If you love tiny dogs, you'll fall hard for the Yorkshire terrier. One of the most popular dog breeds, big or small, Yorkies got their name and their start in Yorkshire, England, where they earned their keep catching rats. These days Yorkies spend their time and energy on catching hearts.
Myth of the Teacup
Although you're sure to find ads for teacup Yorkies on the Internet and in newspapers across the country, the AKC does not recognize the teacup Yorkshire terrier as a breed. Yorkies are a toy breed, one of the smallest acknowledged by the American Kennel Club. As with every breed of dog, there are Yorkies that are smaller or larger than the breed standard. According to "Yorkshire Terriers" by D. Caroline Coile, the record-holding smallest living Yorkie is only 3 inches tall. Because there is really no such thing as a teacup Yorkie, anyone looking for a small companion should be wary of sellers offering such dogs.
The standards for a show-quality Yorkshire terrier, according to the AKC, include a medium-length docked tail, a very compactly proportioned body and a fine, silky coat that is long and straight and can be either black and tan or dark blue unmixed with fawn, bronze or black hairs. As for size, Yorkies are not to exceed 7 pounds according to the official standard.
Yorkshire terriers are brave little dogs with personalities that are far bigger than their tiny bodies. They are curious and energetic pooches who will enjoy accompanying you on a trip as much as being your companion at home. They are quick learners when it suits them, but would much prefer teaching you a few obedience tricks.
Grooming and Care
Because Yorkshire terriers have long hair, you will have to spend some time grooming. If you keep the hair long, you'll need to brush your Yorkie regularly; if you decide to keep it short, you will need to make frequent trips to the groomer. Yearly shots and exams from the vet should keep your Yorkie healthy. Because they're small, they don't need much exercise and can easily get all they require from playing indoors and taking occasional walks. A good-quality dog food formulated for small dogs, plenty of water and lots of love and attention round out the needs of the Yorkshire terrier.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.