Yorkshire Terrier - Yorkie

Yorkshire Terrier dog
6 to 9 inches
Up to 7 pounds
Agility, Obedience, Rally Obedience, Tracking, Conformation
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Easily recognized by a luxurious, floor-length coat, the adaptable Yorkshire Terrier is a loyal and protective companion.

Temperament of the Yorkshire Terrier

Like other toy dog breeds, the Yorkshire Terrier has a big personality. Yorkies are fearless, tenacious and fiercely protective, which makes them perfect little watch dogs. This toy-sized dog is intelligent and eager to please, but can be stubborn at times. Training and socializing a Yorkshire Terrier puppy should begin at an early age. Although small in size, Yorkies still need some exercise. A couple short walks a day and occasional games of fetch will help keep them physically and mentally fit.

Characteristics of the Breed

Yorkies have a long, floor-length coat covering their small, compact bodies. The hair around their eyes is either trimmed short or pulled into a “topknot,” often accented with a bow. The long hair is parted down the middle from the back of the head to the tail. It hangs straight down either side of the body.

How Long Does a Yorkie Live?

Typically, small dogs live longer than larger dogs. The lifespan of the Yorkshire Terrier is between 11 to 15 years.

Colours of the Breed

The most common colours are a combination of blue and tan or blue and gold. Other colors may include black and gold or black and tan.

Does the Yorkshire Terrier Shed?

The Yorkie’s hypoallergenic coat sheds infrequently, but requires daily brushing and weekly baths to keep the hair clean and tangle free.

Common Health Concerns

Yorkshire Terriers are a healthy breed overall. A couple health conditions to watch for include eye problems and a dislocated kneecap known as luxating patella. Consider limit a Yorkie’s jumping height to help prevent luxating patella.

Yorkies may also be prone to weight gain, so they need daily exercise and monitored food and treat intake.

Best Dog Food for Yorkshire Terrier Dogs & Puppies

Yorkshire Terriers need a complete and balanced dog food or puppy food. Because they have smaller mouths, they may prefer a small breed dog food with smaller kibble pieces.

For information on how much or when to feed your Yorkie dog or puppy, explore our feeding articles here.

Facts about the Breed

  • Developed by Scottish weavers, many joked the Yorkie’s long, flowing coat was the result of the looms where it first worked.
  • In addition to the looms, Yorkies also worked in coal mines.
  • Although the breed was developed by the Scots, an 1870 reporter commented the name should change to Yorkshire Terrier because the dog was further established and improved there.
  • The Yorkie has been a top 10 most popular breed since roughly 2013.


When Scotland weavers migrated to Yorkshire and Lancashire in northern England, they brought their terriers with them.

Over time, they bred a new terrier from several types of now-extinct Scottish terriers, plus the Skye Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier and perhaps even the Maltese.

Yorkies were bred to squeeze into small spaces to root out rodents in the mid-1800s. After the Kennel Club of England recognized the breed in 1886, the Yorkshire Terrier went from a working dog to fashionable ladies’ companion. The breed’s size decreased further as a result of its newfound popularity as a ladies’ lap dog.

The Yorkshire Terrier was first noted in the U.S. in the 1870s. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recorded their first Yorkie in 1885.

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