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Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier Books

Group: Toy - Breed Standard

Origins

As the name implies, the Yorkshire Terrier originated in Yorkshire County (and the adjoining Manchester County). In the mid-nineteenth century, at the peak of England's industrial revolution, craftsmen from Scotland came to Yorkshire in search of work and brought with them several different varieties of small long-coated terriers, generally known as Scottish terriers. The specific breeds that make up the Yorkshire Terrier's ancestry are not known, since the breeders at that time did not keep records of the bloodlines. Certain breeds, however, are commonly thought to be the main forebears. The likely source of the Yorkie's small stature, long-haired coat and blue color are the Clydesdale, Paisley, Skye and Waterside terriers, all Scottish terriers transported to England at various times. The English Black and Tan Terrier bloodline probably gave the Yorkie its signature color pattern. These breeds were all working dogs, used to keep vermin under control in the textile mills and coal mines. Many have suggested that the Maltese, an ancient breed (likely originating in Asia), may be in the Yorkshire Terrier's background as well.

The breed first appeared at an 1861 bench show in England as the Broken-Haired Scotch Terrier, named for the dog's Scottish terrier ancestors. Early Yorkies were also known simply as Toy Terriers, in both rough and broken haired varieties. Yorkshire Terriers were given their breed name by 1874.

Description

Weight: 3.2 kgs (7 lbs).

The Yorkie should have a compact build and hold itself in an upright manner, conveying a confident and self-assured demeanor (a reflection of its temperament). The Yorkie's appearance should be one of spirit, intelligence and vigor. In dog shows, a Yorkie that appears sullen or lifeless will be penalized. Underneath the Yorkie's silky coat, its body is athletic and sturdy, designed for an active life. When trotting about, the Yorkie has a free, jaunty gait, with both head and tail held high. For Yorkies, toy stature does not mean frail or fragile.

Character/Temperament

Though a toy breed, the Yorkie still retains much of its terrier ancestry in terms of personality. Individual dogs sometimes differ, but they are generally intelligent, independent and gutsy. Yorkshire Terriers are quick to determine where they fit in a household's "pack." Their behavior towards outsiders will vary - they often will be inclined to bark at strangers, but some Yorkies are outgoing and friendly towards new people while others are withdrawn and aloof. The differences in behavior in this regard are largely based on how the owner trains or conditions (and socializes) the Yorkie. A few individual Yorkshire Terriers may be timid or nervous, rather than bold, but the vast majority do seem to meet the breed standard for a confident, vigorous and self-important personality.

Breed Health

The life span of a healthy Yorkie is 12-15 years.

Training

See our books on training


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Last link added: 12 Mar, 2008