Meet the Breed: Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)

We try to be impartial here at, but one would think that we are rather smitten with the Yorkshire Terrier, perhaps more than most, since many of our products are photographed with this adorable breed modeling them. The truth is that none of our employees has a Yorkie! Gasp! We’re not even sure if we’re qualified to be pet gear aficionados anymore, now that we’ve let that cat out of the bag!

We obviously need to rectify the situation. Until then, we definitely appreciate all the darling photos our customers have sent in, and the fact that many of our manufacturers have provided us with their products so artfully modeled by this distinguished breed! Let’s discover together if the Yorkshire Terrier might be for you (and me too!)


  • Height: 6 or 7 inches
  • Weight: 3 – 7 pounds
  • Historical function: Hunted rats in clothing mills
  • Modern function: Companion
  • AKC classification: Toy

Physical Characteristics: This lovely breed has a several acceptable coat color combinations, and they are: tan and blue, blue and gold, black and tan, and black and gold. The tan and blue coat is the most popular.  The coat is considered hypoallergenic. Puppies are black with tan points. As the puppy ages, the fur changes its color.  It can take up to three years to reach the final adult color.  Their hair hangs evenly and and parts in the middle along the spine and down the tail.

This breed has a well-proportioned compact body with the front shoulders the same height as the rear hips.  Their eyes are dark in color and black rimmed, and the ears stand up in a characteristic V shape.

History of Breed: No one really knows exactly which breeds were mingled to make the Yorkie.  It is thought that when the displaced Scotts settled in England during the Industrial Revolution, they brought their terriers, and they mingled with the English terriers. The Scotts used the dogs to hunt down rats and other vermin in the clothing factories.

Temperament: The Yorkie is big on personality and loves to be with their human.  They will often shadow their human all over the house. They just want to be with you and by you all the time. Care must be taken to ensure they are not stepped on underfoot, though most are quick and agile enough to avoid damage. They are bright and very inquisitive, kind of like an investigative reporter. They are not aware that they are small dogs, and will often take on larger breeds. They love to check, double check and for kicks, triple check their home. Then, they are happy to report on what they have found.

How a Yorkie behaves depends somewhat on how they were raised. Some Yorkies like to be treated like Royalty and others are full of spunk, like terriers. Yorkies have to be taught from day one to control their barking.  You can think of them as an early warning system for any stranger that comes by.  They are also difficult to housebreak, especially in poor weather conditions.  Many owners use a litter box or a doggie door and a covered part of the yard for them.

  • Best suited for: People with allergies, families with older children, singles, divas, apartment dwellers (though barking must be monitored.)
  • Preferred living conditions: Care must be taken to protect these diminutive dogs outdoors from predators such as hawks, foxes, etc. Yorkshires prefer to be with people regularly though are not recommended with young children.

Care and Health:
Grooming requirements: Can be kept trimmed in a puppy cut to make grooming easier, but though daily or weekly combing is still needed. If the long show cut is desired, daily grooming is a must.
Exercise needs: Busy dogs enjoy games and daily walks.
Life expectancy: 12-15 years
Health concerns: These toy dogs have tiny bones, so care must be taken to protect them. They are prone to tooth decay, so introduce brushing at a young age and provide chew toys and treats regularly. Since they have delicate a trachea, harnesses are recommended over collars. They can have sensitive digestive systems and should not be fed food outside of their regular diet, but must be fed frequent, small meals to prevent hypoglycemia.

Breed Club Links: Yorkshire Terrier Club of America

Perfect Pairings: Harnesses, brushes, combs, and bows! Most anything adorable at BaxterBoo!

Puppy photo courtesy SKimchee. Featured Yorkshire Terrier photo by Deb Gray.

We’d love to hear your Yorkie stories and why you love this breed!

2 thoughts on “Meet the Breed: Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)

  1. my yorkie Rufus is also my service dog and partner. he is quick to learn and always ready to please. if you start with the idea and knowledge that yorkies are people pleasers you can end up with a truly amazing dog. thanks for featuring them today!!

  2. I have two yorkies…Jaxson, 2 yrs old and Jodi, 5 yrs old. I wouldn’t have any other breed. They are both loving, extremely intelligent and packed full of energy. I prefer the long coat over the puppy cut……they are not as difficult to maintain as sometimes stated. They love their walks in the park and everyone stops us to ask if they are show dogs……they are not….I just allow their hair to grow long as yorkies should be. Love my babies!!!!! And they love children too!!!!

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s