The Yorkshire Terrier is a terrier type, small dog breed. It was developed in the county of Yorkshire, England in the 19th century. It was originally developed to catch rats in clothing mills, and was also used for rat-baiting. During this time workers from Scotland came to Yorkshire looking for work and with them brought several different types of small terriers. The breeding of the Yorkshire Terrier (also called a “Yorkie”) was mostly accomplished by the people, which were mostly operatives in cotton and woolen mills, in the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire.
The defining features of the breed are its small size with a maximum weight of 7 pounds, and its long flowing coat. With the coat, importance is placed on color quality, and texture. Its hair must be glossy, silky, straight, and fine. Normally the coat is grown out and parted down the middle of the back, however it must never interfere with its movement. The coat should be a dark gray to a black from the back of the neck to the base of the tail. The hair on the tail should be a darker black. The coat on the head, high chest and legs should be a vibrant, rich tan, and should be darker at the roots than it is in the middle. It should then shade into a lighter tan at the tips (but not for all dogs). Intermingling of black hairs with any of the tan colored hair is unacceptable.
While the Yorkie is a small dog it is very active, curious, attention seeking, and over protective. This breed is not typically suitable for households with typical young children. Better yet they make more suitable companions for older families, with children that are about 8 years old or older, mainly for the comfort of the dog, and for the benefit of the child. This breed is easily trainable due to their own nature to work without the assistance of humans. Many need a lot of both physical and mental stimulation because they were developed as a working dog. They need long walks/ runs, but they also need indoor games and training to keep them occupied. This breed is well known for being yappy, but many say that if the dog is content he will be quiet, and will happily curl up in your lap at night. Yorkies are easily adaptable to all surroundings, they make suitable pets to many homes, and are good travelers. Because of their small stature, they require limited exercise, but need daily interactions with humans.
The average life span of a Yorkie is 13-16 years old. Some common health issues associated with the breed include; bronchitis, lymphangiectasia, portosystemic shunt, cataracts, and keratitis sicca. They also have a sensitive digestive system in which vomiting and diarrhea may occur as a result of eating food outside of their regular diet. Some genetic defects of the breed include; distichiasis, hydrocephalus, hypoplasia of dens, Legg-Calve-Perthes syndrome, luxating patella, retinal dysplasia, tracheal collapse, hypoglycemia and bladder stones.