A toy breed, the Yorkshire Terrier dog is best known for his full flowing tresses of a texture quite similar to human hair. The coat colouring is unusual too, being a steel blue and gold (rich tan). He has an air of importance about him, holding his head high. Adults stand at about 18-20cm and weigh no more than 3.2kg.
- Category size: Toy
- Grooming requirements: Daily
- Shedding: None
- Allergies: Yes
- Noise: Vocal
- Dog Group Kennel Club: Toy
- Alone: Less than 1 hour
- Other pets: Low
- Stability as a guard: Medium
It is believed that Scottish weavers brought a small terrier with them during a period of immigration from Scotland to Yorkshire and Lancanshire during the 1850s. These 'Scotch Terriers,' sometimes also known as 'Halifax Terriers', interbred with local small terriers. It is believed that Yorkies have in their lineage the Manchester Terrier, the Maltese, the Skye, Dandie Dinmont and the Paisley Terriers. Shown as the Scotch Terrier in 1861, the dog later became known as the Yorkshire Terrier dog breed and was recognized as such by the British Kennel Club in 1886.
The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog with a big attitude. This is a dog that will one minute happily snuggle on grandma's knee and enjoy a good cuddle, and the next minute leap through the air and tear after the neighbour's dog promising to show it who is boss. Yorkies are terriers after all, and will protect their territory valiantly.
Yorkshire Terrier dogs tend to have a long lifespan. Nevertheless, they are predisposed to eye problems, kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place, a specific thigh bone disease, bladder stones, a windpipe disorder and congenital liver disease.
To keep your Yorkie healthy and fit, daily exercise is a must. Yorkshire Terriers love walking and will trot on for miles if allowed. A short walk will please a Yorkie so long as he gets a good sniff around and some mental stimulation. Do remember that Yorkshire Terriers aren't just lap dogs, though, and do like to run, fetch and play like any dog. A minimum of half an hour's exercise is needed by an adult daily.
Toy dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.
As a pet, the coat of a Yorkshire Terrier dog needs to be brushed daily, using a brush and comb to ensure all tangles are removed. The topknot should be taken down, brushed out and redone. Leaving an elastic band in for days will destroy the coat. Hair under and around the tail should be checked for faeces. The teeth should also be brushed daily, as the small mouth leads to overcrowding and a tendency to teeth decay. Once mastered, the daily grooming should take no longer than 15 minutes.
Is this the right dog breed for you?
All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.
What to Consider next
It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.
Finding a good breeder
If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.
Welcoming your dog home
Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information