yorkshire terrier

Yorkshire Terrier Temperament and Personality



Yorkshire Terrier Temperament and Personality


Yorkshire terriers or Yorkies are ideal for people who want to keep hypoallergenic pets for a long time. The Yorkshire Terrier breed may look dainty, but their personality is quite different. They can be aggressive, tenacious, and even bossy at times.  The silky coat of a Yorkie resembles human hair more than the fur of an animal.


They love to spend time cuddling, and they don’t shy away from being held. They are playful, affectionate, and loyal. A Yorkshire Terrier will gladly take on the role of a fine watchdog anytime. 



About the Yorkshire Terrier

The various wonderful traits of Yorkshire Terriers are just some of the reasons behind their popularity among pet lovers. The breed is small-sized. Its usual weight is between 5 pounds and 7 pounds, and its average height is 9 inches up to its shoulders. Trained Yorkies are friendly, and the word shy has nothing to do with them.


They act boldly since they don’t have anything to be afraid of. They love their owners and are always ready to bark when they sense danger, making a Yorkie one of the ideal watchdogs.  The Yorkshire Terrier breed can get along well with children. Both can foster better relationships if the children grow up with their Yorkies.


The Yorkies can tolerate a child. However, it is also important to teach the child how to play properly with the Yorkshire Terrier and not hurt the dog. Yorkshire Terriers do not get along well with other dogs and animals unless they have been together from the start. If there are other pets in the house, it is important to make the dogs socialize well.


Bear in mind that hunting rodents are something that a Yorkshire Terrier does instinctively. It would be difficult or impossible to train them not to do it. Speaking of training, the Yorkshire Terriers are intelligent. They can follow quickly. They can ace basic obedience. As an owner, it is important not to spoil your Yorkshire Terrier and not turn it into an over-aggressive and over-protective dog.



History of the Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier breed was developed in the northern English countries of Yorkshire and Lancashire during the middle part of the 1800s. It was initially bred to catch rats in mines. They also hunted for foxes and badgers in burrows. The breed made its debut in 1861 during a bench show in England. At the time, they were called Broken-Haired Scotch Terrier.


The name remained for nine years until a reporter remarked that it was best to name this breed Yorkshire Terrier. The breed showed great improvements ever since they arrived in Yorkshire. The weavers from Scotland were proud of their small but tough terriers that could catch rodents. They brought their dogs with them when they migrated to the English North Country.  


The small Scottish breed called Waterside Terriers, which have a long blue-gray coat, are the ancestors of Yorkshire Terriers. Several now-extinct breeds of Scottish Terriers are also part of the genetic mix of Yorkshire Terriers, along with Dandie Dinmonts and Skye Terriers. Some authorities believe that Yorkies may also have Maltese blood.  


The Yorkshire Terriers of today are slightly smaller than their predecessors. The Yorkies began as working-class dogs and ended up as the English ladies’ fashionable lapdog in the Victorian age. The Kennel Club in England gave the Yorkies proper recognition in 1886. They made their debut in American society in the 1870s.


The American Kennel Club registered its first Yorkshire Terrier in 1885. It was a female Yorkshire Terrier named Belle. The Yorkshire Terriers of today are slightly smaller than their predecessors. The modern Yorkies are no longer used to control pests or rodents. Their owners pamper them as they become more of a fashion accessory. The Yorkies are free to enjoy the activities they love to do and will always remain a true terrier.



tiny fluffy puppy



Yorkshire Terrier Care

At first, it may seem that you need to consider many things when giving your Yorkshire Terrier proper care. But, things can run smoother than you think once you get things organized with a proper schedule. When caring for a Yorkshire Terrier, remember and apply these important elements:


Designate a specific space for the Yorkie to spend its time, especially during nighttime sleeping. Yorkies tend to follow their owners from room to room and take a rest anywhere they want. It is good to give the Yorkies some freedom, but it can also lead to separation anxiety, chewed objects in the house, and housebreaking accidents.


You can prevent these problems if you provide a specific space or area for your Yorkie to go to in your absence. Providing a specific area for your Yorkie to invade anytime can also keep the stools and urine within a specific place for easy clean-up. Yorkies will do fine in their designated area, but they should not be confined in crates.


The small, enclosed space can give stress to Yorkies. If you still prefer confining your Yorkie in a closed space, you may want to consider an indoor canine playpen with open tops. Make sure to give your Yorkie sufficient water intake and well-balanced nutritious meals. 


