Originating from Scotland migrating with weavers over to Yorkshire, England as a ‘Broken Haired Scotch Terrier’. These swift little dogs were used as rat catchers during the 19th century in cotton and wool mills. As their utilization increased in Yorkshire, the breed was perfected and in 1870 officially renamed to the ‘Yorkshire Terrier’ we know and love today.
Sometimes better known as ‘Yorkies’ this naturally intelligent and quick to learn breed needs lots of walks, playtimes and being a working breed always like having something to do when not snuggling up on a nice big pillow or happily sitting on your lap. They are very active, love to ‘talk’ and can be quite stubborn at times, but early intervention with training and socialization will help prevent any undesired behavior issues.
Weighing in on average at 3.2kg and sometimes up to 6.8kg, these little pocket rockets are very confident, swift and are not afraid to charge in where they see fit almost never considering their own tiny size.
It was reported in 2015 that a man named Larry Yepez went outside to check a noise and was greeted by a bear! During a battle to fend off the bear his little Yorkshire Terrier came running out and tried to help. This distracted the bear enough to enable both of them to get away safely and live to tell the tale! They really aren’t afraid to take on anything, so it is recommended to keep them on lead when out and about as their swift ‘charge in’ nature could mean they end up in a not too desirable situation.
Yorkshire Terriers are very inquisitive and love being pampered which is a given considering their long coats and maintenance required, if left untrimmed their hair has been known to grow up to 2 feet long! They are usually trimmed at or just above floor length but often shorter for ease of combing. Daily brushing and regular grooming is a must for these little balls of fur. Their color ranging from black and tan usually seen in pups will change over time to a blue or silver and tan/cream, it can be noted that this color change can sometimes take place up to 3 years old.
It is said that one Hudderfield Ben (1865-1871) is believed to be the sire of all Yorkies, the father of the breed if you will. He achieved feats in both ratting contests and breed competitions and although weighed in on the larger side he helped set the standard of the then developing breed. It is believed that all modern day Yorkies are distant relatives of this famous winner of 74 prizes!
Yorkshire terriers being of the toy breeds are better suited for families with older children, being so small, and the rough nature that young children can sometimes display can intimidate and possibly provoke a negative reaction out of a Yorkie and sometimes end up with a nip or a bite. They are well suited to apartment living but will need to maintain a very active lifestyle physically and mentally to keep from getting bored and telling you all about the things outside.
Yorkies can be prone to Pharyngeal gag reflex, or easier known as ‘backward sneezing’ this can be somewhat shocking when heard for the first time as it can be compared to that of a goose! It is usually caused by irritants such as pollen/dust or perfumes but this reaction will usually pass on its own.
Did you know that a little Yorkshire Terrier who came to be known as Smoky was the first recorded therapy dog? She was found by an American soldier in WWII and found her way into the care of Corporal William A Wynne of Cleveland, Ohio; where she backpacked with him through the rest of the war. She helped warn of missiles which saved lives and even had her own parachute made up for her! After the war she continued to work with people in hospital who were injured during the Biak Island Invasion, New Guinea. She could perform many tricks and didn’t fail to bring cheer.
These loyal companions are small and full of personality, they will keep you on your toes but make a great addition to anyone wanting an affectionate companion that will never fail to bring a smile to your face.