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Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed Quick Facts

About the Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed

The Yorkshire Terrier is a small terrier dog breed that originated in Scotland.The Yorkie has a genetic mix from now extinct terrier breeds from Scotland, the Skye Terrier and possibly the Maltese. They were exported to Yorkshire England in the middle of the 19th century and were “perfected” there, thus earning their present-day name.

Yorkshire Terriers were first used by butchers to kill rats. Bred to be fearless and tenacious, these small dogs can emerge victorious even against an opponent that is much larger than themselves. It is because of this trait that the breed was exported to the North of England, where they became excellent ratters and hunted rats and other small animals in mines, mills and factories. They were never big dogs-but in the early days weighed as much as 15 pounds. Yorkies first came to the United States in the 1870’s and were recognized by the AKC in 1885.

According to the AKC breed standard-accepted coat colors are:

 Blue – Is a dark steel-blue, not a silver-blue and not mingled with fawn,
bronzy or black hairs.

Tan – All tan hair is darker at the roots than in the middle, shading to still
lighter tan at the tips. There should be no sooty or black hair intermingled with any of the tan.”

Yorkie coats are soft-very similar in feel to human hair and considered as being hypoallergenic.

Yorkshire Terrier with full coat

Yorkshire Terrier with full coat – easier to care for “puppy cut”

The Biewer Terrier is the result of a recessive gene not normally found in Yorkies. It is considered an entirely separate breed and was recognized by the AKC as such in 2014.

Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed Temperament

The Yorkshire Terrier is a curious breed of dog, with an independent streak. Despite their small size, they are very feisty and energetic, and love activity – especially if it involves chasing! Yorkies are friendly around children, but may not have the patience to be around small children. It’s always worth considering the age-appropriateness of any dog breed. Yorkies are rather active dogs and can be feisty and very curious. The AKC breed standard describes the Yorkie personality as:

“The dog’s high head carriage and confident manner should give the appearance of vigor and self-importance.”


Royalty indeed!


Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed Training

The Yorkshire Terrier is an intelligent breed and will learn fast.  They are usually motivated by food and attention. Yorkies crave it! Some Yorkie trainers claim that   Yorkie owners are so protective of their dogs and carry them everywhere that the dog can  not be trained properly. Such dogs tend to suffer from severe separation anxiety. Because of their small size and desire to chase things, this breed should be leash trained early as they will go running to chase a lizard or butterfly without much regard to the dangers around them. They are small and fragile but fearless. Yorkshire Terriers are notoriously difficult to housebreak. You will need to be extra patient and consistent!

Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed Health and Care

The number one health concern for this small dog is injury. More vets see Yorkies for falls,being stepped on,other dogs jumping on them,choking on a household object etc. than anything else! This is why many Yorkie owners are protective of their dogs-and some over-protective. Sometimes it’s hard to find the right mix with a small dog.

Yorkies do not shed much, they lose much of their hair during baths and brushing. They have a fine, silky hair and no undercoat so they may need a sweater in cold climates.

  • Liver shunt is a very serious problem in Yorkshire Terriers
  • luxating patella or loosened knee joints
  • Dental disease-common to many small /toy breeds

About the Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed Infographic

yorkshire terrier dog breed infographic (1)

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