The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog breed known for its long and gorgeous coat. But hidden behind the breed’s tiny frame and silky hair is a dog with a big personality. Its bravado and dynamic character make the Yorkshire Terrier even more endearing.
Get to know the Yorkshire Terrier more, and see if it has the qualities you’re looking for in a household pet.
Yorkshire Terrier Dogs and Puppies
What is a Yorkshire Terrier?
The Yorkshire Terrier, also called Yorkie, is one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. today. This breed is a well-known lapdog. But back in the day when the Yorkie was larger, it was actually a working dog bred to hunt vermin. Its prey drive is quite minimal nowadays, but it’s still a brave, self-assured little breed.
Where are Yorkshire Terrier dogs from?
The Yorkshire Terrier originally comes from Yorkshire, England. The breed developed during the Industrial Revolution in the country. Workers from Scotland came to Yorkshire to work in factories and mills. They brought some terrier-type dogs with them, which are believed to be the ancestors of the modern Yorkshire Terrier. These breeds might have been the Skye Terriers and the Paisley Terrier. Some say the Yorkie is also related to the Maltese.
The earliest version of the Yorkie was larger, and was used to hunt rats and other vermin in factories. It became a popular breed both in England and the U.S. in the late 1800s.
What is a Yorkshire Terrier’s temperament?
Yorkshire Terriers are generally pleasant and lively dogs. They’re perky, self-assured, adventurous, and even slightly mischievous. They can be overly confident sometimes, and fail to size up what they challenge—like much bigger dogs.
Ideally, Yorkies are animated, but some are raised delicate lapdogs that prefer to be pampered and cuddled. They sometimes get too attached, following their owner all over the house, and getting anxious when left alone for a long time.
Yorkies are almost always friendly, but they can be suspicious of strangers too, and would incessantly bark at them. They need to be socialized early to counter excessive barking.
Yorkies can be willful and stubborn. Some of them are also difficult to housebreak. But they can respond well to training, especially if they’re rewarded with treats and praises. They don’t need vigorous exercise, but still need some physical and mental challenge.
They do well around the other dogs and pets they’re raised with. But they tend to come after strange and unfamiliar animals. Though they love to be around people, it’s dangerous for them to be with very young children who might unknowingly injure them.
What does a Yorkshire Terrier look like?
Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs standing only at 8 to 9 inches at the withers, and weighing about 7 pounds or slightly over 3 kg. There are Yorkies that grow more than the maximum standard weight of 3.2 kg. Some grow up to 15 pounds or 6.8 kg.
Yorkies have these qualities:
- Intelligent and self-assured expression
- Even bite or scissors bite teeth
- Dark eyes surrounded by dark rims
- Pointy, v-shaped ears
- Straight forelegs and moderately bent hind legs
- Black toenails
- Straight, glossy hair that’s fine and silky when touched
- Hair colors include black and blue with gold and tan
Puppies are usually born with black and tan colors, but these change to blue and gold when they mature. Their coats start to change around 6 months after birth. Some puppies get their adult coat color within 2 years. The process is slower for some Yorkie puppies, and would take them 3 or 4 years to reach their final color.
Is the Yorkshire Terrier a healthy breed?
The Yorkshire Terrier is a generally healthy breed, with a relatively longer lifespan. The average lifespan of this breed is 13 to 16 years. But Yorkies are also prone to having some health issues, especially those smaller than the average size. Some of these health issues are:
- Tracheal Collapse. This happens when the cartilage of a Yorkie’s tracheal ring is weak or not properly formed. Basically, when the trachea or windpipe has problems, it obstructs airflow into the lungs. Symptoms of this condition include dry coughing or gagging when eating or drinking.
- Digestive system problems (like Pancreatitis and Portosystemic Shunts). Yorkies are small, and are more prone to having hereditary problems in the digestive system. Also, they can easily be affected by food they don’t usually eat. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea.
- Luxating Patellas. This is may or may not be a congenital condition. But this is often hereditary among Yorkies. This occurs when the knee cap is not positioned properly, causing the dog to walk with difficulty.
- Hypoglycemia. Smaller dogs lack the muscles to properly store glucose. That’s why they’re more prone to having low blood sugar levels. This condition often occurs in puppies and tiny adult dogs. Symptoms include drowsiness, staggering, weakness, and shivering, among others.
When is a Yorkshire Terrier full grown?
As small dogs, Yorkies reach their full height and weight faster than larger breeds. They can reach their full height around 6 months after birth. They would continue to fill out until they’re about a year old.
The growth rate is not the same for every Yorkie puppy. Some would grow faster, others slower.
What are Teacup Yorkshire Terriers?
A Teacup Yorkie is basically a very small Yorkshire Terrier. Its full size is around 2 to 4 pounds. Teacup Yorkies are popular because they remain like puppies (at least in size) for the rest of their lives. They are indeed cute, but are also very fragile.
Take note, the Teacup Yorkie is not a separate dog breed or a recognized variety of the Yorkshire Terrier. The teacup ‘type’ of Yorkie is bred only for aesthetic reasons. Breeders are actually discouraged to create the teacup line because of the health issues these dogs may have to endure. Teacup dogs are prone to experiencing difficulties during pregnancy and may even die as they give birth.
Other health issues include hypoglycemia, a variety of associated health diseases, seizures, among others.
Is the Yorkshire Terrier hypoallergenic?
Yes. The Yorkshire Terrier is considered hypoallergenic. Yorkies have hair coats instead of fur, and don’t shed as much as breeds with fur coats. Their hair continuously grows longer, but also falls out in time—at a relatively slower rate. They also produce less dander, which is a common allergen.
However, not one dog breed is completely non-allergenic. It’s possible for some people to still have an allergic reaction when exposed to Yorkies.
How much do Yorkshire Terrier puppies cost?
Yorkie puppies can have a starting price of USD $1,200. There are breeders that sell Yorkshire Terrier puppies for less than $1,000. But puppies from reputable breeders cost more.
Adopting a Yorkie pup costs considerably less, with fees ranging $100 to more than $500. Fees depend on the number of health tests, vaccinations, and other medical procedures the puppies have undergone.