The Yorkshire Terrier is a great example of upward mobility. Originally bred for the lowly task of hunting rats in 19th Century clothing mills, Yorkies are now among the most pampered dogs on the planet. Thanks to their dainty size and gorgeous silky hair, these working class terriers have moved up to doggie diva status. Many of the breed scarcely touch the ground, preferring instead to travel by purse – or in the loving arms of their owners.
To be fair, Yorkies aren’t all spoiled rotten. After all, if they were nothing more than accessories for fashion-conscious girly girls, they wouldn’t be one of the most popular dog breeds on the planet, now would they? The fact that these guys are small, adaptable, and lively probably has as much to do with their success as their devastating cuteness.
While these pups are tiny enough for most (weighing in at about 7 pounds), there’s actually miniature version of the breed that tests the limits of cuteness.
Don’t let their fancy looks fool you – Yorkies are terriers through and through. If you’re looking for a mellow lap dog, you might want to turn your attention elsewhere. Like all terriers, Yorkies are active and retain their urge to hunt (even if it’s directed toward things they’re not supposed to hunt). They also tend to be proud and assertive little dogs, though maybe not quite as outright confrontational as other terrier breeds.
Health Problems & Life Expectancy
The life span of a Yorkshire Terrier generally falls in the range of 12-16 years. With proper care and some luck, these little guys can really get up there in years.
Like all breeds, Yorkshire Terriers have their health issues. They’re somewhat fragile and prone to injury. Because of their small size, they also may not tolerate anesthesia well.
Other health issues particular to this breed include constipation, diarrhea, and general tummy problems. With a Yorkie, you should generally stick with one dog food brand (preferably dry, as Yorkie also have teeth problems). Keep the table scraps to a minimum.
The tiny Yorkshire can fit into almost anyone’s life. Because of their size, they’re relatively easy to exercise even if you live in an apartment. A few things to look out for:
Barking. Like a lot of terriers, Yorkies tend to be yappers – which is great if you’re in the market for a watch dog, but could be annoying otherwise.
Grooming. That gorgeous hair requires frequent brushing. Of course, you can always cut their hair short to make things easier.
Shedding. Despite what you might think, these pups do not shed a lot. There’s some disagreement about whether they should be classified as hypoallergenic, but people with sensitivities or allergies may find them easier to tolerate than other breeds.
Still interested in getting a Yorkshire Terrier? If you’re looking for a puppy, there are plenty of reputable breeders to choose from. If you can manage it, an even better choice is to adopt a Yorkie through a shelter or rescue organization.
Given how beloved Yorkies are, it’s no surprise that they’re an ingredient in a lot of popular designer breeds. There’s the Yorkie Pom (Yorkshire/Pomeranian cross), the Yorkie Chon (Yorkshire/Bichon Frise), and the Chorkie (Yorkshire/Chihuahua), to name a few. But when it comes to Yorkie mixes, one combo stands apart from the rest and warrants its own section.
The Yorkie Poo is possibly the hottest hybrid dog around, combining some of the best traits of the Yorkie and the Poodle. The Yorkie brings cuteness, small size, and great hair. The poodle brings an extra helping of smarts, plus the benefit of being hypoallergenic. Put it all together, and it’s no wonder that Yorkie Poo puppies are in such high demand.
For those who like to doll up their pooches with fabulous clothes and hairstyles, the Yorkshire Terrier is a natural choice. Many owners enjoy dressing them with bows, dresses, tuxedos, and Halloween costumes. They also look great in a variety of different haircuts, from a short “puppy cut” to a long, flowing three-layer ‘do.