Yorkshire Terriers, fondly called Yorkies for short, originated in Yorkshire County of Northern England in the mid-1800s. Several types of terriers were bred to create the Yorkie, whose small stature and tenacity made it ideal for catching rats in mines and mills. The Yorkie was also occasionally brought on hunts and used to catch animals living in dens and burrows. However, during the Victorian Era, Yorkies transitioned from working dogs to companion animals and could often be found sitting on the laps of wealthy aristocrats in the United Kingdom and U.S.. Their reputation as spunky little companions continues today. Yorkies make wonderful family pets and are among the most popular toy dog breeds in the United States.
Yorkshire, England, 1800s
About Yorkshire Terriers
Yorkies are considered a toy dog breed and are quite small — they weigh less than seven pounds! Their fur can range from smooth to wavy and can be styled long or short. Yorkies featured in dog shows usually have long fur, but Yorkie parents often find it more practical to keep the fur short so it doesn’t get easily matted or dirty.
Some Yorkie parents even use bows and decorative clips to keep a Yorkie’s fur off its face and eyes. This helps keep their fur clean, and it’s adorable! Regardless of how the Yorkie’s fur is styled, it’s important to groom a Yorkie regularly. Yorkies require daily brushing of both their fur and teeth, as dental problems are common. Their nails should also be trimmed twice a month.
Though Yorkies are small, they have big personalities. These intelligent, energetic dogs love their humans, but they can be bossy and assertive toward other dogs or small animals–chalk it up to a Napoleon complex. Yorkies make great family dogs, but are a better fit for families with older children. Because of their small size, Yorkies can be easily injured by overly-affectionate young children, so it’s best to put off getting a Yorkie until children are old enough to handle these pups gently.
Yorkies live a long time, but as purebred dogs, they are prone to some major and minor health issues. Major health issues include portacaval shunt, collapsed trachea, and a disease called Legg-Perthes, where the head of the femur bone spontaneously degenerates. This causes the hip joint to disintegrate and often requires surgery. Minor health concerns include patellar luxation, hypoglycemia, and kneecap dislocation.
Major Yorkie Health Concerns
- Portacaval shunt
- Collapsed trachea
- Leggs-Perthes disease
Minor Yorkie Health Concerns
- Patellar Luxation
- Kneecap dislocation
- Females: 8 – 9 inches
- Males: 8 – 9 inches
- Females: 5 – 7 pounds
- Males: 5 – 7 pounds
- Approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup of food per day
- Moderately active
Pet Insurance for Yorkies
Like many other toy breeds, Yorkies tend to have a long average lifespan — 14 to 16 years. Since Yorkies are purebred dogs, they’re prone to some major and minor health issues. Pet insurance for Yorkies is also generally less expensive than pet insurance for mixed breed dogs.
Since this breed is likely to have hereditary issues at some point, it’s important to get pet insurance for Yorkies within the first 1-2 years.
Looking to rescue a Yorkie? Here are some of the top Yorkie rescues in the country:
Blogs for Yorkie Owners
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Top 10 Celebrity Yorkies and Morkies Part I
Top 10 Celebrity Yorkies and Morkies Part II