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Yorkshire Terrier

Beneath the dainty, glossy, floor-length coat of a Yorkshire Terrier beats the heart of a feisty, old-time terrier.

Overall Status

Height 8 to 9 inches at the shoulder
Temperament Affectionate, Sprightly, Tomboyish
Weight 4 to 7 pounds, sometimes larger
Life Expectancy 12 to 16 years
Coat Color Black and Tan, Blue
Barking Level Frequent

Quick Factors

Dog Friendly
Exercise Need
Grooming Needs
Strangers Friendly
Family Affectionate
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Daily Care

Grooming Tips

Soft-haired Yorkshire Terriers are prone to tangles, so brushing should be a daily occurrence to prevent mats and to keep the coat clean. Silky haired Yorkies need to be brushed at least three times per week, but their hair is not as prone to tangling.

Regardless of coat texture, if the dog is not being shown, there is no practical need to keep the hair long, and many owners opt to clip the coat short in order to reduce maintenance.

Check the ears on a weekly basis for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build up. Cleanse regularly with a veterinarian-approved cleanser and cotton ball. Brush the teeth at least once per week to prevent tartar buildup and fight gum disease.

Small dogs are prone to dental problems, especially later in life, so the more the teeth are brushed at home, the better. Additionally, nails should be trimmed once per month if the dog does not wear down the toenails naturally.

Exercise Tips

This toy dog is very active, as it loves to explore. Yorkshire Terriers like to be taken for walks and need to interact with both dogs and humans. Because it is small, exercise needs are minimal, but attention is most important. Be sure to play with your Yorkie and have an adequate range of toys available.

Options are walks with their owner at a steady pace, as well as occasional short bursts of activity, such as chasing after a tennis ball in the backyard. A short walk twice a day will likely be enough for your Yorkie to see new scenery and burn off energy.

Participating in dog sports such asobedienceoragilityalso will provide beneficial activity to keep him healthy, while challenging his mind as well.

Feeding Tips

Since the Yorkshire Terrier is so small, it doesn’t need a large amount to food for its daily substance. Since the Yorkie is so cute, you may be tempted to feed it scraps or treats – but fight the urge! Over feeding can lead to a variety of health problems, including an overweight dog.

Try a premium dry dog food, but stay away from soft food as it tends to rot its teeth. Feed your Yorkshire Terrier two or three times a day if possible – since this dog is so small, it won’t eat much at one time. This will also your Yorkie to regulate digestion.

Health Tips

Common health concerns revolve around the Yorkshire Terrier’s size as a result from falls and jumps. This breed may also suffer from Portosystemic shunt,collapsing tracheas,Legg Perth’s disease, patellar luxation and progressive retinal atrophy.


A smart little cookie, the Yorkshire Terrier has a mind of its own… which will make training interesting. To properly train a Yorkshire Terrier, keep it fun – these dogs should have a good time so it feels like it’s not being trained at all (pretty sneaky!).

Be sure to teach your Yorkie a few tricks – it’s something the breed excels at. Used treats as a reward, as you’ll find the Yorkie will pick the tricks up quickly this way.

But be wary – since the Yorkshire Terrier has a mind of its own, it may try to outsmart you. Sometimes a firm hand will be needed in order to train successfully.


The Yorkie was created by working men of north England, who developed the breed for catching the terrible rats and mice that infested clothing mills and mine shafts. These hunting dogs could penetrate into badger and fox burrows. The breed is not very old, but its origins are not entirely certain.

However, it seems likely that Scotsmen seeking work in the woolen mills of Yorkshire brought with them various types of terrier, including the Skye Terrier,Dandie Dinmont,Manchester Terrier,Malteseand the now-extinct Clydesdale (Paisley Terrier).

These were then crossed with local types, such as the longhaired Leeds Terrier. At first, the Yorkie was a much bigger animal than the one we see today, but by selectively breeding the smallest individuals, the dog was gradually miniaturized over the years. It was made into a fashion dog. Women carried these little dogs in their bags and under their arms. The Yorkshire Terrier was first recognized by the AKC in 1885.

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