yorkshire terrier facts

Yorkshire Terrier Facts: Essential Information for Pet Owners

Yorkshire Terriers, affectionately known as Yorkies, are one of the most popular toy dog breeds. With their small size, unique appearance, and spirited nature, they make excellent pets and companions. Yorkies were originally bred to work as ratters in mines and mills, which contributed to their feisty temperament and fearless disposition.

These tiny dogs boast long, silky coats that come in various colors like black and gold, black and tan, blue and gold, or blue and tan. Standing at about 7 to 8 inches tall and weighing no more than 7 pounds, Yorkies have certainly made a name for themselves with their charming qualities. Despite their petite size, they are known for their energetic nature and require proper care and grooming to keep them looking and feeling their best.

Yorkshire Terrier Facts

Key Takeaways

  • Yorkshire Terriers are small but feisty dogs with a rich history as ratters in mines and mills.
  • Yorkies have distinctive long, silky coats and require proper grooming to maintain their appearance.
  • These energetic dogs make excellent companions and thrive with proper care, training, and socialization.


The Yorkshire Terrier, commonly referred to as Yorkies, has a rich history that dates back to the mid-1800s in England. The breed was developed in the English counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire, mainly by Scottish weavers who migrated there during this period. Originally, Yorkies were bred for their abilities as ratters in mines and mills, helping to control the rodent population in such settings (source).

During the Victorian era, the Yorkshire Terrier gained popularity as a fashionable companion dog, known for its small size and distinctive coat. The breed’s intelligence and playful nature also made it a beloved pet in households of the time. The impact of the Scottish weavers’ migration to England and the breed’s evolution as a result of this relocation allowed the Yorkie to display its unique combination of characteristics, making it a sought-after breed (source).

Not only a domestic breed, Yorkshire Terriers also have a role in history as brave and loyal war heroes. One such notable Yorkie was Smoky, a World War II hero who assisted in both combat and life-saving missions. Smoky’s intelligence and small frame enabled her to accomplish tasks that larger dogs could not perform, and her devotion to her handler’s wellbeing was instrumental in saving the lives of several soldiers (source).

Breed Characteristics

The Yorkshire Terrier, commonly known as a Yorkie, is a small toy dog breed, native to England. It is characterized by a long, silky coat that’s often black and tan. With a maximum weight of 7 pounds, Yorkies fall under the category of small-breed dogs, making them an excellent choice for those seeking a more compact canine companion.

Despite their small size, Yorkshire Terriers are known to have tenacious but affectionate personalities. Their temperament is typically a blend of stubbornness and intelligence, which makes them captivating companions and loyal protectors. Interestingly, these small dogs are often considered excellent watchdogs, as they are very vocal and protective of their family.

When it comes to physical traits, Yorkshire Terriers have a distinct appearance, marked by their long silky coats and upright ears. In terms of physical activity, Yorkies are a very energetic breed and require less than 20 minutes of exercise per day. They have a natural agility, making them apt for various dog sports and activities.

In addition to their temperament, Yorkshire Terriers are known for their compatibility as family dogs. While they may not be the best choice for families with very young children, they can adapt well to older children and adults who understand how to handle a small, sometimes stubborn, dog with care and respect.

Overall, the Yorkshire Terrier is a unique blend of size, personality, and energy that makes it a desirable breed for many dog lovers. With proper care and attention, Yorkies can thrive as cherished family members and devoted companions.

Physical Appearance

Yorkshire Terriers, commonly referred to as Yorkies, are small and compact dogs that have a distinctive and elegant appearance. Their coat is one of their most notable features, as it is long, silky, and fine. The texture of their fur is straight, with minimal waviness, giving them a refined aesthetic. This stunning, floor-length coat often cascades down their body, making them truly stand out from other dog breeds.

Yorkies have a unique coat coloration that sets them apart. While they may have minor variations, the primary colors found in their coat are a combination of black and tan, blue and gold, or blue and tan. These color combinations give the Yorkshire Terrier an unmistakable appearance. Yorkies do not have an undercoat, which means their fur is less thick, making them more prone to temperature fluctuations.

