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The Yorkshire Terrier - The Big Dog in a Tiny Body

Aug 17, 2007
It seems likely that selective breeding resulted in the small size of the Yorkshire Terrier, but someone apparently forgot to tell this little guy that he's a scaled down version of a terrier. Indeed, the Yorkshire Terrier is a brave soul, tending toward fierceness if he feels he or his territory is being threatened.

The Yorkshire Terrier - or Yorkie, as he's commonly called - developed in England only a little more than a century ago. With roots that new, it should be easy to trace the lineage but this is one dog that has defied efforts to pin down the origins. As it happens, it was miners who developed the Yorkshire Terrier in an effort to find a tenacious dog that could kill the rats in the mines. The miners required that the dog be able to fit into small places in order to catch the rats, but be tenacious enough to not fear the rats. Though the Yorkshire Terriers the miners came up with typically weighed only a few pounds more than the rats they chased, they were game little dogs who went after their prey with a vengeance.

It was only over the past few decades that the Yorkshire Terrier became a companion dog treated with all the elegant favor of the rich and famous. Today, many Yorkshire Terriers are pampered pets, though not only for the rich. The behavior of these dogs can become a problem if they are pampered too much. The natural tendency for some people to "baby" an animal of this size should be curbed to some degree. These are active little dogs that need to romp, play and show off their tenacity.

As a general rule, a grown Yorkshire Terrier will weigh six to eight pounds, though seven seems to be a very common average. "Teacup" or miniature versions of the Yorkshire Terrier occur fairly often, usually weighing five pounds or less. These smaller Yorkies sometimes have increased health risks and many seem to be snappish, shy or exhibit other undesirable traits that are not overly evident in their normal sized counterparts.

As a rule, the Yorkshire Terrier is Remember that his ancestors were selected for their ability to run into the dangerous mines in search of vermin. The Yorkies of today need that same sense of duty and challenge. Today, it typically comes in the form of play, but the Yorkshire Terrier's need for challenge shouldn't be ignored. New tricks and commands are a good way to occupy some of this dog's time, but he also needs some plain old playtime where he's encouraged to run and romp. If presented in a way that doesn't attract the Yorkie, new things may seem like orders and this dog may not take orders well. That includes - but isn't limited to - housetraining.

Remember that for all the terrier tenacity, these are small dogs. They have little bones and won't generally survive kicking or excessive roughness. Discipline and play has to be done with the size of this little guy in mind. After all, the Yorkshire Terrier may have forgotten that he's living in a little body, but the people who care for him can't.
About the Author
For more information on Yorkshires and other Popular, and not-so-popular breeds of dogs, visit The Toy Dog Directory
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