Yorkshire Terrier

Table of Contents

The Yorkshire Terrier, often affectionately called the “Yorkie,” is a toy breed known for its vivacious personality and beautiful, silky coat. Originating from the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire in England during the 19th century, the Yorkie was initially bred to catch rats in mines and mills. Over time, this breed transitioned from a working-class terrier to a beloved companion for the British elite.

Size-wise, the Yorkshire Terrier is small but by no means fragile. Typically weighing around 4 to 7 pounds, they carry themselves with an air of importance and can be quite spirited. Their coat is their standout feature — fine, straight, and silky, often seen in a blue and tan coloration.

In terms of temperament, Yorkies are known for their bold and confident demeanor. They’re alert, intelligent, and often act as though they’re unaware of their small size, displaying courage that can rival much larger dogs. Despite their feisty nature, Yorkies are also deeply affectionate with their families and can form strong bonds.

Health-wise, like all breeds, the Yorkshire Terrier can be predisposed to specific conditions, such as patellar luxation, hypoglycemia, and dental problems, due to their small mouth size. Regular veterinary check-ups and proper grooming (especially of their long coat) are essential for keeping a Yorkie in top condition.

While they can adapt to apartment living quite well due to their size, it’s essential to remember that they’re energetic and still require regular exercise and playtime. Their intelligence also means they benefit from mental stimulation, like training and interactive toys.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:

12 to 15 years


Extr Small

Maintenance Level:


Shed Level


Best For

Elegance encapsulated in a tiny frame, the Yorkshire Terrier, affectionately known as the “Yorkie,” boasts a blend of British refinement and tenacious spirit. This toy breed, originating from Northern England’s historical counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire, once scoured mills and mines as a rat-catching expert. Today, their primary role has shifted from ratter to beloved companion, capturing hearts with their shimmering, silky coats and larger-than-life personalities.

  1. Companionship: With their affectionate nature and strong bonding tendency, Yorkies excel as loving companions and often thrive in the company of their human families.

  2. Apartment Living: Given their small size, Yorkshire Terriers are particularly well-suited for apartment living, as they don’t require vast spaces to roam.

  3. Senior Citizens: Due to their manageable size and loving demeanor, they often make an excellent match for older individuals or retirees looking for a low-maintenance yet engaging companion.

  4. Travel Enthusiasts: Their compact size makes them relatively easy to travel with, whether it’s for a city outing or a longer journey.

  5. Guarding: Despite their small stature, Yorkies are incredibly alert and will promptly announce visitors with their sharp bark.

  6. Families with Older Children: While they’re good with families, the delicate nature of Yorkies makes them better suited for households with older children who understand how to handle them gently.

  7. Individuals Seeking an Active Toy Breed: While they’re toy-sized, Yorkies have a good amount of energy and enjoy regular play sessions and short walks.

  8. Fashion and Style Enthusiasts: With their silky coats and ability to be adorned with bows or other accessories, Yorkies are often a favorite among those who enjoy canine fashion.

  9. Allergy Sufferers: Though no breed is entirely hypoallergenic, the Yorkie’s hair-like coat might be a better fit for those with mild pet allergies.

It’s worth noting that while Yorkies fit well into these categories, individual dog personalities can vary. It’s always recommended to spend time with the breed and consult with breeders or rescue organizations to ensure the best fit for your lifestyle and preferences.

Yorkshire Terrier Traits

Breed Characteristics

When evaluating a Yorkshire Terrier’s traits, they typically score as follows on a scale from 1 paw (low) to 5 paws (high), based on assessments from various pet professionals like dog trainers, veterinarians, and behaviorists. However, it’s essential to recognize that every dog is unique, and not all members of a breed will conform precisely to these generalizations.


Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Appearance

Yorkshire Terriers, despite their small stature, carry themselves with a sense of elegance and pride. Every aspect of their physical structure contributes to their unmistakable appearance, making them easily recognizable and widely adored. Whether flaunting their luxurious coat in a show ring or sporting a practical trim, their beauty and charm are undeniable.

