The Yorkshire Terrier: Your complete guide!

Step into the world of Yorkshire Terriers, where elegance meets a pocket-sized package. These small but sophisticated companions have a history as charming as their appearance. Explore their rich heritage, learn about their unique care needs, and discover the endearing traits that make Yorkshire Terriers such beloved pets.

Yorkshire Terrier portrait
Elegant | Small Size | Charming
Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Everything you need to know about the Yorkshire Terrier!

    Category (Explanation)Breed Information
    Year of Breed Conception19th century
    Country of OriginEngland
    Weight (lbs & kg) (Male)4-7 lbs (1.8-3.2 kg)
    Weight (lbs & kg) (Female)4-7 lbs (1.8-3.2 kg)
    Coat TypeSilky, straight, and fine
    Color VariationsBlue and tan
    Shedding Level (Low, Moderate, High)Low to Moderate
    Height (cm & in)7-8 inches (18-20 cm)
    Breed SizeToy
    Trainability (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Mental Needs (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Intelligence Level (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Energy Level (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Agility (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Loyalty (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Playfulness (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Exercise NeedsDaily walks and playtime
    Guarding Proficiency (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Sociability with Children (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Barking Level (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Digging Tendency (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Destructive Behavior (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Drooling Level (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Obedience Level (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Apartment Friendly (Yes/No)Yes
    Inherent Prey DriveLow
    Physical Risk to Others (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Travel Fatality Risk (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Allergen PotentialLow
    Health Concerns (List of Common Health Concerns)Patellar Luxation, Tracheal Collapse
    Average Life Expectancy (Life Expectancy in Years)12-16 years
    Make sure to take care of your Yorkshire Terrier and

    Woof Mastery is reader supported and our articles may contain affiliate links. 

    Instead of running third party ads that we have no control of we only use links from high-quality companies we are directly partnered with. Making use of these links come at no cost to you our reader, and in many cases have the extra benefit of discounted rates or sign up bonuses.

    If you’re interested you can read more about our affiliate policy here.

    We appreciate your support and always insure that the products and services we recommend are high-quality, helpful and relevant to the subject at hand!

    History of the Yorkshire Terrier

    The Yorkshire Terrier’s history is one of elegance and charm. Originating in 19th-century England, they were bred as rat catchers in the textile mills of Yorkshire. These small but sophisticated terriers were known for their agility and tenacity, making them perfect for the job. Over time, they transitioned from working dogs to beloved companions of the Victorian elite. Their luxurious coats and spirited personalities endeared them to royalty and high society. Today, Yorkshire Terriers continue to be cherished for their affectionate nature and enduring appeal.

    What makes the Yorkshire Terrier so special?

    black and tan yorkshire terrier puppy on brown dried leaves during daytime

    What sets the Yorkshire Terrier apart is its elegant and charming nature. These small-sized dogs are not just adorable but also full of character. Their rich history, which mirrors their appearance, and their unique care needs make Yorkshire Terriers special companions, often bringing a touch of sophistication to their owners’ lives.

    Yorkshire Terriers, often referred to as Yorkies, have a history as charming as their appearance. Originating in the rugged landscapes of Yorkshire, England, these small and elegant dogs were originally bred for a practical purpose. Their primary traditional role was to hunt rats and other small vermin in textile mills and coal mines during the 19th century. Their small size and tenacity made them well-suited for this job. Over time, they transitioned from being working dogs to beloved companion animals, bringing their lively and affectionate nature to households around the world.

    Yorkshire Terriers are often described as big dogs in small bodies. They are known for their feisty and confident personalities. These terriers are brave, affectionate, and have a strong sense of loyalty to their owners. While they may be a bit independent, they are also known for their spirited and loving nature. With proper socialization and training, they make wonderful, loving companions.

    Yorkshire Terriers are known for their affectionate and loyal nature. They often form strong bonds with their families, making them loving companions. However, their small size may lead to a degree of assertiveness, and they can be wary of strangers. Proper socialization can help them become more open and friendly.

    Yorkshire Terriers are small and elegant dogs with a silky, straight, and fine-textured coat that comes in a combination of blue and tan. They have a fine-boned, well-proportioned body, with a level back and a straight, delicate tail carried high. Their head is small and flat on top, with a medium-length muzzle, and they have bright, expressive eyes that convey their lively personality. Their ears are V-shaped and stand erect. Yorkies have a confident and alert demeanor, with a sprightly gait, making them a charming and endearing breed.

    Yorkshire Terriers typically have a blue and tan coat. The body is primarily blue (steel-blue) with tan markings on the head, ears, chest, and legs. This classic coloration is a hallmark of the breed and gives them a distinctive and elegant appearance.

