have the time or patience to work with their little bundles of love. The two greatest issues tend to be trouble controlling excessive barking, as well as potty training. With some training and guidance these issues can be laid to rest quite effectively.
Yorkshire Terriers do become quite attached to their human family members. Such a strong bond is a desirable and admirable quality in a dog, but this can become a problem if the dog develops separation anxiety when left home alone. There are many techniques detailed online for dealing with this problem.
For Their Health
Yorkies tend to be a relatively healthy breed, but as with any other breed, they are susceptible to health issues. We have a more detailed page on the subject, but here are a few key health issues that Yorkies may develop.
- Because of their size and their propensity to following their humans underfoot, Yorkies are more susceptible to household accidents.
- They are susceptible to hypoglycemia.
- Tooth decay can arise in older Yorkies.
- Tracheal collapse is an issue, possibly at birth or from straining on leashes.
Most of these health issues are preventable or treatable with consistent proper pet care of your Yorkie.
Training, Training, Training!
Yorkies are eager, willing, and able students. With their desire to please you and spend time with you, they are not a remarkably difficult dog to train. They respond well to lots of encouragement, repetition, and positive reinforcement. They tend to love the challenge and activity that training tends to involve.
You will find that your Yorkshire Terrier is a quick master of proper household etiquette and all of the basic training obedience commands. Tasks like sit, down, stay, come, and fetch come almost naturally to the Yorkie.
It is a popular expression, but a myth, that Yorkies are “impossible” to housebreak. Yorkies can admittedly be a bit challenging to potty train, but it is nowhere near an impossibility. If you follow a proven house training schedule (as we discuss in detail on our Yorkshire Terrier Training page), and stick with it, you’ll have your pup potty trained in no time!
Finding A Reputable Breeder
With the popularity of Yorkies, it is no surprise to find that there is far from any shortage of Yorkshire Terrier breeders to choose from. It’s important to note that not all breeders are alike, however. There are irreputable breeders all over, and it’s vital to find one that takes care of its dogs. Take care that you stay clear of breeders that offer “teacup” or “miniature” Yorkies; they are the same exact breed as normal Yorkies, but are being bred to be smaller, which comes at the risk to the dog. Many of these tinier Yorkies can come with health problems from the breeding practices.
Wherever you find your beloved Yorkshire Terrier, it will be a loving and exciting member of your family!