Tuesday, August 21, 2012


The real name for Yorkies is Yorkshire Terriers, but most people just call them "Yorkies."  I think this is probably because "Yorkshire Terrier" is way too long a name for such a little dog.  In 2011, Yorkies were the 5th most popular dog breed in the U.S., according to the AKC.  This is likely because (1) they are really cute, and (2) they are so small that you can just stick one in your purse and take it along wherever you go.

Before the 19th century, there was no such thing as a Yorkshire Terrier.  But then what happened was that some Scottish people moved into northern England so they could get work in the cotton and woolen mills.  These people brought several types of small terriers with them, and the dogs were used to hunt mice and rats in the mills.

Nobody knows exactly which terriers were bred together to make Yorkies, but the Paisley Terrier was probably part of the mix because of its long, silky coat.  Also there might have been some Maltese bred in.  Anyway, the terrier that breeders ended up with was different from other terriers, and it became a whole new breed, the Yorkshire Terrier.

Mrs. Foster's "Huddersfield Ben"
and Lady Giffard's "Katie"
One of the most famous Yorkies ever was named Huddersfield Ben.  An authority on the breed wrote that "Huddersfield Ben was the best stud dog of his breed during his life-time, and one of the most remarkable dogs of any pet breed that ever lived; and most of the show specimens of the present day have one or more crosses of his blood in their pedigree."  Of course, nowadays we know that it's not such a good idea to use one sire so much because it limits the breed's gene pool, but back then people weren't thinking about stuff like that.  All the Yorkshire Terrier breeders wanted their puppies to look like Ben, and he started being called the "father of the breed."

Yorkies first came to North America in 1872, and the AKC registered the first one in 1885.  The breed was really popular during the Victorian Era, both in the U.K. and in the U.S.  But by the 1940s, people weren't wanting small dogs so much anymore, and the percentage of toy breeds registered was only 18%.  But then Smoky, the little Yorkshire Terrier who became a famous war dog, made people get interested in the breed again.  I told you the story of Smoky already and you can read it here, just in case you forgot it.

The coat of a Yorkshire Terrier is supposed to be silky, straight, and glossy.  In show dogs, the coat is grown out long and parted down the middle of the back.  The color is dark gray or steel blue, except on the head, chest, and legs, where it is tan.  Sometimes Yorkies have coats that are more wooly or cottony or are an off-color.  These dogs are not shown or bred, but they make perfectly good pets, of course.

When Yorkie puppies are born, they are black with tan points on the muzzle, eyes, ears, legs, and feet.  The black turns blue-gray as the dog gets older, but it might take three years for the coat to reach its final color.

Yorkshire Terriers usually have a lot of personality.  They are active, love attention, and are sometimes overprotective.  They are spunky and smart, and they trot around in a sassy, confident way.  Their temperament is not as soft as what some other lap dogs have.  Yorkies like to bark, which makes them good watchdogs.

The breed standard says that Yorkies should weigh between 5 and 7 pounds.  There are "teacup" Yorkies who only weigh about 3 pounds, but these tiny dogs may only live 3--7 years.  A normal-sized Yorkie will have a life span anywhere from 12 to 17 years.

The main health problems that Yorkies have are bronchitis, lymphangiactasia, portosystemic shunt, cataracts, and keratitis sicca.  I don't know what some of this stuff is, so if you want to know about it, you will have to look it up yourself.  Yorkies don't tolerate anesthesia very well, and they are more likely to be hurt or killed by falls, other dogs, or their owners' clumsiness.  Which means that if you have a Yorkie, you should be really careful not to sit on it or drop it or anything like that.

Oh, and one other reason why people probably like Yorkies is because they are just the right size to dress up with cute little clothes.  And also you can put bows in their hair.  So if you're into that kind of thing, you might want to get yourself a Yorkie.  And if you're not, well, you can use your Yorkie to catch any mice that get into your house.


  1. Dear Puppy Breeders,
    I would prefer that you not advertise on my blog site because I think it's better if people adopt dogs from shelters or rescue groups. Thanks.

    1. You are right bro. I think this will be helpful for them who are looking a cute pet. So this will helpful for them to easily acquire a puppy for their home.

    2. Thank you so much for understanding!