Yorkshire Terrier Information


Affectionately referred to as “Yorkies” by their loyal owners, Yorkshire Terriers are members of the Toy Group that offer big personalities in a small package. As a portable pooch prized for its compact size and luxurious long-haired coat, the Yorkshire Terrier is currently ranked as the 6th most popular breed in the United States by the American Kennel Club. Read on to find a full breed description on the Yorkshire Terrier to determine whether the active dog will be an ideal match for your family’s lifestyle.

Yorkshire Terrier
Basic Info
NameYorkshire Terrier
Other NameYorkie
Size Type Small Dog Breeds
Breed Group Toy Dog Breeds
Life Span 13-16 years
TemperamentCourageous, Confident, Bold, Intelligent, Independent
Height 7.5-9 inches
Weight 3.5-8 pounds
Colors Black & Tan, Blue & Tan, Black & Gold, Blue & Gold
Puppy Price Average $500 - $700 USD

Yorkshire Terrier

Physical description

Body Type

As a small compact toy-sized breed, the Yorkshire Terrier has a small head that is slightly flattened on the top with a medium-sized muzzle. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite, the medium-sized eyes are dark with dark rims, the nose is black, and the erect ears are set high in a V-shape. All four of the dog’s legs are straight when viewed from the front with rounded feet adorned with black toenails. Despite the fact that it is illegal in various parts of the world, the tail is traditionally docked to a medium length and carried high on the back. Yorkshire Terriers are normally between six to seven inches at the shoulder height with a weight around seven pounds. Whenever a dog weighs four pounds of less when full-grown, the dog is often referred to as a teacup.


Since the breed is often defined by its color, the breed standard indicates that the only acceptable coloring for the Yorkshire Terrier is steel blue and tan. While the body and tail are typically blue, the remainder of the dog’s body is tan. Puppies are often tan, black, and brown with white markings, but the pups will usually reach its final coloring by their third birthday.


Often listed as a “hypo-allergenic” breed, the Yorkshire Terrier has a long, glossy coat that is fine with silky hairs that fall straight down on each side of the body. Since the coat on the head is so abundant with hair, it is usually necessary to gather it in a band to provide the dogs with the maximum amount of visibility.

Good with Kids
Cat Friendly
Dog Friendly
Hypoallergenic  Yes


As no surprise, the long-haired Yorkshire Terrier has rather extensive grooming requirements that must be maintained regularly to keep the coat in good condition. While a clipped coat will need to be combed or pushed on a daily to weekly basis as needed, the full show coat requires owners spend hours brushing with a firm bristle brush. Since it can be quite time-consuming, many owners pay for professional grooming for their Yorkshire Terrier to keep them clipped short for a more low-maintenance shaggy look. In addition, it is essential that owners bathe their Yorkie on a monthly basis, keep the nails trimmed, brush the teeth at least twice a week to prevent tooth decay, and clean the ears to remove excess hair inside.


As the name suggests, the Yorkshire Terrier originated in the rugged region of northern England known as Yorkshire. It is believed that the breed was created by the working men as a solution for catching the rats and mice that were running rampant in clothing mills and mine shafts. Originally a much larger breed than we see today, the dogs were also utilized for hunting with their strong abilities to penetrate into badger and fox burrows. However, the Yorkshire Terriers were gradually miniaturized over the years by selectively breeding with the smallest individuals. Although the early origins are not entirely certain, the fairly new Yorkshire Terrier was bred from the crossing of the Paisley Terrier, Skye Terrier, Dandie Dinmont, Maltese, and other Scotch Terriers for its beautiful long silky coat.

Still referred to as the “father of the breed,” the Yorkshire Terrier was finally defined by a popular show dog named Huddersfield Ben in the late 1860s. Quickly becoming the type of dog everyone in England and beyond wanted, the breed was introduced to the United States in 1872 and the Yorkshire Terrier was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885. Although the breed’s popularity dipped in the 1940s, the Yorkshire Terrier and famous war dog Smoky instantly renewed interest in the dogs during World War II. Today, it remains one of the most popular dog breeds around the world.


Often described as being oblivious of their small size, Yorkshire Terriers are highly energetic, playful, courageous, loyal, clever, intelligent, eager, adventurous, and affectionate. With a “larger than life” personality, the dogs often do not show the soft submissive temperament that is commonly exhibited in lapdogs. Normally recommended for families with older children, the Yorkshire Terrier requires a strong pack leader that will display firm and consistent leadership to avoid Small Dog Syndrome symptoms, including snapping, overprotection, jealousy, timidity, or neuroticism. Whenever given set boundaries though, the dogs are very sweet and loving without behavioral concerns.

With bustling amounts of energy, the active Yorkshire Terrier needs to be given plenty of exercise and be taken on a daily walk. While playtime will take care of most of their exercise needs, it will not satisfy their primal instinct for walking and may not avert the behavioral problems properly. Since Yorkies often are very active indoors and can be found zooming around their home like a speeding bullet, the breed is suitable for apartment living with daily walks outside. The Yorkshire Terrier is sensitive to the cold and prefers warmer climates to spend more time outside romping around in a safe, open area.

Interesting Yorkshire Terrier Facts

  • The smallest dog in recorded history was a matchbox-sized Yorkshire Terrier named Sylvia and owned by Arthur Maples in Blackburn, England. At the time of her death in 1945 when she was just two years old, Sylvia was just 2.5 inches tall at the shoulder height and weighed only four ounces.


  • Sleeping approximately 90 percent of the time during puppyhood, the Yorkshire Terrier matures much faster than other smaller or larger dog breeds, despite having the identical 42 permanent teeth and 321 bones.
  • Although highly regarded for fashion purposes, it has been found that any abnormally small Yorkshire Terriers referred to as “teacups” are more prone to various health conditions, including heart disease, hypoglycemia, seizures, and hydrocephaly.