At around 7 inches tall and weighing just 7 pounds, the Yorkshire terrier (Yorkie for short) can fit a lot of personality into their tiny bodies. If you’re looking for a new best friend and have a smaller space, learn about why the Yorkie might be the perfect pup for you!
About the Yorkshire Terrier
The breed was developed in the mid-1800s. They were initally bred in parts of England as a companion dog for Victorian ladies. Because of their small stature, they made the perfect lap dog and companion for the upper-class women at that time. And because they were so small, many women owned multiple pups (you can still fit a few on an adult lap… just saying).
In 1886, the breed became even more popular as the Kennel Club in England granted the Yorkie recognition. With the publicity from this milestone, the Yorkie became fashionable as a ladies companion once again. As the Yorkie’s popularity among the fashionable increased, its size decreased to better accommodate the demand for an adorable, amusing companion who enjoyed sitting in the ‘lap’ of luxury.
These pampered pooches were brought to America in the 1870s with the first of the breed recognized officially by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885. To this day the Yorkie is still a popular pet, and for many good reasons. They are ranked 13th out of 195 on the Kennel Club's most popular breeds list. Learn about why these dogs are so popular and what to consider before bringing one into your home.
4 Pros of Yorkies
1. Small in size
Since these pups only weigh about 7 pounds they can live almost anywhere, travel easily, and can be picked up if need be. If you are looking for a smaller pup who is also friendly, the Yorkie is a great choice.
2. Suited to city life
The Yorkie is a an ideal pet for those who live in the city. Not only are they always going to be well within apartment weight limits (usually dogs under either 25 or 50 pounds), they may also enjoy urban activities like shopping and brunch.
Because these dogs are bred to be compainions, they enjoy the company of people. If you are raising a Yorkie in the city, socialization is going to be important when your dog is a puppy. You want to show them lots of new places, people and even different surfaces like sidewalks and grass.
3. Suitable for allergy sufferers
The Yorkie's coat is more like human hair than animal fur. This means that some pople who suffer from dog allergies can peacefully coesxist with a Yorkie. If someone in your home needs a hypoallergenic dog, see if the Yorkie's hair will keep symptoms at bay. While there is no such thing as a truly hypollergenic dog, there are some breeds that are considerably easier on allergy sufferers.
4. Only need moderate exercise
Since these pups are so small, they don't need the same kind or ammount of exercise as larger breeds like retrievers or herding dogs do. While they can enjoy being active and participating in sports like agility and rally, most Yorkies are content with a few short walks around the block or maybe a few rounds of fetch in the backyard.
3 Cons of Yorkies
1. High maintenance when it comes to grooming
While having hair instead of fur can be helpful when it comes to allergies, it does need more maintenance than some other breeds coats. These dogs will need their hair washed, brushed and trimmed regularly. With increased grooming needs can come increased costs, unless you plan on learning to do this yourself. Matted hair can cause pain and skin issues and can result in the dog needing to be shaved. If you can't commit to keeping up with your dog's grooming needs it might be best to consider a breed that is lower maintenance.
2. Can suffer knee and eye issues
While these pups are generally pretty healthy, the most common health issues occurr in their kneees and eyes. If you are getting your Yorkie from a breeder, make sure to ask to see the parents health testing before you buy a puppy.
3. Can be territorial
Since Yorkies bond deeply with their people, they, like some other breeds of small dogs can become territorial. To avoid this good training and socialization when they are young will be important. If your dog is overly territorial, there is no harm in brining in a skilled trainer to help you help your dog. Look for someone who is fear free and uses positive reinforcement methods.
Is a Yorkie a Good Family Dog?
Yes! It is easy to recommend the Yorkie as a family pet since they are bred to be companion dogs. As you can see these dogs can thrive in a variety of environments - including the city. They can also live with many types of families from a young couple with children to empty nesters and senior citizens. Because they don’t need too much exercise they can also be the ideal pet for someone with limited mobility!
Yorkies need a high quality diet, which is something that we at Ollie know plenty about. In fact, Yorkies are one of the top 10 most common breeds of all of our customers. Yorkie parents know that feeding their precious pups gently cooked, human-grade food like Ollies keeps their dogs looking and feeling their best.
With our quality nutrition, Yorkies can lead long and healthy lives. The average life expenctancy for a Yorkie is 12-15 years. So, before you commit to brining a Yorkie into your home, consider if you can commit to taking care of a pup for well over a decade!
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.