Yorkshire Terrier: Tiny And Energetic Dog

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
The Yorkshire Terrier is a small-size dog, but big in personality. This is a feisty, but lovign companion, and one of the most popular breeds in the States. Read on for more.
Dog Breed Group:
Companion Dogs
8 to 9 inches tall at the shoulder
4 to 6 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

The Yorkshire Terrier is a compact, toy-size dog with a floor-length coat and a feisty heart. Before they became the companion dogs of Victorian ladies, Yorkshire Terriers earned their living as ratters in mines and mills.

This toy-size terrier is no more than seven pounds heavy, but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t brave and sometimes bossy. Although they are small, Yorkshire’s exhibit all the traits of a true terrier.

Yorkies are low-allergen and long-lived. Here is more on this breed.

Quick Facts

Real name: Yorkshire Terrier
Other names: Yorkie
Origin: England
Breed type: Terrier Group
Weight: 4 to 7 pounds,
Height: 8 to 9 inches at the shoulder
Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
Litter Size: 1 to 5 puppies
Color: Blue and tan, blue and gold, black and tan, black and gold
Coat: Soft and long, although its often short

Yorkshire Terrier History

The Yorkshire Terrier was developed during the mid-1800s in the northern English counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Very fast, this breed became a fashionable lapdog for proper English ladies in late Victorian times. Although it was mostly known as a lap dog, this breed in its beginning was exclusively working dog.

Dog experts claim that this breed is the creation of weavers from Scotland who migrated to the English north country and brought their Scottish terriers with them.

It’s important to note that several reeds of now-extinct Scottish terriers are a part of the Yorkie’s genetic mix, including Skye and Dandie Dinmont.

The turning point for Yorkshire Terrier came in 1886 when the Kennel Club (England) granted the Yorkie recognition. After this moment, the popularity of the breed only went up.

In no time, Yorkshire Terrier became fashionable as a ladies’ companion. As their popularity grew, they moved from working dog to be a lap and companion dog. Yorkies were first seen in America in the 1870s, and the AKC recorded its first Yorkie, a female named Belle, in 1885.

Yorkshire Terrier Physical Appearance

Yorkies are small dogs with long hair and a tan coat. Their body is compact, well-built, and neat, next to being well-proportioned. The head is small and flat on top, while the skull isn’t too round or prominent.

Eyes are medium in size and not too prominent, usually dark in color and sparkling with an intelligent expression.

Eye rims are dark, while ears are small. The body is well compact and well proportioned, while the back is rather short.

The tail is usually docked to a medium length, while the coat is soft, glossy, and silky in texture. The coat on the body is moderately long and perfectly straight (not wavy).

Hair should be trimmed short on tips od ears and may be trimmed on feet to give them a neat appearance. Forelegs are straight, while feet are round with black toenails.

Yorkshire Terrier Personality

The Yorkshire terrier may be small in size, but his personality is feisty and energetic. This breed is affectionate, but they also want a lot of attention.

This breed is also an excellent choice for first-time dog owners. They are excellent watchdogs, so you may expect barking when a stranger approaches your home or family members.

If you have children, make sure that you educate them on how to behave around dogs, because Yorkie can snap easily toward other children.

Children tend to see Yorkies as moving toys, which can result in harsh handling, which is why Yorkie may snap. Some can be also stubborn about house training, so arm yourself with patience and positivity.

Living With Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are small in size, which makes them perfect for city living. They also don’t need a lot of room to exercise, although they will always enjoy walking outdoors.

They shed little, but their coat requires regular care to keep it in good shape. If clipped, combing, or brushing at least weekly is required.

If the coat is kept long, you will need to invest more grooming hours and even some professional grooming from time to time. Even though this is a non-smelling breed, Yorkie still needs regular grooming.

You should know that the breed is susceptible to cold and prone to chills, so make sure that you protect your Yorkie from bad weather. A dog coat is in order when the weather is chilly.

