What is the history of the Yorkshire Terrier?
The Yorkie was bred as a ratter, used to kill mice and rats in small places. As a hunting group, terriers specialize in pursuing animals (usually vermin) that live in dens or burrows. Animals that are cornered and defending their young will fight ferociously. Therefore, any dog that would willingly pursue them must have an extraordinary degree of courage; terriers are bred for that quality. The Yorkshire Terrier, with its feisty temperament, is no exception.
As the name implies, the Yorkshire Terrier originated in Yorkshire County (and the adjoining Manchester County), a rugged region in northern England. In the mid-nineteenth century, at the peak of England’s industrial revolution, craftsmen from Scotland came to Yorkshire in search of work and brought with them several different varieties of small long-coated terriers, generally known as Scottish terriers. The specific breeds that make up the Yorkshire Terrier’s ancestry are not known, since the breeders at that time did not keep records of the bloodlines. Certain breeds, however, are commonly thought to be the main forebears. The likely source of the Yorkie’s small stature, long-haired coat and blue color are the Clydesdale, Paisley, Skye and Waterside terriers, all Scottish terriers transported to England at various times. The English Black and Tan Terrier bloodline probably gave the Yorkie its signature color pattern. These breeds were all working dogs, used to keep vermin under control in the textile mills and coal mines. Many have suggested that the Maltese, an ancient breed (likely originating in Asia), may be in the Yorkshire Terrier’s background as well.
The breed first appeared at an 1861 bench show in England as the Broken-Haired Scotch Terrier, named for the dog’s Scottish terrier ancestors. Early Yorkies were also known simply as Toy Terriers, in both rough and broken haired varieties. Yorkshire Terriers were given their breed name by 1874.
What is the temperment of the Yorkshire Terrier?
Though a toy breed, the Yorkie still retains much of its terrier ancestry in terms of personality. Individual dogs sometimes differ, but they are generally intelligent, independent and gutsy. Yorkshire Terriers are quick to determine where they fit in a household's "pack." Their behavior towards outsiders will vary - they often will be inclined to bark at strangers, but some Yorkies are outgoing and friendly towards new people while others are aloof. The differences in behavior in this regard are largely based on how the owner trains or conditions (and socializes) the Yorkie. A few individual Yorkshire Terriers may be timid, rather than bold, but the vast majority do seem to meet the breed standard for a confident, vigorous and self-important personality. The following distinctive qualities are likely to be present in a Yorkshire Terrier:
Yorkies have great drive and stick-to-it-ive-ness, which are important hunting attributes. By the same token, they can be willful and stubborn. Perseverence can be a positive or negative trait, depending on the task at hand. Tenacity appears most clearly when a Yorkie goes into "hunting mode." Even an old, sedentary lap dog may eagerly hunt rodents (or his favorite toy!). In pursuit of a mouse, the dog may take up a day-long vigil of waiting for the prey to re-emerge from its hole. This behavior will appear even when the target is merely a stuffed animal or a knotted sock. A Yorkie will strech with his paw and, that failing, whimper in frustration when a favorite ball has rolled out of reach under a piece of furniture. A treat can set the Yorkie off on a two-hour search for the perfect place to hide the tasty biscuit.
In a multi-breed home, the Yorkie will usually be the top dog. However, bold does not equal aggressive. Yorkies typically get along well with other dogs and love to play together with them. Rather, bold character comes from the Yorkie's mix of great inquisitiveness, or an instinct to protect, and self-confidence. Some Yorkies are unaware of their small size and may even challenge larger, tougher dogs. In one case a 12-pound Yorkie pushed open a screen door (to investigate a commotion outside) and rushed to the aid of an elderly woman who was being attacked by an 80-pound Akita. When the Yorkie snapped and growled, the Akita turned his attention on the small dog long enough for the woman to escape. Unfortunately, this boldness can get Yorkies into trouble, as small dogs can be seriously injured.
How intelligent is the Yorkshire Terrier?
Yorkshire Terriers, as a breed, are intelligent dogs. According to Dr. Stanley Coren, an expert on animal intelligence, the Yorkshire Terrier is an above average working dog, ranking 27th (32nd including ties) out of the 132 breeds tested. His research found that an average Yorkshire Terrier could understand a new command after approximately 15 repetitions and would obey a command the first time it was given 70% of the time or better. This capacity as working dogs enables Yorkies to excel in sports like obedience and agility, which require the dog to understand communication from the handler and carry out a complex series of commands. Additionally, Yorkies learn to recognize numerous words and can be taught to distinguish and fetch separate toys in a box by their names.
