Yorkshire Terrier: Everything You Need to Know

Yorkshire Terrier is one of the most popular indoor and decorative dog breeds in the world. York is charming in appearance, energetic, affectionate, and an excellent companion

The Yorkshire Terrier is an adorable dog with a gorgeous silky coat that looks like a living toy and has unique qualities. Brave heartbeats in her diminutive and graceful body, and her selfless devotion to her owners, and her readiness to defend her home evoke endless respect and tenderness. Cheerful, smart, friendly Yorkie, always ready to share his good mood with others, adored by millions of people, and is one of the ten most popular breeds in the world.

Yorkshire Terriers are descended from different types of Scottish Terriers, and this breed owes its name to the area where it was bred – Yorkshire. Terriers from Scotland, miniature but hardy dogs with a decisive character and powerful jaws, were brought to England by Scottish workers who came to Yorkshire in search of work in the middle of the 19th century.

The Yorkshire Terrier has come a long way of genetic transformation before transforming from a brave and merciless rodent hunter into a respectable graceful companion dog. It is not known for certain which breeds of Scottish Terriers became the progenitors of the Yorkie, however, in their today’s appearance, the features of the Clydesdale Terrier, Paisley Terrier, Skye Terrier are clearly visible. Presumably among the founders of the breed were also Waterside Terriers, dogs popular with Yorkshire peasants – hunters for foxes, badgers, and small rodents. Some dog handlers suggest that at the final stage of the formation of the breed, the Maltese lapdogs participated in the crossing, to which the Yorkies allegedly owe their silky coat.

At dog shows in Great Britain, Yorkies began to appear in 1861, first under the name “Rough and Broken-coated”, “Broken-haired Scotch”. In 1874, the new breed received the official name – Yorkshire Terrier. In 1886, the Kennel Club (English Kennel Club) entered the Yorkie into the studbook as an independent breed. In 1898, breeders adopted her standards, which have not changed today.

This breed began to penetrate the North American continent in the early 70s of the last century. The American Kennel Club (AKC) registered the first Yorkshire Terrier in 1885. By the way, 100 years later, the Yorkshire himself became the progenitor of a new, very rare breed – The Biewer Terrier, which was first called the Biewer Yorkshire Terrier.

The fame of these cute, energetic dogs with a cheerful disposition reached its heyday in the Victorian era. Imitating Queen Victoria, who adored dogs, ladies from aristocratic circles in Britain and the New World carried their pets everywhere, dressing them up and pampering them like beloved children.

It is believed that the first Yorkshire Terrier appeared in Russia in 1971. It was presented as a gift to the ballerina Olga Lepeshinskaya. The first Yorkie breeding nursery appeared in 1991 in Mytishchi.

And in our century, Yorkshire Terriers remain in the mainstream, entering the ten most popular breeds in the world. For three years in a row, from 2006 to 2008, they held the honorable 2nd place in the AKC rating.

This miniature dog is quite sturdy and dignified. Her height from floor to withers is from 15.24 to 23 cm. The standard weight is from 1.81 to 3.17 kg (no more than 3 kg for exhibition specimens).

The puppies’ coat is colored black-brown, which can be combined in different ways. As they grow older (usually at the age of 5-6 months), the black color gradually begins to acquire a bluish tint, and the brown color becomes lighter. By the age of one and a half, the Yorkshire Terrier’s coat from the nape to the base of the tail already has a dark steel-bluish color, and the muzzle, chest, and paws are painted in a rich golden fawn.

Yorkshire Terrier is built harmoniously, its body has a proportional structure. He is quite muscular and elegant at the same time. The back of the dog is rather short and horizontal. The height at the withers corresponds to the height of the croup. The posture of the Yorkie is proud, sometimes this little one looks touchingly important.

The head of the dog is small, with a flat arch, the muzzle is slightly elongated.

The eyes of the Yorkie are of medium size, sparkling, expressing curiosity and outstanding ingenuity.

Ears are miniature, V-shaped, erect, not too far apart, covered with soft short hair. The color of the coat is lightly golden.

The Yorkshire Terrier is characterized by a scissor bite: the upper canines slightly cover the lower ones, and the incisors of the lower jaw are close to the back of the upper, forming a kind of lock.

The front legs of Yorkies should be slender, straight, without protruding the ulna, either inward or outward. The hindquarters should appear straight when viewed from behind, with a slight bend visible from the side. The toenails are black.

Dewclaws (dewclaws) on the hind legs are usually removed, on the front – at the request of the owners.

