Breeds

Yorkshire Terrier Breed Information Guide: Photos, Traits, & Care

Written by: pdm

July 11, 2022

Self-assured, silky, and simply stunning, there’s something positively regal about Yorkshire terriers. Sure, they have the old-timey good looks of a Victorian portrait, but they also have the plucky charms of a pup that knows how to get its way. With long, luscious locks and deep, dark eyes, these dogs are downright gorgeous. They’re also totally tote-able—small enough to fit into a bag and light enough to carry around town.

Of course, it’s not just their looks but their perky personalities that make Yorkshire terriers such beloved companions. Expect a small dog that will talk back, lay down, and snuggle up. Spending time with their owner is their chief concern, so don’t hold back when giving your time and affection to this pint-sized but powerful dog breed.

Breed Overview

  • Height: 7–8 inches
  • Weight: 4–7 lbs
  • Lifespan: 11–15 years
  • Breed Size: Small
  • Colors: Blue & tan, black & tan, black & gold, blue & gold
  • Good With: Kids, other dogs, cats
  • Temperament: Confident, adventurous, kind

Also Known As…

Yorkie, Pookie, The Tomboy Toy. But they’ll answer to just about anything if you’re holding a treat.

What Is The History Of The Yorkshire Terrier?

Yorkies may seem like the ultimate lapdog, but their roots trace back to the working class.1 In the mid-1800s, Scottish weavers migrated to the northern counties of England with their terriers in tow, arriving in (yep, you guessed it) Yorkshire. Bred to serve as exterminators or ratters, these Scottish terriers helped the weavers manage their new lives in the Yorkshire mills and factories—keeping the pesky rats and rodents in the industrial buildings under control thanks to their small size and dogged determination.

From these tenacious, now-extinct Scottish terriers comes the not-so-ratty long-haired pup we know and love today: the Yorkie. After serving the working people of Yorkshire, the breed found new admirers in the aristocrats and high-society people so commonly associated with the breed. By the late 1800s, Yorkies had settled onto the lap of luxury, garnering attention as the fashionable companion of celebrities, society women, and those looking to make a statement with their canine friends.

The Yorkshire terrier was formally recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885 and has been a fierce competitor in competitions ever since, continuing to expand the Yorkies reputation as a just-plain-classy dog. Don’t let the awards and accolades fool you. The Yorkshire terrier puppy is more than happy to frolic with us common folk, too. You don’t need to be an heiress to appreciate the sweet nature and clever personality of the Yorkie, you just need about two minutes in a room with one. 

Yorkshire Terrier

How Big Do Yorkshire Terriers Get?

Height: 7–8 inches

Weight: 4–7 pounds

How Long Do Yorkshire Terriers (Generally) Live?

Like other dog breeds of relatively small stature, Yorkshire terriers live a long while. You can spend 11 to 15 years with your Yorkie. They are one of the dog breeds that live the longest.

What Is A Yorkshire Terrier’s Temperament & Personality Like?

Is it really hard to handle the Yorkshire terrier temperament? Has their dazzling reputation gone to their head? A little. Yorkshire terriers strut around with a well-earned swagger, their innate confidence making them unafraid to approach strangers or even larger dogs. Because of their courageousness, Yorkies are one of the dog breeds that are the best watch dogs. They may not be very threatening, but they’re more than happy to bark at whoever (or whatever) seems to be approaching their turf.

Of course, these little pipsqueaks are more than tough cookies. They’re also smart, kind, and adventurous, eager to follow you on your next journey, whether it’s across the country or to the grocery store.

Are Yorkshire Terriers Good With Kids? Cats? Dogs?

Yorkshire terriers are little lap dogs with plenty of energy to keep up with young children. Their small size makes them a bit fragile, so be sure to supervise any playtime with kids and lead by example when it comes to proper dog play behavior.

A Yorkie is roughly the same size as a housecat, so there’s no reason they can’t share a bed, a meal, and a home together. Yorkshire terriers are also known to get along well with other dogs. Make the proper introductions between your pets and you might find your whole home in perfect harmony.

Yorkshire Terrier
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Are Yorkshire Terriers High Energy? 

They’re not about to drag you around the block, but you can still expect zoomy, excitable energy from your Yorkie. Yorkshire terriers need about 30 minutes of exercise a day, but they’re usually happy to get their workout running between the rooms of your home or following you around the backyard.