What are AKC Limited Papers, does it mean my dog is "less"?
NO NO NO! AKC Limited Registration Papers simply mean that the puppy was registered not to be a breeding animal. It means the papers are "limited" to that particular puppy and not to register offspring from that animal. Show breeders generally always put limited papers on a puppy when it is sold as a companion animal. We hope it makes our well bred pups unattractive to puppy mills. Your puppy is a full breed puppy with many AKC Champion dogs in their lineage and comes with AKC registration papers.
Yorkie Hypoglycemia - Yorkshire Terrier Hypoglycemia
Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is a common problem with all toy breed puppies including the yorkshire terrier. Hypoglycemia is the medical term for low blood sugar, which is a condition in which there is a drastic, sudden drop in the level of blood sugar in the puppy. In small breed puppies from post-weaning to 4 month of age, the most common form of hypoglycemia is called Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia: “Transient” because the symptoms can be reversed by eating; "Juvenile" because it is seen in young puppies. Veterinarians unfamiliar with toys often mis-diagnose the condition as viral hepatitis or encephalitis. As a toy yorkie breeder or pet owner, it is important to recognize the symptoms of hypoglycemia and know how to treat it. Hypoglycemia is easily treatable in the early stages, but fatal if allowed to progress. Many puppies are lost needlessly to hypoglycemia because of ignorance on the part of their owner or veterinarian.
It is important to understand that just because a puppy has an episode of hypoglycemia, it does not mean that the puppy is truly "hypoglycemic." True hypoglycemia is a chronic condition caused by overproduction of insulin by the pancreas. Even though the pancreas may normally function properly, toy puppies can still have an isolated hypoglycemic incident in reaction to stress or fasting. Pups of any breed are more likely to develop hypoglycemia than adults, because their skeletal muscle mass and liver size are smaller and brain size, larger, in proportion to the rest of their body. Therefore, there is less glucose being put out into the blood and more being used by the brain, which is dependent upon adequate glucose in order to function. In small and toy breeds, this discrepancy is more pronounced. Even a brief period of fasting or stress in a toy breed puppy can trigger a hypoglycemic "attack. Yorkie puppies with Transient Juvenile Hypoglycemia have normal liver size and function, but inadequate glucose precursors or glucose in its stored form (body fat). Hypoglycemic incidents are almost always preceded by a stress of some kind. Some examples of common stresses include: weaning, teething, vaccinations, a change in environment, shipping, over-handling, cold temperatures, intestinal parasites, infections, anorexia, etc. Many yorkie puppies simply play too hard and stress their system or forget to eat. I have heard of young males experiencing hypoglycemia when a female in heat is around. They become so worked up over the female that they do not eat and their blood sugar drops.
The first sign of hypoglycemia is the yorkshire terrier puppy slowing down and then acting listless. The puppy will then begin to tremble or shiver. This is a reaction caused as the brain is starved for glucose. More signs of an attack are confusion, wobbly gait, weakness, drooling from the mouth and sometimes even a seizure. His body will be limp and lifeless. The gums will show to be pale, almost a grayish white in color rather than a healthy bright pink.. The body temperature will be subnormal. After a time, the puppy will become comatose and may even appear to be dead. The puppy can go into shock and, if not cared for properly and promptly, may even die.
If Yorkie hypoglycemia is caught in the early stages, rub Nutri-Cal (Caro syrup will do if you have no Nutri-Cal) on the puppy's gums, under the tongue, and on the roof of the mouth. Get a heating pad or heating blanket and slowly warm the puppy to proper body temperature. If the puppy responds, all is well. Feed a quality, canned food containing, high-carbohydrates and protein right away (you may want to mix it with egg yolk) and then monitor the puppy to be sure that the condition does not recur. Be sure to eliminate the stress that caused the episode if at all possible.
If Yorkie hypoglycemia is caught in the more advanced stages, rub Nutri-Cal or Caro in the mouth, and carefully insert a small amount in the rectum. Slowly warm the puppy to normal body temperature (101-102 degrees F) and keep him warm continuously with light heat. If the yorkie puppy still does not respond, carefully eye dropper dextrose solution or Caro water into the mouth, a little at a time only if the dog can swallow. Call your veterinarian immediately and inform him that you have a hypoglycemic yorkie puppy.
