Breed of The Week: Yorkshire Terrier

Breed of The Week: Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier is one of the dog breeds that has earned free pet recognition by a large number of homes around the world. Its physical and behavioral characteristics make it a perfect companion to share life with a human family, and certainly one of the most widespread pets, known and appreciated by mankind around the globe.

Breed History

The origin of Yorkshire dates back to 19th-century England, in the areas of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Local huntsman prevailed the characteristics they needed in their terriers, which gradually resulted in smaller dogs with a high capacity to stay alert, which was also very fast during a hunt. However, this little puppy managed to gain the affection of the Bourgeois because of his character and personality, so he went from being a hunting dog to a companion animal that even appeared in dog shows.

The physical characteristics of the first dogs of the Yorkshire breed were only partly similar to the current ones due to the mixture of terrier within their DNA, and it was not until the end of 1865 when the breed standard was defined from a dog groomer in an exhibition that presented characteristics of Paisley Terrier, but more of the Yorkshire Terrier type.

The popularity of the breed continued to rise until about 1940, reaching the jump to the United States as a companion dog, which immediately gained the affection of the masses. At this time it spread throughout the world, becoming the first most demanded English breed, although it also had a darker period when the percentage of small breeds decreased worldwide to only 18%.

The renewal of interest in the race is breed to a cartoon called Smoky, which became famous during World War II, from here the breed became so popular that it even became the most numerous in the United States in the year 2002

Main Features

The basic characteristic of the Yorkshire Terrier is that it is a small and compact dog, which always weighs less than 3.5 kilos. The height at the cross is not officially defined, but it will always be a few centimeters. It has a small, flat head in the skull, with a short snout and sniff. The ears are V-shaped and appear firm and tall, and a medium-length tail that is usually raised.


Although sometimes they talk about the Yorkshire toy, or Yorkshire mini, the truth is that there are no different types of Yorkshire Terrier. Occasionally, it is deliberately sought that the specimens be smaller through the crossing of small-sized dogs, but the characteristics of the animal remain the same.

Fur and Coat

The hair of the Yorkshire is generally medium length, although there may be specimens with short hair and very long hair, which reaches the ground. The color of the coat is different in the head and the rest of the body, being golden in the head and black or dark blue in the body. In sight and touch, the hair should be shiny, straight and silky in the adult dog, different from the short and soft hair of the puppy. It is extremely rare to find a specimen with atypical colors in its coat, and if it appears it should avoid breeding with it since it can be an indicator of a health problem or classified as a defect that prevents the participation of the animal in competitions.

The definitive coat of the Yorkshire does not appear until three or four years of age, so it is impossible to predict the exact hue of the hair in the puppy, as well as its characteristics to the touch. However, you should always follow the standard of length and silkiness. In dogs that are raised as a pet, it is common for the hair to be cut so that it is easier to maintain and so that it does not cause discomfort to the animal. On the other hand, dogs that appear in exhibitions follow very strict guidelines when it comes to caring for hair, such as baths with coconut oil, regular hairstyles, etc.

Breeds Behavior

The temperament of the Yorkshire Terrier is usually very open, playful and fun, as well as curious, intelligent and affectionate. Especially enjoy the attention of humans of all ages, and they are always willing to share some games or pampering with their family members. As a good terrier, he loves to go outside to investigate and walk, and does not get tired easily despite its small size.

He is also quiet and stubborn, so it is necessary to start his education from a puppy and be firm in every decision that is made. A badly used Yorkie will be difficult to treat, and almost impossible to change behavior. You should never feel sorry for their apparent fragility because they are all energy and strength.

It is necessary to socialize them correctly from a young age with other dogs and with people because they tend to become too attached to their owner, which means that they can be territorial and grumpy with those they don’t know.

The dependence they develop towards their owner can cause them to become destructive, neurotic or depressive when the absence of the owner is prolonged in the home, another reason why the dog should get used to being alone and calm since childhood.
He is not aware of his small size, which together with his courage makes him able to put himself in a situation of risk or danger at times when facing dogs of much larger size, hence the importance of socialization from a puppy.

They are ideal for living in flats due to their small size, and have the advantage that they can be carried anywhere in arms. However, they require a lot of exercises to eliminate their large amount of energy, so they will always be willing to walk daily for a long time and share endless gaming sessions.

Another fact is that they learn new tricks very quickly and are very agile, so a great alternative is to go with them to agility tests. Whatever it is to spend time with their owner, they will be delighted, and, on the contrary, they do not take well to be alone for a long time.

Basic Care

The basic care of the Yorkshire terrier necessarily goes through regular hygiene and health surveillance. As a general recommendation, you must always keep up-to-date vaccines and internal and external deworming of the animal, because only then can you guarantee its best health.


In addition to the most common diseases, the Yorkshire usually maintains a good state of health. The most important point to keep in mind is the care of the teeth since they are very prone to develop tartar. It is necessary to clean the teeth of the dog frequently, with special toothpaste, so that he gets used to the manipulation and does not resist adult resistance.

