Dog Breed Info Center(R) DBIC

Yorkshire Terrier

Information and Pictures

Sonny the Yorkshire Terrier at 5 years old

Other Names



YORK-shur TAIR-ee-uhr


The Yorkshire Terrier is a small, toy-sized dog. The small head is rather flat on the top, with a medium-sized muzzle. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. The nose is black. The medium-sized eyes are dark with dark eye rims. The erect ears are V-shaped. All four legs are straight when viewed from the front. The round feet have black toenails. Dewclaws are usually removed. The tail is customarily docked to a medium length and carried somewhat higher than the back. Note: it is illegal to dock tails in most parts of Europe. The long, glossy coat is fine and silky and falls straight down on either side. The coat comes in a steel blue and tan color. The body and tail are blue and the rest of the dog is tan. Puppies are brown, black and tan. The hair on the head is so abundant that it is almost always necessary to gather it in a band to keep from going into the dog's food bowl and to give the animal maximum visibility. Some owners choose to trim the hair on top of the head.


Yorkshire Terriers seem oblivious of their small size. They are very eager for adventure. This little dog  is highly energetic, brave, loyal and clever. With owners who take the time to understand how to treat a small dog, the Yorkie is a wonderful companion! It is affectionate with its master, but if humans are not this dog's pack leader, it can become suspicious of strangers and aggressive to strange dogs and small animals. It can also become yappy, as the dog does their best to tell you what IT wants YOU to do. It has a true terrier heritage and needs someone who understands how to be its leader. Yorkies are often only recommended for older, considerate children, simply because they are so small, most people allow them to get away with behaviors no dog should display. This changes the dog’s temperament, as the dog starts to take over the house (Small Dog Syndrome). Yorkies that become demanding and dependent, appearing to need a lot of human attention and/or developing jealous behaviors, snapping if surprised, frightened or over-teased, have owners who need to rethink how they are treating the dog. Owners who do not instinctually meet the dog’s needs may also find them to become overprotective and become neurotic. Yorkies are easy to train, although they can sometimes be stubborn if owners do not give the dog proper boundaries. They can be difficult to housebreak. The Yorkie is an excellent watchdog. When owners display pack leadership to the Yorkshire Terrier, it is very sweet and loving and can be trusted with children. The problems only arise when owners, because of the dog’s cute little size, allow it to take over the house. The human will not even realize it; however, know if you have any of the negative behaviors listed above, it's time to look into your pack leader skills. These are truly sweet little dogs that need owners who understand how to give them gentle leadership. If you own a Yorkie that does not display any of the negative behaviors, high-five for being a good pack leader!

Height, Weight

Height: 6 - 7 inches (15 - 17½ cm)

Weight: 7 pounds (3.2 kg)

When a dog weighs 4 pounds or less full grown it is often called a teacup. To achieve this small size breeders often need to breed runts with other runts. The dogs sometimes have health problems due to their abnormal small size.

Health Problems

Some Yorkies 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 Yorkies measuring less than 8 inches (20 cm). Dams often have trouble delivering puppies and sometimes need to have cesareans. Be sure to feed Yorkies 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.

Living Conditions

The Yorkie is a good dog for apartment life. It is very active indoors and will do okay without a yard. The Yorkie is sensitive to the cold and prefers warm climates.


These are active little dogs that need a daily walk. Play will take care of a lot of their exercise needs, however, as with all breeds, it will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. If your Yorkie zooms around the house like a speeding bullet, it is a sign that he needs to go on more/longer walks where he is made to heel beside or behind the human. Remember, in a dog’s mind, the leader leads the way. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe, open area off lead, such as a large, fenced-in yard.

Life Expectancy

About 12-15 years

Litter Size

About 4 puppies


Regular grooming is needed. A clipped coat needs daily to weekly combing and brushing. Topknot is usually tied back with ribbon. Full show coats need hours of grooming and pet owners usually choose to clip them short, giving them a shaggy look. They should have their teeth cleaned regularly. This breed sheds little to no hair.


The Yorkie was created by working men of north England, who developed the breed for catching the terrible rats and mice that infested clothing mills and mine shafts. These hunting dogs could penetrate into badger and fox burrows. The breed is not very old, but its origins are not entirely certain. However, it seems likely that Scotsmen seeking work in the woolen mills of Yorkshire brought with them various types of terrier, including the Skye Terrier, Dandie Dinmont, Manchester Terrier, Maltese and the now-extinct Clydesdale (Paisley Terrier). These were then crossed with local types, such as the longhaired Leeds Terrier. At first, the Yorkie was a much bigger animal than the one we see today, but by selectively breeding the smallest individuals, the dog was gradually miniaturized over the years. It was made into a fashion dog. Women carried these little dogs in their bags and under their arms. The Yorkshire Terrier was first recognized by the AKC in 1885.

