Yorkshire Terrier: Character, Attitude, Care

The Yorkshire Terrier has long been a lap dog among the nobility. Before that, his tasks were much less fine … We would not have thought that!

The Yorkshire Terrier has gone through what is actually a classic rags-to-riches story. Or more precisely: from the Pied Piper to the darling of the nobility. However, the Yorkie, as its owners affectionately call it, looked a bit different back then.

While the Yorkshire Terrier is one of the smallest dog breeds today, it was a bit larger at the beginning of its career and mostly had cropped ears. His career began typically like that of many terriers: with hunting. And even today, the little one still has the heart of a terrier and thus a good portion of the love of the hunt, which extends to everything that moves without the appropriate training.

The small, intelligent, and watchful dogs belong today to the companion and companion dogs due to a lack of tasks. While they were extremely popular in the 1970s and 1980s, Yorkshire Terriers are now only the 45th most popular pedigree dog in Germany.

How big is a Yorkshire Terrier?

The breed standard for the Yorkshire Terrier does not specify a minimum or maximum size. However, since the breed is one of the dwarf terriers, the plushies are 20 cm tall on average. Like Chihuahuas, they are among the smallest dog breeds in the world.

How heavy is a Yorkshire Terrier?

The breed standard does not specify a size. However, he names a weight for the dog: the Yorkie should weigh a maximum of 3.2 kg.

What does a Yorkshire Terrier look like?

The terrier’s small, compact body is covered in a long, sleek coat. The little paws almost disappear under the long fur. In the show ring, specimens of this breed can often be found whose coat reaches down to the ground. Nevertheless, it should never hinder the movement of the dwarf dog.

The color of the Yorkie is set to a combination. The head and chest are colored a light brown. From the nape of the neck, on the other hand, it looks like a dark steel-blue coat. The breed standard classifies other coat colors as false colors. The Biewer Yorkshire Terrier, which unabashedly trudged through world history in three colors, also belongs to these false colors.

How old does a Yorkshire Terrier get?

The Yorkshire Terrier is one of the small dog breeds. Smaller-sized dogs tend to have longer lifespans than their larger counterparts. Yorkies live between 13 and 16 years.

What character or nature does the Yorkshire Terrier have?

Cheeky, bold, but also intelligent and lively. This is how the character of the Yorkshire Terrier can be described in a nutshell. As a terrier, the Yorkie is not a classic lap dog – even if it is one of the companion dogs.

The bundle of temperaments has the hunting passion of all terriers, but still easily adapts to the everyday life of its human.

Yorkies are small and cute at first glance. However, if you get to know them better, their courage and great self-confidence quickly shine through. The dog is quite suitable as a guard dog because behind the small size and neat appearance hides a character with a real fighting heart. So it can happen that a small Yorkshire terrier takes on mastiffs or German shepherds to make it clear who is wearing the trousers.

Where does the Yorkshire Terrier come from?

As a breed, Yorkshire Terriers live to be around 115 years old. The dog got its name from the English county of Yorkshire in the north of the island. That means: Like all terrier breeds, the Yorkshire Terrier comes from England.

At the beginning of its career, the Yorkie was a poor man’s dog. It was kept by workers from the Lancaster and Yorkshire areas. His job was to catch and kill rats around town. He was also used in so-called rat baiting. The terriers were supposed to kill as many rats as possible in the so-called rat pit (“pit”) within a given time. The spectators bet on the outcome.

That was towards the end of the 19th century. Back then, the Yorkshire Terrier was a lot bigger than it is today. The ears were usually cropped to prevent the dog from injuring itself while hunting. Also, today’s prickly ears were only bred into it over time.

With the banning of rat fights and the beginning of dog shows, the workers from the impoverished neighborhoods sensed a different kind of profit. From the Pied Piper, they bred a small dog that was popular with the nobility. To do this, he needed to be lighter, and a silky coat also helped him climb the popularity charts. In addition, some other, small dog breeds were crossed in by some busy breeders.

The ancestors are considered to be the old English Toy Terrier, the Maltese, and the Skye Terrier. The Yorkshire Terrier only got its final name in the 1870s.

In Germany, the first entries about the breed in the dwarf dog stud book date from 1912. In the 1970s, the Yorkshire Terrier began its triumphant advance as a handy family dog. Today he has to deal with a lot of competition from other miniature breeds.

The right attitude and upbringing

A Yorkshire Terrier makes few demands on his home environment and, thanks to his manageable size, also feels at home in a city apartment.

However, you should steer the idiosyncratic stubborn Englishman down the right path at an early stage with a loving but consistent upbringing. This can be perfectly combined with the Yorkie’s urge to move because small search games or learning tricks are entire to his liking.

Although Yorkshire Terriers can be latently megalomaniacs, they like to subordinate themselves to sovereign people with the appropriate training. It helps that they are very curious and always want to learn something new. Their owners should definitely take this into account when keeping them.

However, the mini terriers are not suitable as companions when jogging or on long bike rides. Her legs are just too short for that. The dog couldn’t keep up for long.

What Grooming Does the Yorkshire Terrier Need?

Grooming is very important to the Yorkshire Terrier. Therefore, you should get your puppy used to brushing and trimming their hair at an early age.

The terrier’s long, thin coat should be brushed daily as part of a routine grooming routine. A wide-toothed metal comb works best to prevent tangles. Yorkshire Terriers do not go through a seasonal change of coat. Therefore, a regular trip to the dog groomer is mandatory. Alternatively, you can learn to trim yourself. Such a procedure should take place three to four times a year.

To keep the eyes clear, when grooming the Yorkshire Terrier, either trim the hair around the eyes or use a hair clip. However, that is a matter of taste. The dog would probably opt for the cut.

Regular care also includes checking the eyes. Since the Yorkie is prone to eye problems, you should keep a close eye on the small beady eyes to quickly identify any diseases.

What are the typical diseases of the Yorkshire Terrier?

It is true that Yorkshire Terriers are among the dogs with good health and, with the right care and attitude, among those with the longest life expectancy. However, breeding for extremely distinctive characteristics such as a long, silky coat or an ever smaller stature has produced some diseases.

Reputable breeders, therefore, pay more attention to dogs that are healthy and have a stable temperament instead of trendy colors or so-called teacup “breeds” – i.e. particularly small dogs.

Therefore, eye diseases are quite common in Yorkshire Terriers. These are, for example, dry eyes, which means that too little tear fluid is produced. Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), the slow death of the retina, also occurs. Again and again, hairs grow in the eyes or green start occurs.

In addition, Yorkshire Terriers are prone to joint diseases. As small dogs, they are particularly affected by dislocated kneecaps or elbows. Overactive or underactive thyroid glands are also being diagnosed more and more often as a result of health problems.

How much does a Yorkshire Terrier cost?

The cost of a Yorkshire Terrier puppy from a reputable breeder ranges from $800 to $1,200.

Be sure to buy your puppy from a reputable breeder. Again and again one reads about people who have bought their puppies on the Internet or from a breeder who offers many puppies of other breeds in addition to the Yorkies. Don’t do that. With puppies from such a breeder, the risk is extremely high that you will get a sick puppy that will suffer for the rest of its life. Do yourself and the animal a favor and go to reputable places to buy. More information is available, for example, from the Association for German Dogs.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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