What Is the Yorkie Breed Standard?

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If you plan to adopt a dog to participate in dog shows, you need to ensure the dog meets the show’s requirements. Knowing the Yorkie breed standard can help adopt a dog that meets the American Kennel club requirements for purebred Yorkies.

What Is the Yorkie Breed Standard?

According to the American Kennel Club, the Yorkie breed standard is a Yorkie with a height of 8 to 9 inches and weighs not more than 7 pounds when fully grown. Yorkies are small-sized dogs and achieve this size and weight at 12 months. The main colors include black and gold, black and tan, blue and gold, and blue and tan.

Yorkies have silky coats with long hair that appear in different color combinations. Although even purebred Yorkies can still have color and size variations, the following are the approved physical appearances of a standard Yorkie.

A longhaired Yorkshire terrier wearing a blue and white ribbon and striped dog clothes while sitting on a black velvety cloth

Size and Weight

Generally, an adult Yorkie has a standing height of between 8 to 9 inches when measured from the ground to the withers and weighs not more than 7 pounds for males and females. This is the standard Yorkie height and weight recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Normally, a Yorkie achieves its full size and weight at around 12 months. Although some breeders claim that TeaCup Yorkies are purebred Yorkies, the American Kennel Club does not recognize them as they are so small, weighing around 2 to 3 pounds.


Normally, Yorkies have small heads that look flat on top and well-proportioned to their small-sized body. Their medium-sized muzzles have a well-aligned dental structure visible when biting or chewing dental toys.

Generally, Yorkies are genetically pre-designed to have small black noses. Yorkies have medium-sized eyes, glistering at a glance. The eyes are well set in the socket, slightly low in the skull. The eyes are dark, corresponding to their dark eye rim. The ears are small, with a V-shaped pinna that is normally pricked.


Yorkies have compact bodies that are well-proportioned with other parts of the body, such as the hindquarter and the forequarters. Their backs are relatively short, while the height of the shoulder and rump is usually equal.

The forequarters have straight legs and elbows, while the hind legs look straight when viewed from behind and fairly bent when observed from the sides. In addition, Yorkies recognized tails are medium-sized and docked.

Coat Type

Yorkies have quality coats of well-spread long hair with a silky texture, usually in different colors. Since not all colors meet the official standard, the following are the Yorkie colors approved by the American Kennel Club.

  • Blue and gold: Like blue and tan Yorkies, a blue and gold Yorkie is born with a deep black coat and tan markings and later changes to this color as it ages. This color combination is inherited from parents that have a gray coat dominant gene.
  • Black and tan: Although some pet owners may describe them as black and brown, these Yorkies puppies are mostly born with black and tan coats. Typically, you will see the tan color around the mouth, feet, chest, tail, inside, and on the tips of the ears.
  • Blue and tan: The color combination comes due to the presence of the graying genes that tends to lighten the black color that the Yorkie is born with. The black turns to blue as the dog grows.
  • Black and gold: The colors look similar to the black and tan combination, only that the nonblack spots look lighter compared to a Yorkie with black and tan color. Usually, this is due to the graying gene effect.
  • Particolored: This color combination is rare due to the recessive nature of the piebald genes required to express this color combination. Your Yorkie might be white and black or blue and tan, and tan being the dominant coat color.
A tri-colored Yorkshire terrier with a moist black nose lying on a red cloth


According to the American Kennel Club, you should groom a Yorkie after every 4 to 6 weeks, usually by a professional groomer. Since Yorkies develop long glossy hair, Yorkie’s hair needs trimming to the floor length to minimize sweeping the floor with the hair, which tends to affect the dog’s gait.

Related Questions

How Can You Groom a Yorkie’s Head for Dog Shows?

Using the 4F blade, cut the fur across the forehead and make sure that you clear your Yorkie neck hair. Use scissors to trim the Yorkies beard and the area around the eyes. Use a rubber ribbon to tie a topknot on the Yorky’s head.

Are Standard Yorkies Double or Single Coated?

Yorkies are single-coated and have hair that looks like human hair. The hair takes longer to grow and needs frequent brushing and bathing to minimize mats. This single coat makes Yorkies low shedders and suitable for allergic people.

Final Thoughts

The Yorkie breed standard is based on size, weight, coat, and color as per the American Kennel Club rules and policies. Knowing what the Yorkie breed standard is can help you know whether your adopted Yorkie is purebred or not.