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Yorkie Breed Information

Blue and gold Yorkshire terrier dog wearing a scarf

Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies) are feisty, adventurous and spunky little dogs. They are sporty and wild, cuddly and affectionate, and they love to travel and explore. They are highly devoted family-oriented dogs. Yorkshire Terriers have amazing, colorful personalities. They are loving, fun, playful, and fond of attention. They love to perform tricks and they are great at canine sports. Yorkies are elegant toy-sized small breed dogs with an average weight between 4 and 6 pounds and an average height between 8 to 9 inches. They have a glamorous long silky hypoallergenic coat, sparkly dark eyes, a little black nose, and small pointy ears.  

BREED TYPE / MIX Purebred ENERGY Moderate SHEDDING Minimum TRAINING Determined TEMPERAMENT Courageous, Energetic, Independent, Playful ADULT WEIGHT 4-6 lbs ADULT HEIGHT 8-9 in LIFE SPAN 10-16 yrs

Characteristics

  • Alert, protective, and vigilant, the Yorkshire Terrier is a great watchdog and one of the best lap dogs around
  • Yorkie puppies are easy to train. These toy dogs are known to be obedient and fast-learning students
  • Adventurous and explorers at heart, Yorkshire Terriers are wonderful travel companions
  • The Yorkshire Terriers have a long lifespan with an average of 16 to 18 years
  • Highly receptive, affectionate, and devoted, the Yorkie has a great reputation as a therapy dog
  • The Yorkie is a hypoallergenic dog with a low-shedding coat
  • Yorkie puppies are highly adaptable, they are comfortable in small apartments as well as in big homes
  • Yorkies are fit for both active and laid-back lifestyles
  • Friendly and out-going, the Yorkshire Terrier is great with children and household pets
  • The Yorkie is an affectionate, cheerful dog best suited for families, singles, seniors, and first-time pet owners
  • According to the AKC, the Yorkie terrier dog is the 10th most popular dog in the United States
  • The Yorkshire terrier breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club since 1885 
Silver and gold Yorkshire terrier posing

Appearance

Gracious and elegant in appearance, with their heads held high, the Yorkshire Terriers carry themselves in a proud and confident manner.

A member of the Toy Group, the Yorkshire Terrier is small in stature averaging in weight from 4 to 6 pounds and in height from 8 to 9 inches for an adult Yorkie.

The Yorkie's small size can differ based on breed type and sex. A female is slightly smaller than a male. Teacup, Miniature (or Mini Yorkie), Toy, and Micro are smaller versions of the standard Yorkshire Terrier. A full grown Teacup Yorkie is also slightly smaller than a standard Yorkie.  

The Yorkie has a small compact and well-proportioned body, a medium length muzzle, dark sparkly eyes, and small pointy ears.  

The coat is made of a long straight, silky, and soft glossy hair that has very light shedding and is hypoallergenic. The breed standard colors are golden tan with steel blue. Although Yorkie puppies are born with a much darker coat, the lighter shades on the coat will develop into the standard breed colors as they mature.  

Although their official recognition is yet unclear, Yorkies can be found in various sizes and colors. The most sought-after types of Yorkies are:

  • Parti
  • Teacup
  • Toy
  • Miniature – Mini
  • Micro
  • Micro Teacup 

Other popular Yorkie colors include:

Among these colors, there are a few that are categorized as rare. These include solid colors like silver, brown, white, black, and blonde, as well as parti colors like black and brown, and black and white.  

Temperament

Energetic, playful, and with a big personality, the Yorkshire Terrier loves to run and hike, fetch and chase, and will greatly enjoy a game of “hide my treats so I can go seek.” This breed is a strong, speedy, and athletic little dog who loves canine sports and performs really well in agility, rally, and obedience.  

Popular for possessing all the qualities of a larger dog, the Yorkie is a feisty, fearless, and protective little warrior who will not be intimidated by any dog no matter the size. These dogs are bold, have a curious nature and are tenacious explorers who like to check things out and be aware of every little corner of their surroundings.  

The Yorkies are also fun, spunky, independent little dogs who are more than happy to keep themselves entertained with a toy.  

Loving, cuddly and affectionate, the Yorkshire terriers are a hundred percent devoted to their human family. They are quite fond of attention and they very much enjoy performing, entertaining, and being applauded by an audience. 

