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Yorkie Breed Description

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Breed Organization

Yorkshire Terrier Club of America

Native Country
Great Britain

Other Names
Yorkshire Terrier, York

Life Expectancy
Approximately 12-15 Years

Litter Size
Average 2-3 Puppies

Breed Group

General Description

The most notable features of the Yorkshire Terrier is its very small size and its abundance of smooth long hair that will be silver-grey on the sides and back and light brown on its head neck and front quarter. If left unclipped the hair will flow completely to the floor completely eliminating all four legs from view. Its tail is docked to one half its normal size and it will carry it semi erect just above level with its back. Also its pointed ears will stand erect.

Breed Standard

Head: Rather small and flat. Skull not too prominent or round. Muzzle not too long.
Ears: Small, V-shaped, not too wide set. Carried erect. Solid fawn color.
Eyes: Medium size. Dark color. Dark rims.
Body: Compact, stocky. Elegant neck. Ribs moderately sprung.
Tail: Typically docked to a moderate length. Carried slightly above the line of the back. Covered in long, thick hair of darker blue color than on the rest of the body.
Hair: Moderately long on the body. Perfectly straight, fine, silky texture. Long on the head and of rich golden fawn color. Hair falls perfectly straight on each side of the body and is parted in the middle from the nose to the tip of the tail. Feet are of a golden fawn color.
Coat: Dark steel blue (not silver blue) extending from the eyes to the base of the tail, never mixed with fawn, bronze, or darker hairs. Hair on the forechest is rich fawn. All fawn hairs are darker at the root and lighten along their length. Puppies are born with a black coat that changes to steel gray after several months.
Size: Approx. 20 cm.
Weight: Up to 3.1 kg.


The Yorkshire Terrier is descended from Clydesdale and/or Paisley Terriers and the Waterside Terriers which migrated to the area around Glasgow in the county of York in the early nineteenth century. They were later crossed with other breeds, including the Broken-Haired Terrier (now extinct), the Cairn Terrier, the Maltese Bichon, and others. In 1886, the breed was officially named by The Kennel Club, and its first standard was published in 1898. The Yorkshire Terrier was originally used to keep mines clear of rats and as a hunting dog to unearth prey. The breed later became a fashionable pet. The breed was promoted in the United States and Europe where it was bred and gradually miniaturized from 1930 onwards. The first French Yorkshire Terrier Club was created in 1953. The Yorkshire Terrier is now reputed to be the most popular miniature breed in the world.


The ideal Yorkshire Terrier character or "personality" has been described by the Kennel Club as having a "carriage very upright feisty" and "conveying an important air". Though small, the Yorkshire Terrier is active, very protective, curious, and fond of attention. Yorkshire Terriers are easy going dogs that are great with children and older adults. If trained correctly, these dogs are very child friendly, easy going, and likes to be played with.

Yorkshire Terriers are an easy dog breed to train. This results from their own nature to work without human assistance. They are naturally smart and quick to learn with many being food and/or praise motivated. Because they were developed as a working breed, many need a lot of both physical and mental stimulation with both long walks/runs but also indoor games and training to keep their mind busy. They are known for being yappy, but many have reported that a contented Yorkie is a quiet one that will happily curl up on your knee in the evening. But they are all individuals, with some being much more laid back than others, and the breeder should ideally be able to advise on the needs and temperaments of their particular line. Yorkies are easily adaptable to all surroundings, travel well, and make suitable pets for many homes. Due to their small size, they require limited exercise but need daily interaction with people. They thrive on attention and love. Many are more timid around other dogs and prefer to stay close to their humans for comfort.

Yorkshire Terriers do tend to bark a lot. This makes them excellent watchdogs, as they will sound the alarm when anyone gets close. A barking problem can often be resolved with proper training and exercise.

Yorkshire Terriers are ranked 34th in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs.

The Yorkshire Terrier is well suited to indoor living, but this sporting dog requires exercise. Daily brushing and combing is required. This breed should be professionally groomed monthly.




Some Yorkshire Terriers are prone to slipped stifle, bronchitis, eye infections, early tooth decay, poor tolerance of anesthetic, and delicate digestion. Exotic treats should be avoided. They sometimes suffer paralysis in the hindquarters caused by herniated disks and other problems of the spine. Falls or knocks can cause fractures of fragile bones. Abnormal skull formations in Yorkshire Terriers measuring less than 8 inches (20 cm). Dams often have trouble delivering puppies and sometimes need to have cesareans. Be sure to feed Yorkshire Terriers some type of dry food or bone to chew on to help keep their teeth clean and strong. They should get their teeth cleaned at the vet to keep them from falling out and creating infection.

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