Avoid giving a Yorkshire Terrier something that contains artificial flavoring or coloring, chemical preservatives, or anything that may cause health issues or allergies. Don’t give your Yorkie something with low-value fillers, such as cereals and corn. Just like with any other breed, it’s best to provide your Yorkie with healthy food and treats with beneficial ingredients


When giving water to a dog, the ideal ratio to follow is 1/2 to 1 ounce of water for every pound of the dog’s total body weight per day. This amount of water can help prevent dehydration. You may need to increase or lessen the amount, depending on the health and level of activity of your dog as well as the weather. Make sure to give only filtered tap water.


Related: How Long Can a Dog Go Without Water?


Set a regular grooming schedule. You need to set a regular grooming schedule at-home dental care, nail trimmings, brushing and coat care, and baths. Having a regular schedule means performing each routine at their designated time or period without fail. Make sure to make your Yorkshire Terrier do healthy and fun activities. 


Your Yorkshire Terrier must meet the needed exercise requirements each day to ensure its health and wellbeing. Staying indoors for so long may lead to depression and other health issues. If it’s inevitable to confine your dog inside the house, make sure to keep your dog active. Take time to check other things that may affect your dog.


Take time to check the paws of your pet and see if there are lacerations and other issues. You may apply paw protection to your dog. You may need to apply nose balms or butter to your Yorkshire Terrier to protect against skin chapping or drying. Wipe the face or coat of your dog whenever necessary. Consult your vet for suitable heart worm, tick, flea, and other protection against parasites for your dog. 



Yorkshire Terrier Grooming

Since the coat of a Yorkshire Terrier is just like human hair, it should be cared for in the same way. You can set between 2 and 3 times brushing per week for Yorkies with short coats and everyday brushing for Yorkshire Terriers with long coats. Choose a brush intended for coats of hair and not fur. You may spray the coat of your Yorkie with some leave-in conditioner to prevent tangles.


You must keep the hair around the eye area short to avoid irritating the eyes of your dog. Those with very long coats can have a topknot. It is easy for a Yorkie to get tooth decay, so make sure to give your pet good dental hygiene. Use a toothbrush or spray to clean the teeth and giving your pet a daily dental treat. It is important to have regular visits to the vet for your Yorkie’s wellness checks.


The ideal trimming of nails for Yorkies is every six weeks. You can either take your Yorkie to the groomer or do it yourself. You can bathe your Yorkie once every three weeks or when necessary. The ideal shampoo to use is something that has 6.5 to 7.5 pH. It is also important to conduct weekly ear inspections to check signs of infection or debris.



Yorkshire Terrier Exercise

Dogs of all sizes must exercise to keep fit and healthy, both physically and mentally. The Yorkshire Terrier will get a lot of benefits just from taking a walk with its owner. Sporadic bursts of activity, such as running after a ball in the garden, can also be regarded as a form of moderate exercise.  Two short walks of about 20 minutes each per day are ideal – one in the morning and one before it gets dark.


Two short walks of about 20 minutes each per day, one in the morning and one before it gets dark, should be enough to meet the exercise requirement. Allowing your Yorkie to join agility or obedience dog sports can also help improve your dog’s physical and mental health. If it is not possible to complete two 20-minute walks in a day, you may set a one-time walk of 30 minutes or more.


You and your dog may exercise together by walking for longer minutes. If your dog suddenly lies down, take a break from walking and give your dog a drink. It is important to carry a water bottle with you when you have decided to walk your dog for longer minutes.





Yorkshire Terrier Training

Yorkshire Terriers are intelligent, always want to please, and love their owners. Giving them treats and affectionate praises for displaying good behavior will yield favorable results against imposing harsh punishments to correct their mistakes. It is important to start exposing the Yorkshire Terrier to peculiar people, situations, and other pets from a very young age.


Gradually introduce your Yorkie to new situations. Do it happily and calmly. You need to make sure that your dog will gain positive experiences. The small size of Yorkies is not an issue when participating in canine activities, such as obedience, agility, and rally events. Many Yorkies also help their human partners in performing various endeavors, such as therapy work.


Whatever training you give your Yorkshire Terrier, it can understand the commands immediately since it is a fast learner. A Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog with a strong will and big-dog temperament.


When training a Yorkie, you need to remember the following:


– You need to be consistent with the commands you use and everything you do while training your dog to avoid confusion.


– Repetition is the key to successful training.


– Use positive reinforcement, and don’t forget to give praises for a job well done.



Yorkshire Terrier Description

In general, the Yorkshire Terrier breed has a silky, straight, and long coat with colors blue and tan when it matures. It has a neat body that is well-proportioned and compact. The confident manner and high head carriage of a Yorkie gives it the look of self-importance and vigor. It has a small head with a not too prominent or round skull.


