The Yorkshire terrier, or "Yorkie" is a toy breed of terrier. In the 19th century, Yorkies were employed as rat catchers in English mills. During the Victorian era, they began to take up residency in the homes of high society Europeans who kept the dogs as companions and pets. There are some dogs of this breed that exhibit an appearance different than that which is the breed standard. These dogs are still considered to fall under the umbrella of the breed called Yorkshire Terrier.
Many breeders and pet stores attempt to capitalise on puppies that are uncommonly small or of an uncommon colour. There are no Yorkie variations that are recognised by either the American Kennel Club or the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America. The "teacup" variety of Yorkshire terrier is a deceptive term used by some breeders to describe Yorkies that are extra small. Other terms to describe these dogs include "mini" "T-cup" and "Micro". Parti-Color and Chocolate Yorkies are Yorkshire terriers that have different colourings than the standard breed. The Silky terrier is also mistakenly referred to as being a Yorkie, when in reality the American Kennel Club lists this dog as an all together separate breed.
When they are born, Yorkie puppies are brown, black and tan coloured. As they mature into adulthood their head remains small and somewhat flat on top. These dogs dark eyes, black noses, and ears that are erect and V-shaped. Yorkies have long hair on their heads which owners trim or secure with a band or other device to keep it out of the dog's food and eyes. Full grown, a Yorkie weighs approximately 3.18kg. and grows to 6 or 7 inches tall.
Because of their naturally long hair, Yorkies require regular grooming. Long coats are usually only kept on show dogs. When the coat is long, the dogs hair should be brushed and combed regularly. For dogs kept strictly as pets owners usually cup the hair close and shaggy. Short hair should also be brushed and combed on a regular basis. The teeth of Yorkshier terriers should be cleaned regularly.
Yorkshire terriers are a loyal breed. They show a lot of affection for their owner but can be hesitant to interact with strangers and aggressive toward small animals and other dogs. Yorkies need and respond to gentle authoritative displays of leadership by their owners so that they do not develop a nature of being defiant and attempting to take over and run the household according to their whims and desires. Yorkies who are not "put in their place" can become demanding and begin to act out if they feel jealous, frightened, or irritated. Boundaries must be established and enforced early on in order to cultivate a Yorkie who is loving and sweet.
Despite their small size, Yorkies are energetic and active dogs that should be walked daily. In addition to these walks they also have an abundance of energy and a big desire to play and be played with. Although play can count toward their activity requirements, all dogs have a primal instinct and need to walk, and play cannot replace getting out and moving their legs.
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