Yorkshire Terrier

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yorkshire terrier, yorkshire dog

The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog made famous in “The Wizard of Oz”.  Toto is Dorothy’s faithful companion.  Boi from “High School Musical” has also brought this breed to the public’s attention.

Yorkshire Terrier Breed History

The Yorkshire Terrier was created by the working class in northern England to catch the rats and mice that infested the closing mills and mine shafts.  This small animal was bred from a variety of Scottish terriers, including Paisley, Waterside, Skye, and Clydesdale terriers.  They also came in handy as hunting dogs, as they were able to chase foxes and badgers into their burrows.  Over the ensuing years, they were bred to be smaller, and so became a fashionable pet.

Yorkshire Terrier Description

Yorkies are typically tan with a blue saddle.  The AKC allows four color combinations – blue and tan, blue and gold, black and tan and black and gold.  This breed can be found in other colors, but some breeders state that this can indicate breeding problems.  Although prices are at a premium for unusually colored Yorkies, being an atypical color is not new, desirable, nor exotic.  Yorkies have a long coat which requires daily maintenance.  Many owners trim the dog’s coat for easier care.  The traditional long coat is extremely high maintenance; breakage may be prevented by wrapping the coat in rice paper, tissue paper, or plastic after a light oiling to the coat.

Yorkshire Terrier Personality

The ideal Yorkshire Terrier personality is “conveying an important air”.  The Yorkie is very active, loves attention and can be overprotective.  This breed should not show the “soft” temperament often seen in lap dogs.  This terrier is a little more difficult to train, mostly due to their nature to work without human assistance.  Due to their small size, owners often let Yorkies get away with thing normal-sized dogs would not be allowed to display. With training, when Yorkies are allowed a “long leash”, they can become demanding and dependent on humans.  They will take over the house and become overly-dependent on their parents.  When training your Yorkie, it’s best to provide them with proper boundaries to avoid their tendency to be stubborn.

Ideal Home Environment

The Yorkshire Terrier is a good breed for apartment dwellers.  They are very active inside, and will usually do okay without a yard.  Yorkies are sensitive to the cold and do better in warmer climates.  Yorkies are best suited for single people, families with older children and high-energy type people.  Extra care must be taken when handling these dogs, as their size makes them more fragile that many other breeds.

Although small in size and stature, the Yorkshire Terrier can make an excellent watch dog and will sound an alarm whenever a stranger comes near.

Image: iStock

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