The breed has a few more distinguishing characteristics beyond its coat. For example, Yorkies have a long back and upright ears, giving them an alert and curious appearance. Their eyes are often bright and sparkling, reflecting their intelligent and lively nature. Yorkshire Terriers typically stand 7 to 8 inches in height and weigh around 7 pounds, making them an ideal size to adapt to various living situations.

It’s worth noting that tail docking is a common practice among Yorkshire Terriers, which involves removing a portion of their tail at a young age. This is often done for cosmetic reasons, as it is believed to give them a more polished and refined appearance.

In summary, the Yorkshire Terrier’s physical appearance is characterized by its long and silky coat, which is usually black and tan, blue and gold, or blue and tan. The breed’s unique look, combined with its energetic and spirited nature, has made them one of the most beloved toy dog breeds around the world.

Grooming and Care

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, are well-known for their hypoallergenic long and silky coats. This distinctive feature makes them an attractive choice for many pet owners. However, it also means that they require special attention and grooming to keep their coats healthy and manageable.

Frequent brushing is essential for Yorkies, as their long hair is prone to knots and tangles. It’s recommended to brush their coat daily using a slicker brush or a pin brush to carefully remove any mats and keep their fur smooth. Regular trims will also help in maintaining their coat’s length and prevent it from becoming unmanageable. It’s important to pay attention to areas around the ears, legs, and chest, as these are particularly prone to matting.

yorkshire terrier being groomed

In addition to coat care, it’s vital to keep their ears clean and trimmed, and their nails properly clipped. These tasks should be done on a regular basis to ensure the overall health and well-being of the dog. Bathing should be done as needed, but not too frequently to avoid stripping the natural oils from their coat.

Yorkies tend to be a high-energy breed that thrives on play and exercise. While they are not excessive barkers, they are known to have a strong tendency to bark, particularly when they want attention or feel threatened. To curb this behavior, it’s essential to establish a consistent routine and keep them engaged with proper training, socialization, and mental stimulation.

To summarize, taking care of a Yorkshire Terrier calls for consistent and thorough grooming practices, including daily brushing, regular trims, and proper ear and nail care. Moreover, maintaining their energy levels through play and exercise, along with proper training to minimize barking, will ensure a happy and healthy Yorkie.

Personality and Behavior

The Yorkshire Terrier, or Yorkie, is known for its confident and courageous personality. This small breed packs a big punch when it comes to their temperament. They are highly affectionate with their families and are known to be loyal companions. Yorkies are quite energetic, which means they require daily exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

Yorkies are often referred to as “lap dogs” due to their small size and love for cuddling with their owners. However, don’t be fooled by their appearance; they have a strong and bold demeanor that stems from their original purpose of hunting small vermin. This fearless attitude is part of what makes them such endearing pets.

When it comes to interaction with other animals, Yorkshire Terriers may exhibit overprotective behavior. Their innate courage and confidence can lead to them standing up to larger dogs when they perceive a threat to themselves or their family. Much like the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, Yorkies can display a tenacious character when faced with challenges.

In summary, the Yorkshire Terrier possesses an energetic, affectionate, and loyal personality. Their confidence and courage make them excellent watchdogs and devoted companions. Despite their small size, they are not simply lap dogs; they have a bold presence that makes them stand out among other breeds.

Training and Socialization

Yorkshire Terriers, also known as Yorkies, are small dogs with big personalities. Training and socialization play a crucial role in shaping their behavior and ensuring they grow up to be well-rounded and confident pets.

Yorkies are intelligent and eager to learn, making them generally easy to train. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recommends starting their training early, ideally during puppyhood.

It’s essential to use positive reinforcement techniques with Yorkies, like praise and treats to motivate them during training sessions. Consistency and patience will also help them build strong bonds with their owners and quickly learn the desired behaviors.

