Yorkshire Terriers were first recognised by the Kennel Club in 1886 but have been shown in the ring back as far as 1862.
In the war the breed was kept going by the enthusiasm and sheer love by a handful of breeders. Yorkshire terriers were formally known as Scotch Terriers.
The Yorkshire terrier is an extremely happy and intelligent little dog with a huge personality, who just loves to be with its owners. They enjoy a walk or are equally happy with a play in the garden. They appreciate a lap to sit on most of all. You have to be so careful as a yorkie has a theory, that it is a very large dog, frightened of nothing, and will try to play with the largest of dogs, sadly coming off worst in so many instances. So just remember this when out in the park among other dogs. Yorkies train very easily, they are very intelligent, and love activities such as agility; they are real show offs.
As a breed they are known as being born smooth coated and black and tan. It is most interesting to watch how the coats change through to adulthood. The backs change from black to varying shades of steel blue at varying ages, sometimes as young as 12 months. Others do not change until they are much older, if at all. He is in his prime at about three years old. Beware of the really coal black puppies known as ‘woollies' and ‘cotton coated’, they will remain black and tan all their life, never gaining the glorious silky blue hair, in varying shades the breed is renowned for.
Yorkies are often acquired for their glorious coat which is their trademark in the show ring, many years of practice is needed to keep a yorkie groomed to perfection. Most of the pet owners keep their yorkie in a ‘pet trim’ which is far easier to maintain. Yorkies do not shed their coats, which grow all the time. A good brush and comb every day, making sure not to miss the bits round the elbows will keep your yorkie knot and tangle free. They need a bath every so often, as being close to the ground they do pick up a little mud etc on a walk. A visit to a professional groomer is necessary every 3-4 months for a bath, coat and nail trim is recommended.
Yorkies need an extra coat on in the winter, as they do not have a thick under coat, and feel the cold. There are lots of places to buy these coats small enough for these delightful little dogs. Yorkies are not generally fussy eaters, and there are some dog food manufactures who make a kibble especially for Yorkies, which contain all the necessary nutrients to keep them healthy, and if you feed the kibble dry it will help with keeping their teeth clean. Yorkies are not really suitable for young children, as they hate having their coats pulled, and will react accordingly. The risk of them being dropped is a recipe for a broken leg or worse. Again a disadvantage when young children want to hold a yorkie.
Yorkies are generally very healthy, but Patella Luxation in the hind legs is seen in this breed.
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is also rearing it head in a very small way, as yet Yorkies are not on the eye testing scheme.