The Yorkshire terrier is best known as a companion dog, but they do have some history as a working breed.
While the ancestors of many toy breeds are from the aristocracy, the Yorkshire terrier finds its origins in the working class. They were prized for hunting rats in clothing mills in England during the 19th century.
These sweet-looking little dogs are true terriers and should not be underestimated. Intelligent, brave and energetic, they are often willing to confront vermin larger than themselves and give chase if necessary. Squirrels from New York City to Los Angeles have learned to fear the Yorkie.
According to registration statistics from the AKC, in 2012, the Yorkshire terrier was the sixth most popular breed of dog in the country. At under 10 pounds, Yorkies are very portable and adaptable to just about any lifestyle.
While long walks are not necessary, bonding time with their humans is mandatory. Their silky coat requires daily brushing and many Yorkie pet parents opt for a puppy cut to minimize maintenance.
Obedience training for the feisty, strong-willed Yorkie is a good idea. Because of their popularity, there are many Yorkies in rescues or shelters in need of forever homes. Before you purchase a dog, remember there are rescues for just about every breed including Yorkies.