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30 Interesting Yorkie Facts

    Breed 101    June 22, 2014

Yorkshire Terrier Breed Facts

Yorkies have hair, not fur. Unlike most dogs, Yorkies don’t shed because they have only a single layer of fine hair—like humans—instead of an undercoat. However, they lose their hair (which is usually silky in texture) naturally just as humans do while being bathed or brushed.

In the children’s book The Wizard of Oz, the dog illustrated by W.W. Denslow was a Yorkie. However, Toto was played by a Cairn Terrier for the film.

Yorkies can have floor length coats. The American Kennel Club’s “breed standard” maintains that the coat must be straight, down to the ground, and not “impede movement” of the dog while walking.

Yorkies are in the toy group, but are actually terriers. The word “terrier” derives from the Latin “terra” meaning earth—no doubt due to this little dog’s ability to hunt small game.

Yorkies are frequently used in cross-breeding. The most popular breeds include the Yorkiepoo (Yorkie and Poodle), the Morkie (Yorkie and Maltese), Chorkie (Chihuahua and Yorkie), and Corkie (Cocker Spaniel and Yorkie).

Yorkshire Terrier Breed Facts

Photo from: Pixabay

Yorkies love squeaky toys. Maybe it’s because the squeakiness stirs up their age-old instinct to hunt and kill mice! In fact, Yorkies were once called “ratters” and used in mills to control the rodent population.

In 1949, only 173 Yorkies were registered by the AKC. In 2007, they were the 6th most registered breed by the AKC.

Yorkies have been around for 200 years. They were originally bred in the Yorkshire area of north England starting in the mid 1800s and didn’t come to the United States until the late 1800s.

They can be suspicious of strangers. Because Yorkies fall into the terrier group, they are prone to bark at loud or strange noises, especially if it is a person they do not know.

Yorkies consistently rank in the top 10 most popular breeds in the United States. Other popular breeds include Labrador Retriever, German Shepherds, Beagles, Bulldogs, Golden Retrievers, and Poodles.

Yorkies should not be left outside unattended. Coyotes and even large birds of prey can easily take off with your small dog when you’re not looking—so better to be safe than sorry and always accompany your pooch while outdoors.

The Yorksire Terrier was officially recognized by the AKC in 1885. The list of breed standard physical characteristics was last approved in 2007.

There are 4 color combinations approved for the breed standard: Black & Tan, Black & Gold, Blue & Gold, and Blue & Tan.  These 4 different combinations each have a specific code associated with them, and that number is entered on the dog’s registration form.

A Yorkie has been a war hero! In World War II, an American soldier found a female Yorkie in a foxhole.  He named her Smokey and she became one of the first ever therapy dogs, traveling all over the world entertaining soldiers with her antics. Even though she has since passed away, she has her own Facebook page.

Yorkies can be litter-box trained!  Though most owners prefer to let their pups use the great outdoors to relieve themselves, Yorkies have been successfully taught to take a page out of their arch-enemy’s book and use the litter box.

Yorkies make great therapy dogs. Because of their portability and non-threatening size, Yorkies are great animals to take on visits to nursing homes and hospitals. And because they love to be lap dogs, they make great companions for shy children to practice their reading in front of.

Yorkies are typically 4 inches long and weigh anywhere from 3.5-5.5 oz when born. You can find size charts that will give you a rough estimate of the adult size of your Yorkie based on their birth weight.

Over the years, different Yorkies have held titles with the Guinness Book of World Records for world’s smallest dog. The title is currently held by a Chihuahua living in Puerto Rico.

On average, Yorkies only whelp 1-4 puppies. This is different from larger breed dogs, which can give birth to upwards of 9 to 12 puppies at a time.

Like other toy breeds, Yorkies can be difficult to housetrain. To get the best start, try crate training and always praise your Yorkie when he eliminates outside.

Because of their size, female Yorkies often require C-sections to whelp their puppies. This is a contributing factor as to why Yorkies are an expensive breed.

There is no thing as a “teacup Yorkie”. Breeders often use this tagline to interest buyers, but the AKC only recognizes the Yorkshire Terrier, which should be between 4-7 lbs. Any Yorkie under 4 lbs will likely have severe medical problems.

Like other dogs, a Yorkie’s sweat glands are in between his paws. This is why dogs pant when they become physically exerted and why it is very important for them not to become dehydrated.

