Yorkshire Terrier

Also known as: Yorkie
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Yorkshire terrier

General description

The Yorkshire Terrier is a perfect master of the house that doesn't appreciate being alone and loves being surrounded by adults and children. The breed tends to struggle in very cold or extremely hot climates and requires special care for the cleanliness and health of its fur. Yorkies are generally quite healthy throughout their life and forever loyal to their master. A breed that needs daily exercise and varied interaction. Maintenance costs for the Yorkshire Terrier are within average.

Yorkshire Terrier in short

  • Group 3: Terriers
  • Height from 22 to 23 cm
  • Weight from 2 to 3 kg
  • Longevity from 13 to 16 years

Aspect and attributes

Characteristics accepts by FCI:

  • Colors: fawn, blue, dark, bronze
  • Hair: straight, silky, long
  • Coats: double color

The size and build of the Yorkshire Terrier are quite classic for this type of breed. This is a rather compact and very linear type of dog from a physical build point of view. Both the front and back legs are well-mounted and the rib cage is rounded which gives the back a well-balanced aspect. The neck is quite harmonious with the head which features a round shape and a relatively short muzzle.

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Costs and maintenance

The Yorkie sits within range as it regards maintenance costs. The vast majority of aspects in this regard are quite easy to tackle given the Yorkshire Terrier doesn't need large amounts of food (provided it is of good quality) and it is generally a very healthy breed which means regular checkups and daily care from the owner will be sufficient. The main expenditures will often be to care for this breed's extremely delicate coat.

Maintenance cost within average

Characteristics Summary


Suitability to apartment life

The little work of art that is the Yorkshire Terrier, both from an aesthetic and many other excellent points of view was purposely created to leisurely enjoy the home environment. The images of a Yorkshire Terrier roaming around the house and peacefully snoozing on a comfy couch are amongst the most inflated in movie productions. The ability to adjust to the household is mainly due to this breed's need to be around the family in a safe and warm environment. A real master of the house.

Maximum suitability for apartment life

Tolerance for solitude

A solitary lifestyle is absolutely not appropriate for a Yorkshire Terrier. This type of dog will naturally spend most of its time with the master and family members. Therefore, the lack of this condition can only have negative consequences on the Yorkie and enable the onset of behavioral issues such as separation anxiety. It is essential that potential owners are aware of this inclination before housing a Yorkshire Terrier.

Low tolerance for solitude

Suitable as first pet

As far as the Yorkie's ability to adjust to inexperienced masters, this breed sits on reassuring levels. This type of dog does not require specific training methods and responds well to any command from the owner, provided this is not excessively harsh. A special note should be taken in relation to crate training which can be quite useful with a Yorkie.

Very suitable as first pet


Despite its deceiving size, a Yorkshire Terrier is capable of well tolerating reprimands of a certain intensity. Needless to say this "technique" shouldn't become a habit as it could cause issues such as fear or excessive shyness to develop in a breed that is generally quite "bold". The adjustment skills of the Yorkshire Terrier are actually its most surprising quality. Even in rather noisy environments amongst children or loud sounds.

The Yorkshire Terrier has a highly tolerant temperament

Tolerance for cold temperatures

Despite being equipped with quite a thick and long fur, the Yorkie displays a certain weakness when exposed to cold environments. A type of setting that can be difficult to tolerate for a breed that adjusts so quickly to life in an apartment. Owners should give the adequate level of care to this aspect and avoid forcing their Yorkshire Terrier from engaging in unnecessary activities when the weather is excessively cold. A little coat will be ideal for your Yorkie's daily walk in the cold winter days.

Low tolerance for cold temperatures

Tolerance for high temperatures

The Yorkshire Terrier will equally experience a certain degree of discomfort when living in overly hot climates. It is always important to understand the difference between extreme and average conditions. We recommend not exposing your Yorkie to extreme efforts in either weather condition, although certain solutions such as ensuring access to water and food during the hottest times could be sufficient to decrease any discomfort.

Low tolerance for warm weather

Friendliness and sociability

Affection towards family

The loving relationship of a Yorkie with the family is undoubtedly one of the qualities that normally encourages people to become enamored with the breed. The family environment is a Yorkshire Terrier's ideal dimension and just the presence of the owner or loved ones is a reason to be happy for this type of dog. Plenty displays of affection are the foundation of such a special bond that is formed between a Yorkie and the master.

Absolute affection towards the family

Friendly towards children

Yorkshire Terriers are quite amazing at initiating a game with children. The breed is absolutely aware of what is required to create a unique relationship with kids. This type of involvement begins when your pet is still a puppy and can also become a danger to it given the Yorkie can be subject to accidents and injuries caused by children. Needless to say that adult supervision is always vital while kids and dogs are playing.

Absolutely friendly with children

Relationship with strangers

The hallmark of the Yorkshire Terrier, and often the imagery used in popular culture is of being incapable of developing a friendly relationship with strangers. Obviously, things are not exactly as look. An adequately trained Yorkie that has experienced early exposure to strangers will be capable of moderating its response and creating a rather pleasant relationship with them, both in the house and outdoors.

Average tolerance for strangers

Friendliness towards other dogs

We should not be deceived by the size of the Yorkshire Terrier. This breed is absolutely fearless and not at all scared of a confrontation with larger dogs. It goes without saying that this trait can become a real issue whenever the Yorkie has to coexist with another dog or when it is interacting with other pooches in public. Early socialization with other breeds differing in size and features is essential in order to teach the Yorkshire Terrier how to adjust and correct its reactivity in less suitable contexts.

