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Yorkshire Terrier (nicknamed Yorkie) is a famous toy dog originally bred to catch rats in cotton mills and factories. It was named after its place of origin which is Yorkshire, England. This small dog is the 6th most popular dog in the world with its perfectly straight hair and elegant appearance. Yorkies are wonderful and devoted companions, as well as excellent family pets. They are affectionate and highly energetic. Its small size does not stop it from being an excellent watchdog.
Have you decided on a Yorkshire Terrier? Here is a brief background of this small, elegant-looking dog.
The Yorkshire Terrier originated in Yorkshire, England in the 19th century. It was bred to catch rats in cotton mills, mines and factories. It is believed that they came from the larger Clydesdale Terriers or Paisley Terriers brought by Scottish workers. The dogs were then crossed with the Skye Terrier, Water Terrier and Maltese.
A dog named Huddersfield Ben, a Paisley-type terrier owned by Mary Ann Foster, became very popular in the 1860s. Dog experts considered it the father of the Yorkshire Terrier breed. The Yorkshire Terrier was recognised by The Kennel Club in 1874.
The Yorkshire Terrier is one of the smallest dogs in the world. It weighs 4 to 7 pounds and stands 20 to 22 centimetres at the withers. It has a small head, a strong jaw, medium eyes, a short muzzle, v-shaped ears, and a compact body.
The breed is easily distinguished because of its moderately long and perfectly straight hair, which gives it an elegant appearance. It has a fine and glossy texture that should be tan on the head, combined with steel blue, steel grey or black. The hair on the head is golden tan that goes deeper on each side, around the ears and muzzle, on which hair is longer.
The Yorkie’s coat is mainly made up of fine hair, rather than a fur-like texture. It is considered hypoallergenic and almost does not shed, only losing small amounts when brushed or bathed. Keeping the traditional long coat is very high maintenance. Grooming can be tedious as the coat should be combed 2 to 3 times daily to avoid tangles and mats. It needs to be bathed at least once a week. After bathing, remember to dry it completely as Yorkies could not tolerate cold temperature and are prone to shivering. Professional grooming on a regular basis will generally make their coat more manageable. If they are not being shown, clipping could also keep their coats neat and clean.
Proper grooming of Yorkies generally includes regular baths, brushing and combing, and nail care. Check for any abnormalities such redness and unusual odour in the ears. These are signs of possible infection. Don’t hesitate to bring your Yorkie to the vet if you notice anything not normal.
Yorkshire Terriers are smart, sassy, loyal, and affectionate. Yes, they are one of the smallest dog breeds but make up for their small size with their big personality. They love human interaction and can get separation anxiety when left alone. They are known to be barkers, which can be helpful to ward off intruders. However, it can be a problem to neighbors when it becomes excessive and should be corrected while they are young. Because of its small stature, the Yorkie is not recommended for homes with very young children. They can easily be dropped or crushed and injured if mishandled.
Yorkies can live with other pets if they grow up together. However, smaller animals can be considered as their prey since they were bred as hunters. Also supervise interactions with bigger dogs because they don’t have a good grasp of their small stature.
Yorkies are generally easy to train since they are quick learners and enjoy being the centre of attention. However, they can be challenging to housetrain because some owners tend to tolerate their “accidents” since they are easy to clean up. To correct this, train them to relieve themselves in the right areas and reward them after.
A typical serving for this tiny dog is 1/2 to 3/4 cup of excellent quality dry dog food per day. Measure its food and limit to two meals a day to ensure a trim body size. Like in every breed, the amount of food depends on its age, size, build, activity level and metabolism.
Choosing the type of food you feed your dog is entirely up to you. High quality dog food, whether dry or wet, is specifically formulated to meet the needs of dogs. Check the labels and avoid buying cheap brands that contain chemicals and preservatives. If you choose to prepare or cook your dog’s food, make sure you do your research because even though you use fresh ingredients, you may still not provide the right amount of vitamins and minerals. Avoid giving table scraps and stick to your dog’s specific food. There are certain human foods forbidden and deadly to dogs such as chocolate, grapes, avocado, chicken bones, fatty and salty foods, etc. Better safe than sorry!
Consult your trusted veterinarian before giving your dog any supplements as some may cause harm than good. Some vets do not encourage supplements when you are feeding high quality dog food that contain all the nutrients your canine needs.
Always make sure that your dog has access to fresh clean water and avoid giving them sweet human drinks like juice, soft drinks, tea or coffee.
Yorkies are generally healthy but are prone to certain medical conditions like eye issues such as cataracts, Primary Lens Luxation, Retinal Dysplasia, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. It can also have Hypoglycemia, Chiari Malformation Syringomyelia,Collapsed Treachea, Luxating Patella Legg Prethes Disease, and Portosystemic Shunt.
Because they are small and are quite active indoors, Yorkies pretty much use up their energy. They only require minimal exercise like walking with its owners or playing fetch for a few minutes. Activities that are mentally stimulating also keep them happy and prevent them from amusing themselves in destructive ways.
Dog ownership involves a lifetime commitment and includes buying a lifetime supply of food, accessories, grooming equipment as well as regular veterinary visits. All these translate to a significant expense for the dog owner.
Yorkshire Terrier is among the top five most expensive breeds with an estimated cost of £25,400 over its lifespan of 14 – 15 years. If you think you are financially capable of owning a Yorkie, be prepared to pay anything from £450 to over £700 for a pedigree puppy. Annually, the costs can quickly add up to £800.
Are you sure the Yorkshire Terrier is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
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