The Yorkshire Terrier Dog breed originated from England. They are known as “the dog of kings” because they have been used as guard dogs since ancient times. There were many breeds of dogs that served in the military during the medieval era, but none were so popular or effective at their jobs than the English hunting hounds. They had excellent tracking abilities and could track down their quarry even when it was fleeing through thick brush or dense undergrowth. Their keen sense of smell made them very good at finding lost travelers, but their size and strength meant that they could not easily be handled by untrained hands. These qualities combined with the fact that they were bred to hunt game rather than humans made them ideal guardsmen.
In the 17th century, there were several attempts to create a new type of guard dog for King George III’s troops stationed overseas. One such attempt involved creating a working dog that would be able to work in harsh weather conditions. Another idea was to create a dog that could carry messages quickly across rough terrain. The first two ideas failed, but the third one succeeded and it was called the “Yorkie.” The name came from the area where these dogs were originally developed, but today they are known simply as “yorkies,” after the county in which they were developed.
UNDERSTANDING THE YORKSHIRE TERRIER
In the Middle Ages, there were several different types of hunting dogs. One of the most popular was the English Toy Spaniel. It was a very small dog with long ears and a curly tail. Unlike other toy dogs, it was bred for sport rather than for looks and was perfect for following game into the thick brush after a hunter had shot his prey.
The English Toy Spaniel was not only great at finding game, but it also had a loud distinctive cry that could be used to call the dog back to the hunter. The breed eventually died out during the Victorian era, but it influenced several other breeds including the American Yorkshire Terrier.
The American Yorkshire Terrier was bred in the 1800s by Captain Jesse Crowell to be a fierce rat killer on his Pennsylvania farm. Captain Crowell wanted a dog that could easily go underground after vermin, but he did not want it to be so big that it could not go down the holes. He also didn’t want it to be vicious or loud. He got the best of both worlds with the American Yorkshire Terrier and bred them for size.
The result was a small dog that had a lot of endurance.
Originally, Captain Jesse Crowell called his dogs “weasel dogs,” but the name got changed around a bit until it became the “Yorkie.” It wasn’t until the late 1800s that the breed came to England, but when it did it became a favorite of English royalty. The most famous owner was Queen Victoria who owned several during her reign. In fact, the dogs were so popular that the British government briefly considered banning them from being imported into England because they were taking jobs away from English ratters.
The ban never went into effect because England started suffering a serious rat infestation and the government realized that they couldn’t afford to ban the dogs after all.
The English Yorkie is very similar to its American cousin, but there are several differences. The English Yorkie is slightly larger, but not by much. It also has a more muscular body and was bred to have a wider head. It also has a slightly longer coat that is parted in the middle like a human’s hair part.
The most noticeable difference, however, is its coloring. The American Yorkie can have a variety of colors, but the most common is black and tan (although it can also be white with black patches). The English Yorkie’s coat comes in a variety of colors including: solid blue, blue and tan, blue roan, black and tan, and red (either red or tan). Solid black or solid white Yorkies (either American or English) are not considered to be purebreds.
In either country, Yorkies are prone to a number of health problems including: glaucoma, cataracts, corneal ulcers, progressive retinal atrophy, dental problems, collapsing trachea, and hypothyroidism. They also have a maximum life expectancy of only about 15 years—much shorter than most dogs. However, with regular health care, your Yorkie can live a fairly long and happy life with you.
If you want a dog that…
Is very small and easy to carry
Is very docile, even with small children
Doesn’t need much outdoor exercise
Coats are kept short with minimal work
Is fairly quiet, especially indoors
Is fine with a small amount of grooming, and regular trimming is needed to keep it looking good Is intelligent and can be trained easily
Then a Yorkie might be right for you.
If you don’t want a dog that…
Is very small and can be hurt easily
Has a high-pitched bark that some people find to be loud and annoying
Is best with older, considerate children (it is not a good idea to have this dog around young children who might unintentionally hurt it)
Can live 12 to 15 years, depending on the breeder
Is prone to several health problems that require regular medical care
Needs regular nail trimming and ear cleaning because of its short, flat coat
Is a “yapper” and will bark a lot if bored or left alone too often
Then a Yorkie is not a good choice for you.
Sources & references used in this article:
Medical, Genetic & Behavioral Risk Factors of Yorkshire Terrier by RD Clark – 2014 – books.google.com
Yorkshire Terriers For Dummies by T Barr, PF Veling – 2004 – books.google.com
Complete Puppy & Dog Care: What every dog owner needs to know by B Fogle – 2014 – books.google.com
Hypovitaminosis D is associated with negative outcome in dogs with protein losing enteropathy: a retrospective study of 43 cases by KM Tobias – 2020 – trace.tennessee.edu