The Yorkshire Terrier standard has a long history. Scottish weavers came to England in the 19th century with little terriers bred to hunt rats. These dogs were crossed and created “broken-haired” terriers. In 1870, a “broken-haired Scotch terrier” was named a Yorkshire terrier by a reporter for its namesake town.
Yorkies, as they are known, were originally working dogs. In the latter part of the Victorian era, they became very popular lap dogs. Once they made their way over to the U.S.A. in the 1970s, they became one of the country’s most beloved little furry companions.
Yorkshire terriers are playful and bright, two major personality traits that make them a popular dog breed all over the world.
Why are Yorkies such a Small Breed?
Scottish laborers were not allowed to hunt. An old law dating back to the 11th century forbade laborers from owning a dog big enough to hunt. Dogs had to pass through small 7 inch hoops to be approved. Yorkshire terriers were originally bred to be hunting dogs that were small enough to bypass the 7-inch rule.
What Kind of Dog Mix Resulted in the Yorkshire Terrier?
During the Industrial Revolution, the Paisley Terrier, or Clydesdale Terrier, was crossed with other types of terriers. English black terriers, tan toy terriers, and Skye terriers were brought into the mix.
The Maltese breed was also crossed with these dog breeds to create smaller dog breeds with long coats. You can still see the similarity in shape between the Maltese and today’s yorkies. However, there aren’t any records about the early pedigree to confirm these crosses.
Meet “Ben” Huddersfield: Grandad of the Yorkies
The father of the modern Yorkie is said to be a dog called Huddersfield “Ben.” Bred by Mr. Eastwood and owned by Mr. Foster, this was a very popular stud dog who had a great influence in the modern breed. He won many competitions and is believed to have set many of the standards for his breed type.
An Official Dog Breed Except for Teacup Yorkies
The British Kennel Club registered the first Yorkies in the British Kennel Club Stud Book in 1874. The American Kennel Club started recognizing Yorkshire Terriers as a breed in 1885. The breed standards for the Yorkshire Terrier have hardly changed.
Some of the cross breeding that results in tiny “teacup” varieties can cause health problems for today’s Yorkshire terriers. Often their skulls are too small and this results in a range of respiratory problems. Dot buy teacup yorkies, the breeding practices to get these dogs cause a lot of health and behavioral problems.
Buying a Yorkshire Terrier Puppy
Make sure you have a clear idea of exactly what you want before you start looking for a breeder. Male or female? Dominant or quiet and shy? What does your lifestyle look like?Your lifestyle and resources will play a large role in your choices.
Please steer clear of pet store puppies: dogs sold in pet stores are often breed in poor conditions and are not socialized well. Choosing a reputable breeder is important to avoid puppy mills. A health guarantee is needed to help prevent issues.
Common Yorkshire Terrier Health Issues
The following health conditions are common in Yorkshire Terrier dogs:
- Alopecia: Alopecia is a medical condition that causes hair loss. It can affect any part of the body, including your dog’s skin, coat and nose.
- Cataracts: Cataracts in dogs are a common condition that causes partial or total blindness. The development of cataracts is usually related to aging, but they can also be caused by trauma, diabetes and other diseases.
- Dwarfism: Dwarfism is a condition in which the bones are shorter than normal. Dwarfism in dogs can be caused by a genetic mutation, but it can also be acquired as a result of other conditions, such as cancer.
- Entropion: Entropion is a condition that causes eyelashes to curl inward and rub against the eye. Entropion usually affects the lower eyelid, but it can also occur in the upper eyelid.
- Glaucoma: A condition where pressure inside the eye causes damage to the optic nerve. This can lead to partial or complete blindness.
- Patellar luxation: Patellar luxation is a condition where the kneecap (patella) slides out of place. It’s also called luxating patella or dislocated kneecap.
- Portosystemic shunt: An abnormal connection between two blood vessels. In dogs with portosystemic shunts, blood flows from organs such as the stomach or intestines into an artery that runs directly into a major vein.
- Urolithiasis: A urinary tract infection causing bladder stones.
Grooming Your Yorkshire Terrier
You should brush your Yorkshire terrier’s coat at least once every day to remove loose hairs and keep it mat-free. Start brushing from the head down toward the tail so that you don’t pull out any fur that has already been brushed out previously.
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Always use a slicker brush or pin brush when grooming your Yorkie; these types of brushes have stiff bristles that will penetrate deep into your dog’s coat and remove dirt, debris and loose hairs without damaging his skin or causing breakouts like mats do.
Temperament and Common Questions
Content to be stroked and petted, your Yorkshire Terrier will gladly take up residence on your lap. Yorkies have a keen sense of adventure. They are brave and loyal and seem oblivious to their diminutive size. They are great apartment dogs.
Are Yorkshire Terriers Aggressive?
These little dogs are territorial, assertive, independent, and really value their privacy. These traits, coupled with their fearless nature, can lead to aggressive behaviors. When properly trained, these dogs can be very affectionate and tolerant of other pets in the home.
Why Does My Yorkshire Terrier Smell?
Your Yorkie requires daily grooming; otherwise, their fur will start to smell bad. Make sure you bathe your yorkie regularly to keep them from being stinky!
Why Does My Yorkshire Terrier Shake?
Yorkies are prone to a medical condition that can cause them to shake: hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can be caused by stress, a lack of nutrients, or being the runt of the litter.
Why Do Yorkshire Terriers Bark So Much?
Yorkshire terriers have a natural tendency to bark due to their nature. They are terriers and hunters. They bark to show excitement, to communicate, or when they get agitated.
Why does my Yorkie Sleep So Much?
Adult yorkies are very active little dogs. However, just like all dogs, they require more sleep than us humans. On average, a Yorkie will sleep 13 to 18 hours a day. A lot of Yorkshire Terriers will snooze when their owners sleep as well, so you shouldn’t miss out on your puppy playtime too much!
Why Does my Yorkie Snort?
Yorkies sometimes snort. It’s a bit weird, but it’s called reverse sneezing. This is a fairly common respiratory occurrence in dogs. It’s usually caused by irritation or inflammation in the nose, throat, or sinuses.
Please contact your veterinarian if your dog reverse sneezes while running around or being excited. It could be something benign, an allergy, or something that requires medical intervention. You never know, so please call your vet before panicking or ignoring this snorting.
Now that we’ve answered some commonly FAQs about the Yorkshire Terrier Standard, we hope you have picked up some valuable facts to help you care for your furry best friend. If you have any additional questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. We’d love to hear your feedback!