If you’re looking at buying a Yorkshire Terrier puppy, we have all the information you need to know. We will go into the history of the Yorkshire Terrier, breed information, characteristics, and things to be aware of – such as breed-related health issues and undesirable behaviors they can be prone to.
Yorkshire Terriers are among the world’s most popular breeds and certainly the most popular toy breed in the United States. But, what makes this furry, feisty, and friendly toy-breed, so adored?
We will also look at how to find the perfect Yorkshire Terrier puppy for you and the different Yorkshire Terrier options we have today, including the miniature/teacup Yorkshire Terrier.
Where Does the Yorkshire Terrier Come From?
The Yorkshire Terrier, affectionately known as a Yorkie, is a toy breed enriched in a deep, traceable history. During the Revolution in England, workers from Scotland traveled down to the North of England to find work in the county of Yorkshire. Yorkshire was a hub of activity, with textile mills, factories, and coal mines. These workers brought with them their dogs.
The dogs that came were not yet the Yorkshire Terrier we know today, but they were their ancestors. Breeds like the Paisley Terrier came and made successful rat catchers in the factories and mills of Yorkshire. It is thought this breed was crossed with other types of terriers, such as the Skye Terrier, which resulted in a dog called a Yorkshire Terrier.
The Yorkshire Terrier was recognized as its own breed by the British Kennel Club in 1874. The earliest record of a Yorkie being born in the US was 1872, but the American Kennel Club did not recognize them until 1885. Now they’re a regular in the show rings around the world – and boy, do they lap up that attention!
Yorkshire Terrier Quick Facts
Males: 8 – 9 inches (20 – 23 cm)
Females: 7 – 8 inches (18 – 20 cm)
Males: 5 – 7 lbs (2.3 – 3.2 kg)
Females: 4 – 6 lbs (1.8 – 2.7 kg)
Average Life Span: 11 – 15 Years
Origin: Scotland and England
Yorkshire Terrier Characteristics
Types of Yorkshire Terrier Puppy Breeds
The American Kennel Club recognizes the standard Yorkshire Terrier, under 7 lbs. A Yorkshire Terrier who exceeds this weight or has any solid color or combination of colors that are not blue and tan, or with any white markings exceeding 1inch, does not meet their breed standard.
Teacup Yorkshire Terriers are also not recognized as a breed by the AKC.
However, a quick internet search and you will find that Teacup Yorkshire Terriers are available to buy, or adopt, from many different places. Whether they’re not seen as a breed by the AKC is irrelevant for those who want a miniature Yorkie – they are a thing, but they may not be what you had imagined…
A Teacup Yorkshire Terrier can often result from unethical breeding practices, such as breeding runts with runts, withdrawing food and nutrients from a pregnant bitch, or raising the pups during their most formative days and weeks on unhealthy, minimal diets. To obtain a tiny size, unnatural events are often common.
What this means is you may well get the Teacup Yorkie you always wanted, but whether you have a healthy puppy or a dog for the long haul will be questionable.
There are common Yorkie hybrids, not yet recognized as established breeds but very much in circulation, and these are:
- Yorkillon – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Papillon.
- Torkie – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Toy Fox Terrier.
- Havashire – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Havanese.
- Goldenshire – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Golden Retriever.
- Chorkie – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Chihuahua.
- Morkie – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Maltese.
- Snorkie – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Miniature Schnauzer.
- Corkie – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Cocker Spaniel.
- Pugshire – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Pug.
- Griffonshire – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Brussels Griffon.
- Borkie – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Beagle.
- Crustie – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Chinese Crested.
- Dorkie – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Dachshund.
- Carkie – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Cairn Terrier.
- Yoranian – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Pomeranian.
- Yorkipoo – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Poodle.
- Yorkineese – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Pekingese.
- Boston Yorkie – Yorkshire Terrier, crossed with a Boston Terrier.
As with all crossbreeds, there are things to consider, with the primary factor being that you may end up with a dog you weren’t expecting – depending on the strength of DNA from one parent dog.
Yorkshire Terrier Physical Appearance
The Yorkies body is compact, neat, and well proportioned. His head is held high, and he walks with a confident manner which gives the appearance of self-importance and vigor. Yorkshire Terriers should be around 9inches tall, at the shoulder, and weigh under 7 lbs. They’re often inconsistent in size however, and this can include between littermates.
The coat of the Yorkshire Terrier is silky, long, perfectly straight, and free from waves. Some Yorkies have hair that reaches the floor; others are cut shorter or even shaved quite close to the skin with hair around the face left longer and styled to ‘The Yorkie Cut.’
