Breed Highlight: Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier may be small in size but this breed has a big personality. Yorkies make for feisty but loving companions. They are the most popular toy dog breed in the U.S and have won many over with its devotion to its owners, elegant looks and suitability to apartment living.

Physical Characteristics

A long-haired toy Yorkshire Terrier has a blue and tan coat which 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 the body. The body of a Yorkie is neat, compact and well proportioned. It’s high head carriage and confident manner should give the appearance of vigor and self-importance.


While the Yorkshire Terrier is a toy breed, this pup won’t settle for a boring life. The Yorkie is smart and independent, which makes this breed both entertaining and notoriously stubborn. This breed wants to please — until something more interesting strikes their fancy. So if you are searching for a lazy lap dog, you may want to opt for another breed.

There are two distinct personalities of Yorkies: cuddly and mischievous. While cuddly Yorkies have a perky nature, they tend to be more laidback. Some say males are sweeter and more likely to enjoy snuggling, while females are more particular about when — and if — they will hang out in your lap.


Yorkies enjoy taking a walk with you or playing outside. However, since they are very active while indoors, it doesn’t take much effort to keep them well exercised. Generally, this breed is receptive to training, particularly if it brings them attention for performing cute tricks or performing in agility or obedience trials. Yorkshire Terrier’s can be difficult to housetrain, but their “accidents” are so small and easy to clean up that most people let it slide. This, however, is a mistake. It is better to show them where to go from the beginning and reward them for doing their business in the appropriate place. When you make the effort, you can end up with a very well-trained Yorkie. This breed is definitely a housedog and doesn’t tolerate extreme heat or cold well. Many individuals paper train their Yorkies so they don’t have to take them outdoors when the weather is too hot or too cold.

This breed also loves squeaky toys, but it is important to check the toy every few days to ensure they have not chewed them open and pulled out the squeaker. They particularly enjoy fetching toys that you throw for them. If you are crafty, you may consider crocheting a ball for your pup — larger than a golf ball but smaller than a tennis ball — and stuffing it with used panty hose.


Tiny dogs frequently come with significant health problems, and the Yorkshire Terrier is no exception. Most Yorkies live long, healthy lives, but there are conditions that are common to the bread, including weakened collapsing tracheas, luxating patellas, dental issues, hypothyroidism and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is a problem as well, particularly in smaller Yorkies and puppies. Certain types of bladder stones, hair loss, cataracts and ingrown eyelashes are also common.

Yorkshire Terriers have high occurrences of a liver defect known as portosystemic shunt, which may need to be treated with expensive surgery. If you concerned about your Yorkie, there is a test that can identify carriers of the disease.

The kneecaps of many small dogs, including Yorkies, can pop out of place. This is a defect known as luxating patellas. It is important to ask your veterinarian to examine your dog’s knees regularly, particularly if you notice him limping or hopping while running. Additionally, it’s essential that Yorkies get regular veterinary dental care, as they have tiny mouths that often have issues with overcrowding and improper development of the teeth.


The bold nature of Yorkshire Terrier’s descends directly from its ancestors, including the long-extinct Clydesdale Terrier and the Black-and-Tan Terrier. Scottish weavers which migrated south to England during tough economic times often brought their terriers with them to York, Manchester and Leeds. Ultimately, the weavers crossbred their little terriers with local dogs, which resulted in the small but feisty terrier known today for its shimmering cloak for blue and gold.


For more information the Yorkshire Terrier or other dog breeds, don’t hesitate to contact us here at All Pets Veterinary Medical Center with the link below!

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