The Yorkshire Terrier: A Tiny Companion with a Big Personality

Mar 15, 2024

The Yorkshire Terrier: A Tiny Companion with a Big Personality

Table of contents:

  1. Breed Overview
  2. Physical Characteristics
  3. Personality and Temperament
  4. Exercise and Training
  5. Health and Care
  6. Living with a Yorkshire Terrier
  7. Is the Yorkshire Terrier Right for You?
  8. Conclusion

The Yorkshire Terrier, affectionately known as the Yorkie, is a breed that combines the feistiness of a terrier with the elegance of a toy dog. Originating from the county of Yorkshire in England during the 19th century, Yorkies were initially bred to catch rats in textile mills. However, their stunning appearance and vibrant personality quickly made them a favourite among the Victorian upper class. Today, Yorkies are cherished companions known for their loyalty, intelligence, and spunky demeanour. If you’re considering adding a Yorkshire Terrier to your family, understanding the breed’s specific needs, characteristics, and temperament is crucial. This comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know about owning a Yorkie.

Breed Overview

Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs with a big presence. They are part of the toy group and are known for their long, silky coat, which is a defining characteristic of the breed. Despite their diminutive size, Yorkies possess the boldness and tenacity typical of terriers, making them excellent watchdogs and lively companions.

Physical Characteristics

  • Size: Yorkies are tiny dogs, typically weighing around 2 to 3 kg and standing about 7 to 8 inches at the shoulder.
  • Coat and Colour: They have a fine, silky coat that can grow quite long and comes in a distinctive blue and tan colour. Their coat requires regular grooming to maintain its condition and appearance.
  • Lifespan: The average lifespan of a Yorkshire Terrier is around 11-15 years.

Personality and Temperament

Yorkshire Terriers are known for their affectionate, confident, and lively nature. They thrive on human companionship and can form incredibly strong bonds with their owners. Yorkies are intelligent and quick to learn, but they can also be stubborn, making consistent training essential.

They are generally good with older children who understand how to handle small dogs gently. Yorkies can be wary of strangers and tend to bark at unfamiliar sounds or people, showcasing their innate terrier instincts.

Exercise and Training

Despite their small size, Yorkies have a moderate level of energy and enjoy short walks, playtime, and mental stimulation through training and interactive toys. They are well-suited to apartment living as long as they receive daily exercise to keep them happy and healthy.

Early socialisation and obedience training are important to curb their terrier stubbornness and to ensure they grow into well-behaved adults. Yorkies respond well to positive reinforcement techniques such as praise and treats.

Health and Care

Yorkies are generally healthy, but they can be prone to certain health issues, including dental problems, hypoglycemia (especially in puppies), and patellar luxation. Regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet are important for their health.

Their long, silky coat requires daily brushing to prevent tangles and mats, and many owners opt for professional grooming to keep it manageable. Attention should also be given to their dental health, as Yorkies are prone to dental issues.

Living with a Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are adaptable and can thrive in various living environments, including flats and homes with or without gardens. They are indoor dogs that enjoy being part of the family’s daily activities and should not be left outside alone.

Their small size and affectionate nature make them excellent lap dogs, but potential owners should be prepared for a dog that wants to be involved in all aspects of family life. Yorkies are known for their tendency to bark, which can be managed with proper training and socialisation.

Is the Yorkshire Terrier Right for You?

If you’re looking for a small, affectionate companion with a lively personality and are prepared to meet their grooming and exercise needs, the Yorkshire Terrier may be the perfect breed for you. They are well-suited for individuals, couples, and families with older children who can provide them with the attention, care, and companionship they crave.

However, if you prefer a more low-maintenance breed or have very young children, a Yorkshire Terrier might not be the best match for your lifestyle, given their grooming needs and delicate size.


The Yorkshire Terrier offers endless love, companionship, and entertainment. With the right care, environment, and commitment to their needs, a Yorkie can become an irreplaceable member of your family, enriching your life with their bold spirit and affectionate nature. Whether participating in family activities, embarking on walks, or simply cuddling on the couch, a Yorkshire Terrier brings joy and liveliness to every moment, making them a cherished companion for those fortunate enough to share their lives with one.

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