Yorkshire Terrier Breed - Dog & Puppy Information & Characteristics

Yorkshire Terriers, popularly known as Yorkies, are small-sized dogs that are very well-suited to living in an apartment. They cannot handle extreme cold or hot weather and thrive in moderate climates. The Yorkshire Terrier dog breed is suitable for owners of all ages but children do need to be supervised around this small dog.

The most crucial issue when considering owning a Yorkshire Terrier dog is whether you have adequate time to look after them. Just like with other breeds, it is not good for a Yorkshire Terrier to be left alone for long periods of time. If everyone in the house is away for most of the day then it is best to get two dogs so that they have each other for company. Yorkshire Terriers generally live happily with other breeds of dogs as long as the companion dog is of a similar size.

Key specifications of a Yorkshire Terrier

Are you planning to adopt a dog from this breed? Here are some details you may want to know about a Yorkshire Terrier’s lifespan and other physical characteristics.

Weight1 to 3 kg
Height8 to 9 inches
Lifespan12 to 15 years
CoatLong and smooth

Physical appearance of Yorkshire Terriers

Besides being one of the smallest dog breeds, Yorkshire Terrier dogs can be easily identified by their long and smooth coats. Their coats can have the following shades:

  • Black and tan
  • Black and gold
  • Blue and tan
  • Blue and gold

If you want to bring home a Yorkshire Terrier, you may want to know how to identify a purebred pup. Here are some physical characteristics that can help you identify a purebred Yorkshire Terrier:

  • An overall small build
  • Long hair covering the entire body
  • Pointed ears that stay upright

Yorkshire Terrier personality traits

Most Yorkshire Terriers are alert, active, and inquisitive. They can be determined but are also faithful and loyal to their adoptive family. They thrive on human companionship and will happily allow themselves to be included in family activities. They make for good watchdogs too and will bark if strangers visit their home. Although small, dogs from this breed are robust and healthy animals. 

Do Yorkshire Terriers need training?

Yorkies do need to be trained in socializing with dogs and people at an early age. Dogs from this breed are very loyal and eager to please their owners, which makes it easier to train them. However, it is best if you use positive reinforcement in training, rather than harsh tones. A reward-based training with delicious dog treats and praises should work just fine.

How to care for a Yorkshire Terrier?

As the owner of a Yorkshire Terrier dog, you would want to know how to care for your fur baby the right way. We have listed down a few points that can come in handy when looking after a Yorkie. 

  • Health issues

Common health issues that Yorkshire Terriers can be prone to are luxating patella and other joint-related issues, eye problems, and allergies. If you are planning on adopting a Yorkshire Terrier puppy or an adult dog, do get them tested for these ailments when bringing them home. 

  • Grooming

Yorkshire Terriers shed very little and are a hypo-allergenic (low allergy) breed. Their coat is not weather resistant, so they should live indoors with brief periods outside for exercise. A Yorkshire Terrier’s coat will generally grow to the ground and needs to be brushed for around an hour every second day to keep it free of tangles. The hair on the head needs to be tied up to avoid eye irritation. A Yorkshire Terrier’s maintenance routine can get a bit tedious so you may want to trim the coat. 

  • Physical activity

Yorkshire Terriers are very active and love playing. They will happily go for a long walk with their owner or run around in the backyard. They will also love playing fetch with you, so you can relax and bond with your dog while they get their exercise. 

  • Nutritional requirements

It is recommended that Yorkshire Terriers be fed two meals a day. Do buy nutrition-rich dog food and prepare a feeding chart for your dog. Occasional treats are fine, especially during training. However, do make sure that you do not overfeed the pooch, as doing so can lead to obesity, which is a cause of several physical ailments. You may want to ask your vet to provide you with a Yorkshire Terrier feeding guide if you have not owned a dog from this breed before. 

A brief history of Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terriers are the result of cross-breeding between a variety of Terrier types. They first appeared around England’s Yorkshire region during the middle of the 19th century, thus getting their name. The early Yorkshire Terriers could be as heavy as 6 kilograms and were used, similar to other Terrier breeds, to kill rats. They were mainly used in mills, mines, and factories, to carry out this job.  Over time, breeders produced a smaller, more beautiful dog that was a household pet and show dog, rather than a rat killer. Yorkies got official recognition in the American Kennel Club in 1885. And despite being more popular in England, the breed got its official recognition in this country a year later in 1886.

Get all the information you need about the various kinds of dogs on our breeds category page.

FAQs on Yorkshire Terrier dog breed

Yorkshire Terriers do get along well with other pets, especially ones that are small in size. However, it is still recommended that the Yorkies be trained in socialization at an early age.

Yorkshire Terriers are very devoted and affectionate towards their family. They also adjust well in an apartment. These are some qualities of Yorkshire Terriers that make them a great choice of pet.

Yorkshire Terrier dogs do not like being left home alone and prefer having a companion around. If you are usually away for several hours a day, you may want to keep another small dog as a companion for your Yorkshire Terrier puppy or dog.

It is not easy to groom a Yorkshire Terrier, since their coat is covered with long and smooth hair. These dogs need regular brushing for an hour every second day to avoid tangles.

Yorkshire Terriers are very vocal and tend to bark a lot. They are also known for being very alert, so they will bark at any sign of a stranger approaching your house.

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