Characteristics and special needs of the Yorkshire Terrier
Breed Small toy dog
Life Expectancy Over 12 years old group
Exercise Low so making them the ideal companion for an older person – Just 30 mins a day
Grooming High Maintenance due to long coat
Home size Any suitable size and garden not required
Usually referred to as a “Yorkie” this breed of dog is very popular all over the world amongst those looking for a small dog with plenty of personalities. While being a bit of a character can be a good thing in a dog. This can, however, get him in a bit of trouble as they tend to imagine themselves bigger and tougher than they actually are. Standing maybe nine or ten inches at the shoulder, it can be an amusing sight watching a Yorkie yapping like mad at a fellow dog two or three times bigger. Fortunately, the larger dog is usually seen looking disdainfully down at his smaller cousin, and no harm tends to be done.
Historically this is a dog with an aggressive streak, but it was a bit bigger in its original incarnation. Back in the 18th and 19th centuries Scottish workers brought Clydesdale or Paisley Terriers down to the Yorkshire coalfields and mills with the intention of using them as rat catchers, and they were effective in doing so. As the years went by some cross-breeding occurred until, eventually, the Yorkie as we know it today evolved. It was a much smaller dog but seemed to retain the bigger-dog instincts of its predecessors.
The toy dog that we see now is a loving and affectionate pet and is obviously suitable for small flats or houses. With such little legs, lots of outdoor exercise is entirely unnecessary, but plenty of indoor play and attention gets a good response. It is fairly prone to sickness and ill health, especially if taken out unprotected in cold or wet weather. This is why you see so many wearing little coats and being carried by their owners. The dog is light enough to be carried in a handbag in many cases, with just a cheeky little face visible at the opening.
The Yorkie has an attractive, blue-ish tan coat that appeals to many in the show-dog business but, essentially, he is a loyal, friendly pet dog. His yapping bark is often exercised if he thinks strangers are a threat, and this can be a nuisance for neighbours if not controlled. They are often thought of as a nervous dog but, in truth, only react badly if they are surprised or irritated.
Owners need to be careful with feeding; just the right amount of food is necessary as this dog can have a delicate digestive system. Getting this right and giving lots of love and affection to a Yorkie reaps rich rewards, and it is easy to see why this is such a popular choice among those looking for a small house dog.
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