Other Names : Yorkie
Country of Origin : England
Dog Group : Toy
British born and bred, the Yorkshire Terrier is a man-made dog of fairly recent origin. It is believed that Scottish weavers brought a small terrier with them during a period of immigration from Scotland to Yorkshire and Lancanshire during the 1850s. These ‘Scotch Terriers,’ sometimes also known as ‘Halifax Terriers’ interbred with local small terriers. It is believed that Yorkies have in their lineage the Manchester Terrier, the Maltese, the Skye, Dandie Dinmont and the Paisley terriers. Shown as the Scotch Terrier in 1861, the dog later became known as the Yorkshire Terrier and was recognized as such by the Kennel Club in 1886. It is during that decade that the Yorkie was transported to the United States and was established as a breed over there as well. Thus the Yorkie is considered a breed of ‘the working classes’ and was primarily known as a ratter. Popular belief states that the Yorkie was bred to guard small children from rat bites at night, one Yorkie on guard at the head of the bed and one at the foot, rather like furry guardian angels, though somewhat less benign.
A small, sturdy dog of blue and gold colouring, the Yorkie is best known for it’s full flowing tresses of a texture quite similar to human hair. Indeed, if the coat texture is correct and in not in any way cottony, many allergic people find they can tolerate Yorkies with no bother. These lovely locks do take a great deal of daily care though.
Feeding & Ownership
The Yorkie can subsist on very little food. It is very easy to overfeed a Yorkshire Terrier. Obesity is a serious state for the small dog and can lead to several nasty diseases, such as diabetes, joint problems, kidney failure, etcetera.
The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog with a big attitude. This is a dog that will one minute happily snuggle on grandma’s knee, delicately eating digestives and the next minute leap through the air and tear after the neighbour’s Rottweiler, promising to show it who is boss. Yorkies are terriers after all, and will protect their territory valiantly. The Yorkie is an affectionate dog but not naturally good with children. If a Yorkie is brought up with children or exposed to them as a puppy, it should be fine. However, children need to understand that the Yorkie has small bones that break much easier than most toys. Supervision is highly recommended.
As a pet, the coat needs to be brushed daily using a brush and comb to ensure all tangles are removed. The topknot especially should be taken down, brushed out and redone. Leaving an elastic band in for days will destroy the coat. Hair under and around the tail should be checked for faeces. The teeth should also be brushed daily, as the small mouth leads to overcrowding and a tendency to teeth decay. Once mastered, the daily grooming should take no longer than 15 minutes. Bathing should not be done more than once a month.