One of the country’s most popular dog breeds, Yorkshire Terriers are courageous, feisty and full of character. Now considered a toy breed, Yorkie history begins in the mills and mines of northern England. Bred to be ratters, they descend from terriers brought from Scotland by mill workers and miners looking for work in the mid-1800s. Believed to be a crossbreed of various terrier breeds, including the Skye Terrier, Dandie Dinmont, and Maltese, its exact ancestry is unknown.
Huddersfield Ben is considered this beloved breed’s first Yorkshire Terrier and founding father. Bred in Huddersfield, England, in 1865 by Mr. W. Eastwood and owned by M. A. Foster, Ben weighed only four pounds and stood just six inches tall. Despite his small size, he had a feisty personality and was known for his agility and hunting skills. Ben’s unique look, with his long silky hair, helped to establish the standard for the Yorkshire Terrier breed. Today, the Yorkshire Terrier is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.
Though bred to catch rats in the mills and factories of northern England, high society women also kept Yorkies as companions, who valued their small size and attractive appearance. As a result, the breed quickly gained popularity and was officially recognized by the British Kennel Club in 1874 and the American Kennel Club in 1885.
During the early 20th century, the breed’s popularity declined in England, but it continued to be popular in the United States. In the 1940s and 1950s, Yorkshire Terriers became one of America’s most popular dog breeds, a position they held for many years.
The Yorkshire Terrier remains popular worldwide, prized for its small size, feisty personality, and loyalty to its owners. It is a popular choice for apartment dwellers and those who live in urban areas, as it requires little exercise and can thrive in small spaces. The breed is also known for its long, silky hair, which requires regular grooming to keep it in good condition.
These tiny dogs are known for their confident and playful nature, their long, silky coats, and their small size, which makes them perfect for apartment living and as companion animals.
Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs, typically weighing between 4 and 7 pounds and standing just 7 to 9 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a distinctive, long, straight coat in various colors, including blue and tan, black and tan, and gold and tan. Their coats are low shedding and hypoallergenic, which makes them an excellent option for people with allergies. They have small, triangular heads with erect ears and lively, intelligent expressions.
Yorkshire Terriers are known for their energetic and curious personalities. They are playful and love to be around their human family members but can be shy around strangers. They are intelligent and trainable but can also be stubborn at times. They have the instinct to hunt and may chase small animals or rodents if given the opportunity. Despite their small size, they are bold and confident and make excellent watchdogs.
Yorkshire Terriers require regular grooming to maintain their long, silky coats. They should be brushed daily to prevent matting and tangling and must be trimmed or clipped every few months. They also require regular dental care, as they are prone to dental problems. As with all dogs, they need regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. They are small but active dogs and will benefit from short walks and playtime indoors or in a fenced yard.
Yorkshire Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they are prone to certain health issues. These include dental problems, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), patellar luxation (a dislocated kneecap), and liver shunts. Therefore, it is important to choose a reputable breeder who screens their dogs for these and other health problems and provides regular veterinary care to all of their dogs.
Overall, Yorkshire Terriers make lovely companions for those looking for a small, energetic dog with a lively personality. They are playful, intelligent and affectionate and will provide their owners with years of love and companionship. If you are considering adding a Yorkie to your family, be sure to do your research and find a reputable breeder or rescue organization to ensure you are getting a healthy, happy dog.