The personality of the Yorkshire Terrier is very similar to that of the Dandie Dinmont Terrier. These dogs are small, hardy, and very friendly.

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Care

Grooming Requirements

Yorkshire Terriers are generally easy to groom. They require a daily brush to keep their coats tangle and knot free and to avoid matting of the hair. It is recommended to give them a bath every 4 to 6 weeks to keep their coats clean, silky, and smooth.  

It is beneficial to trim the hair around their eyes and ears, and clip their nails regularly. Their  teeth should also be brushed regularly, preferably twice a month at home, and once every few months at the groomer for a more professional canine dental care routine.

As Yorkies are considered one of the most fashionable dog breeds in the world today, they come with a few signature looks and popular haircuts. Some owners opt for Teddy Bear haircuts, while others choose cuts like the popular puppy cut or the short hair clip.  

RELATED: Grooming your Dog at Home Guide

Exercise Needs

Yorkshire terriers are toy-sized dogs and don’t have high exercise needs. They enjoy long walks, canine games of tag and find, dog sports, adventures, and snuggles on the couch with their favorite humans. A short walk or two of a combined 30 to 40 minutes each day and some active playtime indoors are enough to keep the Yorkie dog healthy, fit, and content.

Health

As with all big and small dog breeds, Yorkies are not immune to health concerns. Although they are a healthier breed than others, they can develop certain health problems such as hypoglycemia - low blood sugar, luxating patella, obesity, liver shunt, and periodontal disease. To avoid any or all of these health issues, it is best to provide your dog with a well-balanced diet and plenty of exercise, and make sure to avoid any type of rough play that may injure the dog.  

Lifespan

The Yorkie lifespan is between 16 to 18 years, although there have been cases of this breed living much longer than that. The oldest living Yorkie is currently 28 years old. To increase their life expectancy, it’s best to stick to a strict well-balanced diet, provide plenty of exercise, and never miss a vet check.  

Training

Yorkie puppies are smart, easy-going dogs. They are known to be quick learners when it comes to both basic commands and more intensive training. They are great in sporting competitions and can be trained in advanced agility, rally, and obedience. Combining active playtime with training sessions will works best with Yorkie puppies. It is recommended to use a calm tone of voice, positive reinforcement, and treat rewards when training a puppy.  

Socializing and leash training a Yorkshire Terrier should go smoothly. They are naturally friendly and outgoing, and they love discovering novel places.  

Yorkies are not overly-dependent dogs. They can be left alone for a few hours without the risk of them being yappy or destructive. They are not generally prone to separation anxiety, but it is always best to gradually get them adjusted to some alone time before leaving them alone for extended periods of time.  

More useful information on raising your new puppy.

History

From a hard-working utility dog to a most adored cuddly lapdog, the Yorkshire Terrier, also known as Yorkie, has quite the colorful history.

At the beginning of the 19th century, Yorkshire Terrier ancestors arrived in England alongside Scottish workers who came seeking jobs in the industrial region of Yorkshire. Soon after their arrival, the little dogs displayed great hunting skills and started being used as utility dogs – rodent hunters in the mills and mines of Yorkshire. Some believe the Yorkie is a relative of the Skye Terrier, a common dog breed in northern England.

Before long, the proud and elegant Yorkshire Terrier caught the eye of the wealthy court ladies and by the mid 1800’s it became a fashionable luxury pet associated with wealth in the Victorian age.  From there on, in 1870, the Yorkies made their way to America where they were officially recognized as a breed and given the name “Yorkshire Terrier”.

A show dog with many impressive titles won, a war hero who saved lives during World War II, and the first therapy dog in history, the Yorkshire Terrier has gathered an amazing number of achievements throughout history. Greatly love around the world, with more notable admirers like President Richard Nixon, Audrey Hepburn, and Natalie Portman (all of whom owned a Yorkie), the little terrier has been, and is, to this day one of the most popular toy breeds in the world.  

Over the past few decades, as their popularity reached its peak, the breed started being used as a parent to several Yorkie mix breeds.  

The most popular Yorkie mixes in the United States are:

Other Yorkshire Terrier mix breeds are:

  • Snorkie 
  • Dorkie 
  • Yorkie Russell or Jorkie 
  • Pugshire 
  • Yorksky 
  • Corkie 
  • Borkie 
  • Carkie 
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