When I set out to start researching Yorkshire Terriers, or “Yorkies”, I’m not going to lie, I struggled.
Not because there was a lack of information out there but because that information was SO boring. That information is helpful if you are wanting to do a research report on what a Yorkshire Terrier is, but not if you are wanting to gather information on whether or not to adopt a Yorkshire Terrier.
Fear not, that is where I come in!
So before we dive into the information behind the Yorkie, let’s talk about them for a minute.
The Yorkshire Terrier, nicknamed the Yorkie, is known for their long silky coat and perky topknot. This appearance makes the Yorkshire Terrier is one of the most glamorous representatives of the dog world, sure to attract attention from all.
Yorkshire Terriers are also a fan favorite in women, because their size is perfect for dog purses and traveling, while still looking as glamorous as ever!
Alright, I’m going to be a hypocrite and talk some boring stuff for a little bit. But only so you know the history behind your new potential dog.
Yorkshire Terriers were developed in the 19th century, and there is some debate as to their true origin, but they have narrowed it down to one potential theory.
First were that they were brought from Scotland workers to Yorkshire, England during the Industrial Revolution. The workers brought with them a dog known as “Clydesdale” Terrier. However, is “breed” would have been much larger than they are today, and used by worked to catch rats. (Gross).
The thought was that the Clydesdale Terriers most likely bred with other type of terriers. The hypothesis was between: English Black, Tan Toy, Skye Terrier, and Waterside Terrier. A combination of these breeds are what they believe help create today’s Yorkshire Terrier.
Regardless of their actual reasoning behind being brought to England, they were, and they got their naming from Yorkshire, England.
Hence, the Yorkies were “born”.
Yorkshire Terriers first became recognized as their own breed in Britain by the British Kennel Club in 1874. The first official Yorkshire Terrier breed club in England was formed in 1898.
They did not come to America until about the 1870s. But since then their popularity has continued to grow.
In fact, they were named the 6th most popular breed in 2012 and 2013.
Yorkshire Terriers first became recognized as their own breed in Britain by the British Kennel Club in 1874. The first official Yorkshire Terrier breed club in England was formed in 1898.
The Physical Appearance of Yorkshire Terriers
Yes! Enough of the boring stuff! Let’s talk about the stuff you actually care about. What makes a Yorkshire terrier a Yorkshire terrier?
If you are reading this then you hopefully know that Yorkshire Terriers are considered a small dog breed. They have a unique brown and black coat.
Have you ever seen a puppy Yorkshire Terrier and then seen them a few years later? Do they look completely different?
No, it is not a different dog. Yorkshire Terriers actually take about three years to grow in their mature coats. They normally start out with a darker brown, black fur coat and evolve into a lighter brown and gray color that is often referred to as a ‘blue’ coat.
An interesting fact is that Yorkies tend to become lighter with age. Hormonal changes can also affect color. Females in heat go lighter, and then darken again after their season is over.
Yorkies are fiesty and larger than life personalities. They are known to be active, over-protective, curious, and fond of attention.
Because of this, Yorkshire Terriers require daily interaction in order to keep them happy and from being destructive. Their over-protective nature makes them excellent watchdogs of your home as they also tend to bark a lot.
The long steel-blue and tan coat may be the Yorkie’s crowning glory, but it’s their personality that truly endears him to the family. Like many small dogs who are oblivious to his small size, The Yorkshire Terrier often has “Little Man Syndrome” This just means that the Yorkshire Terrier is a big dog in a small body, always on the lookout for adventure and maybe even a bit of trouble.
Despite their “little man syndrome”, Yorkshire Terriers have a soft side too. They need lots of attention and time with their family. If you are someone who leaves for long hours on end, a Yorkie may not be a good fit
One interesting thing about Yorkies that makes complete sense now is that they can pick up on your feelings very quickly. If you are nervous and anxious, they become nervous and anxious. . It’s not a good idea to over-protect your Yorkie, however; they’ll pick up on your feelings very quickly, and if your actions say the world’s a dangerous place for them, they can become neurotic.
