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Yorkshire Terrier

Unsurprisingly, with their glamorous coats, lively personalities, and eternal love and loyalty, little Yorkshire Terriers are the second most popular dog breeds in the US.

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Animalia Team
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    Country of Origin

    United Kingdom

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    Breed Group

    Companion dogs

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    Height

    Male 8-9 In

    Female 7-8 In

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    Weight

    Male 7-12 Ib

    Female 4-7 Ib

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    Life Span

    11-15 years

In a Nutshell

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, seem a tad aloof, and why shouldn’t they? Their long steel-blue, soft, silky coat and little topknot make them among the most glamorous ambassadors of the dog world and attention grabbers wherever they go. Their size makes it easy for them to travel in style, with their adoring owners toting around with them in tailored dog purses. If you shower your Yorkie with care, love, attention, and daily playtime or exercise, you’ll have an adorable companion who’ll glue itself to you like your shadow!

Life With a Yorkshire Terrier

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Energy level

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Trainability Level

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Amount of Shedding

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Tendency of Barking

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Exercise Needs

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    Home Alone

    So-So

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    Living Arrangements

    Apartment will do

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    Kid Friendly

    Yes

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    Pet Friendly

    Yes

Looks & Personality

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The Yorkshire Terrier is a toy-size, well-proportioned, compact terrier. The Yorkie maintains a sparkle in its dark-rimmed eyes and an intelligent and sharp expression. Yorkies hold themselves confidently even though they weigh only around seven pounds. Their grandeur is their silky, floor-length coat that comes in a range of rich colors, including black and tan, black and gold, or steel blue. Don’t be fooled by a Yorkie’s daintiness. The Yorkie has the characteristics of real terriers – tenacious, bossy, and brave. A trendy dog, Yorkies pack a big, self-confident attitude into a small but self-important bundle. Yorkies live long lives and are hypoallergenic as their coats are more like human hair than animal fur.

Looks aside, their personalities are most endearing, and they’re big dogs in small bodies with an adventurous spirit. Despite their boldness, they are softies who love their families, pick up on your feelings, and can be anxious. They prefer a stay at home parent over spending time alone at home.

Although Yorkies are great apartment pets, they can be yappy, which your neighbors may not appreciate. While these little guys are playful, they’re so small that children, especially the little ones, can hurt them unintentionally. Also, they can be snappish if teased or startled. They do better with older kids who know how to respect them.

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A tip from a vet

Yorkshire Terriers can have fragile digestive systems and be picky eaters. Eating problems can also arise if they have teeth or gum problems. If your Yorkie shows discomfort during or after eating, it's time for a checkup at the vet.
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A tip from a trainer

Yorkshire Terriers can be difficult to housetrain, so crate-training is advised. Also, some Yorkies can bark often. They are also suspicious of intruders and strangers. They will try to take on large dogs (and squirrels), but early training can teach them when and when not to bark and when to stay under control.
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Did You Know

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    Yorkshire Terriers generally get along with other house pets if they are raised together.

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    Yorkies were first seen in America in the 1870s, and the AKC recorded its first Yorkie, a female named Belle, in 1885.

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    Dorothy’s dog Toto is believed to be a Yorkie in the original 1900 book of the Wonderful “Wizard of Oz”

In The News

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Smokey was probably the most famous Yorkshire Terrier. She was found by a US soldier in New Guinea during World War II. In addition to entertaining the troops, she was able to help run a telegraph wire through a 70-foot pipe that was only 8 inches wide. This was necessary to build an airbase in Luzon, which was critical to the war effort. This saved the allies tons of work and allowed them to focus on the war efforts. As a result, she was seen by the world as a hero. After the war, she made many television appearances and showed off many ticks, including her blindfolded tightrope act. She now has a life-size bronze statue at her final resting place in Lakewood, Ohio.

Famous Yorkshire Terrier Owners

Gisele Bundchen, Naomi Watts, Miranda Kerr, Ivanka Trump, Natalie Portman, Live Schreiber, Nene Leaks

The History Behind the Breed

It’s hard to believe, but the Yorkshire Terrier was a working-class dog, bred as ratters for clothing mills and mine shafts in the mid-1800s in Yorkshire and Lancashire, North England. It is said that the breed was created by Scottish weavers who migrated to North England, bringing their terriers along where they worked as tough little exterminators. The turning point in their history was in 1886 when England's Kennel Club officially recognized them. This publicity attracted the attention of posh Victorian ladies, and Yorkies made their way up the pecking order into their laps. Their popularity among the fashionable grew, and their size shrank to better suit their new jobs as amusing and adorable companions enjoying a life of luxury.

If a Yorkshire Terrier Could Talk…

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"You may be able to fit me in your purse or treat me like a baby, but I’m a mighty warrior – I promise!"

A Quick Anatomy Lesson

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Yorkshire Terriers are a healthy dog breed, often enjoying a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. But like all breeds, Yorkies are prone to several inherited diseases, as well as health issues that commonly plague small breeds.

Common Health Problems

What about your Yorkshire Terrier?