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Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed information

Yorkshire Terrier puppy dog breed information on puppy dog breed info.com.  Yorkshire Terrier puppy dog breed information on puppy dog breed info.com.

The Yorkshire Terrier, (diminutive / nickname: Yorkie), is a breed of small dog in the toy category. [1] [2] [3] This long-haired terrier is known for its playful demeanor and distinctive blue and tan coat.[4] [1] [2] Yorkies can be very small, usually weighing between 5 and 7 pounds (2.5 to 3.5 kilograms). [5]



The Yorkshire Terrier breed standard specifies that the dog should have a compact build and hold itself in an upright manner, conveying a confident and self-assured demeanor (a reflection of its temperament). [1] [2] The Yorkie's appearance should be one of spirit, intelligence and vigor. [2] In dog shows, a Yorkie that appears sullen or lifeless will be penalized. [1] Underneath the Yorkie's silky coat, its body is athletic and sturdy, designed for an active life. [6] When trotting about, the Yorkie has a free, jaunty gait, with both head and tail held high. [6] For Yorkies, toy stature does not mean frail or fragile. [6]

Coat and Color

Yorkshire Terriers are a long-haired breed with no undercoat, which means that they do not shed. [7] Rather, their hair is like human hair in that it grows continuously and falls out rarely (only when brushed or broken). [6] This makes Yorkies one of the best breeds for allergy sufferers. [7] Additionally, since Yorkies carry less dander on their coat, they generally do not have the unpleasant "wet dog" odor when wet. Yorkie puppies are born with a silky-soft black and tan coat and normally have black hairs mixed in with the tan until they are matured. [1] The breed standard for adult Yorkies places prime importance on coat color, quality and texture. [1] The hair must be glossy, fine and silky. [1] From the back of the neck to the base of the tail, the coat should be a dark steel-blue (not silver-blue), never mingled with fawn, bronze or black hairs. [2] [1] Hair on the tail should be a darker blue. [1] On the head, chest and legs, hair should be a bright, rich tan, darker at the roots than in the middle, shading to still lighter tan at the tips. [1] [2] There should be no dark hairs intermingled with any of the tan. [1] Many Yorkies do not conform to the standard for coat color; the tan may range from a very light blonde to a darker brown, while the body may be black or silvery gray. [6] The Yorkie’s nose, lips, eye-rims, paw-pads and nails should be darkly pigmented. [1]

The breed standard requires that the Yorkshire Terrier's hair be perfectly straight (not wavy). [1] [2] For show purposes, the coat is grown-out long and parted down the middle of the back, but may be trimmed to floor length to give ease of movement and a neater appearance. [1] [2] Hair on the feet and the tips of ears should also be trimmed. [1] The traditional long coat is extremely high maintenance, requiring hours of daily brushing. [6] To maintain the long coats of show dogs (between exhibitions), the hair may be wrapped in rice paper, after a light oiling, which prevents the hairs from being broken easily and keeps the coat in condition. [6] As a more practical alternative, many Yorkie-owners opt to keep the dog's coat trimmed to a shorter all-over length. [6]

Build and Proportions

The Yorkshire Terrier has a small head, which, according to the breed standard, should be rather flat and not too round. [8] The teeth should have either a “scissors bite” or a “level bite” (no underbite or overbite). [1] The Yorkie’s dark eyes are not too prominent, but should be sparkling, with sharp intelligent expression, and placed to look directly forward. [3] The small, V-shaped ears are set high on the head, not too far apart, and should be carried erect. [2] In some kennel clubs, ears that do not stand up are cause for automatic disqualification. [8]

The breed standard dictates that a Yorkshire Terrier must weigh no more than seven pounds. [3] The compact body of a Yorkie is well proportioned. [8] The back should be level, with the same height at the base of the neck and the base of the tail. [3] The tail is carried slightly higher than the level of the back. [9] In a standing position, the Yorkie’s front legs should be straight. The back legs should be straight when viewed from behind, but moderately bent when viewed from the side. [8]


Often, a Yorkie’s dewclaws, if any, are removed. [1] The AKC and UKC breed standards explicitly permit dewclaws to be removed, while the standards of other kennel clubs do not mention it. [1][9] [2] [3] [8] [10] [11]

Traditionally, the Yorkie’s tail is docked to a medium length. [11] In America, generally all breeders dock the tails of puppies. [6] However, since the 1990’s there has been a growing movement to ban the practice of cosmetic docking. [12] The World Small Animal Veterinary Association and the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals oppose tail docking. [12] [13] As of 2007, several nations have enacted prohibitions on docking, including Australia, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, South Africa, Sweden and Switzerland. [12] [14] [15] A docked tail is part of the AKC, ANKC, CKC, NZKC and UKC breed standards for Yorkshire Terriers. [1] [3] [8] [9] [10] The FCI and KC breed standards indicate the tail is customarily docked, but the KC standard gives specifications for an undocked tail (“as straight as possible; length to give a well balanced appearance”). [11] [2]


Yorkshire Terriers are generally social animals, exhibiting the full range of canine behavior. [6] They 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 the Yorkie. [6] 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.