It is important to remember that this breed usually displays a range of personalities. Some are cuddly and perky, wanting nothing more than to follow in their people’s footsteps throughout the day. Others are mischievous, outgoing, and into everything.
Sometimes you hit the jackpot and get both…like we did.
Set limits, and your Yorkie will be a wonderful companion, but if you spoil him, watch out! Start training when they’re puppies, and you’ll have much better luck than if you let them have their way and then try to correct bad habits.
Are Yorkies A Good Dog For Families?
I gathered SO much information on this, because it is a topic that is very hypocritical. So what I will do is explain everything, then give you my opinion.
Yorkshire Terriers are affectionate towards their people as one would expect from a companion dog, but they are still a terrier by blood so they can be suspicious of strangers, and will bark at strange sounds and intruders
Some believe that their “Little Man Syndrome” mentioned earlier can even become aggressive to strange dogs and animals.
Based on this and their size, a lot of people recommend Yorkshire Terriers to be with older children who’ve been taught to respect them than with toddlers and small children. The thought behind this is that they sometimes can become snappish if they’re startled or teased.
Another recommendation for older children is because small dogs are more prone to injury than larger dogs, so babies and toddlers have a greater chance of hurting a Yorkshire Terrier than a larger breed.
Now comes my opinion. At the end of the day, they are normally great with children so if you are willing to “protect” your puppy from your little ones, age really shouldn’t be a factor.
When I was growing up, we had a Yorkshire Terrier ever since my brother was LITTLE, named Norman.
Sure, when we tormented him, Norman would yap at us, but so would another other dog who tormented them. But Norman was an AMAZING dog. He was gentle with us as kids, protective of my little sister, and a wild animal when other pets wanted to play.
He even led our blind dog down the ramp in the colder weather! I mean tug at the heart strings!
Are Yorkshire Terrier Good Dogs For Apartments?
Because of their size, Yorkshire Terriers are great dogs to keep in apartments. As long as they get some exercise every day, even if it is just in the living room, they should be happy and healthy.
Yorkies can get along well with other pets, including cats, if socialized to them at an early age. They’re bold in going after strange dogs, however, even those that outweigh them by a factor of ten, and protecting them from themselves becomes second nature to people with Yorkies.
they thrive on attention, having a family with another pet can usually help defer some of the attention time off the humans and onto the pets. They can run around together and play while you actually get a moment of peace.
Their only qualm is, like other small dog breeds, they can sometimes have ‘little man syndrome’ which makes them bossy and scrappy towards larger dogs.
Their bossy behaviors usually tend to occur less with smaller pets, or pets that are more relaxed and submissive to their bossy demeanor
Yorkshire Terriers should be 8 to 9 inches at the shoulder and weigh no more than seven pounds, with four to six pounds being preferred.
Yorkies are inconsistent in size. So it is hard to measure a true “ideal weight” for Yorkies. It’s not unusual one Yorkie to weigh less than four pounds, one who weighs five or six pounds, and another one who grows to be 12 to 15 pounds.
The Yorkie breed is actually an easy dog to train because of their need for attention. So make sure you jump on that and train your dog, especially things like ‘No Barking’, ‘Sit’ and ‘Stay’. This will become extremely helpful when their ‘watchdog’ behavior comes up during not ideal times.
Yorkshire Terriers are naturally smart and quick to learn new moves. They are mostly food and/or praise motivated which means you can usually train them to do almost anything with enough treats and attention.
Let’s move onto how to care for a Yorkshire Terrier.
When it comes to exercising, Yorkshire Terriers enjoy taking a walk with you or playing outside, but since they’re very active while indoors, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to keep them well exercised.
They definitely are house-dogs and don’t tolerate extreme heat or cold well. Many people, my parents included, train their Yorkshire Terriers to use Puppy Pads so they don’t have to take them outdoors when the weather is too hot or cold.
When it comes to playing with your pet, squeaky toys are a must! The biggest thing to consider is to get a toy that can fit into their mouths. Because they are so small in size, it can become an issue and cause them to lose interest in a toy.