Yorkshire Terrier Training

Yorkies love spending time with their family. They love playing, and they are eager to please. You should start training your Yorkie as soon as he enters your home.

Make sure that you have proper dog-preparation and supply your home with dog toys, treats and dog bed. Always reward your Yorkie for great behavior, because they thrive when you reward them. Never apply any negative reinforcement to your dog.

Small Yorkie should be socialized to strange situations, people, other dogs, and children. Introduce your Yorkie to the world step by step, slowly, and always calm and happy.

Training should be a positive experience, so make sure that it goes smoothly. Yorkies are small, but it doesn’t mean that they would spend all day doing nothing.

Despite their small size, Yorkies are often seen participating in dog sports, such as agility, rally, and obedience. They often work as therapy dogs.

Yorkshire Terrier Exercise

Next to high-quality food and proper training, your Yorkie will need regular exercise to remains healthy and strong.

Exercise is an excellent way for your dog to stay healthy, both physically and mentally.

Yorkies will benefit from moderate exercises, such as regular walks. They will also enjoy occasional short bursts of activity, such as playing fetch in the backyard.

Good to know: Porkie is a famous mix between a Yorkshire Terrier and Pomeranian who also thrives on regular walks, and fun indoor activities

A short walk twice a day will likely be enough for your Yorkie. You can always choose to participate in dog sports, as it may be a great bonding activity for you and your dog. Plus, dog sport is a great mental challenge for your dog.

Yorkshire Terrier Grooming

Regular grooming is a full practice of checking your dog’s coat, hair, gums, eyes, and ears.

Next to that, you should regularly brush your Yorkie and perfectly brush it daily.

Make sure to think about eye irritation, the hair on the upper part of the head should be trimmed short or pulled up into a topknot.

You might need to bath your Yorkie more frequently than other dogs, but this is something that you should discuss with your veterinarian.

Dogs have different skin than humans do, and you don’t want to do more damage than use. Check ears weekly for any sign of infection or debris.

Yorkshire Terrier Health

Yorkshire Terriers are overall healthy dogs who will thrive in the right surrounding and with proper food. Make sure that you always work with responsible breeders to be sure that you are getting a healthy puppy.

If you are adopting from a local shelter, they will inform you about the dog’s health condition. Either way, you should take your dog to the veterinarian for a check-up as soon as he comes to your home.

Although they are healthy breeds, they are prone to a dislocated kneecap once called a “trick knee” in humans. To avoid this condition, you should limit the Yorkie’s jumping height, especially when he is a puppy.

Puppies are developing more and more each day, which is why they shouldn’t be forced to any extreme walks, hike, and any other form of heavy physical activity.

Yorkshire Terrier Nutrition

Yorkies will do great on high-quality dog food. You need to know how much you should feed your dog based on his age, size, and activity level.

Luckily, commercially manufactured food contains all info that you need on every package, so won’t get confused.

If you think about feeding your Yorkie with home-prepared food, make sure that you do it with your veterinarian advises suggestion, supervision, and approval.

Some dogs, especially small-size dogs, are prone to getting overweight, so make sure that you watch dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. You don’t want to deal after on with your dog’s weight loss.

Obesity in pets is raising problems in pets across the world, and the States are no exception. Once you got your Yorkie, you are directly responsible for your dog’s weight level.

Educate yourself continually on dog’s eating habits and know which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet, talk with your veterinarian.

Always keep fresh in a clean dog bowl.

The Bottom Line

The Yorkshire Terrier is small in size but really big in personality. This feisty dog is a great companion and one of the most popular dog breeds in the States.

They are purebred dogs, but they can easily be found in rescue groups and local shelters, so always think about options first.

They are great for apartment living, but they tend to be yappy, so ensure that you have food relations with your neighbors.

Yorkies are playful, but due to their size, they may be easily hurt bu children, so never leave them alone. Provide a lot of love, care, attention, treats, and playtime, and you will have a real shadow because your Yorkie won’t move from your feet.

Popular Yorkshire Terrier Comparisons

Compare Dog Breeds: