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Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) - Small Breed Dog Profile

Updated: Feb 21

Yorkshire Terrier sitting on sofa

At Mary Puppins luxury dog home boarding, we love it when Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies) come to stay! They are a fun small breed dog with lots of personality and verve. They are also incredibly adaptable.

Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie): A Small Breed Dog with a Big Personality

If you are looking for a small breed dog that is lively, loyal and loving, consider a Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie). Yorkies, or Yorkshire Terriers, are one of the most popular breeds in the world, and for good reasons.

They make great companions for people of all ages and lifestyles. This article will explore the origin, history, characteristics, grooming, exercise, health and common questions about Yorkies.

What is the origin of the Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)?

The Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) originated in England, specifically in Yorkshire, in the 19th century.

They were bred by working-class people who wanted a small dog that could catch rats and other vermin in the factories and mines.

They were also used for hunting small game such as rabbits and foxes.

The Yorkie is a descendant of several terrier breeds, such as the Waterside Terrier, the Clydesdale Terrier, the Paisley Terrier and the Skye Terrier.

The Yorkie was first recognised by the British Kennel Club in 1886 and the American Kennel Club in 1885.

What is the Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) bred to do?

The Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) was originally bred to be a ratter and a hunter. Still, nowadays, they are mostly kept as companion dogs.

They are adaptable and can live in various environments, such as apartments, houses or farms.

They are also knowledgeable and trainable and can excel in multiple activities such as agility, obedience, therapy and service.

Some Yorkies even work as detection dogs for drugs, explosives or bed bugs.

However, the Yorkie is not a guard dog or a watchdog, as they are too friendly and trusting of strangers.

What are the physical characteristics of the Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)?

The Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) is a small breed dog that weighs between 4 to 7 pounds and stands between 8 to 9 inches at the shoulder.

They have a long, silky coat in various colours, such as black and tan, blue and tan, black and gold or blue and gold.

Depending on the owner's preference, the coat can be left long or trimmed short.

The Yorkie has a small head with a flat skull, a black nose, dark eyes and V-shaped ears that stand erect or flop over.

They have a short muzzle with a scissors bite and a docked tail that is carried high.

What are the personality traits of the Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)?

The Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) is a lively, loyal and loving dog. They are very affectionate and devoted to their owners.

They love to be involved in everything that their owners do.

They are also very playful and curious and enjoy exploring new places and things. They are not shy but somewhat confident and fearless.

They can be very vocal and bark at anything that catches their attention. They can sometimes be stubborn and independent.

They need consistent training and socialisation from an early age to prevent them from developing bad habits or behavioural problems.

Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) Grooming Requirements

High dog grooming needs due to their long, silky coat. Regular brushing and professional grooming are necessary.

The Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) has a long coat that requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and beautiful.

The coat should be brushed daily to prevent mats and tangles and trimmed every few weeks to maintain the desired length.

The coat should also be bathed monthly to keep it clean and fresh.

The ears should be checked and cleaned regularly to prevent infections, and the nails should be clipped every few weeks to avoid overgrowth.

The teeth should also be brushed daily or at least weekly to prevent dental problems.

Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) Exercise Requirements

Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies) have moderate exercise needs, including short walks and indoor play.

The Yorkie is an energetic dog that needs daily exercise to stay fit and happy. They enjoy walking, playing fetch or tug-of-war, or chasing toys around the house.

They also love to run around in a fenced garden or a dog park, where they can socialise with other dogs and people.

However, they should not be left outside unsupervised or for long periods, as they are vulnerable to predators, thieves or harsh weather conditions.

The Yorkie should wear a harness or a collar with an ID tag when going out, as they can easily slip out doors or gates.

Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) Characteristics

Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies) are spirited, affectionate, and known for their fine, straight hair. Suitable for individuals or families.

Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) Age Range

Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies) typically live between 12 to 15 years. The Yorkie has an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, but some can live longer or shorter depending on their health and care.

