• Yorkshire Terrier FAQs


    What is the Yorkshire Terrier personality like?

    The Yorkshire Terrier character or “personality” is described with a “carriage very upright” and “conveying an important air.” Though small, the Yorkshire Terrier is active, loves attention, very overprotective and should not show the soft temperament seen in lap dogs. Yorkshire Terriers, also known as Yorkies, are a little harder to train than some other breeds of dogs. This results from their own nature to work without human assistance.

    Yorkshire terriers tend to bark a lot. This makes them excellent watch dogs because they will sound the alarm when anyone gets near. This barking problem can be resolved with proper training.

    What is the history of the Yorkshire Terrier?

    The Yorkshire Terrier originated in Yorkshire (and the adjoining Lancashire), a rugged region in northern England. In the mid-19th century, workers from Scotland came to Yorkshire in search of work and brought with them several different varieties of small terriers. Breeding of the Yorkshire Terrier was “principally accomplished by the people—mostly operatives in cotton and woolen mills—in the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire.”Details are scarce. Mrs. A. Foster is quoted as saying in 1886, “If we consider that the mill operatives who originated the breed…were nearly all ignorant men, unaccustomed to imparting information for public use, we may see some reason why reliable facts have not been easily attained.”

    What is known is that the breed sprang from three different dogs, a male named Old Crab and a female named Kitty, and another female whose name is not known. The Paisley Terrier, a smaller version of the Skye Terrier that was bred for a beautiful long silky coat, also figured into the early dogs. Some authorities believed that the Maltese was used as well. “They were all originally bred from Scotch terriers (note: meaning dogs from Scotland, not today’s Scottish Terrier) and shown as such…the name Yorkshire Terrier was given to them on account of their being improved so much in Yorkshire.” Yorkshire Terriers were shown in a dog show category (class) at the time called “Rough and Broken-coated, Broken-haired Scotch and Yorkshire Terriers”. Hugh Dalziel, writing in 1878, says that “the classification of these dogs at shows and in the Kennel Club Stud Book is confusing and absurd” in lumping together these different types.

    In the early days of the breed, “almost anything in the shape of a Terrier having a long coat with blue on the body and fawn or silver coloured head and legs, with tail docked and ears trimmed, was received and admired as a Yorkshire Terrier”. But in the late 1860s, a popular Paisley type Yorkshire Terrier show dog named Huddersfield Ben, owned by a woman living in Yorkshire, Mary Ann Foster, was seen at dog shows throughout Great Britain, and defined the breed type for the Yorkshire Terrier.

    What is the difference between a standard Yorkie and a Teacup Yorkie?

    A standard Yorkshire Terrier will weigh between 4-7lbs. However there are quite a few Yorkies who are even larger. A Teacup Yorkie is defined as a Yorkshire Terrier that is less than 3lbs as an adult. We at Sweet Yorkie Kisses pride ourselves in breeding the smaller variation of the breed.

    How long do Yorkies live?

    The life span of a healthy Yorkie is 12–17 years. Teacup Yorkies (under 3lbs) generally have a shorter life span (3–7 years on average).

    Puppy Coats

    A newborn Yorkshire terrier puppy is born black with tan points on the muzzle, above the eyes, around the legs and feet and toes, the inside of the ears, and the underside of the tail. Occasionally Yorkies are born with a white “star” on the chest or on one or more toes. It is also common to find white patch on one or more nails. These markings fade with age, and are usually gone within a few months.

    It may take three years or more for the coat to reach its final color. The final colour is usually a blue/grayish color.

    As an adult: From the back of the neck to the base of the tail, the coat should be a dark gray to a steel-blue, and the hair on the tail should be a darker blue. On the head, high chest, and legs, the hair should be a bright, rich tan, darker at the roots than in the middle, that shades into a lighter tan at the tips.

    What Colors do Yorkies come in?

    The Yorkshire Terrier is a tan dog with a blue saddle. Particolors exist, although they are not correct for the breed standard. The particolor coat is white with black/blue and tan. It is very rare to get a particolor, and if one is found, it tends to be very expensive. Some Yorkshire Terriers are liver or chocolate, a brown color; they are unable to produce black pigment.

    What are Biewer Yorkshire Terriers and Parti Yorkshire Terriers?

    Until recently, mismatched Yorkshire Terriers could be crossed with Biewer terriers, a new breed originated in Germany from party coloured Yorkshire Terriers.

    As far back what can be traced, the parti color has been in the Yorkshire Terrier. It is a recessive gene that can be traced back to the 1800’s.

    Now as to the difference of the two tri-colored dogs, The Biewer Yorkshire a la Pom Pon and the Parti Yorkie. There is tracing of two lines of tri-colors , Mr Biewers line and Nikkos line. Both the Nikko’s and the Biewer line of Tri color yorkies trace back to Streamglen Shaun.The Biewers started in Germany with Mr. Biewer purchasing a stud dog in 1975 from Streamglen Kennels, Streamglen Richard. At the time Streamglen was producing Champion status yorkies and were selling yorkies across the world and the United States. Mr Biewer started breeding Ch. Streamglen Richard to all his Female Yorkshire Terriers trying to make his own mark by producing Champion quality yorkies that would come from his kennel. In his quest for champions, he did a lot of line and inbreeding. Then in January of 1984, a tri-colored Yorkshire Terrier was born from 2 of his Champion dogs line bred from Streamglen Richard. Darling and FruFru.