1. Ears
Small, V-shaped, and carried erect, adding to their alert appearance.
2. Eyes
Medium-sized, dark with an intelligent, alert expression. The almond shape gives them a characteristic sparkle.
3. Nose
Black and well-proportioned to the face.
4. Height
Fine, silky, and straight. Can be long, often touching the ground, especially if left untrimmed.
5. Coat Length
Fine, silky, and straight. Can be long, often touching the ground, especially if left untrimmed.
6. Coat Color
Commonly blue and tan. The blue ranges from a dark steel blue to a lighter blue-grey, and the tan can be a rich, golden tan or a lighter cream.
7. Tail
Traditionally docked and carried slightly higher than the back. In places where docking is illegal, the tail is medium length with a slight upward curve.
8. Weight
Typically ranges from 4 to 7 pounds.

Yorkshire Terrier Temperament

The Yorkshire Terrier, affectionately known as the Yorkie, embodies a vibrant spirit that belies its small stature. At the core of their character is a striking confidence; they parade with a boldness that can sometimes make one forget they’re encountering a toy-sized breed. Yet, this assertion is juxtaposed by their deep affection and loyalty. A Yorkie thrives on close bonds with its human family, often forming a particularly tight connection with one member.

Intelligence shines in their keen eyes, making them quick learners but also mischievous adventurers. However, their sharp wit occasionally veers into stubbornness, especially during training sessions, demanding a blend of patience and consistency from their owners. Originally bred for rat-catching, their alertness hasn’t waned, making them unexpectedly effective watchdogs. They’ll promptly announce a visitor’s arrival or any unusual sounds, proving that their courage and assertiveness aren’t merely for show.

Yet, beneath this dynamic exterior lies a sensitive soul. Yorkies resonate deeply with their environment and can become anxious in unfamiliar situations. They appreciate a gentle touch and kind words, seeking assurance and comfort from their loved ones. All in all, the Yorkie’s temperament is a rich tapestry of contrasts, from bold to tender, independent to devoted, making them endlessly fascinating companions.

How to Care for a Yorkshire Terrier

Caring for a Yorkshire Terrier, fondly known as a Yorkie, requires attentive grooming and health routines due to their luxurious yet delicate coat and petite stature. Their silky fur demands regular brushing to avoid tangles and matting, and monthly baths help maintain its shine and health. For ease of maintenance, many owners opt for shorter haircuts, known as “puppy cuts,” but if kept long, trims are crucial.

Beyond grooming, Yorkies benefit from routine health checks, including ear cleaning, nail trimming, and dental care. Their small mouths can be prone to dental issues, making regular teeth cleaning essential. Despite their compact size, Yorkies are energetic and thrive on daily walks and play sessions, ensuring both their physical and mental stimulation. A harmonious blend of love, consistent care routines, and understanding their unique needs will ensure a happy and healthy life for these spirited companions.

The Yorkshire Terrier, often distinguished by its elegant and silky coat, requires a dedicated grooming regimen to maintain its regal appearance and ensure overall health. Proper grooming not only enhances the Yorkie’s aesthetic appeal but also plays a pivotal role in preventing various skin and coat issues.

  1. Coat Maintenance:

    • Brushing: Daily brushing is essential due to their fine, silky coat, which can easily tangle and mat. A soft bristle brush or a fine-toothed comb efficiently removes loose hair and keeps the coat smooth.
    • Bathing: Monthly baths with a gentle dog-specific shampoo help maintain a clean and shiny coat. Rinsing thoroughly is vital to prevent residue, which can irritate the skin. After bathing, a soft towel or a low-setting hairdryer ensures they’re dried thoroughly.
    • Haircuts: For those who prefer the traditional long hair, regular trims around the eyes, ears, and paws are a must. However, a more manageable “puppy cut” is a popular choice among many owners.
  2. Eyes and Ears:

    • Eyes: Yorkies are prone to tear stains below their eyes. Daily gentle wiping with a soft cloth or specific eye wipes can help in keeping this area clean.
    • Ears: A weekly ear check is recommended. Look for signs of dirt, redness, or unpleasant odor. Cleaning can be done using a cotton ball dampened with a pH-balanced ear cleaner.
  3. Teeth and Dental Care:

    • Due to their small mouths, Yorkies can be more susceptible to dental problems. Brushing their teeth several times a week, or even daily, using dog-specific toothpaste can help prevent tartar buildup and gum disease.

