What Is the Personality of a Yorkshire Terrier?

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Like humans, Yorkshire terriers have a variety of personalities and traits that makes them different and unique compared to other dogs. With that, owners and future Yorkie owners ask, what is the personality of a Yorkshire terrier? Luckily, I have the answer for you!

What Is the Personality of a Yorkshire Terrier?

The personality of Yorkshire terriers are often based on their environment and genetic traits. Yorkies are famous for being cuddle-loving breeds who love to sleep and be active at the same time. They also love to have their owner’s attention all the time.

Graphic image of a black and brown Yorkie with text describing the known personality traits of Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire terriers may inherit their personality based on their breed and specific genetic traits. Still, Yorkshire terriers and other dog breeds usually build up their personalities, traits, and habits based on their environment and everyday socialization to people and other dogs.

Factors That Affects Yorkshire Terrier’s Personality

As mentioned, Yorkshire terrier’s personality are not all innate. In fact, every dog differs when it comes to their personality since they are raised and exposed in different practices, households, and owners. Like humans, their environment is also crucial for their individual growth.

Here are the major factors that affects Yorkie’s personality:

  • Genetic traits and influences – Yorkshire terriers personality can inherit from their predecessors. With that, it’s easier for breeders to know what type of personality a litter of dogs can possibly possess.
    • Moreover, their breeds can also establish a big part in their identity since it controls their body size, health, and ability.
  • Puppy to adult transition – Like humans, Yorkshire terrier’s personality can affect by their upbringing during their litter stage.
    • For instance, Yorkshire terriers who have no control over their biting and chewing tendencies stemmed from its lack of knowledge about bite control that it should learn during the litter stage of their lives.
  • Socialization influences – Yorkshire terrier’s personality can further through socialization with people and dogs. This will allow them to understand other people and dog’s behavior which will make them more comfortable and confident with themselves.
  • Health influences – Health influences are also a strong factor of Yorkshire terrier’s behavior since it can greatly affect their everyday lives and comfort.
  • Environmental influences – Like socialization, Yorkshire terrier’s environment are a major factor for their personality. While there are genetic influences that might stick to them at birth, environmental influences teach them how to adapt and change their behavior based on their environment.
Cute Yorkshire terrier resting beside couch

Common Personalities of a Yorkshire Terrier

There are a lot of factors that can affect a Yorkshire terrier’s personality. However, there are still observable common personalities that Yorkshire terriers have. These personalities became common due to their genetic tendencies and breed influences.

Yorkshire Terrier Personalities

Yorkshire terriers are famous for their personality that mix with both calm and excitement. They are on the small side of the breed spectrum where include lap dogs like shih tzus and pugs. With that, Yorkies know to love affection, cuddles, naps, and quality time with their owners as a lap dog.

However, Yorkshire terriers are still a part of terrier breeds who love to run, roam around, and discover new things that will satisfy their curiosity. In a way, Yorkshire terriers are curious breeds and also want to have fun in a wide park.

However, their urges will be hard to control once you spoil them with uncontrolled love, affection, and play time whenever they want. Thus, a healthy balance of exposure to the controlled and playful environment need to have them in control.

Close-up shot of little Yorkshire terrier

Yorkshire Terrier’s Challenging Personality

Yorkshire terriers, despite having innate qualities of being a sweet and playful dog breed, also come with a challenging aspect in their personality. They love being in control over what they do. Oftentimes, despise being controlled using reinforcements of control and dominance like leashes.

Here are the challenging problems you might encounter in Yorkies:

  • House breaking – it is hard for Yorkshire terriers to learn how to housebreak. Housebreaking refers to a dog’s trained behavior of going outside to excrete rather than indoors. This training is hard for Yorkshire terriers to learn because of their control issues.
  • Barking – bark control is one of the most challenging problems to deal with in owning a Yorkshire terrier. Since they are stubborn and independent dog breeds, controlling them whenever they bark will entice them to bark even louder to assert dominance and control.
  • Nipping and biting – Yorkshire terriers are also known for their habit of nipping and biting that can be traced in their litter environment. Most Yorkies are a product of breeding which did not always give way to natural feeding methods.

Yorkshire Terriers Sudden Change in Personality and Behavioral Pattern

As mentioned, Yorkshire terrier’s health is a major factor that contributes to their personality and behavioral pattern. This can mostly observe when there is a sudden shift or change in Yorkie’s personality and mood.

Most of the Yorkshire terrier’s change in personality due to health-related factors tend to exhibit particular traits. These makes it easier for veterinarians and even their owners to assess whether the change is due to health influence.

Cute Yorkshire terrier reaching to his owner

These changes include loss of appetite, mood swings, aggression, irritability, and even behavioral patterns like sneezing, wheezing, coughing, and scratching. These can also be a sign of mental problems rather than physical ones.

That is why it is best for Yorkies who are experiencing sudden changes in behavior to have veterinary supervision.

Related Questions

What’s Bad About Yorkies?

Yorkshire terriers are good family pets since they are manageable in size and personality. However, the negative thing about this dog breed is their vulnerability in diseases particularly in liver diseases, bone deformities and problems, as well as eye-related diseases like cataracts which makes them high maintenance.

Is a Yorkshire Terrier a Good Family Dog?

While Yorkshire terriers naturally breed to hunt rats and other pests which makes them active and playful, they still make a good family dog. Yorkshire terriers are ideal for people who live alone or families with older members. They should be well-trained when handling small children as they are prone to nipping and biting.



Yorkshire terriers have a mix of playful and calm personalities who love to take a nap and be active at the same time. While Yorkie’s behavior can be determined based on their genetic influences, factors like environmental and social influences can also greatly affect their behavior.

Thus, proper supervision and environment need to make an obediently good Yorkie.