    1. Blue and Tan: Yorkshire Terriers typically have a blue (grayish) coat with tan markings on the face, legs, and paws. This distinctive color combination is a hallmark of the breed.

    Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, have a low shedding level. These small dogs with long, silky hair shed minimally, making them suitable for individuals with allergies. Regular grooming is essential to maintain the quality of their coat. Yorkies require daily brushing to prevent matting and tangling, and occasional trims may be necessary. While their shedding is low, proper grooming practices, a balanced diet, and regular veterinary check-ups contribute to the overall health and appearance of the Yorkshire Terrier’s coat. Consistent care helps minimize shedding and keeps their coat in good condition.

    Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, have long, silky coats that require regular grooming to keep them in good condition.

    Brushing: Daily brushing is recommended to prevent matting and tangling. Use a comb or slicker brush suitable for their coat type.

    Bathing: Bathe as needed, typically every few weeks, using a dog shampoo designed for long coats. Rinse thoroughly and dry completely.

    Trimming: Regular trims, especially around the eyes and feet, help maintain their appearance. Consult a professional groomer for guidance.

    Ears: Check and clean their ears regularly to prevent wax buildup or infections. Use a damp cotton ball or a veterinarian-recommended ear cleaning solution.

    Nails: Keep their nails trimmed to a comfortable length for good foot health.

    Teeth: Brush their teeth regularly to prevent dental issues and bad breath.

    Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, have a moderate activity level. Despite their small size, they are energetic and enjoy playtime and short walks. Providing mental stimulation through interactive toys and training sessions is important for their well-being. Yorkies thrive on companionship and may enjoy engaging in activities with their owners, making them adaptable to various living situations.

    Yorkshire Terriers are known for their intelligence, marked by problem-solving abilities, agility, and a desire to please their owners. They are generally trainable and responsive to positive reinforcement training methods. Yorkshire Terriers can learn various commands and tasks. Their agility allows them to excel in roles such as hunting and agility sports. Historically, they were skilled in roles such as hunting and vermin control, showcasing social intelligence by forming strong bonds with their families. While they may not top the charts in terms of obedience, their intelligence makes them excellent companions and working dogs. Training, socialization, and mental stimulation contribute to their well-rounded and obedient nature.

    Yorkshire Terriers thrive on mental stimulation. Engage them in activities like puzzle toys, interactive games, and obedience training to keep their minds sharp and prevent boredom.

    Social Interaction: They enjoy spending time with their family and need regular interaction. Loneliness can lead to anxiety, so provide companionship and attention.

    Exercise: While they are small, regular physical activity is important for their overall well-being. Daily walks and playtime contribute to their mental and physical health.

    Enter The Woof Mastery

    Monthly Give Away!
    Enter The Woof Mastery Give Away!
    And win your share of HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS worth of Pet Accessories and Vouchers!

    What to look out for, before you get a Yorkshire Terrier!

    adult tan Yorkshire terrier

    Before choosing a Yorkshire Terrier, it’s important to recognize their unique needs. These dogs thrive on companionship and may not do well with long periods of solitude. Regular exercise and mental stimulation contribute to their well-being. Grooming their long, silky coat is a significant commitment. Yorkies are known for their intelligence, so early training and socialization are vital. Prospective owners should be aware of potential health concerns and provide regular veterinary care. Creating a loving and engaging environment is crucial to ensuring the happiness and well-rounded behavior of these lively and affectionate companions.

    Yorkshire Terriers, with their small size and friendly nature, generally pose a low risk to others. Proper socialization and training contribute to positive interactions. Responsible ownership, understanding individual temperament, and adherence to local regulations play crucial roles in ensuring a well-behaved Yorkshire Terrier.

    Yorkshire Terriers are often good with children. They are small in size and can be gentle companions. Supervision is important during play, and positive reinforcement training helps ensure positive interactions. Teaching children how to approach and handle the dog contributes to a positive relationship.

    Yorkshire Terriers may not be natural swimmers due to their small size. While some individuals may tolerate water, others may not enjoy it. If you plan to introduce them to water, do so gradually and observe their comfort level. Always prioritize safety and use a canine life vest if needed.

