Whenever we think of Yorkshire Terriers, the first thing that comes to mind is a big red bow holding those long bangs out of their eyes. You probably already know these little lap dogs have long, beautiful hair and are known for being extremely good-looking.
But what else is…
Unique (and not so special) about the Yorkie? That’s what you need to know, especially if you’re considering adopting one of these little guys. This is why we’ve compiled the basic info you need to know so that if you’re ever given the opportunity to own one, you’ll know for sure if it will be a good idea.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed Fast Facts
Country of Origin: England
Original Purpose: Small vermin hunting
Height: 8 to 10 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 4 to 9 pounds
Dog Breed Classification: Toy Group
Lifespan: 15-18 years
Origin of the Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed
This black and tan dog comes from the town of Yorkshire located in England, where believe it or not, these little guys were first looked down upon by the wealthier dog fanciers of the day. Because these little guys hail from the “working class” town of Yorkshire, some folks in the late 1800s felt they were too “common.”
The good news…
Despite some folk’s early prejudice against these little guys, eventually, they won over just about everyone they met, which is why they are still around today nearly 300 years since they were first developed, which is more than we can say about their descendants because it is believed that these little guys are probably the descendants of the Clydesdale Terrier (you haven’t heard of them because they haven’t been around for a long, long time – they’re extinct!) and the Black and Tan Terrier.
Helped these guys become pretty popular is that in the late 1800s, these little Terriers migrated to the USA as rich people’s dogs, allowing them to “shed” their “commoner” reputation.
At home in the United States, one of these little guys named Pasha even made it to the White House under the Nixon administration (I can’t fault her for that).
We’re guessing you’ve probably already seen a Yorkie, but in case not, let us tell you what these little dogs look like. They’re small dogs with long, soft hair that looks cute in clips and bows. Their hair is nearly straight but has a slight wave near the ends.
What gets folks…
Do these guys have those typical “puppy eyes” that will win your heart in a fraction of a second? Yorkies have pointy ears that stand upright. They are black and tan; usually, their faces are tan, and most of their small body is blackish-grey. As they age, you may see more grey hair appear, though they won’t go totally grey like senior humans. Some people choose to cut their Yorkie’s fur, but if you want this as a show dog, then you probably won’t.
The teeth on this small breed are incredibly sharp, so keep that in mind when playing.
Personality and Temperament
This intelligent, confident little dog is usually eager and can be yappy and jumpy. Some are “cuddlier” than others. Usually, like most of us, they typically mellow out with age. Yorkie puppies can be highly energetic and sometimes even a handful. But a Yorkie puppy can also be a loveable addition to a family.
But one thing…
You’ll want to remember that training the dog from the time he is a young pup is essential. If you don’t, he could develop bad habits, even snapping. And even though this is a little dog, that’s not a guarantee that it will get along with your children (especially if left untrained). Consider this before adopting. Also, remember, this dog does have a lot of energy and will like to play. Therefore, you will need to entertain this dog with some activities so him not stir crazy. Don’t get this pup if you don’t have the time or desire.
Other dogs include Maltese or a Waterside Terrier.
Potential Health Concerns
This small dog can be a healthy dog with a long life expectancy…if bred correctly. A lot of the dog’s health depends on the breeder. If the AKC recommends your breeder, you will have a better chance at a healthy dog. If you find a random breeder or get a Yorkie rescue (which, though it comes with difficulties, is a fantastic thing to do), you will face some problems.
Here are some potential health problems common for Yorkies:
- Patellar Luxation: a knee problem that causes an issue for the dog while walking. This will probably appear later in life, even if it’s present at birth. It can also result in arthritis. Further, it could require surgery to correct.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy: this is common in many dogs and can result in blindness if not helped by a vet.
- Portosystemic Shunt: This blood flow problem can result in malnutrition and hypoglycemia. This will require a special diet and healthy dog food to manage. It could also require surgery for long-term management.
- Collapsed Trachea: This is precisely what it sounds like the trachea (the ‘pipe’ for breathing) collapses. You will know if this has happened to your dog if you hear them with a dry cough (though this could be a sign of another problem) or a cough that borders on sounding like a goose honk. If your little dog is making that big noise…see a vet immediately!
And while many of these conditions may not be life-threatening, they can become quite expensive, particularly if they become recurring issues. This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.
Now will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?
No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?
For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.