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Yorkshire Terrier

YorkshireTerrier

A Silky-Coated Entertainer

Bold, inquisitive, fearless

Yorkshire Terriers are independent, attention loving, and adventurous, small dogs. Yorkies tend to bark a lot at strangers and have troubles getting along with other pets, but with plenty of socialization during puppyhood, they are friendly toward others. These popular little dogs make good pets for those who live in the city, as well as families with older children. Although they have a lot of high energy, Yorkies do not require too much exercise — only a short walk each day.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs.

Breed Details

Height:8-9 in. Weight:3-7 lb Lifespan:14-16 years

Size
1

Grooming requirements
4

Energy level
4

Ease of training
2

Affection toward owners
3

Friendliness toward strangers
3

Routine Care: Highly active indoors, the Yorkshire Terrier is well suited to apartment living and traveling. They have a tendency to chase small animals, so always leash walk your Yorkie and consider using a harness. They can be sensitive to cold, so a warm winter wardrobe is necessary.

Grooming: Daily brushing and regular trimming is recommended to prevent mats and keep their long coat beautiful.

Dental: Yorkshire Terriers often have serious problems with their teeth, so you’ll need to brush them at least three times a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry — your veterinarian can show you how!


Yorkies are petite dogs with a big personality and lots of love for their family. They are always up for an adventure, making them the perfect travel companion.

Positive Traits:

  • Brave and ready for adventure

  • Always on the go, with a keen eye for adventure

  • Small and travels well

  • Loving and loyal to their owners

  • Protective of family; good watch dog

  • Quirky, entertaining personality

Negative Traits:

  • Can be difficult to housetrain

  • Suspicious of and aggressive toward strangers and other dogs if not socialized properly

  • May have a tendency to bark excessively

  • Can be snappy with children

  • Determined and has a mind of their own

Whether you are considering adding a new Yorkshire Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Yorkshire Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. By exploring the health concerns specific to the Yorkshire Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

It’s hard to envision the Yorkshire Terrier as a blue-collar dog, but they were in fact once a working breed! They were originally bred as ratters by the employees of mine shafts and clothing mills in Northern England. They made their way to North America in the 1870s and were acknowledged by the AKC in 1885. They have adjusted to a more laid-back lifestyle in today’s world and enjoy spending time indoors with their family. Yorkies don't shed a lot, but their silky coat does need regular brushing and grooming.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Yorkshire Terrier shows signs of the following:
  • Drinks, urinates, or eats more frequently than normal; potbelly, poor haircoat

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Redness, squinting or greenish eye discharge

  • Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

  • Coughing, exercise intolerance, rapid breathing at rest

  • Fatigue during exercise, coughing, or shortness of breath

  • Coughing, especially at night or upon rising after sleeping, rapid breathing at rest

  • Increasing hip pain at less than a year old

  • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

  • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss

  • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

  • Puppy teeth alongside adult teeth

  • Care

    Routine Care: Highly active indoors, the Yorkshire Terrier is well suited to apartment living and traveling. They have a tendency to chase small animals, so always leash walk your Yorkie and consider using a harness. They can be sensitive to cold, so a warm winter wardrobe is necessary.

    Grooming: Daily brushing and regular trimming is recommended to prevent mats and keep their long coat beautiful.

    Dental: Yorkshire Terriers often have serious problems with their teeth, so you’ll need to brush them at least three times a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry — your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    Yorkies are petite dogs with a big personality and lots of love for their family. They are always up for an adventure, making them the perfect travel companion.

    Positive Traits:

    • Brave and ready for adventure

    • Always on the go, with a keen eye for adventure

    • Small and travels well

    • Loving and loyal to their owners

    • Protective of family; good watch dog

    • Quirky, entertaining personality

    Negative Traits:

    • Can be difficult to housetrain

    • Suspicious of and aggressive toward strangers and other dogs if not socialized properly

    • May have a tendency to bark excessively

    • Can be snappy with children

    • Determined and has a mind of their own

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Yorkshire Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Yorkshire Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. By exploring the health concerns specific to the Yorkshire Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

  • History

    It’s hard to envision the Yorkshire Terrier as a blue-collar dog, but they were in fact once a working breed! They were originally bred as ratters by the employees of mine shafts and clothing mills in Northern England. They made their way to North America in the 1870s and were acknowledged by the AKC in 1885. They have adjusted to a more laid-back lifestyle in today’s world and enjoy spending time indoors with their family. Yorkies don't shed a lot, but their silky coat does need regular brushing and grooming.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Yorkshire Terrier shows signs of the following:
    • Drinks, urinates, or eats more frequently than normal; potbelly, poor haircoat

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Redness, squinting or greenish eye discharge

    • Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

    • Coughing, exercise intolerance, rapid breathing at rest

    • Fatigue during exercise, coughing, or shortness of breath

    • Coughing, especially at night or upon rising after sleeping, rapid breathing at rest

    • Increasing hip pain at less than a year old

    • Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

    • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss

    • Excessive licking or chewing, pawing at face and/or ears, head shaking, face rubbing

    • Puppy teeth alongside adult teeth

Yorkshire Terrier Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Yorkshire Terrier breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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