Breed review: Yorkshire Terrier puppies and dogs

Posted by Cyril. November 4th 2013.

These long haired terriers, also known as ‘Yorkies’, are toy-sized, glamorous and cute companions.

With dark and fiery eyes, small pricked up ears and short legs, it’s no wonder they are extremely popular with British and American dog lovers. Their long hair makes them easily recognisable, and when kept as a show dog this will appear sleek, shiny and magnificent.

Yorkshire Terrier

Origins

Despite their elegant appearances, the Yorkshire Terrier originated in Leeds and Halifax in the 19th century, for the less elegant job of vermin control. They were bred to control the rats in the coal pits and cotton mills and were sometimes used by miners in rat killing contests.

It is thought that a number of different terrier breeds were crossed to create what we now recognise as a Yorkie, including the Skye Terrier and the Manchester Terrier. They have come a long way from their original hunting roots and are now a much loved show breed.

Temperament

Don’t be fooled by the appearances of this little dog. They may be preened and pampered, and as cute as a button, but they have a terrier’s temperament.

They are busy, inquisitive and sporting. Very playful and energetic, they will love to chase a toy around inside and run about outside.

They can be inclined to bark quite a lot, and be stubborn. They are also not known for being a good breed around small children. Despite this, they are intelligent, territorial and excellent watchdogs.

They can be difficult to housetrain due to their independent strong characters, but with the right leadership, your terrier will be a sweet and loyal companion.

Yorkshire Terrier

Maintenance

Due to their small size, this breed requires little exercise. They are playful and energetic so exert a fair amount of energy while indoors. A 30-minute walk daily is usually enough for a Yorkshire Terrier.

This makes them a suitable pet for either the town or countryside, and can live in either houses or flats. They are best kept as housedogs as they don’t respond well to extreme temperatures.

It is very easy to over feed a Yorkie, due to their dainty figure and size, so it’s important their food is measured and they are fed twice a day only.

It is important that you groom your terrier often, due to their easily matted long coat. If you gently brush it every day this should prevent matting.

 

They have an average lifespan of 12—15 years: a good age for a dog. But as with all breeds, there are certain health problems that they are more prone to than others.

As with most small breeds, they are prone to dental problems and can be fussy eaters with delicate digestion.

Common conditions include weakened collapsing trachea, bladder stones, cataracts and paralysis of the hindquarters can all be problems. They may also experience other conditions associated with fragile bones. So when sourcing a puppy make sure you go to a recognised breeder e.g. a member of the Kennel Club’s Accredited Breeder Scheme who will be trying to avoid breeding from parents who have these problems.

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