By Andri Lysandrou
The Yorkshire Terrier or ‘Yorkie’ is one of the most popular of the Toy dog breeds and is currently the third most popular terrier breed in the UK. Although the Yorkshire Terrier’s origins are not entirely clear, they were known as the working man’s dog in the early 19th Century, used to catch rats, mice and other small pests in clothing mills and mine shafts in the north of England. They were a bigger dog in their hunting days and were gradually bred smaller due to their growing popularity as pets. By the Victorian era the dogs became popular with women as a fashion dog, where they were carried as an accessory under the arm or in bags. The title ‘Yorkshire Terrier’ was first recognised in 1870 and they were registered by the UK Kennel Club as an official breed in 1886.
As with most small dog breeds, they don’t seem to realise just how small they are! They will usually grow to a maximum of 9 inches tall and a healthy dog will weigh in at around 5-7 pounds. This does of course make them the perfect pet for flat or apartment living. They are a very lively animal and remain very active in the house. They can cope without a garden but a small outdoor space would be most ideal. Fully grown Yorkies are of a blue and tan colour. Puppies are usually black/tan. The darker areas cover their back and hind legs with the tan areas covering their heads and front paws. The hair is long and silky and will grow in abundance if not regularly groomed or trimmed, however they very rarely shed so you can keep a clean house!
Be careful how you look after your Yorkie. This little dog is rather sensitive to cold so make sure in cold weather they are wearing a little jacket for their walks. They can suffer from a sensitive stomach and are also susceptible to problems with their teeth so it’s beneficial to feed them predominantly dry food and make sure they get a regular dental check up and tooth cleaning at the vets. Terriers need a daily walk as they have lots of energy to burn and need to have their primal instincts to walk fulfilled. If they are not walked regularly, they may start to show behavioural problems and become very restless in the house. Due to their small size, a moderate amount of walking will do. Yorkies also make great watch dogs due to their excellent hearing and will alert you to intruders or unfamiliar noises around the house.
These canines have bounds of energy and true to their Terrier heritage, will try and become the leader in most situations. It is important that the dog knows from an early age that you are the boss or the ‘leader of the pack’ or you could run into problems with the animal becoming yappy or wary of strangers and possibly displaying aggressive behaviour towards other dogs and small animals. Yorkies are better suited to families with older children or individuals who will have the time to train them properly and not antagonise them as small children may.
Be careful not to spoil the dog due to it’s size, it may take over the house and you’ll have one hell of a time trying to reverse the damage. You will need to revisit the dog’s initial training to enable them to understand that you are their leader and not the other way round. They are however, easy to train and respond well to gentle leadership techniques. As long as their owner displays pack leadership skills from the start, they will become very loving and loyal and an excellent pet. Click here to see our latest Yorkie’s for sale and a range of other furry beauties! Beware, you may suffer from cute overload!
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