To challenge their intelligence and encourage the development of various skills, consider engaging Yorkies in dog sports such as agility and obedience. These activities provide mental and physical stimulation while reinforcing their training.

yorkshire terrier agility

Socialization is another vital aspect of raising a well-adjusted Yorkie. Early socialization helps them become accustomed to various environments, people, and animals. According to The Spruce Pets, some methods of socializing your Yorkie include regular walks in different locations, visits to dog parks, play dates with friends and their dogs, and enrolling them in dog daycare.

Incorporating training and socialization into a Yorkie’s routine ensures they grow up to be confident, obedient, and friendly companions.

Health Issues

Yorkshire Terriers, while generally healthy, can be susceptible to certain health problems. One common issue they could face is dental disease, which frequently affects small dog breeds like the Yorkshire Terrier as they age source. Regular dental care is essential for maintaining good oral health.

Another health concern is hypoglycemia, which is a condition where the blood sugar level drops dangerously low. Symptoms may include tremors and seizures source. If hypoglycemia is suspected, it is important to consult a veterinarian immediately.

Yorkies may also experience patellar luxation, where the kneecap becomes dislocated from its normal position source. This can lead to arthritis and pain in the affected joints. If your dog shows signs of limping or discomfort, it’s essential to have them evaluated by a veterinarian to determine the cause and the appropriate course of treatment.

Liver shunts, or portosystemic shunts, are another potential concern as they can cause toxins to bypass the liver, leading to a buildup in the bloodstream. This could result in disorientation, vomiting, and other behavioral changes source. Surgery or medication may be required for the treatment of liver shunts.

Yorkshire Terriers may also be prone to heart defects, such as patent ductus arteriosus, and degenerative diseases like Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease source. These conditions typically require professional diagnosis and management to ensure the best possible quality of life for the affected dog.

The life span of a Yorkshire Terrier usually ranges from 12 to 16 years, although some dogs may live longer with proper care and nutrition source. Providing a balanced diet, regular exercise, and routine health check-ups with a veterinarian can help reduce the risk of these health issues and ensure your Yorkie lives a long and healthy life.

Living Conditions

Yorkshire Terriers are popular apartment dogs due to their small size and adaptability. They are known for being affectionate and friendly lapdogs, making them excellent companions for people living in limited spaces. As members of the toy dog category, Yorkshire Terriers are well-suited for indoor living and resultantly don’t need extensive outdoor space.

That being said, Yorkshire Terriers still have a very energetic disposition, and their exercise needs should not be overlooked. Daily walks and playtime are essential to meet their activity requirements, typically totaling less than 20 minutes per day. Providing them with toys that engage their curiosity and intelligence will also help maintain their mental well-being.

As for weather conditions, Yorkshire Terriers have a long, silky coat that is hypoallergenic but does not provide them with the necessary insulation in cold weather. Extra care should be taken when temperatures drop, as their tolerance of cold is relatively low. In these cases, providing your Yorkie with warm clothing and limiting their exposure to the cold will help keep them comfortable sleeping well, and safe.

In summary, Yorkshire Terriers can thrive in various living situations, including apartments and small homes, as long as their exercise and mental stimulation needs are met. Given their energetic nature and affectionate demeanor, Yorkies make excellent companions for those who can provide a loving and attentive environment. Cold weather does require some additional consideration, but with proper care, your Yorkie will remain comfortable in all conditions.

Famous Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terriers, also known as Yorkies, have made their presence known throughout history with remarkable stories and accomplishments. One famous Yorkshire Terrier was Smoky, a war hero in World War II who saved the lives of soldiers by dragging a communications cable through a narrow drainage pipe. Besides Smoky’s bravery, she was also known as the first therapy dog, offering comfort and companionship to soldiers in the field.

Another notable Yorkshire Terrier was Pasha, owned by President Richard Nixon. Pasha accompanied the president and his family in the White House, symbolizing the breed’s popularity and prestigious status. However, it is essential to note that Pasha was not a Yorkshire Terrier but rather a Cairn Terrier, often mistaken for the former due to their similar small size and terrier features.

