Yorkshire Terrier Tidbits

Yorkie is short for Yorkshire, a section of northern England, and Yorkie is a nick name for a breed of dog known as a Yorkshire Terrier. So, a Yorkie is a kind of Terrier.

It may seem rather cruel to the modern mind but the Yorkie was originally bred with a special purpose in mind, that purpose was hunting down and killing rats. Gross. Gross, but one hundred percent accurate, that was their full time job. That was how they earned their dinner.

We have to remember that at one time dogs weren’t part of the family like they are today, they weren’t seen as pets, they had jobs to do, and the Yorkie’s job was pretty much to kill rats.

Rats aren’t such a huge problem for us today, but in 19th century England, when the breed was created rats were a major problem, not so much because they were simply pests but because they tended to carry serious diseases and spread things like…plagues.

Again, this was the 19th century before immunizations and sanitary precautions were common place. In those days, getting sick was a very big deal, often times a life threatening issue, therefore folks did all they could to ensure minimizing rat populations. Today we get our shots and most of us in the modern world have access to amazing health care.

Yorkies were bred to be small and utterly fierce, and as you can imagine those traits are perfect for hunting small vermin such as the rat. As you might surmise the folks who bred the original Yorkie needed a dog small enough to chase vermin into tight spaces and do their job right, eliminating the problem.

Today, Yorkies weigh in at about 3 to 7 pounds on average, which is an exceptionally small size for a dog. The only breed of dog which is, on average a smaller breed would be the Chihuahua.

Yorkies have become extremely popular pets, in part because of their personalities (generally very feisty), partly because they’re so pint sized, and partly because of their amazingly long, silky coats.

In addition to these factors, small dogs, such as the Yorkie are perfect for modern living because…well because they’re small. They are a great city dog, an apartment dog, because they don’t take up much room and building managers generally don’t have a problem with small dogs. This is definitely one of the major drivers of the popularity of this breed.

A big yard (or any yard) isn’t needed either, having one of these dogs housed in a small apartment simply isn’t cruel by any means while having a large dog in a small apartment could be seen as somewhat cruel because these dogs require more space and the ability to stretch their legs quite a bit more.

Yorkie coats are one of their most distinctive features, if you’ve seen a Yorkie you know that, the coat is traditionally grown out extremely long and groomed very meticulously, especially by show dog owners. It’s sort of the stereotypical Yorkie look.

So there you have it, just a little more info on the Yorkshire Terrier.

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