Special attention should be given to the female that is used for breeding, since pregnancy in such small animals can carry certain risks for the mother. It is important to keep in mind that any dog that weighs less than 2 kilos is not suitable for breeding, since the begotten puppies will become large very soon and can lead to serious health problems in the female. In addition, it is necessary to monitor the animal and follow up throughout the pregnancy, feeding it properly and, if necessary, programming a cesarean surgery so that his life is not in danger at the time of delivery.

Main Diseases 

The Yorkshire Terrier is a much stronger and more robust breed than it may seem at first glance. The most sickly specimens are those that weigh less than 1.5 kilos, which may have a tendency to chronic vomiting and diarrhea, so it is not recommended to try to find such small dogs. In the breed standard, the most common diseases appear due to genetic causes, such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and keratitis. They may also have some orthopedic problems, such as dislocations, hypothyroidism or blood clotting failures.

It is also necessary to be very careful with accidents such as falls or footsteps. The Yorkie is a very small puppy, more in comparison to the size of a human, and a relatively soft blow can have consequences of varying severity for the pet. This is especially important when they play with children, who are not aware that they can harm the animal. On the other hand, it should always be well protected from the cold, for this, there are special clothing ranges adapted to its size, perfect to go out with all the necessary protection.


Brushing this breed’s fur is very important, especially when left long. You have to brush it frequently to avoid the formation of knots, a minimum of twice a week with a special brush for your hair. In the case of an animal that has too many knots, it is best to make a pronounced haircut to eliminate the problem. Excess hair should also be trimmed in the ears and in the perianal area, to reduce the weight that the dog must support and prevent stool from getting caught.


This breed admits baths every two weeks, as a routine to avoid odors and show the fur in perfect condition. However, the frequency will depend mainly on the type of life the animal leads. You should always use a special dog shampoo, because otherwise your skin would be damaged, and it is also advised to apply a conditioner after shampooing to minimize the appearance of knots in the fur.

These baths can be a good time to clean the litters, which appear frequently in Yorkshire. It is recommended to moisten them before removing them, and never throw them away so as not to harm the animal. Also, make sure to dry the coat properly with a dryer so that there is no moisture left on the animal’s skin and use a comb to avoid the knots. If you do not have the necessary time for a good bath, then take it to a professional dog groomer.


The recommended daily amount of food for a Yorkie depends on its age, weight and physical activity. It is important to maintain an adequate and quality diet to avoid obesity, something of particular concern in small breeds. If in doubt, it is best to be advised by the veterinarian and the amounts recommended by the manufacturer, adjusting the amount at each stage of his life.


Despite its small size, the Yorkshire is a puppy full of energy that requires a lot of physical exercise. In addition to the long walks needed daily, it is advisable to let it run and play very often, because only by having a tired dog can you have a happy dog. Also, remember that you will always be predisposed to spend time with yourself, so you can try to exercise it with all kinds of games and activities in common.


The toy or stuffed appearance of the Yorkshire means that many owners do not bother to train them properly. This is a tremendous mistake that can lead to a rude dog, barking and even aggressive, which can get into fights putting your health at risk. The importance of training any dog ​​is paramount, because only then can it be balanced and happy. Keep in mind the socialization with other people and dogs, and keep a short leash when you try to teach him a new behavior, even though they can use all their tricks to get away with it.

If you have a dog that barks a lot, you will have to follow specific guidelines to avoid that bad habit. As always, the important thing is to stop it as soon as possible, look for the causes and put the necessary solutions.

Other Facts

As you can imagine, there are many curiosities about the Yorkshire breed that can be known to broaden the knowledge of that breed, such as:

  • This dog breed became very famous after appearing in a portrait painted by George Earl and winning an event in which he was named as the best specimen of the breed.
  • The current size of the Yorkshire terrier is far from the original size of the breed. Originally, it was used to hunt rats and other small critters, and reached between 6 and 7 kilos. At present, the vast majority of copies weigh half, although it is still possible to find some dogs of this breed with the original weight and size.
  • The smallest Yorkshire specimen in the world, registered and accredited by the Guinness Book of Records was called Lucy and weighed only 2.5 pounds, a minority considering that the usual weight of a Yorkshire is 7 pounds.
  • It has been said that the Yorkshire terrier is a breed of hypoallergenic dog because of its small size and that it barely loses hair. However, it is the hormones of dogs that usually cause allergies, so this statement is not true. It is possible that some allergic people may live with specimens of this breed, but that will depend on each case and their particular condition, so that statement cannot be taken as true.
  • The place where the first specimen that laid the foundations of the breed standard, is the city of Yorkshire.
  • The Yorkshire ranks 27th in Stanley Coren’s ranking on dog intelligence. Beyond this classification, it is a dog with high learning capacity in terms of tricks.

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