Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) Dog Breed Information

Quick Yorkshire Terrier Facts:

  • Weight: 4-7 lbs.

  • Height: 6 – 9 inches

  • Life Expectancy: 11-15 years

  • Temperament: Bold, Independent, Confident, Intelligent, Courageous

The Yorkshire Terrier is the American Kennel Club’s 9th most popular dog breed. As member of the Toy Group, this dainty dog is as feisty as they come. If you’re thinking of welcoming a Yorkie into your family, here is what you need to know.

A Little History

The Yorkshire Terrier date back to the mid-1800s when inhabitants of the northern English counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire sought to create a versatile ratter. Several terrier breeds, including the Clydesdale Waterside, Paisley, Skye, Dandie, Dinmont, and Black and Tan Terriers, were crossbred to achieve such a pup. The Yorkie’s size was ideal for entering hard-to-reach spaces in textile mills where rodents often hid. In 1886, the English Kennel Club formally recognized the breed, and suddenly they became fashionable companions for English ladies. Just a year later, the American Kennel Club made record of its first Yorkie, named Belle.

What are Yorkshire Terriers Like?

The Yorkie is a toy-size terrier with a floor-length coat of golden tan and steely blue colors. They are known for their intelligent expression and elegant appearance. They are tenacious and brave, and at times, can be a bit pushy. Nevertheless, they are among the most affectionate of breeds, and spend much of their time in their owner’s lap. Likewise, it’s not a surprise they are the most popular dog breed in several American cities, especially since they do so well in almost any living space. Despite their small stature, they are excellent watchdogs and will do almost anything to keep their humans safe and happy.

Caring for Yorkshire Terriers

When it comes to exercise, Yorkies are self-starters. They often play indoors unprovoked, giving chase to companion pets or making good use of their toys. Regardless, you should still engage in routine leashed walks with your Yorkie. There is no doubt they are best suited for indoor living, and while you ought to provide them with their own bed, don’t be surprised if they prefer to lay with you. Their coats require routine professional grooming, as well as a weekly bath. As their coat shares many similarities to human hair, it should be brushed daily. You should trim their nails regularly to help prevent splitting and cracking, which can be painful. As with any dog, remember to brush their teeth to prevent dental disease.

Yorkies are prone to conditions such as Patellar Luxation, Tracheal Collapse, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)1. It’s important to schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor for health concerns. It may also be helpful to identify the nearest Emergency Veterinary practice in case of an emergency.

The Cost

The cost of adopting a Yorkshire Terrier can vary depending on its pedigree. Some breeders will only charge about $800, while others will require as much as $10,000. You should also plan to spend upward of $500 on supplies and initial veterinary expenses during the first year. Each year after that, veterinary care can cost around $800 per year. Surgical treatment for Patellar Luxation can cost around $2,500, while surgery for Tracheal Collapse can cost upwards of $5,000. With a pet insurance policy from 4Paws Insurance, pet parents can focus more on important veterinary decisions and worry less about the cost.

Sandy Says: Comments from the Chief Pet Officer, Sandra Boucher

Yorkies are independent, and, based on the ones I have had interactions with, are very bold. I had my first experience with a Yorkie when I was out for a walk with my three goldens. I quickly noticed a little fur ball walking right up to me with a cute pink bow atop her sweet little head. When she realized that she was in the presence of three large dogs, she immediately ran towards them, and began barking while slowly moving sideways. My dogs made eye contact with me as if to say they could not believe that six pounds of fur could be challenging them. Thankfully, my dogs were well-trained and did not react, but I was amazed at the boldness of this adorable animal. Since then, I have met quite a few Yorkies, and every time, they have been confident, feisty, and independent.