Though a toy breed, still retains much of its terrier ancestry in terms of personality. Though personalities differ from dog to dog, they are generally intelligent, independent and gutsy. Yorkies, especially males, can be very territorial. Some Yorkies are unaware of their small size and may even challenge larger, tougher dogs. [16] Because of their pugnaciousness and tendency to pounce and "hunt" they can nip and are not suitable for homes with very young children. Their small size also puts them at risk of being injured inadvertently by children. Small children should be carefully watched around Yorkies. Generally speaking, yorkies should not be homed with families with small children. The independent mindedness of Yorkies leads some trainers to consider the Yorkie (especially males) to be the hardest canine to house-break.

Yorkies typically get along well with other dogs and love to play together with them. However, they are terriers, and even an old, sedentary lap dog may eagerly hunt rodents. Because they are so small, they are easily injured; They usually get along well with children, but may be endangered if kept in the house with an undiscerning or abusive person, especially a child. Also, despite their small size, if attacked or continually provoked, like all dogs, they pack a surprisingly powerful bite.

Yorkshire Terriers tend to be more difficult to train than some of their canine cousins; however, this difficulty is considered to be a result of the breed’s characteristic prey drive rather than any major deficiency of intelligence as they were bred to work without human intervention.



Health issues often seen in the Yorkshire Terrier include bronchitis, lymphangiectasia, hepatic lipidosis, cataracts and keratitis sicca. [6] Additionally, injection reactions (inflammation or hair loss at the site of an injection) are common. [17] Yorkies often have a delicate digestive system, with vomiting or diarrhea resulting from consumption of foods outside of a regular diet. [18] The relatively small size of the Yorkshire Terrier means that it usually has a poor tolerance for anesthesia. Additionally, a toy dog such as the Yorkie is more likely to be injured by falls, other dogs and owner clumsiness. [18]

The life span of a healthy Yorkie is 12-15 years. [18] Under-sized Yorkies (3 pounds or less) generally have a shorter life span, as they are especially prone to health problems such as chronic diarrhea and vomiting; are even more sensitive to anesthesia; and are more easily injured. [18]


Low blood sugar in puppies, or transient juvenile hypoglycemia, is caused by fasting (too much time between meals). [19] In rare cases hypoglycemia may continue to be a problem in mature, usually very small, Yorkies. It is often seen in Yorkie puppies at 5 to 16 weeks of age. [19] Very tiny Yorkie puppies are especially predisposed to hypoglycemia because a lack of muscle mass makes it difficult to store glucose and regulate blood sugar. [19] Factors such as stress, fatigue, a cold environment, poor nutrition, and a change in diet or feeding schedule may bring on hypoglycemia. [20] Low blood sugar can also be the result of a bacterial infection, parasite, or portosystemic liver shunt. [21] Hypoglycemia causes the puppy to become drowsy, listless (glassy-eyed), shaky and uncoordinated, since the brain relies on sugar to function. [19] Additionally, a hypoglycemic Yorkie may have a lower than normal body temperature and, in extreme cases, may have a seizure or go into a coma. [22] A puppy showing symptoms should be treated by a veterinarian immediately. Sugar can be placed in the dog’s mouth as an emergency remedy. [19] Medical attention is imperative, as prolonged or recurring attacks of hypoglycemia can permanently damage the dog’s brain. [22] In severe cases it can be fatal. [19]

Genetic defects

As with many purebred dogs, the Yorkshire Terrier is prone to certain genetic disorders, including distichiasis, hydrocephalus, hypoplasia of dens, Legg-Perthes disease, patellar luxation, portosystemic shunt, retinal dysplasia, tracheal collapse and bladder stones. [23] The following are among the most common congenital defects that affect Yorkies.

  • Legg-Perthes disease, which causes the top of the femur (thigh bone) to degenerate, occurs in Yorkies more than in any other breed.[25] The condition appears to result from insufficient circulation to the area around the hip joint.[6] As the blood supply is reduced, the bone in the head of the femur collapses and dies and the cartilage coating around it becomes cracked and deformed. [25] Usually the disease appears when the Yorkie is young (between five and eight months of age); signs are pain, limping or lameness.[26] The standard treatment is surgery to remove the affected part of the bone.[26] Following surgery, muscles hold the femur in place and fibrous tissue forms in the area of removal to prevent bone rubbing on bone.[27] Although the affected leg will be slightly shorter than prior to surgery, the Yorkie may regain almost normal use. [26]

