Yorkshire Terriers are small, longhaired dogs with solid, well-proportioned frames. They hold themselves in an erect, confident and proud manner. A typical Yorkie has a flat head (with lots of hair), a medium-sized muzzle, alert and friendly eyes, and a pair of erect, V-shaped ears. Their tails are docked to medium-length while their coats hang long and straight all over. The coats are usually metallic blue on the body and tail, and tan everywhere else.
Often called toys with terrier qualities, Yorkshire Terriers are not your typical couch companion. They are clever, bold and independent animals with an energetic feistiness that makes itself known all around the house.
Easily trained, Yorkshire Terriers have a keen ability to remember multiple commands and adopt many obedience skills. They are top-notch competitors when it comes to sports and agility. This breed is also known for its independence. They need a certain amount of privacy to recharge, but also crave activity, involvement and attention.
No matter how many people or animals in the house, Yorkies will assert themselves, involving themselves in lots of hi-jinks that are mostly amusing and fun. This assertiveness usually comes across as self-confidence, not aggressiveness. They get along very well with other dogs and easily adapt to family life. Intensely protective, Yorkshire Terriers have a fearlessness and a relentless bark that make them great watchdogs.
Yorkshire Terriers can live as long as 15 years, but they must be handled with care: Because of their small size, they can be troubled by a number of health problems including hip and joint issues, poor digestion, tooth decay and bone fractures. Yorkshire Terriers are fragile dogs. Be careful when holding them or transporting them and be sure to regularly feed them solid foods.
Yorkies get along very well with children, but they don’t have the patience for the sudden moves and rough play of very small ones. Also, they can sometimes be demanding and stubborn if they don’t get their way.
Like other small breeds, Yorkshire Terriers have a super-sized confidence. Keep them on a leash during walks, as they have a tendency to pick fight with much larger dogs.
They should be groomed regularly, including daily combing and brushing. The hair on their heads grows so long, it’s often necessary to tie it in a band so your Yorkshire Terrier can see and eat without any hassle.
Yorkshire Terriers were bred in 19th century England from a mixture of Scottish Terriers: Clydesdale, Skye, Paisley and Waterside Terriers; and were used by miners near Yorkshire to catch rats that had infested the mines. They also came in handy as hunting dogs, able to chase foxes, badgers and other small animals into their burrows. Over the years they were bred smaller, soon becoming fashionable pets and dog show standouts.