One thing you have to think about when adopting a Yorkshire Terrier is deciding on how to keep their fur coat.
Typically, Yorkies have a long coat that is parted down the middle. Some have elected to keep their Yorkies hair cut shorter similar to that as when they are puppies. The decision to go long or short is entirely up to each person but there are so positives and negatives to each style.
When you decide to keep your puppies hair long, it will resemble the typical breed. Keeping the puppies hair long will also allow you to style it in more ways than if their fur is cut short.
If having bows in your puppies hair and/or braids are important to you, having the longer coats is the way to go. However, with a longer coat also comes more grooming, because the hair is longer it is more susceptible to matting and knotting.
Daily brushing and upkeep are required so they do not trip on there or have ‘dreadlocks’ that form. When it comes to grooming, you want to make sure you use the right brush to get the mats out without hurting them.
For anyone with a Yorkie, I usually recommend a de-matting comb,like this one, to keep their coats smooth and silky.
If that is not something you are wanting to do, then keeping their hair cut short is probably the smarter move if you still have your heart set on having a Yorkshire Terrier. Both are perfectly adorable and special in their own way, it all comes down to personal preference.
In terms of other grooming requirements for the Yorkshire Terriers, they are pretty much the same as any other dog.
They require to be bathed weekly have their nails trimmed every week or another week, and brushing their teeth on a regular basis. This will help keep your puppy from having additional health problems such as ingrown hairs and gingivitis.
How Long Do Yorkshire Terriers Live?
They are a normally healthy breed that has a life span of between 13 and 16 years. That’s pretty impressive for dogs.
Yes, I put this part as low as I could possible justify because who really wants to talk about the potential health issues associate with your pet? Not me, but it is still important to know.
Yorkshire Terriers can have delicate digestive systems and may be picky eaters. Eating problems can occur if your Yorkie has teeth or gum problems as well. If your Yorkie is showing discomfort when eating or after eating, take him to the vet for a checkup.
Now, since this breed is known for having a delicate digestive system, you need to be careful in choosing what to feed them. In new environments too, they can be likely to become ill and have diarrhea and/or throw up. Funny story, my family had a Yorkshire Terrier.
When we got him, he got so nervous that he had an accident right in his carrier. (Luckily, that was the only accident on the ride home). However, the next night, again because it was new food and a new environment, he started getting sick.
My family was so worried and took him to the vet. That was actually where we learned that Yorkshire Terriers have extremely weak stomachs and we needed to be careful not to do anything too drastic like dramatically change his food.
Health Issues Associated With Yorkshire Terriers
In addition, because Yorkshire Terriers are so small, they are also at risk of having slipping kneecaps. This usually causes them to limp and require rest but nothing major else is needed in most scenarios.
(Looking back at the memories with our dog, he had this as well, he would limp around and we would get so nervous and not let him run outside for a day or so, and then back to normal).
So much of this information would have been SO stinking helpful when he got our puppy and when we had questions about it. But again, in order to get a lot of these, you have to go through a lot of boring terminologies.
Or, if you are like my family, you will WebMb the issue and then get two options, rest and ice or your puppy is going to die. (Does anyone else do this too? Why do we do this to ourselves?!!).
Yorkshire Terriers are also known to be susceptible to liver disease and diabetes, both are usually hereditary and can be treated but not cured.
In both these instances, they usually occur later on in the dog’s life and in most cases can live many years with the proper medicine.
Less Calve Pertes Disease
The last disease that Yorkshire Terriers are most likely to be exposed to Legg Calve Perthes Disease.
What is that?
According to the Mayo Clinic, it occurs when the blood supply to the ball part (femoral head) of the hip joint is temporarily interrupted and the bone begins to die.
It is also important to point out that like any small dog breed, Yorkshire Terriers are vulnerable to injury because of their size. You want to watch and make sure your puppy does not jump from too high of a spot.Or that a large dog doesn’t play too rough with him or her. All of these health-related problems are the same way as humans.
