Did you know?
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the smallest dog on record was a Yorkshire Terrier in Great Britain who, at the age of 2, weighed just 4 ounces.
A Yorkie at play keeps the doctor away. – Unknown
The Yorkshire Terrier is one of the most glamorous of the toys breeds in appearance but his original job was far from it. He hails from Yorkshire in northern England where originally he had the job of keeping down the rat population in coal pits and cotton mills.
He was also used for sport to compete in rat-killing contests.
The original Yorkie was twice the weight of today’s terrier, weighing approximately 15 pounds (6.8 kg) in the mid 1800s. However, once he caught the fancy of the ladies of the time as a companion dog, he began to be bred down in size until he was the perfect fit for a lap. Today, the Yorkshire Terrier has become the most popular Toy breed in England.
Called the father of the breed, Huddersfield Ben was a famous show winner of the 19th century. He and his descendants are credited with defining the breed as it is known today.
The Yorkshire Terrier first came to North America in 1872 during the craze for all things Victorian. Over time, the breed’s popularity waned, hitting an all-time low in the 1940s. Another Yorkie called Smoky became famous during World War II after an American soldier found her abandoned in a foxhole in the jungle. She is credited with increasing interest in the breed again.
Photos displayed courtesy of Crystal Siemens, CryCa Kennels, Saskatchewan
One of the world’s smallest dogs, the Yorkie today weighs no more than 7 pounds (3 kg).
His long, straight, silky coat is believed to be inherited from Maltese ancestors. His coat is a bright, shiny, lustrous steel blue and clear-shaded golden tan. The hair is parted on the muzzle and this part runs from the base of the skull to the end of the tail. Puppies are born almost black and lighten to a steel-blue by twelve months old. The Yorkie has a tan-coloured head and legs.
If you want that glossy coat picture perfect, daily brushing, combing, and/or trimming is required. Eventually that coat will reach the floor, making him one of the more high maintenance dogs as far as grooming goes. Many pet owners keep the coat cut short.
Surprisingly for a dog with all that hair, he is a very light shedder and may be a great companion for an allergy sufferer.
The Yorkie is a fairly long-lived breed, with a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.
The Yorkshire Terrier looks like a snuggly little lapdog and he excels in this role. However, he is a terrier. He’s got a ‘big dog personality in a small dog body’. His feisty and curious personality means he’s not afraid to charge off after larger dogs. In fact he loves to chase around after anything that moves!
Because of his small size, he needs supervision so that he doesn’t come to harm. Although his activity level is high, running around the house should provide enough exercise, making him the perfect pet for the stay-at-home.
His small size makes him an ideal companion in even the smallest accommodation. However, he is too fragile and easily injured to tolerate the rough-housing common with very young children.
Like other terriers, he will benefit from early obedience training and socialization so he becomes a well behaved adult.
Be warned: this breed is known for being difficult to housebreak. In addition, if you spoil him he can become suspicious, nervous, snappy, and a nuisance barker.
A well socialized Yorkie is lively, brave, and spirited, and affectionate and cheerful in disposition.