    1. Start Early: Begin training as early as possible. Puppies are like sponges, and their ability to learn is at its peak during their early months.
    2. Socialization: Expose your Yorkshire Terrier puppy to a wide range of people, animals, and environments to help them become well-adjusted adults. Socialization is crucial for reducing fear and aggression.
    3. Positive Reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats, praise, and toys, to reward and reinforce good behavior. This approach is effective and builds a strong bond between you and your puppy.
    4. Consistency: Be consistent with your training methods and commands. Use the same cues and rewards consistently to avoid confusion.
    5. Basic Commands: Teach essential commands like “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “leave it.” These commands are the building blocks of obedience and safety.
    6. House Training: Be patient and consistent when house training your Yorkshire Terrier puppy. Establish a routine for bathroom breaks and praise them when they eliminate outside.
    7. Crate Training: Crate training can be a valuable tool for housebreaking and providing a safe space for your puppy. Make the crate a positive and comfortable place.
    8. Social Skills: Encourage positive interactions with other dogs and people to develop good social skills. Puppy classes and playdates can be helpful.
    9. Exercise and Play: Yorkshire Terrier puppies may have energy to burn. Ensure they get enough exercise and playtime to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.
    10. Chewing: Provide appropriate chew toys to satisfy their need to chew and prevent them from chewing on furniture or belongings.
    11. Patience and Persistence: Training takes time, and puppies may not grasp commands immediately. Be patient and persistent, and avoid punishment-based training methods.
    12. Professional Training: If you encounter challenges or need additional guidance, consider enrolling your Yorkshire Terrier puppy in a professional training class led by a qualified dog trainer.

    Remember that Yorkshire Terrier puppies, like all puppies, are eager to please and learn. Positive and consistent training practices will help them become well-behaved, obedient, and happy adult dogs. Building a strong and trusting bond with your puppy through training is a rewarding experience for both you and your canine companion.

    Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies) are known for being alert and may bark to alert their owners or express themselves. While they can be vocal, excessive barking is not a common trait. Proper training and socialization contribute to a well-behaved and appropriately vocal Yorkshire Terrier.

    Yorkshire Terriers are adaptable to various living conditions, including apartments and houses with yards. They enjoy indoor play but still need daily walks for exercise. Regular grooming is essential for their coat maintenance. Socialization is crucial to prevent excessive barking or aggression. Positive reinforcement training is effective in shaping their behavior.

    When traveling with Yorkshire Terriers, prioritize their comfort and safety:

    1. Heat Sensitivity: Yorkshire Terriers may be sensitive to heat due to their small size. Avoid travel during hot weather and provide proper ventilation.
    2. Size and Space: Check crate size requirements for air travel. In smaller vehicles, ensure they have enough space to stay comfortable.
    3. Behavior and Anxiety: Some Yorkshire Terriers may experience travel anxiety. Familiar items and positive associations can help ease stress.
    4. Rest Stops: Plan breaks during car travel for them to stretch, hydrate, and relieve themselves.
    5. Restraint: Secure them in a crate or with a seatbelt harness for safety and to prevent distractions.
    6. Air Travel Precautions: Choose airlines with policies suitable for small breeds, and ensure the crate meets safety requirements.
    7. Proper Identification: Keep identification tags and a microchip with updated information.

    By addressing these considerations, you ensure safe and comfortable travel for Yorkshire Terriers.

    Yorkshire Terriers, like many breeds, may be prone to specific health concerns. While not all individuals will experience these issues, it’s essential for Yorkie owners to be aware of potential health problems and collaborate with veterinarians for their pets’ well-being. Common health concerns in Yorkshire Terriers include:

    1. Patellar Luxation: A condition where the kneecap dislocates from its normal position, causing lameness and discomfort.
    2. Tracheal Collapse: A weakening of the tracheal rings, leading to respiratory issues and coughing.
    3. Portosystemic Shunt (Liver Shunt): An abnormal blood vessel that diverts blood away from the liver, affecting liver function.
    4. Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar levels, which can be a concern in small breeds like Yorkies.
    5. Dental Issues: Yorkies may be prone to dental problems, including tooth decay and periodontal disease. Regular dental care is crucial.
    6. Eye Conditions: Including conditions like cataracts and retinal dysplasia.
    7. Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA): A congenital heart defect that may require surgical intervention.
    8. Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease: A hip joint disorder that may cause pain and lameness, particularly in small breeds.

    Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, proper exercise, and responsible breeding practices can help mitigate some of these health concerns. It’s crucial for Yorkie owners to work closely with their veterinarians to monitor their pets’ health and address any issues promptly.

