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  • Temperament: Affectionate, Sprightly, Tomboyish
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 9 of 194
  • Height: 7-8 inches
  • Weight: 7 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 11-15 years
  • Group: Toy Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Yorkshire Terrier standing in three-quarter view, head turned right
Yorkshire Terrier head and shoulders facing left
Yorkshire Terrier lying in three-quarter view facing forward
Yorkshire Terrier coat detail
Yorkshire Terrier standing in three-quarter view facing forward
Yorkshire Terrier sitting facing forward, head turned slightly left
Yorkshire Terrier sitting sideways facing left, head turned forward
Yorkshire Terrier standing facing forward, head turned left
Yorkshire Terrier head facing forward
Yorkshire Terrier standing facing forward
Yorkshire Terrier

Find a Puppy: Yorkshire Terrier

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GENERAL APPEARANCE

That of a long-haired toy terrier whose blue and tan coat is parted on the face and from the base of the skull to the end of the tail and hangs evenly and quite straight down each side of body. The body is neat, compact and well proportioned. The dog’s high head carriage and confident manner should give the appearance of vigor and self-importance.

HEAD

Small and rather flat on top, the skull not too prominent or round, the muzzle not too long, with the bite neither undershot nor overshot and teeth sound. Either scissors bite or level bite is acceptable. The nose is black. Eyes are medium in size and not too prominent; dark in color and sparkling with a sharp, intelligent expression. Eye rims are dark. Ears are small, V-shaped, carried erect and set not too far apart.

BODY

Well proportioned and very compact. The back is rather short, the backline level, with height at shoulder the same as at the rump.

TAIL

Docked to a medium length and carried slightly higher than the level of the back.

LEGS & FEET

Forelegs should be straight, elbows neither in nor out. Hind legs straight when viewed from behind, but stifles are moderately bent when viewed from the sides. Feet are round with black toenails. Dewclaws, if any, are generally removed from the hind legs. Dewclaws on the forelegs may be removed.

COAT

Quality, texture and quantity of coat are of prime importance. Hair is glossy, fine and silky in texture. Coat on the body is moderately long and perfectly straight (not wavy). It may be trimmed to floor length to give ease of movement and a neater appearance, if desired. The fall on the head is long, tied with one bow in center of head or parted in the middle and tied with two bows. Hair on muzzle is very long. Hair should be trimmed short on tips of ears and may be trimmed on feet to give them a neat appearance.

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yorkshire terrier illustration

About the Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier is a compact, toy-size terrier of no more than seven pounds whose crowning glory is a floor-length, silky coat of steel blue and a rich golden tan.

Don’t let the Yorkie’s daintiness fool you. Tenacious, feisty, brave, and sometimes bossy, the Yorkie exhibits all the traits of a true terrier. Often named the most popular dog breed in various American cities, Yorkies pack lots of big-town attitude into a small but self-important package. They are favorites of urbanites the world over.

Yorkies are long-lived and hypoallergenic (the coat is more like human hair than animal fur), and they make fine little watchdogs. This is a true “personality breed,” providing years of laughs, love, and close companionship.

National Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Yorkshire Terrier

Find a Puppy: Yorkshire Terrier

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Yorkshire Terrier Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The Yorkshire Terrier should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

The Yorkshire Terrier’s coat is very similar to human hair and should be treated accordingly. If the coat is kept long, it needs to be brushed daily. To avoid eye irritation, the hair on the upper part of the head should be trimmed short or pulled up into a topknot. The Yorkie will need a bath every week or so. Check the ears weekly for any debris or signs of infection. The breed’s national parent club, the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America, provides detailed grooming and bathing instructions on its website.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Specialty/Professional

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Infrequent

EXERCISE

Even small dogs require exercise to stay healthy, both mentally and physically. Yorkies will benefit from both moderate exercise, such as walks with their owner at a steady pace, as well as occasional short bursts of activity, such as chasing after a tennis ball in the backyard. A short walk twice a day will likely be enough for your Yorkie to see new scenery and burn off energy. Participating in dog sports such as obedience or agility also will provide beneficial activity to keep him healthy, while challenging his mind as well.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise

TRAINING

Yorkies love their owners, and are very intelligent and eager to please. Offering effusive praise and treats for good behavior will work far better with the Yorkie than harsh corrections. Starting from an early age, the Yorkie should be socialized to strange situations, people, and other dogs. Take him into new situations slowly, and always in a calm and happy atmosphere. These should be positive experiences. Despite their small size, Yorkies can participate in and excel at canine activities such as rally, agility and obedience, and many Yorkies serve with their human partners in roles such as therapy work.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
May be Stubborn

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Friendly

HEALTH

Yorkshire Terriers are generally healthy dogs, and responsible breeders screen their stock for health conditions such as eye anomalies and luxating patella, a dislocated kneecap once called a “trick knee” in humans. To help avoid the latter, care should be taken to limit the Yorkie’s jumping height, especially as a puppy.