Famous Yorkies have also graced pop culture through iconic movies and television shows. For instance, the character Toto from The Wizard of Oz is often associated with Yorkshire Terriers due to their resemblance; however, Toto was, in fact, a Cairn Terrier.

In the world of dog shows, Tomboy Toy, a Yorkshire Terrier, won the Crufts dog show in the United Kingdom in 1932, further cementing the breed’s reputation for charm and elegance. This victory showcases the Yorkie’s accepted role in both the family home and competitive dog show arena.

Yorkies have not only made history through their accomplishments and associations with prominent figures, but they also have a rich heritage as *ratters*, initially bred in the mid-1800s to catch and eliminate rats that plagued many homesteads. This feisty terrier breed’s history still echoes today, making Yorkshire Terriers a popular choice for dog enthusiasts and families alike.


Yorkshire Terriers, often referred to as Yorkies, are a popular toy dog breed known for their compact size, distinctive coat, and spirited personalities. Despite their small stature, they stand about 7 to 8 inches tall and weigh no more than 7 pounds, Yorkies possess a big personality and are highly affectionate, bright, and playful companions.

Their beautiful coat consists of silky long hair that is typically steel blue and rich golden tan in color. This breed is low-shedding and hypoallergenic, which makes them suitable for people with allergies. However, their eye-catching fur does require regular grooming to keep it in optimal condition.

The Yorkshire Terrier was originally bred in England for small vermin hunting. This heritage is still evident in the breed’s high energy levels and strong instincts. Consequently, these dogs require daily exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and well-behaved. Since they have a tendency to bark, early training and socialization are necessary to ensure their lovable qualities shine through.

Yorkies are known to be long-lived, with a typical lifespan of 11 to 15 years. Ensuring that they receive proper nutrition, regular veterinary care and plenty of love will help them lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

In summary, Yorkshire Terriers are a captivating toy dog breed with an enchanting appearance and lively temperament. They make excellent companions for individuals and families who are willing to invest time in their care and training. The unique charm of the Yorkie will surely continue to captivate the hearts of dog lovers for years to come.

What is a Yorkshire Terrier?

A Yorkshire Terrier, also known as a Yorkie, is a small dog breed that originates from Yorkshire, England. They are known for their long silky hair and playful personality.

What are some facts about Yorkshire Terriers?

Yorkshire Terriers are a terrier breed and are known for their small size, usually weighing around seven pounds. They are often referred to as Yorkies and are popular as companion dogs.

Are Yorkshire Terriers good for apartment living?

Yes, Yorkshire Terriers make great apartment dogs. Their small size and low exercise needs make them well-suited for living in small spaces.

Can Yorkshire Terriers be used as therapy dogs?

Yes, Yorkshire Terriers have been known to make excellent therapy dogs. In fact, Huddersfield Ben, a Yorkshire Terrier, is recognized as the world’s first therapy dog.

How long do Yorkshire Terriers live?

On average, Yorkshire Terriers live for about 12 to 15 years. With proper care and a healthy lifestyle, they can live even longer.

Do Yorkshire Terriers shed?

No, Yorkshire Terriers don’t shed like other dogs. Instead, their hair grows continuously and resembles human hair.

How often should I groom my Yorkshire Terrier?

Yorkshire Terriers’ long, silky hair requires regular grooming to prevent tangles and matting. It is recommended to groom them at least once a month.

Are Yorkshire Terriers good with kids?

Yorkies can be good with kids if they are socialized and trained properly from a young age. However, due to their small size, they may be more suitable for homes with older children who can handle them gently.

Are Yorkshire Terriers easy to train?

Yorkshire Terriers are intelligent dogs and can be trained, but they can also be quite stubborn. Consistent positive reinforcement and reward-based training methods work best with this breed.

Do Yorkshire Terriers have any health problems?

Like all dog breeds, Yorkshire Terriers are prone to certain health issues. They may be susceptible to dental problems, patellar luxation, and eye conditions. Regular veterinary check-ups and a healthy diet can help mitigate these issues.

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