Yorkshire Terrier Characteristics

April 29

At a glance:

Breed Group: Toys Group
Height: 8 – 9 inches
Weight: 4 – 7 lbs
Color: They are born black and as adults are blue and tan.
Life Expectancy: 13-14 years
Average litter size: 3


The Yorkshire Terrier was originally a product of crossing different small breeds in Yorkshire, England, which is also why the breed has the name it does. The breed was first shown in the beginning part of the 1860’s and that was the start of what we see today. It is believed that many small dogs used in the crossings which resulted in the present day breed came from Scotland with their owners during the mining period in England were the ancestors. However, that is hard to say because no documents were kept and there were no breed standards.

The type of work the breed does:

Yorkshire Terriers were bred to kill rodents, such as mice or rats and was known as a “ratter” for this reason. They could also be used to some extent for hunting and tracking. They are quite capable of digging holes in order to track. Today they are extremely popular as a pet, especially in cities and apartments.

Physical Representation:

The Yorkshire Terrier has a long, silky coat and under that coat there is a compactly built dog. The tail and head are held high when walking or doing something.

Personality and Temperament:

Yorkshire Terriers are very dominant, strong willed small dogs. They know no fear and tend to aggressively protect their territory. They are independent, but also need a lot of personal attention and companionship. They are very focused on their owner and show affection. Although they can get along with other pets and children, one has to have either older children or quiet pets, because otherwise the Yorkie will not be a happy dog.


The Yorkshire Terrier has a silky coat with long hair and you will have to brush through this hair every day. Many let the hair on the head grow long, and then tie it up with some kind of ribbon. However, if your Yorkie is not a show dog, it might be a good idea to have the hair shortened or even cut very short to make the daily grooming times shorter. The eyes and ears have a tendency to get dirty and should be cleaned on a regular basis, and the same goes for their teeth.

Living environment:

Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs and are perfect for those with a small apartment or for older people who cannot take long daily walks. This breed does not require a lot of exercise, but do love playing and attention. They especially love games tugging games where they can measure their power. They can be easily trained, but you might need to be patient because they are known for doing what they want to.


The Yorkshire Terrier works well with electronic fencing as long as the trainer understands their temperament.


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