In the movement of the Yorkshire Terrier, energy, freedom is felt. Stiffness is not inherent in a dog.

The tail is traditionally docked to medium length. Docking itself is not necessary. The tail is densely covered with hair, the color of which is darker and more saturated than the one that covers the body.

The pride of the Yorkshire Terrier is its finest, shiny, silky, perfectly straight coat, which is often called hair. In the classic version, it should be divided from the base of the skull to the tip of the tail and fall perfectly evenly and directly on both sides of the body, reaching the floor. For such a handsome man or beauty to always look impeccable, you will need to devote a considerable amount of time to them every day. This makes sense if the Yorkie is a participant in exhibitions, a hero of TV shows, or is invited to photoshoots. However, among the owners of such “superstars”, there are many people who are simply selflessly devoted to this breed of dogs.
Most owners of Yorkshire terriers prefer to cut them. There are several dozen haircut models, from simple to incredibly sophisticated. The procedures take place in grooming salons or at home with the invitation of the master. Sometimes short-haired Yorkshire Terriers make a splash no less than their long-haired relatives, similar to aristocrats.

From time to time, a genetic jump occurs in the Yorkshire Terrier’s nature. This is called the “return gene” or simply “return.” In this rare case, your black-brown pet’s coat will not turn blue-golden as expected. Black will remain that way, without any hint of blue, and brown will turn into golden red. Such a Yorkie is called Red-Legged Yorkies, literally – a red-footed Yorkshire terrier.

Yorkshire Terriers consider themselves the masters of the house while experiencing the most tender feelings for their owner and needing his attention. Like all terriers, they are very energetic, hardy, and have a good reaction. Yorkies are very brave dogs, ready to defend their home and owner without hesitation. They are smart, well trained.

The walk of the Yorkshire Terrier expresses self-confidence and even some arrogance. Walking without a leash, in the wild, he explores the world with curiosity, loves to sniff everything carefully, and listens to unfamiliar sounds with visible anxiety. Despite their ostentatious independence, Yorkies try to keep their master’s insight, and if they do not find him, they worry.

These cute dogs are very friendly and easily find a “common language” with other animals living in the house. In communicating with strangers, the individual traits and features of the upbringing of each Yorkshire Terrier are manifested: some are ready to bark at any stranger, others – almost “kiss” a dog that runs up to him, especially a relative.


The intelligence of the Yorkshire Terrier is above average, and it is not difficult to teach him “good manners”. You need to educate your pet from childhood, and first of all, it needs to be socialized. You should gradually accustom your Yorkie to house noises: try to speak in low tones at first, do not turn on the TV or the receiver loudly, especially, do not do this at the same time as a washing machine or vacuum cleaner.

Do not pounce on your pet immediately with hugs and kisses – he should also gradually get used to petting. When the dog settles in your family and home, it will already be possible to introduce him to other people, take him to unfamiliar places, gradually expanding his horizons. If you do everything step by step, without giving the puppy cause for concern, he will grow up as a confident, benevolent and well-balanced dog, not feeling shy and timid even when meeting an impressive fellow tribesman.

Some difficulties in teaching a Yorkie to commands and order arise due to his stubborn, independent character and restlessness, so training should be short-lived, and the dog should be encouraged for success. Choose a specific word or phrase for praise that you will always use. Promotional treats should also be ready.

There is no need to specially train Yorkshire terriers for fun, sometimes they themselves come up with plots for the games. But the ability of this dog to turn any household item into a toy should be controlled and its claims to things unsuitable for this purpose should be suppressed.

If a dog is naughty: gnaws on slippers, wallpaper, is engaged in a popular business among terriers – digging wherever necessary – punishment can only be the word “fu” and a harsh tone, physical punishment is unacceptable. Express your dissatisfaction only if you find the dog at the crime scene, otherwise, he will not understand what, in fact, you want from him.

For the Yorkshire Terrier, it is advisable to develop a daily schedule. Feed him, walk him at the same time. Set aside certain hours for playing, caring for him, sleeping. York will not object to the regime. On the contrary, it will allow him to feel safe and happily expect the next manifestation of attention to his own person. The Yorkshire Terrier is easy enough to get used to the house toilet, which is convenient for older people who find it difficult to walk the dog several times a day.

