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Yorkshire Terrier: Breed Characteristics, Training, Care & Nutrition

Mini dog breeds enjoy great popularity when a small apartment does not allow large dogs. Yorkshire Terriers are at the forefront of choice. The shaggy coat of hair, petite build, and strong ego creates a contrast that many cannot resist. Nevertheless, the character of the dog is not entirely simple. You can find out everything you need to know about the Yorkshire Terrier here.

The Yorkshire Terrier belongs to FCI Group 3 of Section 4 “Dwarf Terriers”. Group 3 includes all terrier breeds in the world.

Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed

Size: 19-23cm
Weight: 1.5-3kg
FCI Group: 3: Terriers
Section: 4: Miniature Terriers
Country of origin: Great Britain
Colors: Black-Brown, Blue-Tan, Black-Gold, Blue-Gold
Life expectancy: 12-16 years
Suitable as: Companion and guard dog
Sports: Dog dancing
Personality: Intelligent, Independent, Brave, Confident, Daring
Exercise requirements: rather high
Drooling potential: low
The thickness of hair: rather low
Maintenance effort: high
Coat Structure: Medium length (longer on the head), completely straight, glossy, fine, and silky
Child-friendly: rather no
Family dog: rather yes
Social: medium

Origin and breed history

Today’s Yorkshire Terrier is much smaller than its ancestors. The four-legged friends were significantly larger several centuries ago. The terriers, also known as Yorkies, originating from Scotland and the north of England, could weigh up to six kilograms. At least that is what records from old documents show.

At that time there were no genetically separated terrier breeds. A single gene pool was dominant, which the terriers from the earlier working-class settlements appropriated for themselves. Initially, the Yorkshire Terrier did not lend itself to the working class. Rather, he was considered a lap dog in the house and at court. Only with the beginning of industrialization did he become a permanent member of the many poor households in the workers’ settlements.
The dwellings of the settlements were small. Accordingly, families could only get a small dog. In addition, the former lapdog turned out to be a watchful and useful companion of humans. They chased away rats, mice, martens, and even foxes. In order to protect their own plumage, the dog owners used the family member in a targeted manner. The animal also contributed to the maintenance of life. The short legs were fast enough to kill a rabbit.

The useful little helper today is much more than that. The breed was officially recognized in 1873 by the Kennel Club. In Germany, those who are interested will find entries from the beginning of the 20th century. However, the Yorkie only became well known in the 1970s.

The Yorkshire Terrier is different from the Biewer Terrier. The Biewer Terrier’s coat is multi-colored: gold, black and white.

Nature & Temperament of the Yorkshire Terrier

Dog connoisseurs describe the little dog as robust and self-confident. The potential dog owner should not underestimate the rather small stature of the shaggy-looking four-legged friend. If this dog breed is untrained, the bold appearance often wins. The owner quickly forgives the terrier’s often extremely perceived overconfidence. This is because of the cute appearance. In addition, the animal likes to be pampered. Today he doesn’t function as a hunting dog. The return to the lapdog is more in line with reality.

The playful behavior is particularly easy to observe when the little one knows that it is in the protected environment of its mistress or master. The strength of the small body seems irrefutable. Large dogs are often the target of the somewhat belligerent show-off.

In addition to the boastful dog muzzle, the Yorkshire Terrier has a lot of intelligence. He knows how to use it well to get what he wants. If you neglect a resolute leadership and training of the dog, you will quickly see that the limits have been exceeded.

Despite the grandiose personality, the Yorkshire Terrier is suitable as a family dog ​​if the family members know how to deal with the character traits. The prerequisite is that the extremely stubborn behavior is liked and respected by the owners. This is especially necessary when the little dog needs a break after big performances and wants to withdraw.

The appearance of the Yorkshire Terrier

A Yorkshire is always instantly recognizable. The four-legged friend is one of the smaller dog breeds and is about 30 centimeters tall on average, with males usually being slightly larger than females. They are among the very light dogs and weigh between 2.4 and 3.2 kilos. This makes them one of the lightest dog breeds and they have a very delicate physique.

The colors blue and tan are allowed in the breed standard. Characteristic is the medium-length fur, which is often held together with a clip, especially on the face of the Yorkies. So the small dogs have a clear view and the fur does not hang in front of or in the amber eyes. Otherwise, the coat is very silky and needs a lot of care.

How big does a Yorkshire Terrier get?

The height at the withers can be up to 30 cm.

Keeping of the Yorkshire Terrier: this is important to note

The Yorkshire Terrier is often treated like a doll, a fashion accessory, or even a human because some owners prioritize humanization. In short: it shouldn’t be. The terrier is a whole dog. An animal with its own personality and needs. As an intelligent and extremely social being, the canine nature needs respectful and animal-friendly treatment.
The Yorkshire Terrier has few space requirements. He is just as happy in a small rented apartment as in a big house. Often, those interested in dogs have concerns because the rental agreement may forbid dogs. However, case law classifies this dog breed as a small animal. The dog may therefore be kept in an apartment. But be careful: Even if the little friend is considered a lap dog, he needs exercise just like other dogs. Regular walks keep animal life fit and healthy.

The size of the furry companion also brings an advantage that other dog owners do not have with their large dogs: most airlines allow the animal to be taken along in a box.

In education, the little bundle of energy requires consistent leadership. Many dog owners give in to the dainty and almost fragile appearance and let naughtiness get away with it. If this happens regularly in puppyhood, it will take revenge later. The pack leader is not a man, but a 30 cm tall animal. In order to prevent this, the terrier fan should approach the subject of training seriously and with foresight. In this context, dog boldness is not for a beginner’s hands.

When are Yorkshire Terriers fully grown?

