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Is the Yorkshire Terrier the Right Type of Dog For You?
Around the mid-19th century, unemployed Scottish workers moved south in search of work, and they brought their little dogs with them. Crossbreeding them with local terriers produced a dog capable of catching and killing the rats that infested the local mines and cotton factories.
This dog first appeared at a bench show as a “broken-haired Scotch Terrier” in the early 1860s. This young breed finally became known as the Yorkshire Terrier in 1870–the journey from tiny ratters to world popularity began.
Within a decade the York climbed out of the darkness of the mines, and entered the bosom of the richest women in England. The Yorkshire Terrier quickly became the ultimate Victorian fashion accessory. Or carried on the arm of a socialite, or peeking out of her fancy handbag.
The Yorkie was quickly embraced by American fans and was classified by the American Kennel Club as a member of the Toy Group. The breed standard requires the Yorkie to weigh no more than seven pounds, but no minimum weight is specified. Dogs as light as one pound were bred. But, as most responsible breeders point out, when dogs are bred to this size, their health is compromised.
The Yorkshire Terrier has a long, silky, flowing coat of dark steel blue that separates along the back to cover the body and tail. The head and legs are tan. Eyes are dark, and shine with intelligence, and the tail is usually docked to a medium length.
York and apartment life go together well. A yard for him to explore and romp around in would be nice, but he can live without it. However, do not forget to give him a daily walk. He needs his exercise as much as the next dog, even though he may be a fraction of their size.
This is a very playful and sociable breed. They enjoy family activity, and want to be right in the middle of it. If you have young children, you need to be careful. As tough as the Yorkie is, he is tiny, and rough play could end in serious injury.
The Yorkshire Terriers usually get along well with dogs and other pets, but they can be attention seekers, and therefore demanding. Some Yorkies can be stubborn, but they also like to please their owners. You should take advantage of this trait by starting to train your puppy from day one.
Socialization is equally important. Try attending your local obedience classes with him. This will help him get used to other dogs, people and situations. It’s also a chance for you to meet new people and their dogs.
Yorkshire Terrier is a relatively healthy dog breed. Although retained labial teeth, hernias and hypoglycemia can be problem areas.
Feeding your Yorkie won’t break the bank. They don’t have the most robust digestive systems, so tread carefully with their diet. Feeding dry food will keep his teeth in better condition than if you feed him canned food. You can mix the two foods until you find the best mix.
Most Yorkies need regular brushing and combing to keep their coats in good condition and prevent matting. Dogs with very silky coats need slightly less grooming. You should also brush your dog’s teeth frequently to alleviate the problem of early tooth decay to which this breed is prone.
The well-bred and socialized Yorkshire Terrier is a pleasure to own. Of course, the York has its flaws like all dog breeds, but as a loyal and loving companion it has few rivals.
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