Even though Yorkies used to belong to the working class, several Hollywood celebrities are Yorkie lovers. The list includes Brett Favre, Britney Spears, Hilary Duff, and Audrey Hepburn.

In September 2013, an event was held in New York City called “Yorkieday” which attempted to be the largest gathering of purebred Yorkies in the world. The event has contests for Yorkies including best costume and loudest bark.

Yorkies seem unaware of their small size. Given their small stature, you may think Yorkies would be terrified of intruders or larger dogs. On the contrary, Yorkies are known for their strong sense of loyalty and face down opponents 10 times their size when they feel threatened.

Yorkies are not the best choice in homes with small children. Because Yorkies are so small and have fragile bones, they do better in homes with older children and adults.

Yorkies are small enough to fit under the seat in front you in an airplane. But be sure to check with your airline before heading to the airport with your 4-legged friend. There are many restrictions and fees associated with flying with your pup.

Most Yorkies enjoy swimming. Although it’s a good idea to keep your tiny pup supervised whenever he is in the water.

In addition to the conformation event, the AKC hosts 3 separate contests that Yorkies can compete in. They include agility, obedience, and free style. The latter of which involves dancing with your dog to a musical routine!

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Yorkie Adoption Contract

    Yorkie Adoption and Foster Care    June 22, 2014

Yorkie Adoption Agreement

Puppy adoption contracts vary from breeder to breeder, so it is very important to review the contract carefully: many contracts cover the circumstances in which a refund or replacement dog will be offered, what type of registration the dog will be given (limited or full—the latter being the only type in which owners are allowed to show and breed their dog), and what the buyer is consenting to (such as agreeing to spay or neuter the dog).
The adoption process that includes a fair amount of paperwork. Here is some typical information you can expect to see in a Yorkie Adoption Contract:

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Yorkshire Terrier AKA Yorkies History

    Breed 101    June 22, 2014

Yorkies are highly affectionate, outgoing, loving little dogs who are loyal, playful and amusing companions that quickly win our hearts and become our best friends.
This energetic, brave and intelligent toy breed has a naturally inquisitive and courageous nature which makes them always eager for adventure and easy to train.
It’s not surprising that the Yorkie ranks amongst the top three in terms of breed popularity because this petite, yet feisty little terrier is not only cute and adorable, but also highly intelligent, and overflowing with liveliness and an independently spirited personality that never quits.

