Pet Profile: Yorkshire Terrier

By Valdette Muller| July 2, 2018 | Blog

These are tiny dogs with huge personalities. They are a lively and enthusiastic member of the popular Toy dog group.

Yorkshire Terriers appeal to a wide range of dog-lovers, thanks to their cute button eyes and soft-to-the-touch, silky coat.

Origins and History

The clue to this dog breed’s origins lies in it’s name. The Yorkshire Terrier (nicknamed the Yorkie) was bred from terrier breeds and developed during the 19th century in Yorkshire, England, to catch rats in clothing mills.

Huddersfield Ben

The Yorkshire Terrier known for the foundation of the modern Yorkie was called Huddersfield Ben, and he was born in 1865.

Huddersfield Ben quickly became the type of dog everyone wanted, and through his puppies has defined the breed as we know it today. He is still referred to as the “father of the breed.”

At the time, the dogs were called Broken Haired Scotch Terriers or Toy Terriers, but by 1870, they were known as Yorkshire Terriers.

It wasn’t long before these tough ratters morphed into domestic sidekicks for fashionable ladies, and began appearing at dog shows as “fancy terriers.”

By 1872, Yorkshire Terriers had made their way to the United States of America, where they quickly became upper-crust favorites and even political mascots.

The Nixon family shared the White House with their beloved Yorkie, Pasha.


Though small, the Yorkshire Terrier can be described as a little dog with a big personality.

A very confident, feisty, alert, inquisitive, energetic, brave, bossy, boisterous, adventurous and active dog, but they can also be very sweet, curious and extremely affectionate.

Yorkshire Terriers are an easy dog breed to train. This stems from their own nature to work without human assistance.

They are naturally smart and quick to learn with many being food and or praise motivated.

Because they were developed as a working breed many need both physical and mental stimulation—with both long walks/runs but also indoor games and training to keep their mind busy.

They are known for being yappy, but many owners have reported that a contented Yorkie is a quiet one—that will happily curl up on your knee in the evening.

They thrive on attention and love.

Though many can be bossy and scrappy with other dogs, especially larger ones, Yorkies can coexist well with other pets, but are typically overwhelmed by the roughhousing and mischief of small children. This is especially true of the smallest Yorkies. Many however can become more timid around other dogs and prefer to stay close to their humans for comfort.

Yorkshire Terriers do tend to bark a lot. This makes them excellent watchdogs as they will sound the alarm when anyone gets close. However, some thing can become a problem and is best dealt with, with proper training and exercise.

Health and appearance. 

Most Yorkies live long, healthy lives, but there are some conditions that are common to the breed, dental issues, hypothyroidism and cataracts.

Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is also a problem, especially in smaller Yorkies and puppies.

Fragility is just one of those things owners and care givers need to be aware of when handling a Yorkshire Terrier.

Too many people acquire a toy breed without understanding how incredibly fragile a toy breed’s body can be. You can seriously injure a Yorkshire Terrier by stepping on or by sitting on them when they are curled under a blanket or pillow. Yorkies can also seriously injure themselves by leaping from your arms or off the back of your couch, so be careful when handling them.

Usually, the Yorkshire Terrier’s average weight is 3.2 kg, and they have a life span of up to 13–20 years.

Yorkies need their coat’s regularly brushed and combed otherwise they become a matted mess. They will need regular trimming for a shorter coat.

The breed’s coat comes in a wide range of colours including grey, black and tan. The coat is hypoallergenic, has the texture of human hair and makes less dandruff than regular dog fur.




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