Yorkshire terrier: Tiny breed with big dog attitude and long, sikly fur

Collection of Yorkshire terrier or Yorkie puppies. Despite their small size, the Yorkshire terrier has a big dog attitude.

Despite their small size, the Yorkshire terrier has a big dog attitude.

The Yorkie or Yorkshire terrier was developed as a ratter in the 19th century, and despite her small size, has a big dog attitude. She has unique steel blue and golden tan silky fur that parts down the back and hangs straight down both sides. The tail is docked to medium length, head held high, and ears small and carried erect.

The original Yorkie was quite a bit bigger than the petite versions we see today. After all, this keen “ratter” had to be able to catch and kill vermin.

But because of their gorgeous hair and cocky attitude, these little guys became very popular with the ladies as lap dogs and companions. The smallest dogs were most in demand, and before long, the breed standard reflected the new preference for small dogs. For what it’s worth, though, there is no such thing as a “teacup Yorkie,” although the term has been used as a marketing ploy to promote extremes in the breed that frankly may not be healthy for the dog.

Breed characteristics

Yorkshire terrier on white background.

Yorkie puppies are black and tan when they are born. As the dog matures, the black becomes a dark steel blue color, and the tan hairs lighten along the length of the tresses.

The Yorkshire terrier is a small dog. They typically weigh 7 pounds or less and stand 7 to 10 inches tall.

Puppies are black and tan when they are born. As the dog matures, the black becomes a dark steel blue color, and the tan hairs lighten along the length of the tresses.

Their long, flowing hair demands daily upkeep.

Keeping the face clear of hair helps prevent potential eye problems, and a topknot is a common choice for Yorkie owners. Hair around the lips should be kept trimmed close to prevent food from getting stuck, which can cause irritation and infections.

  • Long coat
  • High care demands.

Attitude and personality

Like all terriers, Yorkies have an attitude of self-importance and like to bark and dig. She tends to be timid of strangers but is a highly intelligent dog that responds to patient consistent training. The Yorkie is a very affectionate dog devoted to her special people.

The Yorkie is an ideal house pet, and because she has modest exercise needs, fits well into apartment living.

Kind, older kids may do well with her — but this tiny dog is fragile — and roughhousing can prove very dangerous, so this is not a breed I’d typically recommend for homes with small children.

  • Not good with kids
  • Can be picky eaters
  • Needs light exercise
  • Intelligent
  • Courageous
  • Affectionate
  • Can be stubborn
  • Likes to bark
  • Good watchdog.

Yorkshire terrier training

Despite its small size, the Yorkshire is a brave and energetic dog. I always imagine a Yorkshire terrier running and jumping all over the place.

Unfortunately, their tiny size makes many owners fail to train their puppies properly. But, like with any dog, training is critical to the dog’s health and happiness.

Yorkies need socialization. Teach your pet to relate to other dogs and people. Also, proper socialization will make it less likely your puppy will develop fears of bikes, skateboards, or other noises.

The dogs also need regular exercise and need active play and daily walks.

Yorkshire terrier feeding

Because Yorkies are small, you need to take care to avoid overfeeding them. Obesity in any dog can cause serious health issues.

As with any dog breed, your pup’s age, weight, and physical activity determine how much food she needs.

Health issues

dog sleep safety

Yorkshire terriers are small, delicate dogs. Be cautious about letting the dogs jump from the bed or couch.

A bad fall or a sudden blow can have severe consequences in this tiny breed.

Consequently, Yorkshire terriers are prone to developing diseases or injuries in their bones and muscles (for example, it is common to see Yorkieswith herniated discs). 

Yorkie owners like to dress their dogs up. That’s not only for fashion but also to keep the dogs healthy. Yorkshire terriers are prone to diseases like bronchitis. They don’t do well in cold climates.

Other common ailments are early tooth loss, stomach problems, and difficulties during birth. If you notice any unusual symptoms in your dog, it is essential to visit your vet.

You should know the sooner you detect an abnormality, the more likely your dog will be able to recover.

Common health concerns

  • Eye problems
  • Periodontal disease
  • Slipped kneecap (patellar luxation)
  • Retained or undescended testicles
  • Liver disease
  • Progressive retinal atrophy – A condition in which the retina degenerates, which causes gradual vision loss and ultimately blindness. 
  • Heart disease
  • Spine problems
  • Pancreatitis
  • Porto-systemic shunts or liver shunts are caused when an abnormal connection forms between the portal vein or one of its branches, which causes the blood to bypass or shunt around the liver. 
  • Hip problems.

Bottom line

The Yorkie is a small, affectionate, energetic dog that is a good pet for adults but not small children. To adopt a Yorkshire terrier, check Petfinder.com.

 To find an American Kennel Club-Registered Yorkie breeder, visit the AKC Marketplace.

Nicholas H. Parker is a business coach who writes articles at Buy Essay Club to share his knowledge with others. He also owns two Yorkshire terrier puppies.

*DogsBestLife.com participates in the Chewy Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to let our site earn fees by linking to Chewy.com. 

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