Yorkshire Terrier


A small Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier Quick Summary
Also Known AsYorkie
Height (at withers)8-9in (20-23cm)
Weight4-7lbs (2-3kg)
Hair Colour(s)Tan, blue
Lifespan12-15 years
Energy LevelMedium
Litter size2-3
Barking TendencyMedium
Exercise requirementsLow
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityLow
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftHigh

The Yorkshire Terrier is a tiny and fragile looking terrier dog. The body is compact with a shortback and a level top line, straight legs and a docked tail carried high. The round head is small with a medium-length muzzle, a black nose, small erect triangular ears and dark round eyes. The coat is long and and silky, and the colouring tends to be rich tan and steel blue.


Yorkshire Terriers are sociable and cheerful little dogs with playful natures. Spirited and inquisitive, these are small dogs with large personalities. They crave companionship, attention and affection and love being pampered and cuddled and so make popular companions and loving pets. However, they should not be over-pampered as this will often confuse them. Early socialisation is often recommended in order to promote stable and confident temperaments, and although not overly demanding in terms of exercise, they have plenty of energy and love to play. These adaptable little dogs are very intelligent and quick to learn, and training is normally pretty straightforward. However, housebreaking can often be difficult. Despite this they are suitable both for novice and experienced dog owners. Yorkshire Terriers are suitable for older, more considerate children because of their small and fragile size. They tend to get along well enough with cats and other household pets, but they may be aggressive towards larger dogs and can be very possessive of food and belongings. Their reactions to stranger can vary from polite to reserved. And althouogh they can have a tendency to bark too much, they will also bark to raise the alarm, which makes them effective watchdogs.

History & Skills

Yorkshire Terriers originate from England, and in particular Yorkshire, from where they take their name. They were originally bred to catch vermin such as rats in mine shafts, and as hunting dogs for badgers and foxes that could penetrate burrows and dens. Later they became very popular with the Victorians as fashion accessories for women, and would often be carried in bags or under their arms. Once known as Scotch Terriers, these days they make popular show dogs, companions and family pets, and even watchdogs despite their tiny size.

Breed Specific Ailments

Yorkshire Terriers tend to live between 12-15 years and some of the health problems noted in this breed include luxating patella, liver problems, inflamed pancreas, low blood sugar, allergies, dental problems, bronchitis, hair loss, and sensitivity to chemicals and drugs. These dogs are sensitive to the cold and must be handled carefully because of their small and fragile builds.


Yorkshire Terriers are low shedders and so are suitable for those with allergies. Their grooming requirements are pretty reasonable and the coat should be brushed several times a week. The coat can be trimmed ocassionally, and hair around the bottom area should be kept trimmed for hygiene reason. The ears should be kept clean and dry, and clear of hair inside the ear passages, to reduce the chance of infection.

Exercise & Environment

Yorkshire Terriers are adaptable and are suitable for rural or urban living, although they can be sensitive to cold weather and prefer warmer climates. They can be suitable for smaller homes such as apartments and need minimal exercise. A brisk daily walk and an outside area for play should meet most of their exercise requirements. This area must be secure because these dogs are inquisitive and agile and love to give chase, all of which could lead to trouble should they escape. They should be kept on the leash during walks because they can easily be injured or bullied by larger dogs, although they may often initiate any trouble.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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