All Yorkshire Terrier puppies are born with black fur, the blue, and tan developing at a gradual rate until they’re around a year old. Pups can transform to gray instead of blue at this point. From the back of the head to the tip of the tail will be the blue, or gray, color with a blueish sheen under sunlight. Yorkies’ heads and faces are bright gold, with hair slightly darker at the ear base and the muzzle.
The tan color is evident on the legs below the elbow. Once color is formed fully for adulthood, this could still change due to hormonal factors such as seasons for females. When Yorkies start to become senior dogs, their coat color can also lighten.
Grooming is essential for this breed. Even Yorkies with very short hair will need to be brushed every day to keep their coats free from mats. As part of the grooming process, Yorkies should have their ears checked regularly, as with all breeds, they can be prone to ear infections. To keep the coat shiny, we recommend bathing them monthly with a nice smelling shampoo.
Yorkshire Terrier Exercise and Training
One of the things people find the most appealing about Yorkshire Terriers is their small size and adaptability to apartment and inner-city living – they don’t need a lot of space. But, they are still dogs and pretty intelligent ones at that, and so daily exercise is essential.
A Yorkie should still be walked daily, although it doesn’t need to be a far distance. Yorkies are happy to be active predominantly indoors, and it doesn’t take much effort to keep them well exercised. As canines go, the Yorkie is pretty much a home buddy.
Yorkshire Terriers love their toys, especially squeaky ones, which will allow their rat-catching instincts to kick in. They have a fondness of playing fetch, too, and dog interactive puzzle toys will keep Yorkies entertained for long periods.
Generally, Yorkshire Terriers are receptive to training – they really do love the undiluted attention of their owner, so they are inclined to perform on demand. However, they can be notoriously difficult to housetrain, and the thing that doesn’t help with this is that their puddles are so small, owners can let this slide – which is a mistake.
Show a Yorkie what is expected of him from the beginning and reinforce toilet training expectations. They will respond better to positive praise over punishments but ensure that you’re consistent. When you make the effort, you will be rewarded with a responsive, obedient – and house-trained – dog.
Yorkshire Terrier Breed Health
The Yorkshire Terrier is a robust and healthy breed with a long lifespan of up to 15 years or more. But, like all breeds, they can be prone to inherited diseases and health problems that commonly occur in smaller breeds. Health issues common to Yorkies include:
- Retinal Dysplasia – This is an inherited condition. Still, due to lots of hair around the eyes (which is more like human hair than fur), this can cause eye irritations and infections, so pay great attention to the eyes of your Yorkie.
Finding a Yorkshire Terrier Puppy
The majority of health issues related to Yorkshire Terriers are down to genetics, meaning that the puppies are born with the conditions or will start to suffer with them shortly after birth – although detection isn’t always evident for days, weeks, months – or, sometimes years. This is why it is essential to buy a puppy from a responsible breeder.
Or better still, adopt a Yorkshire Terrier from your local shelter. Here you can be sure that the dog is healthy, inoculated, neutered, and up to date with fleaing and worming. In addition to this, shelters will perform behavior and aggression assessments to ensure they rehome good-natured dogs. You don’t get these guarantees or assurances from a breeder.
Often it will be recommended, by both breeders and shelters, that a Yorkshire Terrier is not to be rehomed to a family with young children. Due to the Yorkies ‘ small size, it is all too easy for children to drop them, step on them, or hold them too tightly.
Yorkshire Terriers can get on with other pets if they’ve been properly socialized from an early age. They can be overly confident with dogs who aren’t part of their pack, with visions much grander than their size!
If you’re looking to adopt a Yorkie, let him meet the other dogs in the household first before making that commitment. Yorkies are small in size but massive in personality, and they won’t get on with every dog.
Summary of the Yorkshire Terrier
You don’t get to be America’s favorite toy breed without good reason, and the adorable qualities of the Yorkshire Terrier are pretty much off the scale. Yorkies are never happier than when they’re at home, snuggled up to their owner, wanting nothing more than companionship. What you give to a Yorkie, you’ll get back ten times over, and they love to receive positive attention.
It can be all too easy to overlook poor behavior in small dogs, such as barking, aggression, or a refusal to house train, as owing to the size, they can be seen as minor issues. But, to have a happy hound, he needs to have boundaries and to know what is acceptable behavior from the very beginning.
When you’re looking for a Yorkshire Terrier puppy, see the Teacup term as a red flag over a selling point and always use a responsible breeder or humane shelter where possible.
Grooming is essential, but exercise is not so much, and these dogs are happy to live in apartments, mobile homes, or small properties with limited space. Provide a few squeaky toys and a warm lap, and they’ll ask for nothing else.