Yorkshire Terrier

Surprisingly Confident, Self-assured Little Dogs

Yorkshire Terrier - Small, but Loud 

By Barry Gray - Last updated on March 20th, 2021

Everything You Need to Know About the Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier, also called the Yorkie, is a hugely popular small breed of dog. Also, it makes up for its small physical size with a huge personality. They are full of life and fun. If you want an excellent companion, then this could be the perfect pet for you.

Also, the Yorkie is the most popular toy breed in the United States. Their elegance and bold nature know no bounds. They are also capable of living in apartments, which has added to their popularity.

However, there’s a whole host of things to know about this terrier before you think about owning one. So, read on to learn everything you should know about the Yorkshire Terrier.

Fast Facts

Group - Toy

Height - 8-9 Inches

Weight - 4-7 Pounds

Hair Length - Long

Shedding - Little Shed  

Lifespan - 13-15 Years

The Typical Appearance of a Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier is easy to spot, thanks to its appearance. This is a compact dog that manages to carry with it an air of importance

Its long, silken coat typifies the Yorkie, which many people trim shorter to reduce grooming requirements. However, the shortened coat can lead to other issues, but more on grooming later.

The head of the Yorkie is small but still well proportioned. Their muzzle is short and is tipped with a black nose. Their eyes are of medium size and dark in color while always having a spark in them, showing this breed is full of life.

The Yorkie always carries their small triangular ears upright, and they are covered in hair. This applies no matter if you own the standard size Yorkie or are the Teacup Yorkie owner.

They have a small, compact body while their back is level. Their legs are small and slight, ending in neat, petite feet along with black nails. With their tail, they tend to carry it slightly higher than their body. 

The Yorkie does not appear as sturdy or stocky as other terriers, but do not make the mistake of thinking it is physically weaker. Those with shorter hair show defined shoulders and a strong rib cage and more powerful thighs than the lower part of their legs would allow you to believe.

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Colors of Yorkies According to the AKC

The AKC generally accepts four different coat colors for Yorkies. However, only if you plan on showing them, so there may be other variations of Yorkie colors out there from various breeders.

Consequently, the four colors accepted by the AKC are:

  • Black and Tan
  • Black and Gold
  • Blue and Tan
  • Blue and Gold

You may find other colors include a black, blue, and tan mix or even a steel gray and tan mix. But remember, you will not be able to show your Yorkie if they have any of these alternative colors. 

A small Terrier with a Courageous Temperament

The Yorkie is your typical terrier in that it doesn’t recognize itself as being a small dog.

They are easy to train, making them perfect for first-time owners as this is a brilliant breed.

The Yorkie is keen on protecting its territory, and they aren’t afraid to make a noise to protect their space. This also extends to their family as they are faithful even though this loyalty may be almost entirely focused on just one person. 

Affection is not an issue with a Yorkie. Also, they are best with young children if they have grown up with them. Bringing an adult Yorkie into a family with small children may be problematic at times. 

However, the one thing that stands out with their temperament is the elegance and almost diva-like behavior. This breed feels it’s important, and they are not afraid to show it. Make sure you let them know you are the pack leader, or they will seek to dominate. 

The first three months of their life will shape their temperament. Obedience training will prevent problems later on, but that misunderstanding that they are actually a small dog and not a Great Dane will never leave them. 

Finally, they can be vocal and expressive. At the same time, they can then switch to having crazy moments with quirky behavior, so you never know what to expect from your Yorkie.

But how else does temperament affect the ability to train your Yorkshire Terrier? Let’s explore potential training issues or how to get the most out of your Yorkie.

Training Your Yorkshire Terrier

Training your Yorkshire Terrier can be a lot of fun, and their high intelligence levels simply add to it all. They do come with this need to please their owner, so they will work hard to understand what you want and then follow your commands.

The key to training a Yorkie is consistency. Also, you need to be fair with your approach while offering some rewards when they do something correctly. Treats work well with this breed as it lets them know they are doing well. This will speed up their ability to pick up on new commands.

For house training, the Yorkie is viewed as being one of the easiest to train from the terrier group. This is due to their need to please, but it requires some work from as early as possible.

They do prefer to pee outdoors, but repeated behavior with pee pads in apartments can work. Do expect some mishaps along the way, but gently tell them it’s wrong and take them to the correct spot. They will soon pick up on what you want from them.

