The Yorkshire terrier is a toy breed first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. It is the sixth most popular breed in the United States and is known for its long blue and tan coat and its lively, affectionate and confident disposition.
The Yorkshire terrier weighs 4 to 7 pounds at maturity and stands 8 to 9 inches high at the shoulder. It originated in Yorkshire, England, where Scottish factory workers and miners bred the dogs to catch rats. The foundation sire is Huddersfield Ben, a dog born in 1865 who became a popular stud dog because of his prowess in the show ring and in rat-catching trials.
In spite of its small size, the Yorkshire terrier is bold and determined and typically makes a good watchdog. The small dog can dominate a household unless firmly and consistently trained for obedience. The Yorkshire terrier is prone to excessive barking and isn't easy to housebreak. It often gets along well with cats but isn't suited for households with small children who can easily injure the dog or provoke it into nipping.
Yorkies require daily grooming and are prone to weakened or collapsing tracheae, easily dislocated kneecaps, hypothyroidism and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. They are also prone to dental problems and low blood sugar, and the breed has a high incidence of a genetic disorder causing a liver defect known as portosystemic shunt.