Incorporating these grooming practices ensures not only a well-groomed Yorkie but also contributes to their overall well-being and health. Regular grooming sessions also provide an excellent opportunity for owners to check for signs of skin issues, infections, or other potential health concerns.

Training a Yorkshire Terrier, though rewarding, can present unique challenges due to their spirited and independent nature. Originating as ratters, their inquisitive temperament is evident, making training both an opportunity for bonding and essential for their well-being.

  1. Start Early: Begin training as soon as you bring your Yorkie puppy home. The earlier you start, the more pliable their behavior will be.

  2. Positive Reinforcement: Yorkies respond best to positive reinforcement methods. Praise, treats, and toys can be used as rewards. Avoid harsh corrections or yelling, as this can cause fear or stubbornness.

  3. Consistency is Key: Being consistent with commands and expectations is crucial. Ensure all family members use the same commands and reward system to avoid confusion.

  4. Socialization: Early socialization is essential. Expose your Yorkie to different people, pets, sounds, and environments while they’re young to foster a well-adjusted adult dog. This can prevent issues like excessive barking or being overly territorial.

  5. Potty Training: Yorkies can be notorious for being challenging to housebreak. Crate training can be beneficial. Regular potty breaks, praise for doing their business outside, and maintaining a consistent feeding schedule can aid the process.

  6. Basic Commands: Start with basics like “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “down.” Once they master these, you can introduce more advanced commands or even tricks.

  7. Limit Barking: Yorkies can be vocal. Training them to understand the “quiet” command early on can help manage excessive barking.

  8. Leash Training: Given their small size, it’s vital to ensure your Yorkie is comfortable on a leash. Start with short sessions inside before gradually moving outdoors.

  9. Avoid Small Dog Syndrome: It’s easy to overlook unwanted behaviors due to their small size, but it’s essential to treat them like you would any dog. Establishing boundaries ensures they don’t develop “small dog syndrome,” where they believe they’re the pack leader.

  10. Enroll in Puppy Classes: Consider enrolling your Yorkie in a puppy training class. It’s an excellent way for them to learn basic commands and socialize with other dogs.

In summary, while Yorkshire Terriers might require patience and consistency in training, the end result is a well-mannered, confident, and happy companion. Remember that the foundation of effective training is a strong bond of trust and understanding between the dog and the owner.

Yorkshire Terriers, with their petite frame and vivacious spirit, have specific dietary needs to keep them active, healthy, and thriving. Ensuring they receive the right balance of nutrients not only promotes optimal health but also supports their luscious coat and energetic disposition.

  1. High-Quality Dog Food: Whether you choose commercial dog food or home-cooked meals, ensure it’s of high quality. Look for products with meat, fish, or poultry as the primary ingredient. Avoid foods with fillers like corn, soy, and by-products.

  2. Protein: Protein is vital for muscle development and maintenance. Yorkies benefit from a diet that has a good amount of high-quality animal protein sources like chicken, turkey, lamb, or fish.

  3. Fats: Fats provide energy. Essential fatty acids, like omega-3 and omega-6, also support skin health and give their coat a glossy shine. Ingredients like flaxseed, fish oil, and chicken fat are beneficial.

  4. Carbohydrates: While dogs don’t require carbohydrates in the same way humans do, they can be a source of quick energy. Opt for wholesome sources like sweet potatoes, brown rice, and oats.

  5. Calcium and Phosphorus: These minerals are crucial for bone and teeth health. Ensure they’re present in appropriate ratios in your dog’s diet.

  6. Small, Frequent Meals: Given their small size, Yorkies are prone to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Feeding them small, frequent meals throughout the day can help maintain stable blood sugar levels.

