All About The Yorkshire Terrier AKC Standard

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 seemed 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.

Yorkshire Terriers weigh only about six pounds, although they can get heavier or lighter without being ill in any way. They have pointed ears, a tiny pointed nose and a yappy voice. They are most common 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.

The breed standard lists Yorkies as alert, vivacious and full of "self importance". (That's putting it mildly). Yorkies are one of the few dog breeds that can be picky eaters. They make very good watchdogs. They do not do well in a home with pet rodents, as they were bred to kill rats. However, they do well in homes with older or small children. In a home with other dogs, do not be surprised if the Yorkie becomes the alpha dog very quickly.

Other distinct features of the Yorkshire Terrier include a black nose, a yappy voice and a bold personality. Unlike a sloping spelling of, say, a German Shepherd, Yorkies have even spines with the shoulder in line with the rump. They should stand squarely. Although blue and tan is the official color, other colors or white markings have cropped up in pet quality animals.

Yorkshire Terriers are famous for their silky coats. In show champions, the coat is about twice as long as the dog. In the shelter, most likely the dog you are trying to identify has a clipped coat, making him or her look like a cross between a teddy bear and a ragamuffin. Another fault that disables a Yorkie from a show ring is having black hairs mixed with the blue and tan. Also, if the blue of your Yorkie is silver blue instead of steel blue, he or she will also not be considered good enough for the show ring.