In 1984 a piebald Yorkie was born as a result of a genetic recessive gene occurrence from two Yorkshire Terriers. Today the piebald dogs are considered a different breed which is named the Biewer or Biewer Yorkie


Terrier, AKC Toy


CKC = Continental Kennel Club

FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale

AKC = American Kennel Club

UKC = United Kennel Club

KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain

CKC = Canadian Kennel Club

ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club

NKC = National Kennel Club

NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club

APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.

ACR = American Canine Registry

DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.

NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.

ACA = American Canine Association Inc.

Yorkshire Terriers, Oliver at 10 years old (left) and Mickey at 4 years old (right)—"These adorable Yorkies are Oliver and Mickey. Mickey is the smaller one. They are very cheeky and very loving dogs. I'm sure that Oliver, AKA Ollie for short, is really a human!! They deffinately rule our household lol. We spoilt them and all they'll eat is cooked chicken which my mum cooks daily haha!"

"Hello, my name is Cookie and I am a little Yorkshire Terrier from Red Poppy Pets, I love jumping and playing.

Allie the Yorkie at 5 years old

Gia the teacup-size Yorkshire Terrier at 2 years old

Lili the beautiful little Yorkie from Israel

Teddy the Yorkie at 2 1/2 years old

Teddy the Yorkshire Terrier at 1 year and 8 months old

Toby the Yorkshire Terrier as a puppy at 4 months old

Nacho the Yorkshire Terrier

Nacho the Yorkshire Terrier

"This is Ollie at 3 months. She is my first Yorkie and I am finding her to be nothing like I expected. She sleeps A LOT. She also likes to play with our Australian Cattle Dog / Border Collie mix and plays tag with our cat. Housetraining has been going pretty smoothly. If she needs to go in the middle of the night she crawls out of bed and goes on her potty pad. I have worked as a vet tech for 3 years and have come across dogs with bad leadership issues so I am using the Dog Whisperer training techniques to establish my leadership. My sister is a groomer so she will probably not stay in a typical Yorkie haircut. I don't know if you can tell from this picture but we actually did a Westie face and Yorkie ears on her. We are hoping that her ears will stand up eventually. Right now she weighs 4.7 pounds; we are not sure how big she will get. I am kind of hoping for a larger sized Yorkie but her parents were both within breed standard."

Doogie the Yorkie at 19 years old is deaf and is going blind but manages to get along using her nose.

Layla the Yorkie at 3 years old—"Layla is a 3-year-old, 6.5-lb. Yorkshire Terrier. She is the perfect addition to our family, and by doing our homework in advance, we were able to avoid the problem behaviors that can occur when owning a small dog. Layla has been in a crate at night since she came home, which has really helped with potty training. About 6 months ago we were having alpha issues and bought Cesar Millan's second book which taught us how to properly walk Layla. Since taking this advice Layla now knows who is in control—and I think she really enjoys her walks more! Layla suffers from pancreatitis which is common in small breeds, however, through diet and supplements we have it under control and it isn't even a factor in her health anymore. Her numbers are all in the normal range and we were very fortunate to catch it early though twice yearly blood panels. She hates all things involving water and loves car rides (she sleeps the whole time)."

Layla the Yorkie puppy at 6 months old

Layla the Yorkie puppy at 4 months old

Letizia, a beautiful Yorkie, photo courtesy of Kennel My Insatiable Love

"This is my adorable dog Baby. Baby is a purebred Yorkie. In this picture she is 9 months old and still likes to chew on almost anything she comes across. She likes to take long walks on the beach. Baby is very good with other dogs. She gets lots of exercise. She enjoys chasing birds and squirrels in our backyard. I have watched Cesar Millan’s show and one of the lessons I learned is that the better you understand your dog's behavior the better you will be able to connect with them."

Xanadu the Yorkie weighing 6 pounds, photo courtesy of Kennel My Insatiable Love

Kiwi the Yorkie at 9 months old

Barbie Beauties Gizmo the Yorkshire Terrier

This is Buddy at 10 weeks old. Wouldn't you just love to hug this adorable little fellow?!

Juliet the adorable Yorkie could pass for a stuffed toy, but she is indeed a real dog :)

Yorkshire Terrier Pictures 1

Yorkshire Terrier Pictures 2

Yorkshire Terrier Pictures 3

Yorkshire Terrier Pictures 4

Small Dogs vs. Medium and Large Dogs

Understanding Dog Behavior

Yorkshire Terrier Dogs: Collectable Vintage Figurines