    Proper nutrition is essential for the health and well-being of Yorkshire Terriers. Here are some nutritional habits and best practices to consider for this breed:

    1. High-Quality Dog Food: Choose a high-quality commercial dog food specifically formulated for small breeds. Look for a brand that lists a high-quality source of animal protein as the first ingredient.
    2. Small Breed Formulas: Opt for dog food formulas designed for small breeds, as they address the unique nutritional needs of Yorkshire Terriers.
    3. Protein: Ensure the diet includes a moderate to high level of quality protein to support muscle maintenance and overall health. Protein sources like chicken, beef, or fish are beneficial.
    4. Balanced Diet: Provide a well-balanced diet that includes appropriate amounts of fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Avoid foods with excessive fillers and artificial additives.
    5. Portion Control: Monitor portion sizes to prevent overfeeding and maintain a healthy weight. Follow the feeding guidelines on the dog food packaging and adjust based on your dog’s age, activity level, and metabolism.
    6. Fresh Water: Always have clean, fresh water available for your Yorkshire Terrier. Proper hydration is crucial for overall health and digestion.
    7. Treats: Use treats sparingly, especially considering the small size of Yorkshire Terriers. Opt for healthy, small-sized treats or create homemade treats using safe ingredients.
    8. Regular Check-Ups: Schedule regular veterinary check-ups to monitor your Yorkshire Terrier’s overall health, weight, and dietary needs. Your vet can provide guidance on any necessary dietary adjustments based on your dog’s individual requirements.

    Breed-Specific Laws (BSL): Yorkshire Terriers are generally not commonly subject to breed-specific laws (BSL) as they are not typically considered a dangerous breed. However, it’s important to note that BSL can vary widely by jurisdiction, and some areas may have restrictions on specific breeds or breed types.

    Local Regulations: To determine if there are any breed-specific laws or restrictions regarding Yorkshire Terriers in your area, you should check with your local animal control or government authorities. Be aware of and comply with any local regulations to ensure that you are in compliance with the law while owning a Yorkshire Terrier.

    Woof Mastery is reader supported and our articles may contain affiliate links. 

    Instead of running third party ads that we have no control of we only use links from high-quality companies we are directly partnered with. Making use of these links come at no cost to you our reader, and in many cases have the extra benefit of discounted rates or sign up bonuses.

    If you’re interested you can read more about our affiliate policy here.

    We appreciate your support and always insure that the products and services we recommend are high-quality, helpful and relevant to the subject at hand!

    Fun Facts About The Yorkshire Terrier

    Myth 1: Yorkies are Fragile and Need to be Handled with Extreme Care

    • Truth: While Yorkshire Terriers are small, they are not as fragile as some may think. They are resilient and can engage in various activities, including playtime with children (under supervision).

    Myth 2: Yorkies Don’t Need Exercise

    • Truth: Despite their small size, Yorkies have moderate energy levels and benefit from regular exercise. Daily walks, play sessions, and interactive toys help keep them physically and mentally stimulated.

    Myth 3: They are High-Maintenance Grooming Dogs

    • Truth: While Yorkies have a long, silky coat, grooming can be managed with regular brushing and occasional professional grooming. Some owners opt for shorter haircuts for easier maintenance.

    Myth 4: Yorkies are Not Good with Children

    • Truth: Many Yorkies get along well with children, especially if they are introduced and socialized from a young age. Supervision is crucial to ensure positive interactions.

    Myth 5: They are Yappy and Bark Constantly

    • Truth: Yorkies can be vocal, but excessive barking can be addressed through training. Their alert nature makes them good watchdogs, but consistent training can help manage their barking.

    Myth 6: Yorkies are Indoor Dogs Only

    • Truth: While Yorkies are well-suited to indoor living, they also enjoy outdoor activities. Outdoor walks, playtime in secure areas, and exposure to new environments contribute to their overall well-being.

    Myth 7: They are Not Intelligent

    • Truth: Yorkies are intelligent and trainable. They can learn various commands and tricks, making them well-suited for obedience training and interactive games.

    Myth 8: Yorkies Don’t Need Socialization

    • Truth: Socialization is essential for Yorkies to ensure they are comfortable around various people, animals, and environments. Early socialization contributes to their well-adjusted behavior.

    Myth 9: They are All the Same in Temperament

    • Truth: Individual Yorkies may have different temperaments. While they share breed traits, factors such as genetics and upbringing contribute to their unique personalities.

    Myth 10: Yorkies Don’t Have Health Concerns

    • Truth: Yorkies can be prone to certain health issues, including dental problems, patellar luxation, and tracheal collapse. Regular veterinary check-ups and preventive care are essential for their health.

    Understanding the realities of Yorkshire Terriers helps potential owners provide the best care for these small yet resilient companions.

    Famous Yorkshire Terrier owners include:

    Matt Damon: The actor Matt Damon has been known to have a Yorkshire Terrier as a pet. Yorkshire Terriers are appreciated for their small size and affectionate nature.


