A toy breed, the Yorkshire Terrier dog is best known for his full flowing tresses of a texture quite similar to human hair. The coat colouring is unusual too, being a steel blue and gold (rich tan). He has an air of importance about him, holding his head high. Adults stand at about 18-20cm and weigh no more than 3.2kg.
It is believed that Scottish weavers brought a small terrier with them during a period of immigration from Scotland to Yorkshire and Lancanshire during the 1850s. These 'Scotch Terriers,' sometimes also known as 'Halifax Terriers', interbred with local small terriers. It is believed that Yorkies have in their lineage the Manchester Terrier, the Maltese, the Skye, Dandie Dinmont and the Paisley Terriers. Shown as the Scotch Terrier in 1861, the dog later became known as the Yorkshire Terrier dog breed and was recognized as such by the British Kennel Club in 1886.
The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog with a big attitude. This is a dog that will one minute happily snuggle on grandma's knee and enjoy a good cuddle, and the next minute leap through the air and tear after the neighbour's dog promising to show it who is boss. Yorkies are terriers after all, and will protect their territory valiantly.
Yorkshire Terrier dogs tend to have a long lifespan. Nevertheless, they are predisposed to eye problems, kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place, a specific thigh bone disease, bladder stones, a windpipe disorder and congenital liver disease.
To keep your Yorkie healthy and fit, daily exercise is a must. Yorkshire Terriers love walking and will trot on for miles if allowed. A short walk will please a Yorkie so long as he gets a good sniff around and some mental stimulation. Do remember that Yorkshire Terriers aren't just lap dogs, though, and do like to run, fetch and play like any dog. A minimum of half an hour's exercise is needed by an adult daily.
Toy dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
As a pet, the coat of a Yorkshire Terrier dog needs to be brushed daily, using a brush and comb to ensure all tangles are removed. The topknot should be taken down, brushed out and redone. Leaving an elastic band in for days will destroy the coat. Hair under and around the tail should be checked for faeces. The teeth should also be brushed daily, as the small mouth leads to overcrowding and a tendency to teeth decay. Once mastered, the daily grooming should take no longer than 15 minutes.