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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Yorkshire Terrier

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.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Basic training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Small dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming daily
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a small garden
  • Can happily live in the city
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

Yorkshire Terriers can be prone to: 
- Patellar luxation 
- Tracheal collapse
- Legg-Perthes disease 
- Total retinal dysplasia which is a condition where the back of the eye does not develop properly, which can lead to complete blindness.
- Hereditary cataracts (late onset) which is a condition where the lens in the eye becomes cloudy and this can result in blindness. 
- Progressive retinal atrophy which is an inherited disorder where part of the eye degenerates and wastes away which can result in blindness.  
- Diabetes mellitus² which is a condition where dogs develop very high sugar levels because they do not produce a normal amount of insulin. 
- Chiari malformation syringomyelia³ which is a condition where fluid-filled areas develop around the spinal cord causing pain. 
- Urolithiasis which is when stones form in the urinary tract and can cause pain.

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
None but there are several recommended schemes that the Kennel Club recommends which can be found here.

¹M. Mattin et al, An epidemiological study of diabetes mellitus in dogs attending first opinion practice in the UK', 2014, The Veterinary Record
²K. M. Tobias, 'Association of breed with the diagnosis SMALL ANIMALS of congenital portosystemic shunts in dogs: 2,400 cases (1980–2002)', Dec 2003, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
³M. B. Carnes, 'Chiari-like Malformation: An Overview' Today's Veterinary Practice
 

Key Facts

Lifespan: 13–16 years
Weight: No more than 3.2kg
Height: 18-20cm
Colours: Steel blue, gold (rich tan)
Size: Small
Kennel Club group: Terrier

Ratings

Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 3/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 3/5
Energy level: 5/5
Grooming needs: 2/5
Shedding: 2/5
Yorkshire Terrier watching on you

Personality

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.

This is a huge dog in a small body! He is lively and curious and into everything – and owners will have to get used to being tailed everywhere by their inquisitive (and often noisy) shadow. This is a dog who needs lots of exercise and stimulation – he loves long walks but also needs games in the house to keep his busy mind occupied.

Yorkshire Terrier lying on the grass

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Germany

Known as the Grey Ghost, the Weimaraner’s origins spring form the court of the Grand Duke Karl August of Weimar sometime around 1810. His aim was to breed a perfect hunting dog and so crossed German Pointers, French Hounds and Bloodhounds to produce a dog that would be as happy hunting bears as they would be birds. He also wanted a head-turning dog that would be a status symbol for the nobility.

The breed was closely guarded in Germany, until just before the outbreak of the second world war, when a breeder managed to acquire a male and two females and take them to the US. In 1943, the AKC recognised the breed but it wasn’t until the 1950s that they made their way to the UK.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • The Yorkshire Terrier was bred to hunt and kill rats in the coal mines – and so be small enough to fit in a miner’s pocket!
  • While the Chihuahua is recognised as the world’s smallest breed, the world’s smallest ever dog was a Yorkshire Terrier who was only 6cm high.
  • One brave Yorkshire Terrier called Smoky was an American Air Force mascot who flew on 12 combat missions and was awarded eight battle stars. She went on to become the first Therapy Dog on record visiting wounded airmen and soldiers in hospital.