Socialization is another important part, and this should also be done from an early age. This part of their training must involve introducing them to situations, people, and other animals. In doing so, you will have a mature Yorkie with fewer behavioral problems.

Training is a key part in eventually having a well-rounded and mature Yorkie. It also means grooming them becomes a lot easier when they are trained to sit still and not move around. But how exactly do you groom your Yorkshire Terrier?

Grooming and Caring for Your Yorkie

Yorkie grooming is where things become more involved, and it’s also the point where some people give their Yorkie a haircut. However, don’t think a Yorkshire Terrier trimming will solve your problems.

Their long, silky coats are hair and not fur. This means they don’t shed like normal. But are Yorkshire Terriers hypoallergenic? Well, the answer is clear, yes!

Their hair will grow continuously throughout the year. This is different to other breeds where hair grows in spurts at different times. This does mean you should comb their hair daily to prevent tangles or it becoming matted. 

If you plan on putting a bow on their head, which is popular, then undo it daily and comb the hair. This will also prevent that hair from becoming matted.

This daily grooming is the reason some give their Yorkie a haircut. However, even the shorter hair can still become matted, so regular grooming is required no matter the length of hair.

Aside from their coat, do check their teeth regularly as dental issues are common. Cleaning them is advisable. The same goes for their rear end and eyes. Unfortunately, their eyes can come with some health issues, so checking them weekly is advisable.

But grooming is only one part of caring for your Yorkie. It’s also important to be aware of any health issues, so what are the most common problems connected to this breed?

The General Health of a Yorkie

A Yorkie can potentially have various hereditary health issues. A good breeder will have scanned for several of these issues before you become the new owner. If in any doubt, ask the breeder in advance.

The most common health issues associated with this breed are:

  • Various Eye Problems
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Collapsed Trachea

The Yorkie can also suffer from several skin issues related to their coat. Stress or anxiety can lead to them losing their hair via excess licking. They can also suffer from dermatitis caused by coming into contact with something that reacts with their skin.

This breed does have relatively high energy levels, so 30 minutes of exercise per day is a must. Alternatively, let them run around as much as they want to burn off that energy if you have some outdoor space.

The Best Nutrition for a Yorkie

It’s important to feed your Yorkshire Terrier with the correct high-quality dog food. Also, pay attention to portion sizes or pick up too much weight leading to additional health issues. Even though they are small, obesity is a huge problem.

The breed is not known for being too fussy an eater, but a balanced diet is more beneficial than providing lower-quality food. Also, the best food for a Yorkie puppy is one higher in calcium. They may need fed three times a day due to growth and higher energy levels.

An adult Yorkie requires around 40 calories per pound of body weight. You should feed them twice per day, keeping in mind snacks or training treats you give them. 

The primary focus should be on protein in their diet, forming the basis for at least one of their two meals. Also, weighing their food makes sense, and it can stop them from picking up too much weight.

The History of the Yorkie

The Yorkshire Terrier’s actual origin is unknown, but it did first appear in Yorkshire in the UK. It’s believed they were first known as Scotch Terriers in 1861, with some believing they were crossing a Scottish Weaver with a Halifax Terrier.

Initially bred to catch rats, this is the part that still contributes to their desire to chase after things today. First recognized by the Kennel Club in the UK in 1874, they then made their way to the United States, where they became a firm favorite in a short period of time. 

7 Yorkshire Terrier Mixes you would like to know about*

Dog crossbreeds or mixes are sometimes called designer dogs. The name fits since you are “designing” a new dog by mating two purebred dogs. It has become popular in recent times, and more and more breeds have several noteworthy crosses we could write about.

The thing with mixed puppies is that it is hard to know which characteristics they will inherit from their parents. You should research as much info as possible on the parent breeds to understand what you can expect. This way, you will find a mix that has all of the characteristics you want and love.

Read on to see the most popular Yorkie mixes:

*Not all breed mixes are equal in quality! neither condones nor endorses any example of unethical and unhealthy crossbreeding. We encourage everyone to research in detail before they choose to get a crossbreed. 

Questions people often ask about Yorkshire Terrier puppies

  • +Is a Yorkshire Terrier a good family pet?

  • +Do Yorkshire Terriers bark a lot?

  • +Can a Yorkshire Terrier be left alone?

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