The Yorkshire Terrier was developed in England in the midst of the XIX century to become a highly fashionable companion animal. Brave and intelligent, it likes to play, gets on well with household cats, and has the special talent of bringing a smile on your face. The breed suffers from only one grave shortcoming: its luxurious coat requires great amount of care.
The task of the early Yorkshire Terrier was the eradication of rats and other pests in the mines and cotton mills in county Yorkshire, which is located in northern England. It’s believed that a miniature, long-haired and bluish-grey dog called the Waterside Terrier was among the primary ancestors of this breed. This dog was especially wide-spread in the Yorkshire area and was highly prized by miners in the West riding region for its ratting skills.
In the middle of the XIX century weavers and other workers from Scotland moved south to England in order to find an employment. As a rule they were accompanied by their compact Scottish Terriers of an uncertain origin. In Yorkshire these canines were bred to local Waterside Terriers to develop the Broken-Haired Scotch Terrier that subsequently earned the repute of an excellent rat exterminator in local coalmines and textile plants. Eventually, other crosses were definitely performed.
The list of the breeds that may have been used in the creation of the Yorkshire Terrier includes the old rough-haired Black-and-Tan English Terrier, the Skye Terrier, the Maltese, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, the Paisley Terrier, the Waterside Terrier, the Manchester Terrier, the now-extinct long-coated Leeds Terrier and the Clydesdale Terrier. The final result of these breeding experiments became known as the Yorkshire Terrier. This version of the breed was remarkable for comparatively large size and had sufficient gameness to confront even the strongest rodents.
The first Yorkshire Terriers were exhibited at a dog show in England in 1861 under the name «the Broken-Haired Scotch Terrier». Soon the breed won tremendous following in the role of a pet and enjoyed particular popularity with female representatives of high society in various countries. It gradually shrank in size, although its lavish coat remained unchanged both in density and length.
The Yorkshire Terriers’ organised breeding in the U.S. began in 1872 and in 1885 it received recognition of the American Kennel Club (AKC). Today this somewhat feisty, vigorous and pretty little dog makes a tough competitor in the show ring although in most cases it’s acquired solely for a companionship.
The character of the Yorkshire Terrier depends on the dog’s up-bringing just as much as on its heredity. The masters who don’t neglect the socialisation of their pet have good chances to raise a well-mannered and reasonably calm canine companion. Remember that affection of this tiny dog may pass all bounds so it will refuse staying alone even for several minutes. Separation anxiety manifests itself in this breed by ecstatic yapping and hyper activity. The Yorkshire Terrier has delicate body and dislikes too rough games so it can’t be reckoned as a proper choice for families with small kids.
This dog is prone to become very nervous in the presence of strangers and may even snap if an unfamiliar person dares to invade its personal space. However, the well-socialised Yorkie is very polite with people of all ages provided they don’t pose any danger for its human family or territory. Its penchant for immoderate barking makes this breed a highly responsible watchdog. It’s also very protective of its masters and dwelling although this dog won’t become a good guardian because of its diminutive size.
The Yorkshire Terrier is usually at feud with unknown dogs and can seriously irritate them by its continuous yapping. Since almost any dog can easily tackle the breeds’ specimen the master must protect his pet from unwanted contacts with homeless canines. This breed is perfectly compatible with other medium-sized pets and commonly makes friends with a household cat (of course, animals must be correctly introduced to each other).
The most common problems for the breed include:
· bladder stones;
· eye problems;
· collapsing trachea;
· hypoplasia of the dens;
· legg-calve-perthes disease;
· patellar luxation;
· patent ductus arteriosus;
· short-hair syndrome of silky breeds;
· alopecia (hair loss);
· hepatic lipidosis;
· microvascular portal dysplasia;
· elbow dysplasia;
· testicular neoplasia;
· atlantoaxial subluxation;
· portosystemic shunts.
The Yorkshire Terrier needs extensive amount of maintenance. The specimen with a soft coat should be brushed rather frequently to avert the emergence of tangles and mats. The fur of silky-haired dog is less prone to matting but it still needs brushing at least three times a week. As a rule owners who don’t show their pets prefers to have them professionally trimmed on a regular basis.
It’s also mandatory to periodically examine the dog’s ears in order to detect any early indications of irritation or infection. As a toy breed the older Yorkshire Terrier usually suffers from dental issues so make sure to brush the dog’s teeth minimum once a week. Monthly nail trimming is also essential for the dog’s overall health.
The Yorkshire Terrier responds to training relatively good. Of course, when its terrier’s stubbornness kicks in no amount of coaxing will be able to make it to obey your orders. Nonetheless this dog likes pleasing its owners and will learn the most eagerly if its efforts are rewarded by its favourite food and kind words.
It’s imprudent to punish your dog in any way because it will only cause avoidance behaviour. There are certain difficulties in housebreaking of the Yorkshire Terrier and some of these dogs never learn to do their businesses outside one hundred per cent.
The Yorkshire Terrier is fairly unpretending breed as far as it concerns its exercise regimen. It will be completely satisfied with a long daily walk and occasional playtime in a safely enclosed territory. This shrewish little dog can fearlessly attack the canine that is multiple times its size so the master should hold his pet securely leashed while outside.
The Yorkie becomes a great companion animal for any dwelling including a small city apartment. Remember that boredom will most probably make this dog destructive and ill-behaved at home so devote your pet sufficient amount of attention and care on a daily basis.