AKC Dog Breeds: Yorkshire Terrier

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Toy Group
Height: 6-8 inches   Weight: 6-7 pounds  Color: Blue and Tan

Yorkshire Terriers, affectionately known as "Yorkies," offer big personalities in a small package. Though members of the Toy Group, they are terriers by nature and are brave, determined, investigative and energetic. They have long, luxurious blue and tan coats. This portable pooch is one of the most popular breeds. Named for the English city from which they originally hail, Yorkshire Terriers were used in the nineteenth century to catch rats in clothing mills. Surprisingly enough, in its beginnings, the Yorkie 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. Eventually, the breed left the workforce and became a companion animal to families of European high society. This breed was registered with the AKC in 1936.

General Appearance

The ultra long, fine, silky coat parts along the spine and falls straight down on either side. It is steal blue on the body and tail, and tan elsewhere. Puppies are usually black & tan. The tail is usually docked to half its length. If the dogs are not for showing, the owners usually go for the shaggy look. The Yorkie has a flat head, medium-sized length muzzle, a black nose, and regular teeth. The eyes are extremely vivacious and the ears are v-shaped, erect or semi-erect. The tail is docked to medium-length and is carried level with its back. Its limbs are straight with round feet and black nails. The hair on the head is so abundant that it is almost always necessary to gather it in a band to keep from going into the dog's food bowl and to give the animal maximum visibility. Some owners choose to trim the hair on top of the head.


Such is the popularity of the little Yorkshire Terrier that he has the honor of being at the number two position on the AKC breed popularity list. One of the world's smallest dogs, the Yorkshire Terrier is a cheerful, sociable, and adaptable little creature. Affection and loyal, yet courageous and confident, this is a dog that is suited to both experienced and inexperienced owners. These dogs make great companions and loving pets, with their love for being pampered or cuddling up with their owner. Yet, in true terrier style they have plenty of spirit, are agile, and have a very inquisitive nature. Training the Yorkshire Terrier shouldn't prove too much of a problem, as he is very intelligent and quick to learn. Housebreaking, on the other hand, can be quite a different matter. The Yorkshire Terrier can be very possessive of his food and belongings, and some have a tendency to bark too much. These little dogs will certainly bark to raise an alarm, making them effective watchdogs. Early socialization is recommended with the Yorkshire Terrier to promote stability and confidence. Although he is not overly demanding in terms of exercise, he does have plenty of energy and will appreciate a place to frolic and play. However, this must be a secured and safe place, as he is inquisitive, agile, and an avid chaser, all of which could spell trouble should he escape. He can also be easily injured or bullied by larger dogs, so he should not be allowed off his leash when out and about. Despite his size, the Yorkshire Terrier will often try to dominate other dogs. They do tend to get along fine with other pets. When it comes to children they are best suited around older, gentle kids. These are very small dogs that can get easily injured and scared by rough, boisterous children. The Yorkshire Terrier is a versatile creature that is just as happy dashing around the garden and playing as he is cuddling up and getting thoroughly pampered.


The Yorkshire Terrier's coat requires daily grooming. The hair on top of the head, if grown long, is usually secured with a band or bow. However, if the Yorkshire Terrier is not being used for show, then the coat may be clipped short. Ears and eyes must be cleaned daily. Dental hygiene is also important.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The life expectancy of the Yorkshire Terrier is around 12-15 years, and there are a number of health problems to look out for with this breed. This includes luxating patella, liver problems, inflamed pancreas, low blood sugar, allergies, dental problems, and sensitivity to chemicals and drugs. He does not fare well in cold weather and should be provided with a jumper if out and about in the rain or cold. He must also be protected from rough handling and heavy object because of his size and fragility.

Activity Level

The Yorkshire Terrier requires minimal exercise. They are suited for short walks and ideal for apartment living or homes with small yards. They love to chase shadows, lay in sunbeams, and tug of war. The more attention this breed receives the better.


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