Breed Group: Toy
Height: 8 to 9 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 4 to 7 pounds, sometimes larger
Life Span: 12 to 16 years
This little guy may be classified as a Toy dog, but his personality is pure terrier. Spunky and smart, he loves to play, gets along well with cats, and has the ability to rule bigger family dogs with an iron paw. The breed comes with one caveat: His beautiful coat is high maintenance, even if clipped short.
Did You Know the Yorkshire Terrier is a Big Dog in a Little Dog’s Body?
The feisty Yorkie was once coveted in England for its excellent ratter abilities. In the U.S., the diminutive breed became a popular lap dog for society ladies — and even set paw in the White House. President Nixon had a Yorkie named Pasha.
Yorkshire Terriers have long been labeled as the preferred companions of well-heeled, older women who wouldn’t deign to live in a building without a doorman, and who can’t bear to be late for the local arts fundraiser. Yet there aren’t enough society dames out there to account for the Yorkie’s popularity. Truth is, he appeals to a wide range of dog-lovers, thanks to his shoe-button eyes and soft-to-the-touch, silky coat.
The Yorkie is alert, trainable, and insatiably curious, making him a quintessential “big dog in a little dog’s body.” Typically weighing less than seven pounds, Yorkies are the darlings of the purse-dog set, but they also need ample time on the ground. He’ll happily take long walks, and he can be quite a determined — and boisterous — watchdog, as well.
His tough-minded personality aside, the Yorkie isn’t a good choice for families with small children because his own small size puts him at risk of injury. He can also be nippy with overzealous kids, aggressive with other dogs, and obstinate about house-training. Consistent and structured training is a must for the Yorkie, who needs to learn that he can’t challenge every dog that crosses his path. The other obstacle: This naturally yappy guy can never be fully silenced.
Other Quick Facts About the Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier has an inquisitive temperament — not to mention an impish sense of humor.
Yorkies have stunning blue-and-tan coats, but they’re not born that way. Puppies are black, and their coat color develops as they mature.
Despite their Toy status, these dogs love speed, action, and plenty of applause, so sports such as agility and rally are tailor-made for them.
Show dogs should weigh between four to seven pounds, but pet Yorkies can weigh as much as 12 to 15 pounds. A Yorkie who weighs less than four pounds is more prone to health problems, and more likely to suffer complications while under anesthesia.