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Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed Characteristics & Information
Also known as Yorkie, the Yorkshire Terrier looks elegant with its long silky coat and cute top knot. The Yorkshire Terriers are often known to have the personality of a big dog that is trapped in a small body. However, their love for adventure may even cause a bit of trouble.
Scroll down to gain a thorough knowledge of the basic features of Yorkshire Terriers.
What is the History of Yorkshire Terrier Dogs?
The Yorkshire Terriers originated from the Clydesdale Terrier that came with the Scottish workers to the city of Yorkshire. The Clydesdale Terriers were much larger than the Yorkshire Terrier and were mainly bred to catch rats in the mills and factories. Theories say that the Clydesdale Terrier was probably crossed with the other terries to develop the Yorkshire Terriers.
Initially, the Yorkies were known as ‘broken-haired Scotch Terriers’. This dog breed got its current name in 1870 and was recognised by the British Kennel Club in 1874. The first Yorkshire Terrier in the U.S. was born in 1872 and was divided by weight back then. Eventually, the officials settled for the size range between 3 to 7 pounds.
What are the Characteristics of Yorkshire Terrier Dogs?
Some of the characteristics of Yorkshire Terriers are:
- Lifespan: Yorkshire Terriers have an average lifespan of 11 to 15 years, like any other toy breed.
- Height: Regardless of gender, Yorkshire Terriers are 8 to 9 inches tall.
- Colour: Yorkshire Terriers are seen in many colours, such as blue, black, and tan.
- Weight: Some Yorkshire Terriers may weigh less than 4 pounds, and some may even weigh 15 pounds.
- Temperament: Yorkshire Terriers can sometimes be feisty but are very confident, contrary to their small size.
- Energy Level: Yorkshire Terriers are moderately energetic and have minimum exercise requirements.
How to Train Yorkshire Terrier Dogs?
Owing to their stubborn nature, they might act unruly and destructive at times. Hence, here are 4 tips to train your Yorkshire Terrier:
- Use Positive Reinforcements: Positive Reinforcements are very helpful while training Yorkshire Terriers. Always offer treats to your dog whenever they behave nicely and develop the desired behaviour. This will help them to correlate their favourite treats with their behaviour.
- Set Strict and Consistent Boundaries: You should set clear boundaries and tell your Yorkshire Terrier what is forbidden. Also, use the same cues during every training session and notify the other family members to use the same.
- Avoid Punishment Training: Punishment training tends to scare off your Yorkshire Terrier. Hence, keep calm and be patient with your dog. Even if your dog commits mistakes during the session, teach them again. Contrary to punishments, you can also use a negative tone to imply that the behaviour is wrong.
- Keep Training Sessions Short: Yorkshire Terriers have a concise attention span and should not be trained for long hours. However, the length of the session depends on the owner and the dog. Start with 5 minutes; if your dog enjoys it, gradually increase the time limit.
What are the Common Health Problems in Yorkshire Terrier Dogs?
Some of the common health problems of Yorkshire Terrier dogs are:
- Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca: Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca is another name for chronic dry eye that can cause other ocular issues. If left untreated, it may progress to blindness with hyperpigmentation of the eyes. Treatment is lifelong and more effective if diagnosed early. It may also occur from other systemic diseases.
- Reverse Sneezing: Reverse Sneezing is majorly confused with a collapsed trachea. The former is a less severe condition when compared to the latter. It occurs when your Yorkshire Terrier is too excited or has been in contact with certain irritants in the air. Help your dog relax by gently stroking its throat.
- Portosystemic Shunt: It is a condition where the blood supply between the liver and the body is affected. As a result, blood detoxification gets hampered, and the toxins circulate throughout the body. Signs and symptoms in Yorkshire Terriers may include neurobehavioural abnormalities, hypoglycemia, and urinary tract problems.
- Cataract: Yorkshire terriers generally turn blind when affected by cataracts. Their eyes appear white and milky, and the lens becomes opaque. Cataracts are mainly an inherited disease and might also happen from other diseases such as glaucoma and diabetes. Treatment includes surgical intervention.
- Patellar Luxation: Patellar Luxation is commonly seen in toy breeds where the knee joint gets dislocated and slides in and out of its place. It is also known as ‘Slipped Stifles’. Affected Yorkshire Terriers show lameness in the legs or abnormal gait. The rubbing and friction in the joint eventually lead to arthritis.
- Collapsed Trachea: Toy breeds have a fragile trachea compared to other dog breeds. Hence, Yorkshire Terriers are highly prone to collapsed trachea. The signs and symptoms of this condition include a dry cough with a harsh sound that sounds like a goose honk. Treatment may progress through medical or surgical management.
- Hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia is a common condition in toy breeds. Yorkshire Terriers suffer from hypoglycemia when stressed or due to any other underlying condition. This condition is mainly seen in puppies and may manifest as confusion, wobbly gait, and weakness. Rush to the vet as soon as you see the symptoms.
How to Take Care of Yorkshire Terrier Dogs?
Here are a few tips to take care of your Yorkshire Terrier:
- Food and Nutrition: High-quality dog food should be provided to your dog by splitting it into two meals. The meal portion should depend on the age, build, and metabolism of your Yorkshire Terrier, as every dog doesn’t consume the same amount of food. The food should be high in protein, and the calorie intake should also be maintained to prevent obesity.
- Grooming: Yorkshire Terriers have a beautiful, long, silky coat without curves or waves. Yorkies have a single coat and shed minimally throughout the year. However, if the Yorkies have a soft coat instead of a silky coat, it is very challenging to deal with the tangles. Brush your dog daily to prevent matting and remove the dead hair.
- Exercise: Even though Yorkies have moderate energy levels, they must exercise daily. Two to three brisk walks daily with playtime in between are enough to satiate their excess energy. Apart from this, engage them in activities that stimulate them physically and mentally.
Yorkshire Terriers are very affectionate towards their family members and protective as well. Although they don’t bark much, they are likely to bark at strangers and intruders. Hence, it is crucial to teach them to tone down. Apart from this, they can also turn aggressive towards other dogs and, hence, must be trained adequately.