Country of Origin: The Yorkshire Terrier (or ‘Yorkie’) was bred in Yorkshire, Northern England in the 1800’s to hunt and kill rats and other vermin. It was carefully bred from a number of working terriers, some of which came to England alongside Scottish immigrants looking for factory work. The Yorkshire Terrier may have derived its long coat and blue coloring from the Clydesdale and Skye Terriers, and its signature coat pattern likely results from crosses with the English Black and Tan Terrier. Early Yorkshire Terriers were known as Broken-Haired Scotch Terriers or Toy Terriers. Huddersfield Ben, born in Yorkshire in 1865, was a popular champion and skilled ratter who sired many small Yorkshire Terriers and is today universally recognized as the patriarch of the breed. The Yorkshire Terrier was imported to America in 1872 and recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1878. The Yorkshire Terrier became the American Kennel Club’s second most registered dog in 2006 at 48,000 registrations, beat out only by the Labrador Retriever. Famous Yorkshire Terriers include Audrey Hepburn’s Yorkie ‘Mr. Famous’ who appeared with her in ‘Funny Face’ and Tricia Nixon’s pet Yorkie ‘Pasha’. ‘Toto’ from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ was played by a Cairn Terrier in the film but originally illustrated as a Yorkshire Terrier in the novel. Some Yorkies are famous for their small size, such as Big Boss, Guinness World Record holder in 2002 for smallest living dog at 12 cm (5 in) tall, and Sylvia, a Yorkshire Terrier from England who was the smallest dog in recorded history at 2.5 inches tall and weighed merely 4 ounces!
Size: The Yorkshire Terrier is 20-23 cm (8-9 in) tall and weighs 2-3 kg (4-7 lbs). Yorkshire Terriers have a small, flat head, level or scissors bite, dark, intelligent eyes, and small, highly set, ‘V’-shaped ears. They have a flat back, round ears, and tail carried high.
Coat: The Yorkshire Terrier has a very long, straight, silky coat which is golden-brown at the head, chest, and legs. The color and texture of the coat are perhaps the most important show trait. Puppy Yorkshire Terriers are born black and tan and gradually attain their natural color. Show dogs are groomed with the hair grown out long (sometimes trimmed to floor-length) and parted down the middle of the back. Yorkies have no undercoat and shed little.
Character: Yorkshire Terriers become attached to their families, but most maintain some measure of independence. They have a boisterous Terrier personality that far exceeds their small size. Yorkies are lively, bold, and intelligent (scoring in the top third in dog intelligence tests). They bark when they sense danger. Due to their strong ‘alpha-dog’ personality, the Yorkshire Terrier may not be suitable for inexperienced owners.
Temperament: The Yorkshire Terrier is tolerant of older children, provided they respect its personal space. Due to its small size and bold temperament (which arises from its working origins) the Yorkshire Terrier is not recommended for young children unless carefully supervised. The Yorkshire Terrier can occasionally be a bit too brave when dealing with larger dogs, but gets along fine with cats and other household pets. Yorkies prefer life indoors, and are especially unsuited to cold climates.
Care: The Yorkshire Terrier requires intensive brushing and combing on a daily basis. If this is too time-consuming, the coat should be trimmed professionally. The Yorkie’s hair should be kept out of its eyes by a rubber band or a bow. Loose hairs should be regularly removed from ear passages. Yorkshire Terriers have a lifespan of 12-15 years. Yorkie puppies are prone to hypoglycemia (diagnosed by listless behavior and shakiness) and adults are prone to a number of musculoskeletal issues and distichia (extra eyelashes on the eyelid which can scratch the cornea if not properly treated). Yorkies under 3 pounds are especially susceptible to diarrhea, vomiting, tracheal collapse, anesthesia sensitivity, and injury.
Training: The Yorkshire Terrier is intelligent and capable of learning quickly with consistent training, but some prolong the process with their independent, stubborn nature. The Yorkshire Terrier is considered to be one of the more difficult breeds to housebreak.
Activity: The Yorkshire Terrier can have most of its needs met through indoor play, but still prefers a daily walk or romp in a fenced-in yard. Yorkshire Terriersare well suited to apartment life.
About the Shorkie
Country of Origin: United States. The Shorkie is a mix between the Shih Tzu and the yorkshire Terrier.
Size: Since the Shorkie is a mixed breed, the size can vary depending upon the breeds it is mixed with. The adult Shorkie will weigh between 7-16 pounds and will reach a height between 6-11 inches.