Although the Yorkshire Terrier breed has it’s origins in Scotland, it was named after the location where it was developed during the mid-19th century, by workers traveling north from Scotland in search of work in northern England.
During the Industrial Revolution, Scottish workers traveled north looking for work in coal mines, and textile mills and factories, and settled in Yorkshire, England. They brought along a variety of small terriers, including the Clydesdale or Paisley Terrier who were much larger than the Yorkshire Terrier we know today.
These dogs were crossed with other types of terriers, such as the English Black and Tan Toy Terrier, the Skye Terrier, and the small Waterside Terrier which had a long, blue-grey coat, and thus these mix of terriers became the fore bearers of the breed now recognized as the Yorkshire Terrier.
Due to breeding for smaller size, today the Yorkshire Terrier is considered a toy or companion breed, and was first registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1936.
Rat Baiting
Early on in its history the Yorkshire Terrier was used for rat baiting, which was a popular blood sport until the beginning of the 20th century when it was banned. Rat baiting involved putting rats in a pit and then placing bets on how long it would take for a terrier to kill them all.
Although the United Kingdom implemented the Cruelty to Animals Act in 1835, this Act only prohibited the baiting of larger animals, such as the bear and the bull and therefore, ratting competitions became a very popular gambling sport, with rat pits in London numbering more than 70.
Breeding History
Breeding of the Yorkshire Terrier was originally accomplished by the working Scottish people who brought these dogs with them when they travelled north seeking work in the textile industry, in the cotton or woolen mills or in coal mines located in the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire, England.
As relatively uneducated mill operators and workers, who were unaccustomed to keeping public records, were the originators of the Yorkshire Terrier breed, it’s easy to understand why breeding records were not kept during these early days and this also explains why breeding details are somewhat scarce.
What does seem to be agreed upon is that the breed originated from a male Terrier named “Old Crab” and a female Terrier named “Kitty”. It is also understood that the Paisley Terrier, that has a long silky coat, and is a smaller version of the Skye Terrier, was also part of the mix that created the early Yorkshire Terrier. As well, some authorities say that the Maltese was also part of the DNA pool that originally established this breed.
Whatever the exact story, today’s Yorkshire Terriers were all originally bred from Scotch Terriers from Scotland and shown under the name “Scotch Terrier”, until the name was changed to Yorkshire Terrier because of the significant breed improvement having taken place in Yorkshire.
Father of the Breed
Before the breed was well established, any dog in the size and shape of a terrier, with a short tail, and trimmed ears, that had a long blue coat with fawn or silver colored legs and head, was considered to be a Yorkshire Terrier. That is, until the late 1860s, when a popular Paisley type Yorkshire Terrier show dog named Huddersfield Ben, appeared on the dog show scene.
This dog, owned by Mary Ann Foster of Yorkshire, was seen in all dog shows throughout Great Britain, and it was this dog who defined the breed type for the dog we now know as the Yorkshire Terrier.
Huddersfield Ben
According to Ben’s pedigree, he was line bred, which means that he was the product of a mother-son breeding, as was his mother, Lady.
Lady was the great-great-granddaughter of Mr. J. Swift’s “Old Crab”, a long coated black and tan terrier born around 1850.
It is widely believed that “Old Crab” and “Old Kitty”, who was a Paisley Terrier owned by J. Kershaw of West Yorkshire, are the earliest recorded predecessors of the Yorkshire Terrier breed.
Huddersfield Ben was a most accomplished and famous dog who won 74 prizes throughout his show career, making him the type of dog that everybody wanted.
Huddersfield Ben competed in Manchester in 1869 where he placed second, and again at Manchester in 1870 where he won first place.  At the Crystal Palace dog shows in 1870 and 1871, Ben took first and second prizes.
Ben’s portrait was painted by George Earl (a prominent painter of sporting dogs) and in 1891 a breed authority wrote that, “Huddersfield Ben was the best stud dog of his breed during his lifetime, and one of the most remarkable dogs of any pet breed that ever lived.”
Most of the show specimens of the present day have one or more crosses of Ben’s blood in their pedigree, and through his puppies, he has defined the Yorkshire Terrier breed as we know it today. Huddersfield Ben is still referred to as “father of the breed.”
United Kingdom’s Royal Seal
The most famous modern day, UK Yorkshire Terrier was CH Blairsville Royal Seal. Called “Tosha” by his many friends, he was bred, owned and handled by Mr. & Mrs. Brian Lister.
Before Tosha died at the age of 15 years, during his show career he was 12 times Best In Show and 16 times Reserve Best In Show, with 33 Group wins, and a Reserve Best in Show at the prestigious Cruft’s.  Winning 50 Challenge Certificates and attaining the honor of Top Dog, all breeds, for two consecutive years, Tosha became the sire of many prolific Champions and still features in the pedigree of many of today’s Yorkshire Terriers.
In North America
The Yorkshire Terrier was a popular pet and frequented many dog shows in England during the Victorian era, and just as Americans were always quick to embrace Victorian customs, they eagerly embraced the Yorkshire Terrier with open arms.
Although the first Yorkshire Terrier was introduced to North America in 1872, it wasn’t until 1885 that the first Yorkshire Terrier was registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC).
In 1889, the first Yorkshire Terrier to win the title of American Champion was Bradford Harry, who was the great-great-grandson of Huddersfield Ben, and was imported from England by P.H. Coombs of Bangor, Maine.
By the 1940’s the breed’s popularity had seen a substantial decline when the percentage of registered small breed dogs dipped to an all-time low of just 18% of total registrations.
The breed enjoyed a great resurgence in popularity when Smoky, a Yorkshire Terrier and famous war dog from World War II, was credited with beginning a renewed interest in the breed that has enjoyed continued popularity ever since.
Piebald Yorkie
In 1984 a piebald Yorkshire Terrier (containing large amounts of white in the coat) was born as a result of a genetic recessive gene occurrence from two Yorkshire Terriers.
This rare puppy was born in Germany on January 20, 1984 as a result of a breeding by Gertrud and Werner Biewer’s Yorkshire Terriers.
In this particular litter, the piebald puppy’s registered German name was “Schneefloeckchen von Friedheck” (Snowflake). Today these piebald dogs are considered a separate breed, named Biewer or Biewer Yorkie after the owner.
The Yorkshire Terrier is now easily recognized throughout the world and there is no doubt that the early Scottish breeders, who were instrumental in producing the feisty toy terrier of today, would surely be astounded at the success this delightful breed continues to enjoy.

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