Expand History content
The Yorkshire Terrier doesn’t look like a product of the working class, nor do they look like a dog who protected the home from rodents, but they were both. In fact, the Yorkshire area of England was known for having fine animals, and it is thought that the Yorkshire Terrier was no accident but rather the result of purposeful mixing between a variety of terriers, probably including the Waterside Terrier, Clydesdale Terrier, Paisley Terrier, rough-coated English Black and Tan Terrier, and perhaps even the Skye Terrier and Dandie Dinmont Terrier.
The Waterside Terrier was one of their early relatives; these were small blue-gray dogs with fairly long hair, usually weighing around 10 pounds, brought from Scotland by weavers. Because of their modest roots, the Yorkshire Terrier was initially looked down upon by other wealthier households with dogs. Even the most snobbish could not deny the breed’s obvious beauty, however, and in short order, Yorkshire Terriers were gracing the laps of wealthy mistresses.
By 1880, Yorkshire Terriers had come to America, but the breed varied so much in size that there was great confusion around how big a Yorkshire Terrier might be. Many of these early Yorkies weighed between 12 and 14 pounds. By 1900, people on both sides of the Atlantic had decided that the small size was preferable along with a longer coat. Today, the modern Yorkshire Terrier is one of the smaller and most luxuriously coated dog breeds. These traits, along with their terrier heritage, have placed them as a consistent favorite with families.
The Yorkshire Terrier seems oblivious of their small size, ever eager for adventure and sometimes even trouble! They are busy, inquisitive, bold, stubborn, and can be assertive with strange dogs and small pets. Although some tend to bark a lot, they can easily be taught not to do so through training.
Yorkshire Terriers tend to exercise themselves within the home, but they also need to have interaction in the form of games. They appreciate a daily walk outdoors on leash and enjoy the chance to explore a safe area, like a fenced yard. Their long coat needs brushing or combing every day or two.
Major concerns: none
Minor concerns: patellar luxation
Occasionally seen: portacaval shunt, PRA, tracheal collapse, Legg-Perthes
Suggested tests: knee, eye, (hip), (thyroid)
Life span: 14–16 years