Yorkshire Terrier 101 The AKC Yorkie Standard

by Susan Bailey

In 2006, Yorkshire Terriers became the second most popular purebred dog in America. The year before, they had been number three. Although it seems hard to think that any breed of dog would topple the long reigning Labrador Retriever from the top spot, the tiny Yorkshire Terrier seems poised to do just that. Wondering if you have ever seen a Yorkshire Terrier (most commonly called Yorkies)? Chances are, you have seen a lot of them.

One of the advantages of getting purebred dogs is that their physical and personality temperaments can (for the most part) be predicted. You will also be aware of the needs for the dog in order to happy and healthy.

They are most commonly in blue and gold coats, although a there are slight variations in color the blue and gold dominate. These coats naturally grow long and silky, getting to be almost twice the length of the dog, requiring that tiny red bow in top so the dog can see.

The personality of a Yorkshire Terrier is pretty consistent, even though you will find some differences in individual dogs. There is a temperament goal in the Yorkshire breed standard that ethical breeders try to get their dogs to copy. Yorkshire Terriers are the benevolent Napoleons of the canine world, needing to be in charge of every little thing in their territory. They are bossy, vocal and need to be fussed over.

In general, Yorkshire Terriers are lively, bright-eyed toy sized dogs that weigh an average of six to seven pounds. For the most part, their ears are pointed, but sometimes they are floppy in adults. Puppies almost always look to be black and tan, and lighten to the distinctive steel blue and tan as they mature. The spine is level, the muzzle pointed and the tail is usually, sadly, docked. Very rarely will you find a Yorkie with a long tail.

Other distinctive features of the Yorkshire Terrier include a black nose, a yappy voice and a bold personality. Unlike a sloping spine of, say, a German Shepherd, Yorkies have even spines with the shoulder in line with the rump.

Their noses are black and their muzzles pointed. They have big, bright eyes and their teeth should meet in a scissors or an even bite.

They are to be steel blue and tan, with black and tan in puppies only. However, there are a lot of purebred Yorkshire Terriers who are other colors. Also, some may have dewclaws and a full, long tail that resembles a purebred Poodle’s (without the pom-pom). The coat is very soft and silky and fast growing. The Yorkshire Terrier needs to be groomed every day and needs his coat trimmed about once a month, otherwise he will be a muddy mess and miserable. Show dogs don’t have dewclaws, but purebred Yorkies are still often born with them.

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