Its muzzle is not too long. It has a black nose, and its eyes are medium-sized and not too prominent. The eyes and eye rims have a dark color. It has small V-shaped ears that are erect and almost close to each other. It should have good teeth without pronounced overbite or underbite.


A Yorkie’s body is compact and well-proportioned. It has a rather short, level back. The tail, which is cropped short to medium length, is a bit higher than the body. The forelegs of a Yorkshire are usually straight without protruding elbows on either side. When viewed from behind, the hind legs should be straight. However, the stifles are bent moderately when you look at them from the sides.


Yorkies have black toenails on their round feet. The coat of a Yorkshire Terrier has fine, glossy hair that has a silky texture. The body has straight, long hair. You can trim the coat to floor length to create ease in movement and a tidier look. You may also choose to trim the hair in the parts of the body for a tidier appearance.


The hair on the head is so long that you can tie it at the center with a bow or part it in the center using two bows. The muzzle hair is very long. Yorkie puppies are born with a tan and black coat that shows streaks of black in the tan, which will change when they turn into adults. The perfect coat color for adult Yorkshire Terriers is blue, steel grey of deeper shade, and tan.


There should be no bronze, black, or silver color in the blue-colored coat. A true Yorkie must have any of these combinations of color: 


  • Black and tan
  • Black and gold   
  • Blue and tan 
  • Blue and gold


The colors should appear as follows:


  • There should be a black or blue color from the nape to the tip of the tail.
  • The fall should have a bar of gold or golden tan color with richer shades on the muzzle and ears.
  • The chest and legs must have gold or tan color, but the gold or tan color should not go higher than the front leg’s elbow or the stifle of the hind legs.


Yorkies usually weigh a maximum of seven pounds, and it should not go beyond that. Always take note of the colors and their proper placements.



Yorkshire Terrier Personality

The human hair and Yorkie’s coat have a similar texture. Yorkshire Terriers are lively and love to be where the action is. They are self-assured and natural attention seekers, always ready to take on the spotlight without trying. They are playful and have heaps of personality that you will enjoy seeing. It is extremely rewarding to own a dog like a Yorkshire Terrier. 


Yorkies are assertive, and they are best suited to families with older children. Although they can get along with young children, their uncontrolled actions could upset the small dogs. The Yorkies may be quite tricky to handle due to their willfulness. It is important to train them on how to socialize with children and other dogs.


However, socialization may be the least of your concerns when your Yorkshire Terrier was adopted as a young puppy and grew up together with other pets and children in your house. 



6 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About Yorkshire Terriers

Here are the six things that you still may not be aware of about Yorkshire Terriers.


Yorkshire Terriers are known as the “Tomboy Toy.”

They may be tiny, but no one should underestimate them. Tomboy toys due to their spunky personality, with the courage and the confidence to prove that they got the name for a reason. They have the vitality and self-reliance that can help them do well in almost everything. They are great family dogs and travel companions.


The human hair and Yorkie’s coat have a similar texture.

Yorkies are famous for their flowing, silky, and long coats that resemble human hair when they swish around. Like human hair, you need to spend ample time to maintain its beauty. Like human hair, the Yorkshire’s coat needs daily brushing to prevent knots or tangles from occurring. The coat also breaks easily like human hair. It’s a good thing that the Yorkshire Terrier has no undercoat. It means they only shed as much hair as you. 


Yorkies did not have a glamorous life.

Although Yorkies look elegant, refined, and glamorous, as if they have royal blood running through their veins, their ancestors were once used to catch rats and other pests. Although they now live in the modern world and stand proud, their instinct to go after rats sometimes surface.   


The Wizard of Oz’s Toto may have been created with the Yorkie in mind.

The original drawings of Toto in the first edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz seemed to depict Dorothy’s dog like a Yorkie. The assumption was not entirely baseless because the Yorkshire Terrier was in demand during that time. Also, the illustrator of the book owned a Yorkie.


There was once a war hero, and it was a Yorkie.

During World War II, a Yorkie named Smoky saved soldiers’ lives when she dragged a cable through a drainage ditch that measured 60 feet long and 8” wide. Smoky was the first therapy dog in the world, making her rounds in hospitals to visit the wounded soldiers. Six memorials in the US pay tribute to Smoky, including the Museum of the Dog in AKC. Australia also has one.


When trained properly, Yorkies don’t shy away from big cities.

Although Yorkies may look majestic and dauntless, most of them are afraid of people and other dogs if not trained properly. Lack of socialization is one of the primary causes of fear among Yorkies. Providing proper socialization from a very young age can help the Yorkies grow into adults, oozing confidence and courage. It will be easy for them to conquer the big cities without cowering.



Yorkshire Terrier Common Health Problems

Here is a list of the common health problems of Yorkshire Terriers that you should know.


