The Yorkshire Terrier – Mischievous and Loveable

The Yorkshire Terrier is one of the smallest dog breeds in the world, yet they seem oblivious to their minute size. They are an energetic dog breed that is forever seeking adventure, love and attention. The Yorkie has a bold and stubborn nature. He is by nature inquisitive, and if given the chance, can get into plenty of mischief.

The Yorkshire Terrier makes a wonderful, devoted companion and watchdog. With a little research, you may discover that a Yorkie is the perfect dog for you.

Yorkshire Terrier History

The Yorkshire Terrier breed is no more than 100 years old and was developed in England. Originally the Yorkie was bred for the purpose of catching rats in mines. They were also used for hunting to borrow underground after badgers and foxes.

The ancestors of the Yorkshire Terrier are the Waterside Terrier, a small Scottish breed with a long blue-gray coat. The Waterside Terrier was brought to Yorkshire, England in the mid 19th century.

The Yorkie made its first appearance in England in 1861 during a bench show. At this time they were known as the “Broken-haired Scotch Terrier”. The Yorkie kept this title for 9 years until during one show a reporter commented that the breed should be known as Yorkshire Terriers, because the breed had improved so much since their arrival in Yorkshire.

The Yorkshire Terrier dog that owners know and love today is slightly smaller than the original breed, and is now considered more of a fashion accessory than a hunter or a way for people to control pests. The Yorkie loves to be pampered by his owner, yet he still enjoys activity and remains a terrier at heart.

Yorkshire Terrier Facts

The Yorkshire Terrier has many wonderful traits, and is one of the most popular dog breeds today. He is very small in size, only standing to about 9 inches at the shoulders, and weighs between 5 and 7 pounds. Because of his small size, the Yorkie is considered apart of the Toy breed group and not the Terrier. The Yorkie has many of the Toy characteristics, such as his alert, active, clever and inquisitive nature.

The Yorkshire Terrier is a sociable breed and is anything but shy. They are bold and not afraid of anything. They love their family, and will bark if they sense danger. This makes them ideal watch dogs. However, understand that while their barking can be a great quality, it can also be annoying. Therefore, you need to be prepared for it; Yorkies love to bark.

Children and Yorkshire Terriers do get along, but it is best if they grow up together. While Yorkie’s are tolerant of children, a child needs to know how to properly play with the dog and show him respect. Yorkie’s won’t think twice about snapping at a child if the child is unintentionally abusive or is teasing the dog.

For the most part, Yorkshire terriers do not get along well with other animals including dogs unless they grow up with them. If you have other pets, make sure you socialize the dogs well. Furthermore, keep in mind that Yorkies, regardless of how well they are socialized with dogs, are not usually compatible with cats, and never with rodents of any kind. Remember, the Yorkshire Terrier was bread to hunt rodents, this is part of their natural instinct and can not be trained out of them.

As far as training goes, Yorkies are a very intelligent breed and learn quickly. They do well with basic obedience, and should be trained so they can grow up a credit to their breed. The last thing you want is an over-protective, over-aggressive and spoiled Yorkshire Terrier.

You will need to give your Yorkie the exercise he requires. Although his small size may lead you to believe otherwise, the Yorkie needs to run and be taken for at least a good 10-15 minute walk every day. However, if you are not always able to take your dog out for walks, you will discover that he is active indoors and will find ways to amuse himself. A Yorkshire Terrier does well in both the city and country, and can easily adapt to apartment living.

Exercise is an important part of your dog’s physical growth and overall health. It will help to ensure that your Yorkie lives to his expectant lifespan of 14 – 16 years. You should also take your Yorkie to the Vet for regular checkups so he can be tested and watched for common illnesses and specific health problems that affect the breed such as knee, eye and liver problems.

Yorkshire Terriers do not shed, but they do require daily grooming. They have very long, silky hair that needs to be brushed and combed to prevent mats. The hair on the top of the Yorkie’s head is usually tied up with a rubber band or ribbon to keep it out of his eyes. If the long hair is too much effort, the dog will need his hair clipped every few months, and will still require daily grooming.

In essence, the Yorkshire Terrier is a fine breed for the first time dog owner, permitted the owner is willing to commit to the daily care and attention the dog requires.

Your Yorkshire Terrier Puppy And Children

If you are thinking of making a Yorkshire Terrier puppy apart of your family and you have young children, it is imperative that you make sure your children are actively involved in the dog’s life and know how to properly handle the dog.

Since owning a dog is a large responsibility the whole family should share, the following are some things you should keep in mind regarding a new Yorkshire Terrier puppy:

Is a puppy the ideal choice? You’ve decided that a Yorkie is the dog breed you want, but have you considered if a puppy or dog would be a better choice? Remember, a puppy is a huge responsibility that takes plenty of time to train. Furthermore, if you have a new born baby, or children under a year old, puppies are not recommended as a puppy needs your undivided attention.

When you adopt a dog his personality will already be developed, so you don’t have to worry about him changing. That being said, Yorkshire Terrier puppies can be a lot of fun, especially for young children or teens who want to play with a dog that has as much energy as they do.

Is a Yorkie the right size for your family? A Yorkie is one of the smallest dog breeds in the world. A full grown Yorkshire Terrier weighs between 5-7 pounds. This means that your dog can be easily injured if he isn’t gently handled, is stepped on, sat on, etc. Therefore it is vital that you teach your children how to properly handle and play with the dog. You need to make your child extremely aware of the fragility of the dog. Due to the fact that most children won’t understand how fragile the dog is, and because they sometimes don’t know their own strength, many breeders recommend that Yorkshire Terrier puppies shouldn’t be placed in a family with children under the age of 7.

Supervise your children – If you have children under the age of 6, you should supervise your child when they are interacting with the dog. Just like a Yorkshire Terrier puppy, young children are incredibly inquisitive and impulsive. A young child won’t think twice about making sudden movements towards a dog, poking him or grabbing him; and a dog won’t think twice about snapping at a child if he feels threatened by their behavior.

Thus, you need to teach a child that it is unacceptable to tease, frighten, hurt or challenge the dog. Teach your child how to properly socialize with their family pet. The more your child understands the dog, the quicker they will learn to treat it with the respect and care the dog requires.

Let your child care for the dog – All children love to help whenever they can. It makes them feel important. Hence, let your child help care for your Yorkshire Terrier puppy. What can you let your child help with? In truth, it depends on the age of the child. Here are some good ideas you can consider:

  • 3 – 5 years of age – Hang the dog’s leash.
  • 5 – 7 years of age – Measure the food the Yorkshire Terrier puppy needs and put it in his food dish. Fill his water dish.
  • 7 – 10 years of age – Feed the dog, clean up after the dog, take him on a supervised walk.
  • 10-12 years of age – Help train the dog, pick up after the dog, take a trained dog for a walk, help an adult with grooming.
  • 12 and up – Groom the dog and do all other chores.

Finally, all ages can take part in one of the most important dog chores of all – playtime. A Yorkshire Terrier needs plenty of love and attention from everyone.

There is no harm in having children and owning a Yorkshire Terrier puppy, as long as you are prepared to teach children everything they need to know, and make sure they stick by these rules. Never forget that you are primary caretaker of the dog. The Yorkie is your responsibility. It’s your job to ensure he remains safe, healthy and content.