Your dog could be completely healthy or have all of these and more (now that’s a bit extreme). Each dog is different and, like humans, you never really know what you are getting into health-wise with a person. So I actually would recommend if you are someone who is just thinking about getting a Yorkshire Terrier, don’t read too much into this section.
Because every dog breed has known health problems, this is just to prevent the WebMD’s from panicking at any slight problem with the pup.
Fun Facts about Yorkshire Terriers
I figured I’d spice up the boring “typical” Yorkshire Terrier dog with some known fun facts about them. Here are six fun facts about Yorkshire Terriers that you may not already know.
Their coats are actually extremely similar to that of the human hair. That is part of the reason keep it long is so desired, as the look and feel reminds humans of their own hair.
Yorkies are actually considered to be a hypoallergenic breed. The fur of this breed does not typically shed until it is being brushed and because it resembles human hair. It very rarely bothers humans with dog allergies. Though each person is different.
This breed closely resembles the silky terrier, so a lot of times people will mix the two up when identifying them.
The biggest behavioral problem that comes with Yorkshire Terriers is house-breaking. For a breed that is so quick and easy to train, that is not the case. For some reason they seem to struggle with this particular training. So if your puppy is taking longer than normal to housetrain, fear not, this, unfortunately, is very common for the breed.
Ever see someone carrying their Yorkie in their purse and never leaving them out of their sight? This is actually not great for the dog as the coddling leads them to become insecure and have separation anxiety with their owners.
Because of their size, these dogs make great apartment dogs. They are small enough that they can run around an apartment size home.And get their ‘energy-release’ they need without having to do multiple trips to the park as well.
To contradict myself, as I always love to do. Each dog is different.
This breed is so sweet, fun and can bring great joys to the lives of others. As an owner of a Yorkshire Terrier for nearly 16 years, I can say I do not regret choosing this breed. His personality brought so many laughs to the family, and the laughs outweighed any issues that we may have had with him.
So if you are leaning towards getting a puppy and have loved the idea of a Yorkshire Terrier, hopefully, this has helped make your decision a little easier.
(And hopefully, it did not put you to sleep as so many other websites tried to do to me).p
Finally, if you are thinking about getting a puppy, make sure you are prepared by checking out my ‘Should I adopt a Puppy’ post and grabbing my free checklist of everything you need before bringing your new friend home found below!
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.
Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such info much. I was looking for this certain information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.
Loved your post. We get our Yorkie pup Saturday. I’m so excited for her ☺️ Do you sleep with your Yorkie? We’re debating the pros/cons. I know once you do they likely will always sleep with you .
It is really a personal preference. My recommendation is to always start with crate training and if you want someone to cuddle with, allow them to sleep in bed with you if you want. great questions and good luck with your new puppy!!!
Sam, we had a beautiful & sweet Yorkie for almost 14 years. Sophie was such fun and funny! She thought she was a lion, she chased the squirrels in our backyard & caught one once. She also got into a fight with a squirrel and we had to take her to the emergency vet. That was scary! She did have pancreatitis and was on Rx dog food. She did well with it. When she was 13, she had cancer of the liver. The doctor said she had four tumors in her liver and it was not operable. She lasted four months with that. It was an awful time for her and us, but she is remembered with so much joy and love! Enjoy your Yorkie and be patient with her. If she is like our Sophie, she is stubborn, hard to housetrain & chews up everything. But she will be precious! We miss our little Sophie very much and yes, she slept with us!! 😥
I just had to reply to you because I too have A Yorkie named Sophie. She’s 11 now , and My Special Girl♥️The day I picked her up , she was 12 weeks old and as I held her it just came to me that she was Sophie. I got really lucky , of course I think, with her because she’s she pretty. She’s a great buddy when I’m working in the yard , rain or shine , she’s right their with me and “ her ball !!!”Im dreading when she starts getting these age related issues.I’ve been heartbroken with many but this ones going to be the big one.
Looking to buy a. Yorkie, any sesuggestions, I live in Sk