Are Yorkshire Terriers Hard To Train?

Sometimes a pup just doesn’t want to make things too easy for you. Yorkshire terriers are smart enough to take to training well, but occasionally, they throw you a curveball. Stay persistent and consistent when training your Yorkie, and ensure that your sessions are kept short, simple, and full of positive affirmations to pump up your Yorkshire terrier puppy.

Do Yorkshire Terriers Have Health Issues?

Like any small dog breed, Yorkshire terriers are genetically susceptible to patellar luxation, a condition that may stiffen knee caps and cause mobility issues in the hind legs.2

Additionally, this little dog can suffer from health problems including:3

  • Tracheal collapse
  • Portacaval shunt
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)

Keep up with yearly routine care checkups and consider asking your adoption agency about preliminary dog health screenings to determine your pup’s chances of developing a genetic condition like heart valve disease or dental disease. The more you know, the easier it will be to protect your pet’s health and support a high quality of life.

Yorkshire Terrier

Do Yorkshire Terriers Need To Be Groomed? 

Although they are one of the dog breeds least likely to make you sneeze, grooming is a big part of the Yorkie lifestyle. We’re talking daily brushing, bi-weekly baths, and monthly trims. If that sounds like a lot to take on—don’t worry. There are plenty of qualified groomers ready to assist with your Yorkshire terrier grooming needs. 

Are Yorkshire Hypoallergenic?

While there’s no 100% hypoallergenic breed, Yorkshire terriers have next to no dander and are very low shedders, making them an excellent pick for those of us who get a little sneezy around other breeds.

How Much Does It Cost To Care For A Yorkshire Terrier?

You’re looking at a yearly bill of $600 to $1000 to keep your Yorkie happy and healthy.

Yorkshire Terrier

Food

This breed doesn’t have the biggest appetite in the world. That means monthly food costs may stay below $40, though that may depend on the brand of food you choose.

If you choose BARK Eats, you can save yourself a trip to the pet store and ensure your Yorkie is getting high-quality food, all at the same time. BARK Eats is the premier pet food subscription, offering perfectly-portioned meals developed by veterinary nutritionists and delivered straight to your door. Could it get any better? Yes! Get 50% off your first month!

Routine Vet Care (Healthy Dog)

Most dogs dread the vet, but routine care from the vet can save lives and ensure your Yorkie is living its best life. Expect to spend around $50 on standard checkups and more for bloodwork, x-rays, and treatments for illnesses, if something comes up.

Preventative Medications For Yorkshire Terriers

While most Yorkies steer clear of any potentially nasty hazards, they still need protection from heartworms, fleas, and ticks. Due to their small size, you may pay less than $100 for yearly treatments.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier Grooming

All that gorgeous hair care can add up. Monthly groomer appointments may set you back $50 to $100, but you could offset these costs by taking grooming into your own hands. 


Pick up a few essential supplies like clippers, brushes, shampoos, and cleaning kits, and for less than $50 you could turn your home into a part-time puppy spa.

Toys, Treats, Beds, & Accessories

Yorkies love a good ball, a chewy snack, or a perfectly sized fetch toy, so give your yorkie puppy what they deserve. You can spend as little or as much as you’d like on toys and accessories for your Yorkshire terrier. Just be sure to enjoy the process of spoiling your furry friend a little bit.

For $23 a month, you could treat your Yorkie to BarkBox. That’s 2 toys, 2 full-size bags of treats, and a tasty chew sent straight to your door. Try the Super Chewer subscription for $29 per month and enjoy 2 fluff-free, durable toys, 2 full-size bags of treats, and 2 meaty chews. Now you can double your first box for free!

Don’t forget to pick up:

  • Doggy bed ($25–$50)
  • Leashes and collars ($10–$50)
  • Bowls and containers ($20–$50)
  • Training supplies ($15–$30)


You could also pick up a couple of cute doggy outfits to give your Yorkshire terrier some fresh style for the season. Some Yorkies prefer to go au naturale, but others don’t mind trying a new look every once in a while.

Sources:

American Kennel Club. Yorkshire Terrier.

American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Patellar Luxations. https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/patellar-luxations

Pet MD. Yorkshire Terrier or Yorkie. https://www.petmd.com/dog/breeds/c_dg_yorkshire_terrier

Written by: pdm

July 11, 2022