The Yorkie is considered a puppy until one year old and an adult from one to seven years old.

They are considered a senior from eight years old and onwards.

The Yorkie's needs and behaviour may change as they age, requiring more or less food, exercise, grooming and veterinary care.

Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) Measurements

Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies) are typically: Height: 7-8 inches (18-20 cm); Weight: 4-7 pounds (1.8-3.2 kg).

The Yorkie is a small breed dog that weighs between 4 to 7 pounds and stands between 8 to 9 inches at the shoulder. They have a long, silky coat that comes in various colours.

Depending on the owner's preference, the coat can be left long or trimmed short.

The Yorkie has a small head with a flat skull, a black nose, dark eyes and V-shaped ears that stand erect or flop over.

They have a short muzzle with a scissors bite and a docked tail that is carried high.

What are the health issues of the Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)?

The Yorkie is generally a healthy breed, but like any dog, they can be prone to specific health issues. Some of the common health problems that affect Yorkies are:


This is a condition where the blood sugar level drops too low, causing weakness, lethargy, seizures or even coma.

This can be caused by stress, illness, fasting or overexertion.

Hypoglycemia can be prevented by feeding the Yorkie small meals throughout the day and giving them a high-calorie supplement if needed.

Patellar Luxation

This is a condition where the kneecap slips out of place, causing pain, lameness or difficulty walking.

This can be caused by genetics, trauma or obesity. Patellar luxation can be treated by surgery or medication, depending on the severity of the case.

Collapsing Trachea

This condition where the cartilage rings that support the trachea (windpipe) collapse, causing difficulty breathing, coughing or gagging.

This can be caused by genetics, obesity or environmental factors.

Collapsing trachea can be treated by medication, surgery or lifestyle changes, such as avoiding stress, heat or excessive exercise.

Dental Problems

The Yorkie has tiny teeth prone to plaque build up, tartar formation and tooth decay. This can lead to bad breath, gum disease and tooth loss.

Dental problems can be prevented by brushing the Yorkie's teeth daily or at least weekly and taking them to the vet for regular dental check ups and cleaning.

Eye Problems

The Yorkie has large eyes prone to irritation, infection and injury. Some of the common eye problems that affect

Yorkies are dry eye (lack of tear production), cherry eye (prolapse of the third eyelid), cataracts (clouding of the lens), glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye) and progressive retinal atrophy (degeneration of the retina).

Eye problems can be treated by medication, surgery or eye drops, depending on the type and severity of the problem.

These are some of the health issues that may affect Yorkies, but they are not exclusive or exhaustive.

The best way to ensure your Yorkie's health is to take them to the vet for regular check ups and vaccinations, feed them a high-quality diet that meets their nutritional needs,

provide them with adequate exercise and grooming, and monitor them for any signs of illness or injury.

Common Questions About Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies)

Here are some of the common questions that people ask about Yorkies:

How big do Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies) get?

Yorkies are small breed dogs that weigh between 4 and 7 pounds and stand between 8 and 9 inches at the shoulder.

How much do Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies) cost?

The price of a Yorkie can vary depending on several factors, such as the breeder's reputation, the pedigree, the location, the demand and the quality of the puppy.

The average price of a Yorkie ranges from £1,000 to £3,000, but some can cost more or less depending on these factors.

How do I find a reputable Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) breeder?

The best way to find a reputable breeder is to do your research, ask for referrals, check online reviews and visit their premises.

A reputable breeder should be able to provide you with proof of health testing, vaccination records, registration papers and a contract that outlines their policies and guarantees.

They should also be able to answer any questions you have about the breed, the puppy and their care.

They should also allow you to meet the parents and see the litter before you make your decision.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

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Mary Puppins Cheshire

Mary Puppins, Yorkshire Terrier, Yorkie

mary puppins expert small dog breeds uk

Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny and expert in small breed dogs. With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families, Kate shares her top tips with you. Kate guides readers on small breed dogs, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate luxury lifestyle for their small dogs.


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