Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed Information – Health, History, and Other Facts

The Yorkshire terrier is arguably the most popular dog breed, characterized by its tiny size. But don’t let this fool you cause these pups pack a powerful punch. Their big personalities take center stage! Often on the prowl, they’re always on the hunt for an adventure. Little watchdogs, terriers want to be wherever there’s action.

Because of their toy-sized stature, people seek them out as companions. Yet more than just great lapdogs, they’re fierce and won’t back down from a fight. Loyal to their family, Yorkshire terriers love to be loved! Plus, they’re wonderful for those with allergies. Having hair that’s more human-like than fur, they’re considered hypoallergenic.

As far as small dog breeds go, this terrier is at the top of the list of playful pets. If you have a lifestyle conducive to these puppies, then consider opening your heart to rescue or adoption. Here’s all you need to know to get you started on what to expect from them.

Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed Pictures


What Does A Yorkshire Terrier Look Like

No doubt about it, Yorkshire terriers, also known as Yorkies, are adorable little dogs. Having a height of well under a foot, most measure in at around eight or nine inches. Weight can vary, averaging around seven pounds. A range of four to fifteen pounds is standard, though. One litter can produce quite a mix of sizes, and this is totally normal.

Unlike other companion breeds, these pups don’t have a large variety of colors. They’re born black, though a blue and tan shade starts showing at an early age. Time and hormones play a part in lightening their hypoallergenic coats, too, with grey and gold coming into play. And their fur is quite temperamental as well.

Soft or silky are the two textures Yorkies display. Softer coats can be very difficult to manage and indicate some sort of genetic impurity or flaw. Eye coloring goes hand in hand with this fur. Black or brown eyes are typical for silken dogs, while hazel, green, or blue eyes occur with soft dogs.


Terriers are active dogs that are full of life and energy. Their roots trace back to the cross-breeding of mine hunters that were trained to scope out small pets. Therefore, they’re always on the prowl. Alert and curious, they are keenly aware of everything that’s going on around them. They’re smart and confident. Plus, they’re eager to protect anyone and anything that they love.

Yorkies make incredible watchdogs. Ready to go at the drop of a hat, this small breed wants in on the action! Any type of event that’s out of the ordinary will cause them to get involved. They bark a lot, which is good, up to a point. But the level of their noisiness can cause disruption to owners or neighbors. Therefore, proper training from an early age is a must.

Training is also necessary when it comes to interaction with humans and other animals. While great companions and lapdogs for seniors or families with older children, they don’t mix well with young kids. It’s best to consider your household and lifestyle before choosing this bold, lively, and busy pet.

Living Needs

Fun and dynamic pets, Yorkies do require a bit of attention. They certainly aren’t an animal you can ignore or don’t have to work with at all. They need a friend who is focused and dedicated, just like they are. That’s why they’re great for seniors or those who spend most of the day at home. Be ready to incorporate a lot of playtime into your day!

Due to their size, they make great apartment dogs. But their barking can be an issue. It’s best to help them from a young age to curtail any excessive noise problems. Nevertheless, keeping them indoors, aside from exercise and the occasional car trip, is very important. These pups don’t have a high tolerance to cold or heat.

Some people tend to paper train their puppies, so they don’t have to endure weather extremes. Overall though, potty training a Yorkshire terrier may end up being a little hard at first. Because of their tiny accidents, some owners will let them slide. This isn’t a good idea. It’s best to teach them right from wrong in the beginning. It will take a bit of effort at first, but that effort will pay off in the end.


How To Groom A Yorkshire Terrier

A Yorkshire terrier coat can be a pretty thing. However, it takes a lot to maintain it. Unless yours is a show dog, it’s best to keep its hair short. Despite the length, it still needs brushed daily, and never when the fur is wet. The soft and silk varieties aren’t too similar, but both require upkeep.

Other grooming measures include:

  • Weekly bathing and conditioning
  • Nail trimming after baths
  • Ear cleaning and inspection
  • Regular teeth brushing

How To Train A Yorkshire Terrier

These little dogs adore their owners and want to please them. That’s why investing in training at an early age is so important. With a little time and effort, they will grow into wonderful pets. And if their behavior is tamed, they also make excellent therapy animals.

Introduce puppies to people and other pets from an early age. Praise them and give them treats for all the great work they do. Be positive, calm, and happy! Soon, you’ll have a friend who is ready to go on to bigger and better things, like canine agility sports.

How Much Exercise Does A Yorkshire Terrier Need

Not every Yorkshire terrier will be trained well enough for agility sports. However, they still need plenty of exercise. Going for a walk twice a day is adequate. It will get them moving, prevent some health problems, and slow down boredom.

It’s also important to let these dogs run around daily and enjoy life! Common activities like playing fetch will keep them in top shape while honing their intelligence and skill.


You want to make sure that your Yorkie maintains a healthy weight. Meals should consist of a high-quality dry mix twice a day, totaling no more than one cup. Usually, half a cup or a little over is an adequate amount of Yorkshire terrier food. This will keep an average pet in good shape.


Overall, the terrier is a healthy breed. But just like every other dog, there are certain problems unique to who they are. Therefore, it’s important to learn about their health issues ahead of time, so you know what you’re getting into. A great breeder needs to be fully aware of Yorkie ailments. They should always provide you with a complete record of their vet care and test results.

Small dogs tend to have leg complications and arthritis, especially later in life. Eye trouble, including going blind, is also a concern. Liver, windpipe, and thyroid problems are not uncommon, either. Low blood sugar and infections can also creep up, especially in the ears, eyes, teeth, and gums.

Regular visits to the vet, along with a proper diet and a lot of exercises, will help your pup. Yorkshire terriers have a lifespan of 11-15 years, on average. This is quite long in the canine world. So with care and attention, you’ll keep your friend going strong.


Compared to other breeds, adorable Yorkshire terriers are quite new to the canine stage. Their history isn’t all that long, though it’s full of fun and interesting facts. With an origin dating back to the Industrial Revolution, they came about due to the pest population.

When Scottish workers arrived in England, they brought along a variety of much-needed aggressive terriers. In mines as well as factories and mills, rats and mice were a major problem. These companion terriers, bigger than Yorkies, controlled the vermin. Over the years, they mixed with small English terriers, and the Yorkshire terrier evolved. In 1870, it got its official name.

In no time, their cute appearance found a way out of the dirty world of blue-collar work. In under five years, they were a registered breed. Victorian women fell in love with these smart and cuddly little pups. Soon they became a trend. From this point, they were never really used again for their original purpose.

Yrkshire Terrier puppy

Once their popularity caught on in England, they quickly made their way to the United States. Before 1880, they were already top billing in American dog shows. Often, the full-grown teacup types were featured, weighing only between three and seven pounds.

Fun Facts About Yorkshire Terrier

  • Yorkies are picky eaters. You may have to go through a lot of trial and error before finding food they like.
  • They work well with crate training. This will keep your dog, as well as your home, safe.
  • Terriers will try to fight with bigger dogs. Make sure they’re under control when around unknown pets.

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