Like every little dog, Yorkshire terriers have a panic fear of traffic, which is expressed in hysterical barking and fussy dashes. This creates problems when walking or driving, but you can help him overcome this condition. Take your dog for a late evening walk along the sidewalk when the number of cars is minimal. When the car approaches, hold the leash firmly, reducing its length as much as possible, start a “conversation” with your pet in a confident and calm voice, distracting it from the noise. Continue to walk slowly at the same pace, as if nothing is happening. The time when the dog does not show a pronounced fuss at the appearance of the car, treat him with a gift in store. In a month or two, you can safely walk with your Yorkie in any busy noisy place. By the way, in the car itself, it is better to carry these fragile passengers on a special removable dog seat.

As soon as you bring your Yorkshire terrier puppy into your home, immediately provide it with food and toilet facilities. They must be constant, otherwise, the dog will get nervous. Choose a warm area in the room for him, and place there a small playpen with a mat and an impromptu cozy crib.

The puppy must be vaccinated. The first vaccinations are given at about 2 months of age. Walking can only be done after all the necessary vaccinations have been made. At first, it is advisable to take the puppy outside 1-2 times a day in warm, but not hot weather for 10-15 minutes. Increase the number of walks and time in the air should be gradual. It is advisable to take an adult dog for a walk at least 3 times a day for half an hour.

Yorkshire Terriers, living in country houses, spend much more time in nature, of course, and usually, they themselves realize when it is time for them to rest. But if you notice that your pet is too played out and overexcited, take him indoors, give water at room temperature and try to gently, with the help of affection, lure the dog into its rest area.

Yorkshire Terriers need regular clipping, eye washing, teeth brushing, ear cleaning, and bathing. None of these procedures are complete without their whims, so you need persistence and confidence in your own actions.

Your dog’s claws should be trimmed every 2-3 months. It is best to do this after bathing. Use quality scissors designed specifically for this procedure. You should always have a styptic pencil or silver nitrate on hand. If you accidentally injure your pet, they will help heal the wound. For those who are not confident in their professionalism, it is better to contact a grooming salon. They will do everything efficiently and carefully.

In the morning and the evening, clean the corners of the dog’s eyes with a damp cloth or a special cotton swab. It is also suitable for cleaning your ears. Treat brushing your pet’s teeth with all seriousness, otherwise, the Yorkie will have tartar and caries. This threatens that by the age of three his teeth will loosen, and by five he may remain completely toothless.

The Yorkshire Terrier needs constant and thorough care of its extraordinary silky coat. Bathing, combing, haircutting – for some reason, Yorkies do not particularly like these procedures. Bathing long-haired dogs should be once a week, short-haired – once every 2-3 weeks, comb, respectively, 2-3 times a day, and once every two days. All this is not very difficult to do on your own, but if a curly haircut follows the bathing, then you can entrust the whole complex of work to the grooming master.

Before bathing the dog, it should be combed thoroughly, then placed in a bathroom with water at a temperature of 34-35 ° C. Place a rubber mat on the bottom of the tub to prevent the dog from slipping. It is better to wash your pet with a special “dog” shampoo. After the procedure, wrap the Yorkie in a towel and take him to a warm room. When it dries up a little, it should be combed again and, armed with sharp scissors, cut off the constantly growing hair in the area of ​​the pillows and anus (for hygiene), carefully shorten the hairline at the tip of the ears. If your Yorkshire Terrier is long-haired, distribute combed hair in proportion to both sides and cut the ends just above floor level. The advantage of Yorkies over many other breeds of dogs is the fact that they practically do not shed.

The Yorkshire Terrier has its own attitude to food. It is quite common for him not to lick the dishes with food to the bottom, as most dogs do, but to eat exactly as much as he sees fit.

You can feed a Yorkie with homemade food or buy food from specialty stores. Homemade food should include beef and chicken (raw but scalded with boiling water), offal, buckwheat, rice. Among fermented milk products, and their Yorkshire terriers are not very welcome, kefir, cottage cheese, fermented baked milk are recommended. A delicacy for these dogs is vegetables and fruits, both raw and boiled.

Several foods should be avoided in the Yorkshire Terrier’s diet. Among them are fried, fatty, smoked products, semolina, and oatmeal porridge, baked goods, sausage, fatty cheese, butter, mushrooms, cabbage, chocolate, citrus fruits, nuts.

Yorkies often suffer from a lack of appetite. The desire to eat in a dog can disappear completely if, for some reason, you have drastically changed the composition of the food. Do not immediately cancel the usual food, just gradually replace it with other ingredients in small portions. It is better to feed the Yorkshire Terrier 2-3 times a day, not counting the symbolic delicacies that can be treated to him for dignified behavior.