Coat: The coat of a shorkie is usually long and silky.
Character: Shorkies are loving dogs. They are affectionate and become attached to their owners.
Temperament: Shorkies may be leery of young children and young children must be taught how to properly
interact with any dog.
Care: The Shorkie should be bathed when needed and brushed regularly.
Training: Shorkies need a consistent, persistent but gentle trainer. They can be difficult to housebreak.
Activity: The Shorkie enjoys spending time with their owner. They enjoy short walks and/or play time in the yard. They are not very active dogs and enjoy their time indoors.
About the Shih-tzu
Country of Origin: The Shih Tzu, also known as the ‘Chinese Lion Dog’, ‘Chrysanthemum Dog’ (because its face resembles a flower), or ‘Shih Tzu Kou’ (which translates to ‘Lion Dog’, designating its revered status in Buddhism) originates in Tibet as far back as the 1600’s. The Shih Tzu in its current form was primarily developed in China during the reign of Chinese Empress Dowager Cixi in the late 1800’s, likely from crosses of the Pekingese with the Lhasa Apso. The Shih Tzu was a favored pet of royalty, but fell into decline when British troops raided the Forbidden City in 1860. The breed survived, but was generally not distinguished from the Lhasa Apso until 1934, when the smaller, shorter nosed variety was reassigned its original Chinese name, ‘Shih Tzu’. The Shih Tzu was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1969 and has continued to climb in popularity to this day. Crossbreeds between Shih Tzu and other toy breeds are also increasing in popularity, particularly crosses with the Poodle and Bichon Frise.
Size: The Shih Tzu has a shoulder height of about 25 cm (10 in) and weighs 4-7 kg (9-16 lbs). It has a large, domed skull, pronounced stop (depression where the muzzle meets the forehead), undershot bite, and short muzzle. Shih Tzu (the plural noun is the same as the singular) have a tail carried over the back and should have head and tail in correct proportion to the body.
Coat: The Shih Tzu has a long double coat similar in texture to a human’s hair. It can be a variety of colors including black, red, beige, and white. The Shih Tzu is distinguished from the Pekingese by the topknot, or ‘pienji’, on its head. Shih Tzu lose hair gradually as humans do rather than shedding in the standard sense.
Character: The Shih Tzu is an independent dog which is intelligent, dignified, lovable, affectionate, sociable, and cheerful. It is not as outgoing as most breeds. Shih Tzu seldom bark. James Mumford described the breed in American Shih Tzu magazine as ‘A dash of lion, several teaspoons of rabbit, a couple of ounces of domestic cat, one part court jester, a dash of ballerina, a pinch of old man (Chinese), a bit of beggar, a tablespoon of monkey, one part baby seal, a dash of teddy bear and the rest dogs of Tibetan and Chinese origin.’
Temperament: The Shih Tzu gets along well with other household pets and children. Though the Shih Tzu may bark frequently, it does not make a good watchdog.
Care: Shih Tzu with a long show coat require a lot of grooming; to prevent tangles, the coat must be combed every day and professionally groomed every few months. A hair bow or clip is required to keep the hair out of the Shih Tzu’s eyes. Shih Tzu with a shorter ‘puppy coat’ can be trimmed much less frequently. Special eye drops should be applied to keep the eyes clean, ear passages should be cleaned regularly, nails should be clipped monthly, and the face should be wiped after eating. Water can enter the Shih Tzu’s snout easily, for which reason some Shih Tzu are taught to drink from a ‘licker’ like a hamster. The Shih Tzu has a lifespan of 11-14 years. Common health problems are liver shunt (a congenital circulatory disease), renal dysplasia (symptoms include bone fractures and ‘rubber jaw’), eye problems, and in larger dogs, hip dysplasia (malformed hip joint which can cause lameness or arthritis). Scratching in the absence of fleas may indicate an allergy to red dye number 40, a common food additive.
Training: The Shih Tzu’s somewhat obstinate nature makes consistency essential in the training process. Patience is important as housebreaking may be difficult. The Shih Tzu should be taught from puppyhood to relax during the grooming process as it will be a constant throughout the Shih Tzu’s life.
Activity: Shih Tzu require an ample amount of exercise for their small stature. They are happy with daily walks or romps in the yard. Shih Tzu cannot regulate their body temperature easily, which makes them highly prone to heat exposure; they should never be over exercised or left outside in hot weather. The Shih Tzu is well suited to apartment life.