The teacup Yorkie, like many other teacup dogs, has gained popularity and fame over recent years with the rising of Hollywood celebrities and trendy doggy-bags. The Yorkie is one of the smaller teacup dogs, and offers its owners many advantages including its convenient size that makes it great for an apartment, or for someone who is fond of taking her dog everywhere.
The teacup Yorkie is a smaller breed of the original Yorkshire terrier. The Yorkie name is a reference to Yorkshire, England, the breed's town of origin. The dogs were bred first in the mid-19th century and arrived to the Americas in 1872. The Yorkshire Terrier entered the American Kennel Club in 1878 and has been there since.
Hunting and Working
The teacup Yorkie is completely different than the original descendant. The Yorkshire terriers were originally bred to capture rats and other types of pests and vermin in working towns during the industrial revolution of England. While the teacup Yorkshire of today does not posses these hunting instincts, many attribute its dominant personality--despite its small size--to this reason.
Downsizing the Yorkie
With the modernization of city sanitation, Yorkshire terriers were needed far less for hunting, so dog breeders began breeding them with smaller dogs, which brought forth the modern teacup Yorkie. Today the Yorkie averages between 6 and 8 lbs. and the teacup Yorkie averages between 3 and 5 lbs.
Teacup Yorkies have many health problems that their ancestors didn't have. One particular problem revolves around the Yorkie's mouth, which is so small that it causes shifting and infections. Other issues include kennel coughing that takes a large toll on their small bodies.
The teacup Yorkie has evolved from a hunting dog to a household pet, and it is known now as a friendly, excited dog. That being said, the teacup Yorkie is not advised for families with children as they still retain some of their ancestors' hunting drive. Additionally, teacup Yorkies are known for their loyalty and become very jealous if not trained from the beginning to accept children.