  • Luxating patellas (slipping kneecaps) are another common genetic defect in Yorkies. [6] Weak ligaments and tendons in the knee or malformed (too shallow) patellar grooves, allow the patella to slip out of its groove sideways. [6][28] This causes the leg to 'lock up' with the foot held off the ground. [28] A dog with this problem may experience frequent pain and lameness or may be bothered by it only on occasion. [6] Over time, the patellar ridges can become worn down, making the groove even more shallow and causing the dog to become increasingly lame. [28] Surgery is the main treatment option available for luxating patellas, although it is not necessary for every dog with the condition. [6]

  • Portosystemic shunt, a congenital malformation of the portal vein (which brings blood to the liver for cleansing), is also common in Yorkies. [6] In this condition some of the dog's blood bypasses the liver and the “dirty” blood goes on to poison the heart, brain, lungs and other organs with toxins. A Yorkie with this condition might exhibit a wide variety of symptoms, such as small stature, poor appetite, weak muscle development, decreased ability to learn, inferior coordination, occasional vomiting and diarrhea, behavioral abnormalities, seizures (especially after a meal), blindness, coma and death. [6] Often the shunt can be treated with surgery.

  • Tracheal collapse, caused by a progressive weakening of the walls of the trachea, occurs in many toy breeds, especially very tiny Yorkies. [29] As a result of genetics, the walls of the trachea can be flaccid, a condition that becomes more severe with age. [6] Cushing's disease, a disorder that causes production of excess steroid hormone by the adrenal glands, can also weaken cartilage and lead to tracheal collapse. [30] There is a possibility that physical strain on the neck might cause or contribute to trachea collapse. Since this is usually caused by an energetic Yorkie pulling against his collar, many veterinarians recommend use of a harness for leashed walks. [29] An occasional “goose honking” cough, especially on exertion, is usually the first sign of this condition. [29] Over time, the cough may become almost constant in the Yorkie’s later life. [6] Breathing through the obstruction of a collapsed (or partially collapsed) trachea for many years can result in complications, including chronic lung disease. [6] The coughing can be countered with cough suppressants and bronchodilators. [29] If the collapse is advanced and unresponsive to medication, sometimes surgery can repair the trachea. [29]


Terrier Legacy

The Yorkie was bred as a ratter, used to kill mice and rats in small places. [6] As a hunting group, terriers specialize in pursuing animals (usually vermin) that live in dens or burrows. [6] Animals that are cornered and defending their young will fight ferociously. Therefore, any dog that would willingly pursue them must have an extraordinary degree of courage; terriers are bred for that quality. The Yorkshire Terrier, with its feisty temperament, is no exception.

Breed Ancestry

As the name implies, the Yorkshire Terrier originated in Yorkshire County (and the adjoining Manchester County), a rugged region in northern England. [31] 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. [6] 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. [31] 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. [6] The English Black and Tan Terrier bloodline probably gave the Yorkie its signature color pattern. [6] These breeds were all working dogs, used to keep vermin under control in the textile mills and coal mines. [31] Many have suggested that the Maltese, an ancient breed (likely originating in Asia), may be in the Yorkshire Terrier’s background as well. [31]

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. [32] Early Yorkies were also known simply as Toy Terriers, in both rough and broken haired varieties. [33] Yorkshire Terriers were given their breed name by 1874. [33]

Huddersfield Ben

A dog known as Huddersfield Ben is universally acknowledged to be the foundation sire of the Yorkshire Terrier breed. [6] He was born in 1865 in the town of Huddersfield, county of Yorkshire. [34] The very public life of this dog, owned by M.A. Foster, did much to popularize the breed in England. [31] Ben died in an accident at the age of six, but in his short life he won more than 70 prizes at dog shows and also demonstrated exceptional skill in ratting contests. [6] [31] Ben was a highly sought after stud dog because he was one of the first to consistently sire Yorkies true to type and under 5 pounds. [35]

The Yorkie in America

The Yorkshire Terrier was introduced in the United States in 1872. [31] The first Yorkie was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1878, making it one of the first twenty-five breeds to be approved for registration by the AKC. [6] During the late Victorian era, the Yorkshire Terrier quickly became a popular pet, and as Americans embraced Victorian customs, so too did they embrace the Yorkshire Terrier. [32] The breed’s popularity dipped in the 1940’s, when the percentage of small breed dogs registered fell to an all-time low of 18% of total registrations. [36] Smoky, a Yorkie and famous war dog from World War II, is credited with beginning a renewal of interest in the then obscure Yorkshire Terrier breed.[37] Based on registrations, Yorkshire Terriers became the #2 most popular dog breed in the United States in 2006 according to the American Kennel Club, trailing only the Labrador Retriever. [38]


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Breed information on other dog breeds:


Text Source: Wikipedia