    The Yorkshire Terrier is culturally significant as a small but spirited breed that has captured the hearts of dog enthusiasts worldwide. Known for their long, silky coat and confident personality, Yorkies have become popular as both companions and show dogs. Their presence in popular media, including films and advertisements, has contributed to their recognition and cultural appeal. Yorkshire Terriers are symbols of elegance and charm, finding a special place in the homes of those who appreciate their lively nature.

    The Yorkshire Terrier, known for its small size and luxurious coat, gained popularity in the 19th century. While there may not be a single most famous historical owner, Yorkies were favored by celebrities and individuals who appreciated their elegance and charm.

    Yorkshire Terriers, known for their small size and confident demeanor, face challenges that include:

    1. Grooming Requirements: The long and silky coat of Yorkshire Terriers requires meticulous grooming, and owners may face challenges if they are not prepared for the grooming commitment.
    2. Size Considerations: Yorkshire Terriers, being a small breed, may face challenges in certain environments, and owners need to be mindful of their size to ensure their safety in various situations.
    3. Exercise Needs: Despite their small size, Yorkshire Terriers are active and require regular exercise. Ensuring they receive sufficient exercise can be a challenge for owners with busy schedules.
    4. Training Challenges: Yorkshire Terriers can be independent, and consistent training is essential. Owners may face challenges if they do not establish clear leadership and provide positive reinforcement.

    The Yorkshire Terrier, commonly known as the Yorkie, is believed to have been developed in England, particularly in the region of Yorkshire. The contributing breeds may include:

    1. Maltese: The Maltese is considered one of the contributing breeds to the Yorkshire Terrier, influencing its coat texture and size.
    2. Skye Terrier: The Skye Terrier, known for its long, flowing coat, may have played a role in the development of the Yorkie’s coat characteristics.
    3. Manchester Terrier: The Manchester Terrier, with its black and tan coloring, is another breed believed to have contributed to the Yorkshire Terrier’s coat coloration.
    Check out Woofwear, where you will find our custom designed and stylish Yorkshire Terrier merch!

    Why you're going to love the Yorkshire Terrier

    Yorkshire Terriers, with their elegant appearance and spirited personality, make charismatic family companions. Known for their loyalty and adaptability, they integrate well into family life. Their long, silky coat and petite size add to their charm. Yorkshire Terriers thrive on companionship and engage actively in play. With proper training and socialization, they become devoted members of the family, bringing grace and a touch of sophistication to the household.

    Be sure to check out the other Paw-some pups we have reviewed!

    Abruzzese Mastiff headshot portrait
    Abruzzese Mastiff (Mastino Abruzzese)
    Affenpinscher portrait headshot
    Afghan Hound Portrait
    Afghan Hound
    Agouti Husky Portrait
    Agouti Husky
    Airedale Terrier portrait headshot
    Airedale Terrier
    A Portrait of an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
    Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
    Alaskan Husky Portrait
    Alaskan Husky
    Alaskan Klee Kai Portrait
    Alaskan Klee Kai
    Alaskan Malamute featured image
    Alaskan Malamute
    Albanian Hound Portrait
    Albanian Hound
    Alpine Spaniel Portrait (2)
    Alpine Spaniel (Switzerland)
    American Akita Portrait
    American Akita
    Portrait of a American Bulldog
    American Bulldog
    Portrait of an American Bully
    American Bully
    American Cocker Spaniel Portrait
    American Cocker Spaniel
    American English Coonhound Portrait
    American English Coonhound
    American Eskimo Dog (Mini & Toy) Portrait
    American Eskimo Dog (Mini and Toy)
    American Eskimo Dog (Standard) Portrait
    American Eskimo Dog (Standard)
    American Foxhound Portrait
    American Foxhound
    American Hairless Terrier portrait headshot
    American Hairless Terrier
    Portrait of American Pit Bull Terrier
    American Pit Bull Terrier
    A Portrait of an American Staffordshire Bulldog (also known as American Staffordshire Terrier)
    American Staffordshire Bulldog
    Head shot portrait of American Staffordshire Terrier
    American Staffordshire Terrier
    American Water Spaniel Portrait
    American Water Spaniel
    Anatolian Mastiff (Anatolian Shepherd Dog) headshot portrait
    Anatolian Mastiff (Anatolian Shepherd Dog)
    Anatolian Shepherd portrait
    Anatolian Shepherd
    Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie Portrait
    Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie
    Argentinian Mastiff (Dogo Argentino) portrait headshot
    Argentinian Mastiff (Dogo Argentino)