Moderate friendliness towards other dogs

Care and health

Coat care and shedding

The Yorkshire Terrier breed must be handled impeccably. A Yorkie's coat has a tendency to shed quite heavily and its vanity, which is often enabled through unlikely grooming styles are features that both require constant care. Yorkshire Terrier owners are aware that their pooch will need a regular grooming appointment with a professional and special care on a daily basis to prevent this demanding issue from getting worse.

High level of moulting

Salivation and drooling restraint level

A peculiar structure of the mouth together with rather long hair around this body part can also become a problem for a Yorkshire Terrier. Drooling restraint is quite efficient when we rule out certain moments of the day. There is no excess salivation and particular care should be given only when your pet is very excited or before a meal.

Dribbling restraint within average

Easiness to clean

The Yorkshire Terrier is quite a delicate breed. It is not unusual to see a Yorkie raised by allowing its fur to grow quite long. And this can become a peculiar circumstance in relation to this breed's level of cleanliness. Needless to say, this aspect should be regularly treated by an expert and daily by the owner who must be alert in checking the most sensitive areas of the Yorkie, such as the mouth after food and tail after a walk.

Extra care during the highlights of your pet's day

Health and diseases

Despite an obvious fragility of the Yorkshire Terrier, the breed is actually quite healthy throughout its entire life. Nevertheless, such a quality does not prevent certain diseases from potentially arising, even if in rare occasions. Amongst the most common diseases affecting the breed we can count dysplasia and luxating patella which are quite typical conditions affecting a dog's joints. Owners should however pay special attention to their Yorkshire Terrier's teeth as they can be subject to unique issues during growth.

Yorkshire Terriers are generally in good health throughout their entire life

Tendency to gain weight

As Yorkies are very reactive to anyone addressing them, they are also capable of keeping fit throughout their life provided this aspect is always assessed by an observant owner. In other words, owners must be able to measure the amount of food their pooch should have access to during the day and ensure don't exceed one and half cup of premium food distributed over two meals per day. Obviously, the Yorkie will also need daily exercise to keep in shape.

High inclination to remain fit

Learning skills

Intelligence and training

The fact this breed can react quite "strongly" to reprimands from the owner in its everyday life and during the first phases of training can affect a Yorkie's upbringing. Raising an overly independent pet is not advisable. Which is why certain aspects of training must be firmly developed. A Yorkshire Terrier is capable of positively responding but it must be stimulated, like during crate training, for example.

Intelligence and training within average

Loyalty and inclination to escape

A Yorkie's inclination to escape sits within an ideal average. As for any breed, Yorkshire Terriers are drawn to explore the outdoor space and they are capable of escaping from courtyards equipped with unsuited enclosures. It's important to note that this tendency will surface in any dog that hasn't received proper training. This is when the Yorkie's inclination to enjoy the household environment can come in handy.

Quite a loyal breed with a low tendency to escape

Inclination to bite

A slightly annoying trait in the Yorkshire Terrier is the inclination to nip while playing which can also become a potential danger. However, this is not a disposition that should cause concern during interaction. It is just a matter of correcting those behaviors that could become an issue during your pet's upbringing, although a well trained Yorkie won't engage in this conduct while playing with the family or with strangers and other dogs.

Self-control and tendency to nip within average

Hunt drive

Despite being greatly reactive and fairly curious, the Yorkshire Terrier was not bred to hunt. The breed is equipped with the right amount of energy and responsiveness to carry out this activity but it lacks the essential perseverance and sense of smell. A reason why your Yorkie's daily routine will be limited to chasing smaller animals inside the house or in familiar outdoors spaces. These behaviors are quite unusual and can easily be corrected through training.

Low hunting drive

Inclination to bark or howl

Despite appearing "rebellious", the Yorkshire Terrier will engage in barks or howls when stimulated by external factors. Rather than its incidence, the bark of a Yorkshire Terrier will stand out because of how recognizable it is. In particular, a Yorkie can use this form of communication quite often while interacting with the owner or other family members. A behavior that your pet may also display in the house although always in relation to certain circumstances throughout the day.

Average disposition to bark or howl

Exercise requirements

Energy level

The energy levels of the Yorkshire Terrier are kind of another hallmark of the breed. Despite its nature and fairly gentle physical traits, the Yorkie is capable of maintaining high energy levels throughout the day. Such a skill can become essential in the milestones of its growth when the Yorkshire Terrier tends to react slightly more autonomously to the owner's commands whilst trying to indulge its own energetic drive. It is vital that your Yorkie has the opportunity to release these high levels of energy during the day.

Extremely high energy levels


The strength of a Yorkshire Terrier is less obvious in comparison to its energy levels yet it is much more amazing. Maybe because of its rather tiny build and an average muscularity for a breed this size, however nobody would expect a high degree of strength from a Yorkie. The surprise occurs during interaction when the Yorkie is exceptionally excited. Although the comparison with other breeds doesn't stand a chance, the Yorkshire Terrier is absolutely above average in this respect. This trait will be useful when trying to monitor and assess how to interact with your Yorkie.

Average level of strength

Exercise requirements

As for all dogs, daily exercise is also vital to a Yorkshire Terrier. A perfectly fit Yorkie can benefit twice from this kind of activity and maintain an ideal weight by engaging in daily exercise as well as developing an adequate psycho-physical balance throughout its growth. Useful in avoiding neurological disorders which could otherwise display through incorrect or aggressive behaviors in your pet. Less when compared to other breeds but still essential.

Little need to exercise

Tendency to play

Amongst the talents of the breed there is the ability to adapt to interaction in the house as well as outdoors. Keeping up with the Yorkie's drive to play is not always easy as it naturally derives from the great liveliness with which this breed lives on a daily basis. The Yorkshire Terrier can withstand a number of activities and the most important thing is to provide a wide range of choice to prevent your pooch from getting bored or growing up without ever experiencing pleasant interaction.

Strong inclination to play

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