Yorkshire Terriers, which are commonly known as “Yorkies,” are a toy breed of dog and these small companions are well-known for their big personalities. Yorkies are a fascinating breed with an intriguing history. If an individual is interested in adding a dog to their family, it is always best to do one’s research beforehand. Here is what a potential dog owner should know about Yorkshire Terriers.
As for the history of the Yorkshire Terrier, the breed is named after the English county of its origin and were originally working-class dogs, especially among weavers. This lineage lead to the speculation that the canines’ fine, silky coats were the ultimate product of the looms. At the conclusion of the Victorian Era, Yorkshire Terriers left the workforce and became a companion animal to European high society families. Moreover, they were first recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885. In fact, the Yorkshire Terrier is the 6th most popular dog breed, according to the AKC dog ranking system.
Yorkshire Terriers are originally descended from the Waterside Terrier, which is a small-sized, longish-coated dog, which is bluish-gray in color, and weighs from six to 20 pounds. However, the average weight of a Waterside Terrier is around 10 pounds. Whereas the maximum size of a Yorkshire Terrier is around 7 pounds, can come in a variety of colors (especially among mixed breed dogs), and their coat lengths can vary greatly. Just goes to show that great things can come in small packages.
As for the personality of the Yorkshire Terrier, Yorkies are determined, brave, inquisitive, and energetic dogs. They are not aware of their diminutive size. Moreover, these dogs are easily adaptable, travel well, and make suitable pets for a variety of households. Due to their small size, they generally do not require a lot of exercise. However, a moderate amount of exercise is recommended (e.g. daily walk). Furthermore, these dogs do need daily stimulation as well as interaction with their owners. Without strong leadership, they tend to become territorial and/or bossy, especially if their naughty behavior (e.g. yapping or chewing) is not addressed.
Additional information a dog owner should know about Yorkshire Terriers includes their socialization skills. While Yorkies generally respond well to older children and training, as well as integration with other animals, they are not dogs that respond well to loneliness. Yorkies are a breed that require interaction, attention, and companionship. It is not recommended that Yorkies are placed in homes with young children. Yorkshire Terriers also tend to bark a lot. This trait makes them excellent watch dogs because they will alert their owners to anything amiss. However, barking issues often can be addressed with adequate exercise and proper training.
As for the health of the Yorkshire Terrier, Yorkies are generally a healthy breed and tend to live long, fulfilling lives. Their life expectancy is usually 13 to 16 years. Good nutrition is a vital lifelong element for Yorkshire Terriers from youth to their senior years. Some health issues commonly seen in Yorkies include cataracts, bronchitis and other respiratory ailments, lymphangiectasia (pathologic dilation of lymph vessels), keratitis sicca (dry eye syndrome), and portosystemic shunt (a liver shunt), which can be a congenital (present at birth) or acquired condition among Yorkshire Terriers.
Additionally, Yorkies often have a delicate digestive system and may experience diarrhea or vomiting from ingestion of foods outside their regular diet. The toy size nature of the Yorkshire Terrier means that it usually has a poor tolerance for anesthesia. Moreover, small dogs, such as the Yorkie, are more likely to be injured by other dogs, falls, and owner clumsiness. Furthermore, skin sensitivity can also occur with injection reactions (inflammation or hair loss at the site of an injection), and allergies can cause their skin to become itchy, dry, and/or red.
It should also be noted that undersized Yorkies (3 pounds or less) generally have a shorter life span, as they are especially prone to injury, health problems, and more sensitive to anesthesia. Their very small size may make the canine frail, vulnerable, and less resilient in the face of adversity.
As for the grooming of the Yorkshire Terrier, the coat of Yorkshire Terriers require regular grooming including daily brushing and weekly bathing routines, which will keep them clean and looking their best. Grooming can be a wonderful bonding experience for the Yorkie and their owner(s). Nail care is also an essential element to keep in mind. Their strong, fast-growing nails should be trimmed on a regular basis with a nail clipper, file, or grinder to avoid overgrowth, cracking, and/or splitting. Moreover, their ears should be checked regularly to avoid wax buildup and debris, which could result in an infection. Furthermore, the teeth of Yorkshire Terriers should be brushed, monitored, and evaluated on a regular basis to check for any abnormalities.
If an individual is interested in adding a dog to their family, it is always best to do one’s research beforehand. This information is what a potential dog owner should know about Yorkshire Terriers and it should be considered when selecting an appropriate dog breed. While Yorkshire Terriers respond well to older children and training, as well as integration with other animals, they are not canines that respond well to loneliness. Yorkies are a breed that require interaction, attention, and companionship. It is not recommended that Yorkies are placed in homes with young children. Yorkshire Terriers also tend to bark a lot. This trait makes them excellent watch dogs because they will alert their owners to anything amiss. However, barking issues often can be addressed with adequate exercise and proper training. Yorkshire Terriers are ideal for families with older children, single people, loving couples, apartment dwellers, or anyone who is looking for a small companion to love and add to their family.
By Leigh Haugh
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