What Is a Yorkshire Terrier?

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The Yorkshire Terrier is a fun, loving, and popular companion. Yet, many people still wonder: what is a Yorkshire Terrier? The following information will help you learn everything you need to know about this adorable dog breed.

What Is a Yorkshire Terrier?

The Yorkshire Terrier is commonly known as “Yorkie.” It is a small breed of dog and typically weighs between seven and nine pounds. It has long, silky hair that looks styled even when it’s not. 

Graphic image of a white and brown Yorkie with a text explaining what a Yorkshire Terrier is

The Yorkie has 2-3 different kinds of coats: long-hair, medium-hair, and short-hair variety. Yorkies have either black or dark brown fur with tan markings around their eyes, chest, legs, feet, and tail. 

History of the Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier breed was first known as the broken-haired Scotch terrier. It is believed to originate from the Lake District in Northern England near York because of its name. The Yorkshire Terrier Dog Breed is a mix of several breeds, including the old English rough-coated terrier and Paisley terrier.

The original purpose of this breed was to catch rats, kill vermin and be a family pet. The American Kennel Club (AKC) first recognized the breed in 1885 as part of its Toy Group. It was later reclassified as a member of the Terrier Group.

Yorkshire Terrier puppy

What Does a Yorkshire Terrier Look Like?

Here is a brief overview of what a Yorkshire Terrier looks like

  • Head: The head of a Yorkie is proportional to its body. It is slightly triangular and narrows towards the muzzle. The skull is flat on top with a slight rise between the eyes. The cheeks are muscular, although not too full or prominent.
  • Muzzle: The muzzle of a Yorkie is not too long, straight, and in proportion to its skull. It tapers towards the nose, which should reach down to the bottom without showing too much haw. A Yorkie’s nose is typically black.
  • Eyes: The eyes of a Yorkie are dark and slightly slanted with an alert expression. They are rimmed with dark hair on the inside corners, covering what some call “sleepers.” A Yorkie’s eye color mostly matches its coat.
  • Mouth/Teeth: A Yorkies’ mouth is slightly undershot with a scissors bite. 
  • Ears: Yorkie’s ears are small and V-shaped, with the point of the “V” set high on the head towards the top of the skull. They hang close to the head, which is often covered with long hair.
  • Body: A Yorkie’s body is slightly longer. They have a long slender neck that’s neither too thin nor thick and arched at the back to support the head and flow into the tail. The tail is set high and carried over their backs. Their chest is deep and narrow, and their back is level. Their rear legs are powerfully muscled and longer than the front legs.
  • Tail: A Yorkie’s tail (called a Plume tail) is set high on their rump, which is rounded. It can either curl over their backs or to one side like some spaniels if they so desire.
  • Coat: The coat shouldn’t be wiry or curly (although some Yorkies do have wavy coats). The texture is silky soft to the touch, with colors ranging from blue and tan, chocolate and tan, or black with a steel blue sheen. Yorkies’ coat’s texture is similar to that of human hair.
Yorkshire Terrier

Other Characteristics of a Yorkshire Terrier


The Yorkie is a highly intelligent dog that can be stubborn at times. They are very friendly and get along with everyone, which makes them great family dogs. The best thing about the Yorkie is how social they are, and they love being around people.

If you want to go on walks or do other activities like daily exercise, your dog will love being with you. The Yorkie needs to have attention from their owners, or they will become destructive, so make sure that you spend enough time with them if you want a well-behaved dog.


The Yorkie has a lot of energy, and they need to release that energy by playing with other dogs or going on walks. They tend to have more energy than puppies. 

If you wish to buy this breed, do take note that they are hyperactive dogs. The Yorkie is an active breed that mostly needs to stay busy. They tend to be happier when they are kept busy, so you need to give them things to do if you want a happy dog.


The Yorkie is an independent dog who likes to do things their way, so training them can be difficult. They are intelligent dogs that learn very quickly. However, you need to stay patient when training them because this breed is brilliant, and they know it.

Woman training a Yorkshire Terrier puppy

If you let them, they will take advantage of you, so stay strong and show them who’s boss. If they sense that you are too soft with them, they will take over your house and not listen.

Interesting Facts About Yorkies

  • The original Yorkies were much bigger than today’s version.
  • Yorkies are among the most miniature dog breeds globally and can weigh as little as three pounds when fully grown.
  • This breed has a unique blue and tan coat that only comes from purebred parents.
  • Some people think that Yorkshire Terriers should be bred with a more extended leg structure. However, the original breed standard calls for short back legs.
  • Yorkies do not shed their hair and require very little grooming to stay healthy.
  • These dogs are so popular that they have their day of celebration called Yorkshire Terrier Day.


Though some people might call Yorkies “dogs of luxury,” they are reliable, independent dogs with short hair that doesn’t require much grooming. Because of their timid demeanor, Yorkies are cautious with strangers and other animals. They are alert, quick to learn, eager to please, active, and loveable.