Recommended Health Test from the National Breed Club:

  • Patella Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier

History

The Yorkshire Terrier was developed during the mid-1800s in the northern English counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire. It became a fashionable lapdog for proper English ladies in late Victorian times, but its beginnings were distinctly working-class.

The breed is said to be the creation of weavers from Scotland who migrated to the English north country and brought their Scottish terriers with them. (We pause here to make the distinction between Scottish terriers, that is, terriers of Scotland, and the particular breed designated as Scottish Terriers.)

Several breeds of now-extinct Scottish terriers are a part of the Yorkie’s genetic mix, along with such still-extant terriers as the Skye and Dandie Dinmont. One historical source suggests the addition of Maltese blood.

The Scots weavers were proud of their tough little terriers, bred small enough to squeeze into the nooks and crannies of textile mills in pursuit of rodents. Jokes were made about the Yorkie’s long, silky coat, inferring that its finely textured hair was a product of the looms. The Yorkie’s home region was a center of mining as well as textile making, and many Yorkies were employed in coal mines as exterminators.

The turning point in breed history came in 1886, when the Kennel Club (England) granted the Yorkie recognition. With this splash of publicity, the Yorkie became fashionable as a ladies’ companion. And, as the Yorkie’s popularity among the fashionable increased, its size decreased to better meet its new job description: adorable, amusing companion sitting in the lap of luxury.

Yorkies were first seen in America in the 1870s, and the AKC recorded its first Yorkie, a female named Belle, in 1885.

Did You Know?

The Yorkie became a fashionable pet in the late Victorian era and before.
The Yorkie made its debut at a bench show in England in 1861 as a "broken-haired Scotch Terrier."
The Yorkie traces to the Waterside Terrier, also a "weaver dog."
In its beginnings, the Yorkie surprisingly belonged to the working class, especially the weavers; in fact, facetious comments were often made about how the dogs’ fine, silky coats were the ultimate product of the looms.
Became known as a Yorkshire terrier in 1870 after a reporter stated that "they ought no longer to be called Scotch Terriers, but Yorkshire Terriers for having been so improved here."
Classes for the Yorkie breed have been offered in America since 1878.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

That of a long-haired toy terrier whose blue and tan coat is parted on the face and from the base of the skull to the end of the tail and hangs evenly and quite straight down each side of body. The body is neat, compact and well proportioned. The dog’s high head carriage and confident manner should give the appearance of vigor and self-importance.

HEAD

Small and rather flat on top, the skull not too prominent or round, the muzzle not too long, with the bite neither undershot nor overshot and teeth sound. Either scissors bite or level bite is acceptable. The nose is black. Eyes are medium in size and not too prominent; dark in color and sparkling with a sharp, intelligent expression. Eye rims are dark. Ears are small, V-shaped, carried erect and set not too far apart.

BODY

Well proportioned and very compact. The back is rather short, the backline level, with height at shoulder the same as at the rump.

TAIL

Docked to a medium length and carried slightly higher than the level of the back.

LEGS & FEET

Forelegs should be straight, elbows neither in nor out. Hind legs straight when viewed from behind, but stifles are moderately bent when viewed from the sides. Feet are round with black toenails. Dewclaws, if any, are generally removed from the hind legs. Dewclaws on the forelegs may be removed.

COAT

Quality, texture and quantity of coat are of prime importance. Hair is glossy, fine and silky in texture. Coat on the body is moderately long and perfectly straight (not wavy). It may be trimmed to floor length to give ease of movement and a neater appearance, if desired. The fall on the head is long, tied with one bow in center of head or parted in the middle and tied with two bows. Hair on muzzle is very long. Hair should be trimmed short on tips of ears and may be trimmed on feet to give them a neat appearance.

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yorkshire terrier illustration

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
BLACK & GOLD Check Mark For Standard Color 234
BLACK & TAN Check Mark For Standard Color 018
BLUE & GOLD Check Mark For Standard Color 041
BLUE & TAN Check Mark For Standard Color 044
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