The Yorkshire Terrier is fully grown in the seventh to eighth month of life.

Diet of the Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier has a sensitive digestive system. However, problem-free nutrition can be mastered if it is done correctly. The dog owner should always keep an eye on a balance of nutrients. An intolerance quickly sets off a chain reaction. Vomiting and diarrhea can cause a large loss of fluids in a relatively short period of time. That doesn’t happen with the right dog food.

In addition to the special food for Yorkshire Terriers available in specialist shops, it can happen that the dog tolerates grain-free food better. Cooked meat or ground raw food may also be on the menu. The food should correspond to the terrier’s proportions, both in terms of the size of the pieces of food and the portioning. Additives, artificial flavors, or colorings should not be included in dog food.

In connection with the right diet, the dog owner should take into account the possible allergies of the terrier. The dog breed is prone to allergies.

Health – life expectancy & common diseases

If you get a Yorkshire Terrier, you can enjoy your little companion for a long time. Because the little terrier has a life expectancy that can easily exceed fifteen years. With the right diet, health, animal-friendly management, and good care for typical diseases, the dog can live a long life.
The diseases typical of the animal are expressed in

  • allergies
  • knee injuries
  • bronchitis
  • eye diseases

In the terrier breed, allergies often show up in the form of skin rashes. Knee injuries are usually referred to as patellar luxations. If the kneecap jumps out of its sliding groove, there is a displacement that can severely impair the natural movement. If the dog puts pressure on the paw, this only happens with pain. Eye diseases can appear with the first signs of aging. Smaller dog breeds are often affected by this form of lameness. Depending on the degree of displacement, a veterinarian can reset the kneecap. If the patella jumps out of its groove several times, an operation may be necessary.

The Yorkshire Terrier does not tend to be overweight. The pet owner does not have to reckon with the resulting diseases. Proper nutrition of the dog is always a prerequisite.

With regard to cold seasons, the small dog with short legs is one of the frostbites. He does not like cold and wet. In cold and humid areas, the animal is prone to chills. Protection for the dog when going for a walk may then be useful. When it is hot, the terrier should not wear its coat too short, otherwise, it will be too exposed to the heat due to the lack of an undercoat.

How old do Yorkshire Terriers get?

Yorkshire Terriers can live up to 16 years.

Grooming the Yorkshire Terrier

During a walk, all sorts of small brushwood can accumulate in the terrier’s long hair. For this reason, regular grooming is necessary. Brushing and fur cleaning should be part of the daily routine when going into the forest. However, the cleaning of the coat should not be done with shampoos or other detergents. They impair the natural functions of the skin and promote the development of skin irritations and allergies. In order to carefully trim the fur, the pet owner should use clippers or scissors.

Many dog ​​breeds shed their fur in autumn and spring. This is not the case with the Yorkshire Terrier. The animal doesn’t shed either. However, if hair loss occurs, it can be a symptom of a possible disease or allergy.

Yorkshire Terrier – Activities and Training

The Yorkshire Terrier is known as a city dog. He likes to spend time in bicycle baskets from which he can see the world. More often he may be seen in the arms of his loved ones. If it is uncomfortable and cold outside, the dog bed is not the worst alternative. But this dog breed can also be different. She is full of energy. Activities in the great outdoors help to balance things out and the terrier also stays physically and mentally fit.

The small four-legged friends like dog sports such as agility. Obstacles as part of a cleverly designed dog course challenge the intelligence of the small dog. His human companion is always at his side and has just as much fun motivating and leading his dog. Joint activities strengthen the bond between man and dog.

Good to know: Peculiarities of the Yorkshire Terrier

As a singing Yorkshire Terrier lady, the dog breed makes a career in the film “Wuff Star”. In addition, the dog is the pet of many celebrities. With Paris Hilton, one of the richest and most famous celebrities in the world of stars and starlets, the image of a celebrity puppy has been stamped into the minds of Yorkie fans. However, serious dog owners realize that the animal is more than just a celebrity dog.

Disadvantages of the Yorkshire Terrier

The dog is very stubborn and has a very strong personality. Purchasing this breed of dog can be disadvantageous for beginners because they may lack experience in strictly training a dog. In addition to the nature and character of the dog, the dog owner must also reckon with the possible occurrence of typical diseases. In this regard, you should plan ahead. Veterinary care should be guaranteed in every situation of the dog.

Is the Yorkshire Terrier a barker?

With faulty and inconsistent human training, the Yorkie can develop into a barking dog. This need not be. If the education is successful, the dog will not bark excessively.

Is the Yorkshire Terrier right for me?

The Yorkshire Terrier often likes to be a lap dog. With an active owner, he is not. This also applies when the animal’s environment is not marked by land and nature, but by the city and sidewalks. If the dog owner offers the animal the opportunity to let off steam, the Yorkshire Terrier is only too happy to accept the offer. There is a lot of energy in the small body. Movement makes the animal balanced.

The terrier prefers to be near his loved ones. You should give the dog a lot of time and attention. However, the terrier will definitely demand these components. What he doesn’t ask for, however, is a lot of space. In a small apartment, the sociable friend can be quite content.
The Yorkshire Terrier can be suitable as a family dog ​​if the children also know how to deal with the dog. His personality is rather difficult in nature. Although the dog is also described as a family dog, the dog breed is only partially suitable for children.

Seniors, on the other hand, often choose this little companion. Older people often live in small apartments and live alone. The small, energetic companion keeps them happy and brings momentum into life. The dog is suitable for active seniors as well as for people who can no longer move so quickly. If the dog is well trained, it will always remain at its owner’s side.

How much does a Yorkshire Terrier puppy cost?

The prices for puppies from reputable breeders are usually over $1000.

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