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Pint-sized and playful, Yorkies rank #4 on our list of most popular pups. The oft-spoiled Yorkshire Terrier has risen to fame as a pampered lap dog with an attitude that beats its size. But there’s a lot more to this pup beyond its cute and cuddly appearance.
Here are 7 Yorkshire Terrier facts that you should know:
1. Their history is less than lavish.
The Yorkie was brought to Yorkshire, England by Scottish workers to work in the coal mines, textile mills and factories during the Industrial Revolution. Yorkies were originally used as ratters (rat catchers) until they eventually found favor among British elite as well as American gentry.
2. Their name is misleading.
Contrary to the “terrier” in their name, Yorkies are registered as part of the Toy group, according to the AKC.
3. They change color with age.
The steel-blue and tan Yorkie we know and love isn’t actually born that color combination. As a matter of fact, Yorkie puppies are born black and tan, almost looking like mini German Shepherds, then develop their characteristic fur color after a few months.
4. They make good watchdogs.
Sure, their small toy bodies aren’t enough to take on a threatening intruder, but since Yorkies don’t realize how small they actually are, they’re not afraid to give someone much bigger a piece of their mind. A Yorkie’s sharp yelp can alert owners of a trespasser, and the Yorkie won’t give up until the threat to safety is gone.
5. The first therapy dog was a Yorkie.
The use of therapy dogs for hospital patients, veterans and the disabled has gained popularity in recent years. While modern-day therapy work most typically employs dogs like the Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd, the first ever therapy dog was a Yorkie named Smoky who comforted wounded soldiers after WWII.
6. Their fur is a lot like our hair.
If you’ve ever seen a Yorkie show dog, you’ve noticed its long, flowing, silky hair. Yorkies are one of a few dog breeds that don’t shed; instead, their hair grows continuously, much like human hair. Their coat can grow up to two feet long! Therefore, owners who don’t want their Yorkies to have unmanageably long fur should get their dogs regular trims.
7. This dog has graced the White House.
Though former US President Richard Nixon is widely known for his Cocker Spaniel named Checkers, few know about his Yorkie, Pasha. While Pasha didn’t get the spotlight time that Checkers did, she was one of Nixon’s three pooches who joined him in the White House.
A Yorkie named Cede Higgins won Best in Show at the 1978 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Ready for your new best friend? Check out our list of adorable Yorkshire Terrier puppies today!