UPDATED! Yorkshire Terrier: Breed of the Week

Are Yorkshire Terriers Good City Dogs?

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies as they are commonly known, are feisty little dogs. First shown at the British Kennel Club in 1874, its ancestor was brought to Yorkshire by Scottish miners who came to work the coalmines, textile mills, and factories.

Westminster Dog Show Portraits
Yorkshire Terrier (Photo: Natalie Siebers)

They’re thought to be a cross between the Rough Coated Black and Tan English Terrier and the Paisley and Clydesdale Terriers according to the American Kennel Club. The first were much larger than todays Yorkies weighing about 20 lbs. The Yorkshire terrier as we know it weighs on average is seven pounds and stands about 7 inches at the shoulder. Yorkies are suscepitible to Patellar Luxation, a condition that can cause lameness as well as degenerative eye disorder and hypoglycemia.They live a long time. My niece Naida has one, Nico a 7 pound 9-year-old, who is as feisty as any new puppy and my wonderful friend Christine Nassikas had two Yorkies, Elena and one also named Nico, who lived to be 15 and 12 respectively.

 

If you are considering a Yorkie, keep in mind they need quite a bit of grooming. If not maintained, their hair can mat and tangle  Special attention should also be paid to their teeth. According to Dog Breed Info, small breeds are prone to dental problem.  With Yorkies, tartar is a particular problem.

Westminster Dog Show Portraits
Yorkshire Terrier

Do Yorkshire Terriers Bark?

Yorkies are aften thought to be great Urban Dogs because of their small size. But, don’t let her diminutive stature fool you, this little guy has a big personality. Yorkies seem to not know they’re small dogs and will often go after dogs many times their size.

Canine Extravaganza: Owner-Handler Day
Sleepy Yorkie

But, one of the things that Yorkie owners love about their little companions is their love and loyalty. They are quite affectionate with their masters but can be very aggressive with strangers. If you are thinking of getting a Yorkie keep in mind that a small dog requires training just like a large dog. Many Yorkie and small dog owners seem to forgo training and discipline because of their dogs’ size. This can result in a dog with many neuroses and behavioral problems. Look at it this way, this is a dog small enough for you to take almost anywhere you go and if you one day decide not to, you may end up with a dog with major separation anxiety. Or your dog can become overly protective and become aggressive towards people who approach you. The good news is that they score “Above Average” on  a list of dogs when it comes to understanding new commands. They obey first commands about 70% of the time according to Stanley Coren, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia who studies dog behavior. That means it takes fifteen to twenty-five repetitions for them to learn new commands. They can be taught to be great babysitters or fierce guard dogs.

AKC Family Dog Magazine
Yorkie Super Model

 

No two ways about it, Yorkshire Terriers are barkers! UC Davis researchers Benjamin and Lynette Hart devised a chart ranking dogs by the likelihood of barking at inappropriate times. On a scale of one to ten — with one being the least offensive barkers and ten the most excessive barkers — they get a ten rating! Click here for more on Urban Dog’s take on barking.

Click here to visit the American Kennel Club’s page on the breed. And here’s a link to the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America. They can make great Urban Dogs, just make sure you keep them active and engaged.

AKC Family Dog Magazine
AKC Family Dog Magazine

For tips on how to find a pet-friendly apartment in New York and other cities read Urban Dog’s guide.

All in all, the Yorkshire terrier is a great little dog and would make an excellent Urban Dog.

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