With their long, silky coats and cheeky personalities, Yorkshire Terriers are popular toy dogs. In fact, they are still among the top ten most popular breeds in America. You might think of Yorkies as posh city dogs, but they started out as pied pipers in textile mills and mines. Yorkshire Terriers pack a big terrier personality into a small frame.
Learn about Yorkshire Terriers, from their humble beginnings in England to their lofty status as one of the world’s most popular companion dogs. We tell you all about their personality, grooming needs, and needs to help you decide if a Yorkie is the right dog for you.
- Origin: England
- Weight: <10 pounds
- Shelf life: 11-15 years
- Breed Group: Toy Group
- Activity level:
- Bark/Howl Level:
- Good with dogs: yes
- Good with children: yes
- Good with cats:
- Easy to fix:
- Easy to train:
Appearance of the Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkies are one of the smallest dog breeds, standing between 7 and 10 inches tall with adults weighing no more than seven pounds. They are known for their confident demeanor thanks to their tall stance and compact, well-proportioned stature. Yorkies are set on low, have a straight back and a small head carried high, with V-shaped ears that stand erect. Their cocks stand up too.
A characteristic feature of the Yorkshire Terrier is its fine, straight and long coat. The Yorkie’s coat resembles human hair, making it semi-hypoallergenic. The fur is dark gray to black on the back and golden brown on the limbs, chest and face. Yorkies generally groom themselves so that their fur falls evenly on both sides of their bodies. They can also be cut to have shorter hair. When left long, the hair on the Yorkie’s head is often tied back with a ribbon to keep it out of his eyes and enhance his casual look.
Yorkshire Terrier Personality
Staying true to the Yorkie’s terrier roots as a vermin hunter, this is an active little dog that needs a daily walk to keep himself stimulated. Games and fun are always added. They may look cute and believe us they do, but due to their small size and buttery appearance that wouldn’t melt, chances are your Yorkshire Terrier will try to lead you. Socialization and training can help, and it’s worth remembering that companion dogs like Yorkies need your attention the most, so they might act to get it. This can include unwanted howling, but with regular training, you will raise an affectionate and gentle dog.
Ideal environment for a Yorkshire Terrier
Although originally bred as rats in textile mills and mines, Yorkies are now known to make excellent lap dogs. Their small size and low-allergen coat make them popular lap dogs. However, Yorkies can also be small guard dogs, meaning they can respond to noises. Whether in an apartment or house, Yorkies need environments with plenty of mental stimulation and will benefit from early socialization and training.
Although Yorkies don’t need a lot of space, they are terriers and enjoy moderate exercise. Access to outside areas to walk and play will help keep your Yorkie active. They can be sensitive to the cold, so if you live in a cold climate they will need a coat.
Ideal male for a Yorkshire Terrier
If you’re a city dweller or city-goer looking for a small, fun-loving dog that doesn’t mind when you’re on the go or need to cover a little extra distance, then a Yorkie could be the right dog for you. They are naturally curious, which makes them great playmates, and like other dogs in the terrier group, they can be prone to trying to find their way out of your yard. If you’re ready for a dog with a larger-than-life personality, perhaps have older children, and don’t plan on adding more pets to your brood at a later date (Yorkies are said to bond better as they grow up with other pets (since they can be a bit possessive and can be territorial), you’ll be blessed with this little pack of dog treats!
Yorkshire terrier training
A smart and entertaining little dog, a Yorkie will make a fun playmate and you’ll enjoy learning a few tricks together. When it comes to obedience training, the Yorkshire Terrier is not too difficult to train if the owner shows confident leadership. But watch out for their cuteness, otherwise they might start misbehaving to get more of what they want most: your attention. Apparently, the Yorkshire Terrier can be a little difficult to housetrain, so you need to remain vigilant, patient and reward good behavior.
Yorkshire terrier care
The Yorkie’s signature coat requires regular grooming to keep it clean, healthy, and tangle-free. With a coat very similar to human hair, they need daily brushing and bathing (including a conditioner) every one to two weeks. Hair on top of the head should be trimmed or tied back to avoid eye irritation. Some Yorkies find professional grooming worthwhile to keep their dogs in tip-top shape. Like all dogs, Yorkies need regular nail trimming and teeth brushing to keep their teeth healthy.
Yorkshire Terrier Health
Because of their fragile limbs and notoriously prone to knee problems, an awkward condition called patellae luxantes (fractured kneecaps), you’ll need to be careful not to let your Yorkie jump from high places, especially as a puppy while bones are still developing.
Their eyes are also somewhat vulnerable, some Yorkies can have progressively deteriorating retinas that can cause them to lose their eyesight. Responsible breeders will tell you all about the medical history of a puppy’s parents and grandparents, and may even have specifically assessed some of the most common issues this breed faces. In general, Yorkies are a fairly healthy breed, but many pet owners choose pet health insurance just in case.
History of the Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier was named for its region of origin in early 19th century England. The Yorkie was deliberately bred by workers in the north of England from a range of terriers including the Black and Tan Terrier and the Waterside Terrier. The Yorkie’s small size and agile build made it well-suited to workers in textile mills helping to hunt and capture rodents. But by the end of that same century, this petite terrier, aided by breed recognition and a touch of fame, had established itself as a fashionable companion dog for wealthy women. Soon after, the Yorkies made their way to the United States, where they won the hearts of Americans and enjoyed their place in the limelight as one of the most popular breeds in the country and the world.
get a yorkshire terrier
Finding a Yorkie puppy or adult dog can be as easy as searching the internet, but beware of puppy mills and internet scams. There are many ways to find a reputable breeder and it is important to ask, visit before committing to pay and trust your instincts. Additionally, many Yorkies are available through rescue organizations and people who adopt dogs they can no longer care for.
Yorkies are popular everywhere, even in rescue groups. The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America maintains an up-to-date list of national Yorkie rescues on their website. According to the AKC, most breed rescues report that the majority of their rescued dogs are from abandoned individual owners, with the most common reasons being a lifestyle change or the breed not being the right one for the owner. Dogs abandoned by their owners often have basic obedience and socialization training, and have detailed health and behavior histories to support their care. Plus, Yorkies are eager to learn, so you can continue training with your rescue pup no matter how experienced they are.
You can use the American Kennel Club (AKC) search tool to find a reputable Yorkie breeder in your area. It’s important to do your research and check references to avoid puppy mills and online scams. When you find a reputable breeder, be sure to ask questions and set up an in-person meeting with the parents. When you visit, ask about any health issues in the dog’s lineage.
Remember to follow your instincts. If there is something wrong with a breeder you visit or the Yorkshire Terrier puppy seems too good to be true, move on to the next option.
Learn more about Yorkshire Terriers
Can’t get enough of this adorable breed? Are you ready to make your dream of owning your own Yorkie come true? We have so much more for you, from the best names for your Yorkshire Terrier, the best toys a Yorkie will love, proven food reviews and gift ideas for the Yorkie lover in your life.
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