  7. Clean Water: Always ensure your Yorkie has access to fresh, clean water.

  8. Treats: While treats can be a good training aid, they should be given in moderation. Opt for healthy options and avoid treats high in sugar or artificial ingredients.

  9. Puppy vs. Adult vs. Senior: Nutritional needs vary across life stages. Puppies require more protein and fat, adults need a balanced diet, and seniors might have specific needs based on health conditions.

  10. Special Dietary Concerns: Some Yorkies can be prone to food allergies or sensitivities. If you notice symptoms like itching, digestive issues, or ear infections, consult your vet. They might recommend a hypoallergenic diet or specific protein sources.

  11. Regular Vet Check-ups: Regular vet visits ensure that your Yorkie’s dietary needs are being met and allows for adjustments based on weight, activity level, or any emerging health concerns.

In essence, feeding a Yorkshire Terrier requires attention to detail and an understanding of their specific needs. A balanced, nutrient-rich diet will go a long way in ensuring your Yorkie leads a happy, healthy, and active life.

The Yorkshire Terrier, though small in size, is spirited and lively, requiring regular exercise to maintain its health and happiness. While they might not need as much physical activity as some larger breeds, Yorkies benefit from consistent, varied exercise routines to cater to both their physical and mental needs.

  1. Daily Walks: Aim for at least one walk daily. While they have little legs, Yorkies enjoy exploring and sniffing their surroundings. A 20-30 minute stroll can be adequate.

  2. Playtime: Beyond walks, they love playing. Engage them with toys, tug-of-war games, or fetch. Playing not only exercises their body but also stimulates their mind.

  3. Indoor Activities: On days when outdoor activities are limited due to weather or other constraints, indoor games can come in handy. Puzzle toys, hide and seek, or even a playful romp around the living room can suffice.

  4. Training Sessions: Training sessions, whether it’s basic obedience or teaching new tricks, provide mental stimulation. Short, consistent training sessions can be both fun and mentally taxing for them.

  5. Socialization: Visits to a dog park or play dates with other small dogs can be an excellent way for your Yorkie to socialize and play. However, always supervise interactions, especially with larger dogs, to ensure their safety.

  6. Avoid Overexertion: While it’s essential to ensure they get adequate exercise, be mindful not to overexert them. Their small stature means they can get tired quicker than larger breeds.

  7. Safety First: When outside, especially in open areas, it’s recommended to keep your Yorkie on a leash. Their curious nature might lead them to explore further away, and their small size can make them vulnerable.

  8. Weather Considerations: Yorkies have a fine coat and can be sensitive to extreme temperatures. In colder weather, consider a doggy sweater or jacket. During hot days, exercise during cooler times of the day and always provide ample water.

In conclusion, while the Yorkshire Terrier isn’t a high-energy breed, regular exercise tailored to their needs is paramount. A combination of walks, play, training, and socialization ensures a well-rounded routine, keeping your Yorkie physically active, mentally stimulated, and overall joyful.

Yorkshire Terriers, affectionately known as Yorkies, are adaptable creatures with big personalities packed into a petite frame. While they can adjust to various living conditions, creating an ideal environment is crucial for their overall well-being and happiness.

  1. Living Spaces:

    • Apartments: Yorkies are well-suited for apartment living due to their small size. They don’t require large spaces but do appreciate a cozy spot or two for relaxation.
    • Houses: In larger living spaces like houses, Yorkies enjoy the additional room to roam and play, though they should always have a designated safe space, like a crate or a particular room.
  2. Outdoor Access:

    • While they’re content indoor pets, having access to a yard or garden is beneficial for short play sessions. If you have outdoor space, ensure it’s securely fenced to keep them safe.
  3. Weather Protection:

    • Their fine coat means they’re sensitive to extreme weather conditions. In cold climates, they’ll appreciate warm bedding or even doggy sweaters. Conversely, in hotter areas, they’ll need a cool, shaded place and plenty of water.
  4. Safety Considerations:

    • Yorkies are curious by nature. Ensure the environment is free from hazards like toxic plants, accessible small objects they could swallow, or open balconies.
    • As with all dogs, they should be supervised around swimming pools.
  5. Social Environment:

    • Yorkies thrive on companionship and bond closely with their families. They do best in environments where they have consistent social interactions and aren’t left alone for extended periods.
    • If you have other pets, introducing them slowly and ensuring each has its space can facilitate harmonious living.
  6. Mental Stimulation:

    • An ideal environment for a Yorkie should cater to their intelligent and inquisitive nature. Provide toys, puzzles, and regular play sessions to keep them mentally stimulated.
  7. Training & Boundaries:

    • While they may be small, establishing boundaries and providing consistent training is essential. It ensures they understand house rules and prevents the development of “small dog syndrome.”
  8. Regular Vet Access:

    • Proximity to a trusted veterinarian is essential. Regular check-ups and easy access in case of emergencies contribute to their well-being.

In essence, the ideal environment for a Yorkshire Terrier is one that caters to their physical, mental, and social needs. While they’re adaptable and can thrive in various living conditions, attention to their unique requirements and a dose of love and care will ensure they lead a fulfilled, happy life.

Yorkshire Terrier Health

Yorkshire Terriers, while renowned for their tenacity and lively disposition, are also a breed that comes with specific health concerns. Being aware of these can aid in early detection, prevention, and treatment, ensuring a long, healthy life for these charming canines.

  1. Dental Issues:

    • Yorkies are particularly prone to dental problems. Their small mouths can lead to overcrowded teeth, increasing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Regular dental check-ups, along with daily brushing, are advised.
  2. Hypoglycemia:

    • Low blood sugar can be a concern, especially in puppies. Symptoms include weakness, confusion, and tremors. Feeding small, frequent meals can help maintain stable blood sugar levels.
  3. Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease:

    • This condition involves a decrease in blood supply to the hip joint, leading to joint breakdown. It can result in arthritis or inflammation.
  4. Luxating Patella:

    • Common in small breeds, it involves the dislocation or slipping of the kneecap. Severe cases might require surgical intervention.
  5. Collapsed Trachea:

    • Characterized by a honking cough, it’s caused by a weakening of the tracheal rings in the windpipe. Weight management and using a harness instead of a collar can help reduce risk.
  6. Portosystemic Shunt (PSS):

    • It’s a condition where blood bypasses the liver, leading to a buildup of toxins in the bloodstream. Symptoms can include stunted growth, behavioral abnormalities, and seizures.
  7. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA):

    • An eye condition leading to gradual vision loss. Regular eye check-ups can help in early detection.
  8. Skin Allergies:

    • Yorkies can be prone to skin allergies from food, environmental factors, or fleas. Regular grooming and a balanced diet can help, but some might require specific treatments or medications.
  9. Regular Vet Check-ups:

    • Routine veterinary visits are essential for early detection of any health issues. Regular screenings, vaccinations, and preventive treatments contribute to overall well-being.
  10. Diet & Nutrition:

  • A balanced, high-quality diet can prevent various health issues, including obesity, which can exacerbate many of the aforementioned conditions.

In conclusion, while Yorkshire Terriers are generally hardy and spirited, being aware of their health predispositions is crucial for any responsible owner. Regular veterinary care, a balanced diet, and an attentive eye to any behavioral or physical changes can ensure that your Yorkie remains a happy and healthy companion.

Yorkshire Terrier Breed Comparison and Consideration

When you’re wading through the world of small dog breeds, the Yorkshire Terrier, Pomeranian, Chihuahua, and Dachshund are hard to miss. Each of these little guys packs a punch personality-wise, but they all have their unique quirks.

Starting with the Yorkshire Terrier, affectionately called the “Yorkie.” This is a pup draped in elegance with its flowing silky, blue and tan coat. It’s like having a small, assertive aristocrat in your living room. They stand proudly at about 7-8 inches tall and don’t weigh much—around 4-7 pounds. But don’t let their dainty looks fool you; they’ve got a spirit and confidence that can rival the big dogs.