    On the other side of the ocean in the United States Nikkos Kennels(The Lipmans) were doing the exact same thing, breeding for Champion Yorkies. Nikkos Kennels purchased a couple of females from Streamglen, One being Streamglen Milady. Nikkos purchased their Champion male(Ch. Quarnhill Fusspot) from Stoneybrook Kennels in 1971 and bred him to Streamglen Milady, the female they obtained from Streamglen Kennels. Nikkos then began producing Champion Yorkies and continued to line breed also. In the 80s tri- colored Yorkies started showing up in Nikkos kennels also.

    During this time each country (USA and Germany)went its own way in developing and registries of the tri color, but both are true yorkshire terriers.

    The Biewer is not AKC registered, so keep this in mind if you are planning on purchasing one. The Parti colored yorkie is AKC registered and both are yorkies.

    What Genetic Disorders are common to the Yorkshire Terrier?

    Certain genetic disorders have been found in Yorkshire Terriers, including distichiasis, hydrocephalus, hypoplasia of dens, Legg–Calvé–Perthes syndrome, luxating patella, portosystemic shunt, retinal dysplasia, tracheal collapse, and bladder stones. The following are among the most common congenital defects that affect Yorkies.

    Distichiae: eyelashes arising from an abnormal spot (usually the duct of the meibomian gland at the edge of the eyelid), are often found in Yorkies.  Distichiae can irritate the eye and cause tearing, squinting, inflammation, corneal abrasions or corneal ulcers, and scarring. Treatment options may include manual removal, electrolysis, or surgery.

    Hypoplasia of dens:  a non-formation of the pivot point of the second cervical vertebra, which leads to spinal cord damage. Onset of the condition may occur at any age, producing signs ranging from neck pain to quadriplegia.

    Legg–Calvé–Perthes syndrome:  causes the top of the femur (thigh bone) to degenerate, occurs in Yorkies in certain lines.  The condition appears to result from insufficient circulation to the area around the hip joint. As the blood supply is reduced, the bone in the head of the femur collapses and dies and the cartilage coating around it becomes cracked and deformed.  Usually the disease appears when the Yorkie is young (between five and eight months of age); signs are pain, limping, or lameness.  The standard treatment is surgery to remove the affected part of the bone.  Following surgery, muscles hold the femur in place and fibrous tissue forms in the area of removal to prevent bone rubbing on bone.   Although the affected leg will be slightly shorter than prior to surgery, the Yorkie may regain almost normal use.

    Luxating patellas (slipping kneecaps):   another common defect considered to be genetic in Yorkies, although it may also be caused by an accidental fall. Weak ligaments and tendons in the knee or malformed (too shallow) patellar grooves, allow the patella to slip out of its groove sideways.  This causes the leg to ‘lock up’ with the foot held off the ground.  A dog with this problem may experience frequent pain and lameness or may be bothered by it only on occasion. Over time, the patellar ridges can become worn down, making the groove even more shallow and causing the dog to become increasingly lame.  Surgery is the main treatment option available for luxating patellas, although it is not necessary for every dog with the condition.

    Portosystemic shunt: a congenital malformation of the portal vein (which brings blood to the liver for cleansing), is also common in Yorkies. In this condition some of the dog’s blood bypasses the liver and the “dirty” blood goes on to poison the heart, brain, lungs, and other organs with toxins. A Yorkie with this condition might exhibit a wide variety of symptoms, such as small stature, poor appetite, weak muscle development, decreased ability to learn, inferior coordination, occasional vomiting and diarrhea, behavioral abnormalities, seizures (especially after a meal), and blindness, which could lead to a coma and death. Often, the shunt can be treated with surgery.

    Tracheal collapse: caused by a progressive weakening of the walls of the trachea, occurs in many toy breeds, especially very tiny Yorkies.  As a result of genetics, the walls of the trachea can be flaccid, a condition that becomes more severe with age. Cushing’s syndrome, a disorder that causes production of excess steroid hormone by the adrenal glands, can also weaken cartilage and lead to tracheal collapse.  There is a possibility that physical strain on the neck might cause or contribute to trachea collapse. Since this is usually caused by an energetic Yorkie pulling against his collar, many veterinarians recommend use of a harness for leashed walks.   An occasional “goose honking” cough, especially on exertion or excitement, is usually the first sign of this condition.   Over time, the cough may become almost constant in the Yorkie’s later life. Breathing through the obstruction of a collapsed (or partially collapsed) trachea for many years can result in complications, including chronic lung disease. The coughing can be countered with cough suppressants and bronchodilators.  If the collapse is advanced and unresponsive to medication, sometimes surgery can repair the trachea.

    Most information is derived from the public information available on Wikipedia