Yorkshire Terriers

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History: Yorkshire Terriers originated in Yorkshire and Lancashire in northern England. They were bred in the 19th century from Paisley Terriers and possible Maltese in order to catch rats in clothing mills.

Traits: hypoallergenic, active, attention-loving, overprotective (they’re NOT lap dogs!), difficult to train, frequent barkers (excellent watch dogs)

Appearance: Yorkies have fine, glossy, straight, silky and hypoallergenic coats, typically grown out long and parted down the middle of the back. They are typically dark gray to steel-blue along the back, with a rich tan on the head, chest, and legs with a lighter tan at the tips of the hairs. Puppies are darker in color. Yorkies are a small breed, typically weighing between three and seven pounds. They generally do not shed, losing only a little hair when bathed or brushed.

Health Risks: Yorkies are prone to many diseases and should be tested for bronchitis, cataracts, and other diseases. Like many other small breeds, they are also prone to severe dental disease because of their small jaws. They are also at risk for hypoplasia, luxating patellas, hypoglycemia, and tracheal collapse. They typically live 12-17 years; extremely small (>3lbs.) Yorkies live three to seven years.

Famous Yorkies

  • Huddersfield Ben, a famous Yorkie from the 1890s, had his portrait painted by George Earl
  • Smoky, a war dog and a hero of World War II
  • Thumbelina, a 5.5 inch tall and 8 inch long Yorkie, held the Guinness World Record for the smallest living dog prior to 1995
  • ” target=”_blank”>Tiny Pinocchio, who has appeared on Oprah and the Today Show, is also an abnormally small Yorkie
  • Pasha, Tricia Nixon Cox’s pet, who lived in the White House during Richard Nixon’s presidency

Quick Facts

  • Yorkie tails are typically docked to a medium length.
  • Yorkshire Terriers are a hypoallergenic breed.
  • The Yorkie was introduced to America in 1872.
  • Yorkies were very popular during the Victorian era.
  • Traditional Yorkie coats require extensive maintenance.
  • Some Yorkie pups are born with a white “star” on their chests or one or more toes, but these fade and disappear with age.

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