The Yorkshire terrier breed began in Great Britain. Originally called a "broken-haired Scotch Terrier," the breed was renamed the Yorkshire terrier in 1870. The breed is also popular in the USA. In 2009, Yorkshire Terriers had the third highest number of American Kennel Club registrations.
The Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club recognise only one breed name for Yorkshire terriers. The breed, unlike some others, does not have a size division. Therefore, in registration, the only breed is Yorkshire terrier.
Because the Yorkshire terrier is part of the Kennel Club's toy group, all registered Yorkshire terriers are toys. Breeds in the toy group are all small and typically under 7 kg.
No national breed club recognises the term "teacup." Teacup is a term used in advertising dogs that are smaller than the breed standard. Since the breed standard for a Yorkshire terrier is a minimum of 1.3 kg for adult dogs, a teacup would be a Yorkshire that is less than 1.3 kg when grown.
A responsible Yorkshire terrier breeder seeks to produce dogs that are standard size. Very small Yorkshire dogs frequently have genetic and health problems, according to Gale Thompson, Yorkshire Terrier Club of America. Breeding runts is a common way to produce teacup dogs, according to Vet Confidential writer Louise Murray, who has a doctorate in veterinary medicine.
Some health issues of teacup dogs include whelping problems, low blood sugar, liver shunts, dental problems, fragile bones and other orthopaedic issues, according to Murray. According to Joe Geller, a writer for DogChannel who also has a doctorate in veterinary medicine, congenital abnormalities and other issues may cause runts or teacup dogs to have special needs.
Yorkshire terriers from responsible breeds may be as small as 1.3 kg (3 pounds). Breeders who concentrate on healthy size, instead of marketing concept, work to produce a pet that may live longer with fewer medical issues.
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