Animal stories: yorkshire terriers

Yorkshire Terriers are small, sturdy dogs that are very devoted companions. These toy breeds are also called the Broken-haired Scottish Terrier. The unique feature of these dogs is their full flowing tresses of a texture quite similar to human hair. The long, silky coat is steely-blue, but tan on the face and chest; puppies are black at birth. It is steal blue on the body and tail, and tan elsewhere.

Their ultra long, silky coat is parted down the middle of the spine, falling gloriously to the ground on either side of the parting. They have flat head, medium-sized length muzzle, a black nose, and regular teeth. Their eyes are round, black and full of brightness and intelligence. They have v-shaped stiff ears that are trimmed closely at the tips. The tail is often docked to half its length.

These little dogs are highly energetic, brave, loyal and clever. They are very affectionate with their master, but sometimes suspicious of strangers. They can be aggressive to strange dogs and small animals. Yorkies are terriers after all and will protect their territory bravely. They get along with older but not naturally good with children. If they are brought up with children or exposed to them as a puppy, it should be fine. However, children need to understand that these dogs have small bones that break much easier than most toys. These dogs like to bark, but they can easily be taught not to do so.

Average size

The Yorkshire Terriers are about nine inches tall and weighs less than three kilos.

Coat colour

The typical colouring of this dog is blue and gold. The blue is a steel blue, often lightening to grey with age. The gold should be a rich tan.


These dogs must be taught to respect the size and strength of larger dogs. They should also be socialised with children and humans of both sexes and generally install good manners at an early age. One should be firm and consistent to train them, even though they are tiny dogs.

Food requirements

Yorkshire Terriers can survive on very little food. It is very easy to overfeed a Yorkshire Terrier but obesity will be a serious problem for the small dogs like them. It can lead to several nasty diseases, such as diabetes, joint problems, etc.


They have a lifespan of about 12-15 years.

Pet grooming

Everyday grooming is very important to these dogs. Their coat needs to be brushed daily using a brush and comb to ensure all tangles are removed. The topknot especially 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. Bathing should not be done more than once a month.

Country of origin

England: The Yorkshire Terrier was originally bred in Yorkshire, England, in the 1800’s, as a rat hunter. Popular belief states that the Yorkie was bred to guard small children from rat bites at night, one Yorkie on guard at the head of the bed and one at the foot. It was bred from the Skye, Dandie Dinmont, and Maltese Terriers. 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. Shown as the Scotch Terrier in 1861, the dog later became known as the Yorkshire Terrier and was recognised as such by the Kennel Club in 1886. It is during that decade that the Yorkie was transported to the United States and was established as a breed over there as well. Thus the Yorkie is considered a breed of ‘the working classes’ and was primarily known as a ratter.