Country of Origin: England
Height: 6–7 inches [est.]
Weight: No more than 7 pounds
Coat: Moderately long, straight, silky, glossy, fine
Colors: Steel blue and tan
Origin and History
The first Yorkshire Terrier on record is Huddersfeld Ben, acknowledged to be the foundation sire of the breed. Ben was born in 1865 and hailed from the county of Yorkshire in northern England, from which the breed’s name comes. This rugged region was notorious for its hardworking coal miners and mill workers, who needed these tough little dogs to keep vermin under control in the mines and textile mills.
The specific breeds that make up the Yorkie are not known. It is believed that the Skye Terrier, Maltese, black and tan Manchester Terrier, now-extinct Leeds Terrier, and possibly the Dandie Dinmont Terrier were the main forebears. Originally called Broken-Haired Scotch or Yorkshire Terriers, the name Yorkshire Terrier became official in 1870. Yorkshires were initially much bigger dogs, but as their reputation as good-looking and reliable working dogs spread, they quickly became more popular as companion pets for high society. As a result, they were bred smaller and smaller.
It didn’t take long for the Yorkie to become popular all over England, and subsequently, in the United States.
The Yorkshire Terrier is a charming dog. Although small in size, his heart and personality are large. The Yorkie has a playful side, too, and can be mischievous and lovable all at the same time. An energetic and exuberant companion, he is still a true terrier— feisty, fearless, and ready to take on the world.
The Yorkshire Terrier gets his exercise by going everywhere with his owners— following them around the house and yard, going for strolls around the block or neighborhood, or playing with them. Active by nature, regular romps and excursions will keep him happy and fit.
A Yorkie kept in full coat must be brushed and combed every day to prevent tangles. The hair on his face grows long, too, and should be secured out of his eyes in a topknot. Many owners prefer to keep the coat clipped, which makes grooming much easier— although it will still require regular brushing. The Yorkie sheds little and carries less dander, which can be a bonus for allergy sufferers. He tends to have problems with his teeth, so they must be cleaned frequently.
The average life span of the Yorkshire Terrier is 12 to 15 years.
The ever-attentive Yorkie will gladly perform for rewards and positive feedback, although he can be stubborn. Lessons need to be kept simple and short and repeated often, with sufficient rewards, before they really sink in. He can be difficult to housetrain; perseverance and patience are the keys to success.