The Yorkshire Terrier, like any other breed of dog, is susceptible to certain diseases – congenital or acquired. These dogs have a predisposition to some diseases. So, already at a very early age (from birth to 4 months), a Yorkie can face such a dangerous and common ailment among this breed as hypoglycemia – a rapid decrease in blood sugar. Its symptoms are drowsiness, trembling, vague behavior, seizures, weakness, and a decrease in body temperature. The puppy may fall into a coma. As soon as you notice any of these symptoms, stabilize your dog by rubbing the puppy’s gums with honey and contact your veterinarian immediately. Hypoglycemia also occurs in adult dogs but is much less common.

Yorkies, like all terriers, are prone to many cancers (especially blood and stomach cancers). Studies have shown that females over 11 years of age are most likely to develop cancer. On average, Yorkshire Terriers live up to 12-15 years.

These tiny dogs have fragile bones, which increases the risk of injury to the neck, hip, and knee. They are also genetically predisposed to retinal dysplasia.

Another unpleasant disease is neurodermatitis, which threatens to ruin the luxurious coat of your pet. The sick dog licks itself continuously, as a result of which the hair begins to fall out. This condition can be caused by stress, nervousness, or extreme boredom. To begin with, change your home environment, change the dog’s lifestyle. In some cases, your veterinarian will prescribe melatonin.

Yorkies easily overheat in the heat, after which they feel bad. In cold weather, they need protection. In cold weather, it is better to dress them up in warm clothes, which can be purchased in specialized stores.

Owners of “mini” (or “toy”) Yorkshire terriers, weighing less than 1.8 kg, should be aware that they are more painful than standard-sized dogs, as they have a weakened immune system. The life span of such Yorkies is 7-9 years.

Some owners are worried that their pet is too large. This can be attributed to both the dog’s broad bone and obesity, although the latter is rare. If the Yorkshire Terrier weighs more than 4.3 kg, it is best to contact your veterinarian to correlate its weight and proportions.

If it’s obesity, your Yorkie will have to go on a diet. The amount of food should be left the same, but replace some of the high-calorie foods with vegetables (broccoli, carrots). Specialty foods that are low in calories are available. All changes in nutrition should be gradual. At the same time, you need to increase the amount of physical activity. For example, if your dog is used to walking for 20 minutes, increase the duration of the exercise to half an hour.

How to choose a puppy?

Although there is no shortage of Yorkshire Terrier advertisements on the Internet, choosing puppies from photographs is hindsight. To get a healthy, cheerful Yorkie with a real pedigree, you need to make sure of everything personally by going directly to the nursery, to the breeder. It is not easy to find a professional, responsible breeder right away. It is best if he is recommended by a trusted veterinarian or friends who have already used his services. You can also meet the breeder at a dog show.

Arriving at the kennel, first of all, get an idea of ​​the dog breeder himself. If in front of you is a person who is ready to answer any of your questions with undisguised enthusiasm in detail and competently, in his speech, you can feel genuine love for animals, he himself is interested in the conditions in which his pet will live, you can safely proceed to choose a puppy.

Actually, puppies at the age of 2.5-3 months are not much different from each other, so take a good look at his mother, who should be near. If she evoked a feeling of beauty, look at the picture of dad. Both parents must have documents issued by the Russian Kennel Federation, where their pedigree is confirmed, and at least three generations of ancestors are represented.

If everything is in order with the documents, watch the Yorkshire Terrier puppies themselves. You need an active, robust person who shows an interest in everything that surrounds him. He must move confidently, while his back must remain straight. The nose is supposed to be black, cold, and damp (warm, if he just woke up), the gums – juicy pink. Check the tummy – there should be no swelling in the navel area. The coat should be straight, black with brownish-golden markings, its texture should already be felt silky.

After examining your chosen one, you will only have to make sure that the puppy has a brand. As a rule, it is located in the groin area or on the inner surface of the ear and consists of letters and six numbers indicating in which nursery he was born and under what number he was registered in the club. The mark number must appear on the dog’s documents. Also, the puppy must have a veterinary passport with marks about the complex of vaccinations that should be had for his age.

You need to be especially careful when buying mini-yorks. Most of all shenanigans happen with these puppies. Under the guise of a mini-York, they often sell just unhealthy little dogs, and some puppies are deliberately underfed by unscrupulous breeders. Such babies can only be bought from dog breeders whose reputation you are sure of.

Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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