The Ultimate Guide to Yorkshire Terriers: Traits, Care, and Tips

April 6, 2023

Yorkshire Terriers, affectionately known as Yorkies, are well-loved for their small size, feisty personalities, and silky coats. These intelligent dogs make great companions for both individuals and families. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to Yorkshire Terriers, including their traits, care requirements, grooming tips, and various other aspects to keep your furry friend happy and healthy.

Table of Contents

  1. Traits of Yorkshire Terriers
  2. Caring for Your Yorkshire Terrier
  3. Grooming Tips
  4. Health Concerns
  5. Training and Socialization
  6. Exercise Requirements
  7. Diet and Nutrition
  8. Additional Tips and Information

Traits of Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terriers are known for their distinctive physical and behavioral traits, which have contributed to their enduring popularity as pets.

Physical Traits

  • Size: Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs, typically weighing between 4 and 7 pounds and reaching a height of 6 to 9 inches at the shoulder.
  • Coat: Yorkies have a long, silky coat that is usually steel blue and tan. They are considered to be a hypoallergenic breed due to their low-shedding coats.
  • Life Expectancy: With proper care, Yorkshire Terriers can live to be between 12 and 15 years old.

Behavioral Traits

  • Intelligence: Yorkies are smart and can be easy to train with consistency and positive reinforcement.
  • Personality: Yorkshire Terriers are known for their bold, confident, and sometimes stubborn personalities. They are typically very affectionate with their humans and can be protective.
  • Energy Level: Despite their small size, Yorkies have a surprising amount of energy and require regular exercise to stay happy and healthy.

Caring for Your Yorkshire Terrier

Ensuring proper care for your Yorkshire Terrier will help them live a long, happy, and healthy life. Here are some important aspects of care to consider.

Regular Vet Visits

Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are essential for maintaining your pet's health. Bring your Yorkshire Terrier to the vet at least once a year for vaccinations, dental check-ups, and routine examinations.

Dental Care

Small breeds like Yorkies are prone to dental issues like periodontal disease. Schedule regular dental cleanings with your vet, and establish a daily teeth-cleaning routine with a dog toothbrush and toothpaste.

Preventative Measures

Ensure your Yorkie is protected from parasites like fleas and ticks by using preventative medications. Consult your veterinarian to find the best treatment to suit your pet's needs.

Grooming Tips

Yorkshire Terriers require regular grooming to maintain their beautiful coats and prevent matting. Here are some tips to help you with grooming your Yorkie.

  1. Brush your Yorkie's coat daily with a slicker brush or comb to prevent tangles and matting.
  2. Trim your dog's nails regularly to prevent overgrowth and discomfort. Consult your veterinarian if you're unsure how to do this.
  3. Bathe your Yorkie every 2-4 weeks, depending on their activity level and coat condition. Always use a mild, hypoallergenic dog shampoo.
  4. Inspect and clean your dog's ears regularly to prevent infection. If you notice excessive wax or foul odors, consult your veterinarian.

Health Concerns

Although generally healthy, Yorkshire Terriers can be prone to certain hereditary health issues. Some common concerns include:

  • Portosystemic Shunt (Liver Shunt)
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Dental issues
  • Tracheal Collapse

If you notice any unusual symptoms or behaviors, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Training and Socialization

Yorkshire Terriers are intelligent dogs that respond well to positive reinforcement and consistency when it comes to training. Early socialization is essential in helping your Yorkie become a well-adjusted adult dog.

Obedience Training

Start training your Yorkie as early as possible, using positive reinforcement techniques such as praise and treats. Be consistent with your schedule and commands, and your dog will soon learn basic obedience skills.


Introduce your Yorkshire Terrier to new experiences, people, and other animals at a young age. This will help them develop confidence and well-rounded social skills. Positive experiences with other dogs, cats, and pets will encourage healthy relationships in the future.

Exercise Requirements

Despite their small stature, Yorkies have a moderate energy level and require regular exercise to maintain their health and happiness. A daily walk or play session indoors should suffice for most Yorkshire Terriers.

Diet and Nutrition

A balanced diet is crucial for your Yorkie's overall health. Here are some tips to ensure proper nutrition:

  1. Feed your Yorkshire Terrier a high-quality, small breed-specific dog food. Consult your veterinarian to determine the best food choice and portion sizes for your dog.
  2. Avoid feeding your Yorkie human food or table scraps, as some human foods can be toxic to dogs.
  3. Ensure your dog has access to fresh water at all times.

Additional Tips and Information

Here are some bonus tips and information to help you and your Yorkshire Terrier enjoy a happy life together:

  • Consider purchasing pet insurance for your Yorkshire Terrier to help cover the cost of any unexpected veterinary expenses.
  • Ensure that your Yorkie has a comfortable, well-fitted harness for walks, rather than a collar, to prevent strain on their delicate trachea.
  • Yorkies can be sensitive to extreme temperatures, so take appropriate precautions during hot or cold weather.

With proper care, training, and attention, your Yorkshire Terrier will be a loyal and loving companion for years to come. Their endearing personalities and beautiful coats make them a popular and rewarding pet choice for families and individuals alike.


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