Next up is the Pomeranian. Imagine a ball of fluff with a twinkle in its eye—that’s your Pom. At 6-7 inches and weighing between 3-7 pounds, these dogs are known for their lively curiosity. Their fluffy double coat is like a cloud, making them look larger than life. But beyond their fur, they’re bold and energetic, always ready for a play session or two.

The Chihuahua is a breed that’s become synonymous with the word “tiny.” Ranging from 5-8 inches and weighing a mere 2-6 pounds, Chihuahuas might be small, but they’re big on personality. They come in two coat varieties, smooth and long-haired. But regardless of the coat, their alert and spirited demeanor stands out. Loyal to a fault, they often bond closely with one person, making them excellent companion dogs.

Last but not least, the Dachshund. Known as the “sausage dog” for their elongated bodies, Dachshunds are an intriguing mix of bravery and playfulness. They come in two sizes; the standard is a bit bigger at 8-9 inches and 16-32 pounds, while the miniatures stand at 5-6 inches, weighing up to 11 pounds. With three coat varieties—smooth, long-haired, and wire-haired—there’s a Dachshund for every aesthetic preference. They’re curious and can be stubborn at times, but their loyalty and playfulness make them endearing companions.

To sum it up, while these four breeds all fall under the small dog category, each has its own unique charm. Whether it’s the Yorkie’s elegance, the Pom’s enthusiasm, the Chihuahua’s loyalty, or the Dachshund’s playful bravery, there’s a perfect pint-sized pup out there for everyone.



Choosing the perfect canine companion hinges on more than just the breed’s physical appeal. Your lifestyle is paramount in this decision. For instance, if you lean towards an active life, a Dachshund, with its playful nature, might be suitable. In contrast, the Chihuahua, content with indoor play and shorter walks, is a great companion for those with a more laid-back rhythm or living in apartments. Beyond activity levels, consider grooming needs; the Yorkie and Pomeranian require consistent grooming, while the smooth-coated Chihuahua is lower maintenance.

It’s also essential to gauge a breed’s typical temperament against your household dynamics. The assertive and spirited nature of a Yorkie or Chihuahua might not be the best fit for households with very young children or other dominant pets. In contrast, the Pomeranian, with its friendly demeanor, can be a great family pet. Lastly, potential health issues and life expectancy of breeds might influence your choice. Each breed comes with its own set of health considerations. Research, coupled with a reflection on your living situation and commitment level, will guide you to the ideal furry friend.


Due to their long, silky coats, Yorkies require regular grooming, including daily brushing, to prevent matting and tangling. Many owners also opt for monthly haircuts to maintain their coat’s length.

Yorkies are spirited and confident. While they can be great with older children who know how to handle them gently, they might not be ideal for families with very young kids. Early socialization is key when introducing them to other pets.

Yorkies can be prone to certain health problems, including dental issues, hypoglycemia, patellar luxation, and some genetic conditions like liver shunts.

Despite their small size, Yorkies are active and enjoy daily walks. However, their exercise needs are moderate, and they’re content with indoor play and short outdoor stints.

Yes, Yorkies are well-suited for apartment living due to their size, but they do need daily exercise and mental stimulation.

Yorkies require a balanced diet tailored to small breeds. High-quality commercial or home-cooked meals that meet their nutritional needs are essential. It’s crucial to monitor portion sizes to prevent obesity.

Top Takeaways

The Yorkshire Terrier, affectionately known as the “Yorkie,” stands out with its silky blue and tan coat, requiring dedicated grooming. Beneath this elegant exterior lies a spirited and confident character, occasionally veering towards assertiveness, especially around larger dogs. Early and consistent training is key to channeling their intelligence positively. Health-wise, while Yorkies are generally robust, they are prone to specific concerns like dental issues and hypoglycemia. With attentive care, these petite canines can grace their owners with 12 to 15 years of companionship, demanding time, love, and commitment in return.

Top Yorkshire Terrier Names

These are the top Affenpinscher  names as chosen by Pawstray pet parents!

Female Names


Ginger Adam









Male Names











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