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Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

Whenever we think of Yorkshire Terriers, the first thing that comes to mind is a big red bow holding those long bangs out of their eyes. You probably already know these little lap dogs have long, beautiful hair and are known for being extremely good looking.

But what else is…

Special (and not so special) about the Yorkie? That’s what you really need to know especially if you’re thinking about adopting one of these little guys.  This is why we’ve compiled the basic info you need to know so that if you’re ever given the opportunity to own one, you’ll know for sure if it’s going to be a good idea or not.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin: England

Original Purpose: Small vermin hunting

Height: 8 to 10 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 4 to 9 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Toy group

Lifespan: 15-18 years

History and Origin of the Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed

This black and tan dog comes from the town of Yorkshire located in England where believe it or not, these little guys were first looked down upon by the wealthier dog fanciers of the day.  You see, because these little guys hail from the “working class” town of Yorkshire, some folks in the late 1800’s just felt they were too “common”.

The good news…

Is that despite some folk’s early prejudice against these little guys, eventually they won over just about everyone they met which is why they are still around today nearly 300 years since they were first developed.

Which is more that…

We can say about their descendants because it is believed that these little guys are probably the descendants of the Clydesdale Terrier (you haven’t heard of them because they haven’t been around for a long, long time – they’re extinct!) and the Black and Tan Terrier.

What really…

Helped these guys become quite popular is that in the late 1800s, these little Terriers migrated to the USA as a rich people’s dog, allowing them to “shed” their “commoner” reputation.


At home in the United States, one of these little guys named Pasha even made it all the way to the White House, under the Nixon administration (can’t fault her for that).

Characteristic of Yorkie

We’re guessing you’ve probably already seen a Yorkie, but in case not let us tell you what these little dogs look like. They’re a small size dog with long, soft hair that looks really cute in clips and bows. Their hair is nearly straight but has a slight wave near the ends.

What really gets folks…

Is that these guys have those typical “puppy eyes” that will win your heart in a fraction of a second. Yorkies have pointy ears that stand upright. They are black and tan; usually their faces are tan and the majority of their small body is blackish grey. As they get older, you may actually see more grey hair appear, though they won’t go totally grey like senior humans. Some people choose to cut their Yorkie’s fur, but if you want this as a show dog, then you probably won’t.

But beware…

The teeth on this small breed are incredibly sharp, so keep that in mind when playing.

Personality of a Yorkshire Terrier

This is a smart and confident little dog who is usually quite eager and can be yappy and jumpy. Some are “cuddlier” than others. Usually, like with most of us, they tend to mellow out with age. Yorkie puppies can be extremely energetic and sometimes even a handful. But a Yorkie puppy can also be a loveable addition to a family.

But one thing…

You’re going to want to remember is that it’s important to train the dog from the time he is a young pup. If you don’t he could develop some bad habits, even snapping.


Though this is a little dog, that’s not a guarantee that it will get along with your children (especially if left untrained). Consider this before adopting. Also remember, this dog does have a lot of energy and will like to play. Therefore, you will need to entertain this dog with some activities for him to not go stir crazy. If you don’t have the time or desire, then don’t get this pup.

Other dogs you might want to consider include: Maltese or a Waterside Terrier

Health of Yorkies

This small dog can be a healthy dog who has a long, life expectancy…if bred correctly. A lot of the dog’s health depends on the breeder. If your breeder is recommended by the AKC, you’re going to have a better chance at a healthy dog. If you find a random breeder or get a Yorkie rescue (which, though it comes with difficulties, is an awesome thing to do), then you are going to face some problems.

Here are some potential health problems common for Yorkies:

  • Patellar Luxation: a knee problem that causes an issue for the dog while walking. This will probably show up later in life even if it’s present at birth. It can also result in arthritis. Further, it could require surgery to correct.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: this is common in a lot of dogs and can end up in blindness if not helped by a vet.
  • Portosystemic Shunt: This is a blood flow problem that can result in malnutrition and hypoglycemia among other things. This will require a special diet and healthy dog food to manage. It could also require surgery for long-term management.
  • Collapsed Trachea: This is exactly what it sounds like: the trachea (the ‘pipe’ for breathing) collapses. You will know if this has happened to your dog if you hear him or her with a dry cough (though this could be a sign of another problem) or a cough that borders on sounding like a goose honk. If your little dog is making that big noise…see a vet immediately!

And while…

Many of these conditions may not be life threatening, they can certainly become quite expensive to deal with particularly if they become recurring issues.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Deborah H. January 23, 2020, 4:03 pm

    This was a very good informative article this past June I got a Yorkie I got her from a lady that severely neglected her I got her on a Thursday and they were going to put her down the next day and I’m very grateful that I got her she is being used as my emotional support dog she’s very loving and we are in January now the 23rd and she’s just now starting to work a little she basically just sits next to me all the time and that’s okay whatever she wants is fine.

    • indulgeyourpet January 23, 2020, 5:58 pm


      We’re glad you enjoyed our article and happy to hear that you chose to be a hero to your Yorkie. We wish you and your little girl all the happiness in the world!



    • Vicki L W. February 13, 2020, 8:52 am

      I too have an almost 3yr old Yorkie (Bentley) that is my Harleys brother. The girl who had him beat him from the time she got him at 7wks old I got him when they were 6mo old!! My boys are a hot mess lol but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. They both have different personalities, Harley loves to play, Bentley will play some with Harley though. I also have a 6yr old Silky that was gave to me almost a year ago that was found in a cemetery. Love this breed!!

      • indulgeyourpet February 13, 2020, 10:04 am


        Thanks for sharing and good for you for taking in Bentley, it’s always awful hearing stories about how someone could possibly abuse an animal, especially one as cute as a Yorkie!



      • Jillian February 18, 2020, 7:34 pm

        Me too I have a family to he’s almost to-year-old and he’s a hot mess but I wouldn’t trade them for the world he is the best companion I’ve ever had I have depression and he always brings me out of depression thank you so much for your article

  • Stacey M. January 28, 2020, 3:14 pm

    I am 71 and i have had yorkies my whole life.
    My last 2 Mugzie and Tuffy were so close
    When my Mugzie died at18 + years Tuffy who was 14 and very healthy died less than 2 months later of a broken heart. My yorkie Jazzie is 14 now and i am picnicking.
    My wish is when i die the first thing i see is my Mugzie and Tuffy they have and stillmy heart forever.

    • indulgeyourpet January 28, 2020, 3:25 pm


      Your comment sure goes a long way in expressing just how much Mugzie and Tuffy meant to you. Let’s hope you do see them, but not anytime soon!



    • Theresa February 19, 2020, 8:24 am

      I truly believe we will all be reunited with our fur babies one day. I’ll see my Tazz and my beloved Diesel. Both Yorkies. I have 4 now Lillie , Gillis daughter of Tazz and Lillie also the little trouble makers Rocky and Louie. Lol Love them all soooo much.

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