Patellar Luxation

A dislocation or movement is known as patellar luxation, which is a typical hereditary condition among Yorkies. Luxation has varying degrees based mostly on the trochlear groove or the depth of the space where the patella is found. It can affect one or more legs of the dog. The veterinarian is the proper authority who can examine and detect the presence of patellar luxation and offer suggestions for medical or surgical intervention.


Collapsing Trachea

Collapsing trachea is one of the genetic health problems among Yorkies, and it is most common among undersized dogs. The Yorkshire Terrier with this disease has a trachea or windpipe that appears abnormally narrow. Researchers suggest that the main culprit is the hereditary weakness of rings responsible for keeping the windpipe in place.


Putting a dog collar on the Yorkie may cause respiratory blockage and can make the condition worse. The most common signs of collapsing trachea are gagging sounds and frequent coughing.    


Portosystemic Shunts (PSS)

PSS is also an inherited condition among Yorkies. It happens when the blood from the intestines bypass the liver, leading to serious side effects in the body of the Yorkie. Usually, the portal is responsible for bringing blood to the liver to keep waste products out. When a dog has this condition, the usual cause is an abnormal connection between one of the branches of the portal vein and the portal vein itself that allow the action of bypassing the liver. 


This action permits waste products to invade the body and cause toxic effects on the body organs, including the brain. The most common signs are changes in behavior, diarrhea, vomiting, disorientation, and loss of appetite.





Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

The vertebrae of the spinal column have cushioning discs between them. The IVDD is a condition among dogs wherein the cushioning discs burst or bulge in the spinal cord space. It is typically known as a slipped disc or herniated disc. The discs continue to press on the spinal cord nerves and cause nerve damage, pain and may even lead to paralysis. 


The common symptoms of IVDD include:


  • Anxious behavior.
  • Crying out of pain.
  • Abnormal walking.
  • Reduced appetite.
  • Hunched neck or back.
  • Decreased activity level.
  • Unwillingness to jump.



owner holding puppy simba style



Yorkshire Terrier Diet and Nutrition

It is vital to keep the blood sugar levels of Yorkies consistent to avoid hypoglycemia. You need to give your Yorkshire Terrier the food that it loves to eat. You should also take note of the following:


  • Yorkie puppies may take between 1/4 and 1/2 cup dry food, 3 to 4 times each day until they are four months old. Dry food is better than wet food when feeding your puppy, but you can still give it a small amount of wet food.
  • Breakfast is the heaviest meal of the day. You should give a light dinner and not feed your dog two hours before it goes to bed. You can give snacks as a reward.
  • After four months, you can create a feeding schedule and make sure that your Yorkie eats regularly.
  • Between 9 and 12 months, you can begin giving your Yorkshire Terrier an adult diet. If you are cooking your dog’s food at home, the amount you need to give should be less than the recommended amount of dry food.
  • The recommended eating frequency for an adult Yorkie is twice a day. Keep in mind that a Yorkie has a small stomach. 
  • The recommended food intake of an adult Yorkie is between 1/2 and 3/4 cups each day. You can choose to split this amount throughout the day. Don’t add more cups to the recommended amount.
  • Don’t give your dog scraps under the table to avoid the habit of begging.


You may adjust the amount according to the levels of activity and health condition of your dog.



Where to Adopt or Buy a Yorkshire Terrier

If you want to own a Yorkshire Terrier, you may want to try adopting a Yorkie from a rescue center that specializes in this breed. Browse the animal shelters and rescue centers near your place as a start. You may also try looking from the AKC marketplace to see if you can find the dog that fits your preference.


If you want to buy from a breeder, verify the legitimacy of the breeder first. You need to do your search and conduct some investigation before buying from a breeder.





More about the Yorkshire Terrier

Here are some of the interesting facts about the Yorkshire Terrier:


– Due to their small size, Yorkshire Terriers are not categorized under the Terrier group. Like the Chihuahua, the Yorkshire Terrier is categorized under the Toy breed group. 


– The Yorkies have many characteristics of the Toy breed, such as cleverness, curiosity, and alertness.


– While it’s true that their barking can help alert their owners and deter people with evil intentions, it can also be irritating. The owners of Yorkies should brace themselves because these dogs love to bark.


– A Yorkie will not hold itself back when it receives constant teasing or maltreatment from a child, even though it is unintentional.


– Regardless of how well Yorkies socialize with other dogs, they are usually not fond of socializing with cats or rodents. Their ancestors were trained to catch pests before, and they inherited the trait.


The Yorkshire Terrier is a family dog and a great, loyal companion you will never regret owning. Read about more dog breeds here.

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