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Home > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed: Pictures, Traits, Care & More!

Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed: Pictures, Traits, Care & More!

Yorkshire Terrier standing on a wooden table

The Yorkshire terrier (commonly abbreviated as the ‘Yorkie’) is one of the most popular toy dog breeds in the United States. The Yorkie may be small in size, but they make up for this with their big personality. This is one of the smallest dog breeds and are great dogs for families living in small apartments or houses with small yards.

Breed Overview


6 – 9 inches


3 – 7 pounds


13 – 16 years


Blue, tan, black, gold

Suitable for:

Apartments, small gardens, seniors, families with children


Loyal, playful, loving, sociable & affectionate

The Yorkie is easy to please, affectionate, and very playful. The Yorkshire terrier is a pure breed dog that was first bred during the 19th century in England. This popular companion dog can get very attached to their owners and prefer to spend the majority of their time sitting on their owner’s lap or regularly interacting with us through playtime.

Yorkshire Terrier Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.


Yorkshire Terrier Puppies

Due to the popularity of the Yorkie, you can find this dog almost anywhere, from pet stores to breeders, and even shelters. We recommend that you first check out local shelters or rescues to see if they have a Yorkie puppy available.

If you choose to go with a breeder, the price depends on the rarity of the Yorkies coloration and the place that you purchase the Yorkie from.

If you live in an apartment or have a home with a small garden, then this little breed may be the dog you have been searching for. They are loyal and affectionate and will get on well with children.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier_shutterstock_shymar27
Image By: shymar27, Shutterstock

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

The Yorkshire terrier is an excellent family dog. The main attributes that prove how great this dog breed is for families are mainly due to their loyal and affectionate nature. They are seemingly obsessed with their families and willing to do anything to please us. Yorkies show their love and loyalty by frequently trying to interact and play with their owners, whether it is by jumping on your lap and demanding cuddles or bringing you’re their favorite toy. Furthermore, Yorkies get along great with children, especially children who love to play with them.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Yorkies can be kept with other dogs and cats if they have been introduced properly from an early age. The behavior your Yorkie will display when kept with other dogs and cats depends on the personality of the individual dog, but they seem to tolerate larger dog breeds much more than they do cats. This dog breed can be yappy, which may be heightened if they are kept with pets, they are not comfortable with.

It is best to avoid keeping this dog breed with smaller pets like rodents and birds since their instincts see these pets as prey. Caution should be taken if you do keep smaller animals like hamsters and rabbits with Yorkies, as they will constantly bark and try to get to the animal and their enclosure.

Things to Know When Owning a Yorkshire Terrier:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Like all dogs, the Yorkshire terrier is an omnivore and requires a diet rich in both animal-based protein and plant matter. Your Yorkie should have a balanced diet consisting of a combination of fruits, protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates with the addition of essential amino acids and vitamins necessary for their well-being. Yorkies that are younger and more active than senior Yorkies will require a diet rich in protein and fat to fuel their energy levels. Although this dog breed is small in size, they should still receive a decent portion of food twice a day – ideally in the morning and evening.

Exercise 🐕

Your Yorkshire terrier should receive a moderate amount of exercise a day, ideally between 20 to 30 minutes depending on how the dog responds to human interaction. Yorkies get most of their exercise through playtime, and they seem to take playtime quite seriously. Your Yorkie will show boisterous amounts of energy and playfulness when interacting with you and they especially adore ball time which can be done both indoors and outdoors. Toys are also necessary to ensure your Yorkie is receiving adequate daily mental stimulation. They particularly love to choose and play with mobile toys that mimic prey.

Additionally, you can take your Yorkie on walks when the weather is ideal (not too hot nor cold) for a short duration. Walks are not mandatory every day since this is not an athletic dog breed, but once a week will suffice.

Training 🎾

You can train your Yorkie to do a variety of fulfilling activities. Yorkies are most easily trained when food is used as a reward for positive reinforcement. This dog breed is food-driven, and in combination with their eagerness to please, training them can be quick and easy.  You can train Yorkies to do basic tasks like sit or stay, or even to fetch an object like a ball or your slippers (if they don’t chew it first!). Potty training may be more difficult when your Yorkie is still a puppy, but they will soon understand where they should be doing their bathroom duties if you encourage them with treats and lots of positive attention when they do so.

Grooming ✂️

The Yorkshire terriers coat is delicate and should be well looked after if you want your Yorkie to look its best. Their fine coat is long and flowy and lacks an undercoat which contributes to their low shedding. In comparison to other dog breeds, the Yorkie requires regular grooming in the form of brushing, baths, trimming, and nail clipping.

The Yorkies’ fur grows fast and may even cover their eyes, which makes regular trimming in that area essential to ensure their vision is not compromised. The fur can also tangle easily if it does not receive regular brushing, and a moisturizing shampoo followed by an oil-free conditioner should be used during bath time. Most of the Yorkies grooming requirements can be done at home but taking them to a parlor every few months will do wonders for their appearance.

Since the Yorkies fur is so long, it can easily gather dust and drag on the ground and attract dirt. The dark coat of a Yorkie makes dirt difficult to detect, but if they lounge on white furniture and carpets, the dirt will soon be visible.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Obesity
  • Joint problems
  • Digestive disorders
  • Allergies
  • Luxating patella’s
Serious Conditions
  • Parvovirus
  • Rabies
  • Distemper
  • Collapsed trachea
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Portosystemic liver shunt
  • Bladder stones
  • Keratitis sicca
  • Bronchitis
  • Lymphangiectasia

Male vs Female

Both male and female Yorkies are equally affectionate and loving towards their families, and the main differences between the two genders are regarding their overall appearance. However, males can be slightly less moody after they have been neutered as this reduces any hormonal changes that may occur. Female Yorkies go into a heat cycle if they are unspayed which can affect their mood and make them slightly more boisterous and active.

Male Yorkies have slightly shorter coats than females and have a slim build and slender neck in comparison to females who are typically stockier and have a more pronounced head and short legs.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Yorkshire Terrier

1. The Yorkshire terriers coat has a similar texture to human hair.

Yorkies are quite well-known for their long silky coats which require a lot of maintenance during grooming. What is most interesting about their coat is that the texture has a similar feel to human hair, which may give the Yorkies coat its elegant appearance and flow.

2. Yorkshire terriers have a blue-collar background.

Yorkies may now be known as an elegant toy breed, but their history is not so glamorous. The Yorkshire terrier started as a vermin catcher, where they are let loose in underground tunnels to catch pests such as mice and rats.

3. The Yorkshire Terrier ‘Smokey’ was a famous World War II hero.

Smoky was accredited with saving the lives of soldiers by dragging communication cables through a long drainage culvert and was also believed to be the first therapy dog, as she would later visit wounded soldiers in hospitals.



Overall, the Yorkshire terrier is a great companion dog that gets along well with families of all sizes and even multi-pet households with other dogs and cats. When it comes to feeding, training, and exercise, the Yorkie is a seemingly undemanding dog breed. However, their grooming requirements are slightly more demanding, and you must ensure that you can up-keep your Yorkies fur to prevent overgrowth and tangles.

If you are looking for an affectionate dog breed that loves to be around humans, then the Yorkshire terrier may be just the right dog breed for you.

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Featured Image Credit: Mr. SUTTIPON YAKHAM, Shutterstock

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