Yorkshire Terrier: Color, Lifespan, Characteristics & Facts

Yorkshire Terriers are one of the most popular and well-loved toy breeds in the country. The canines hail from Yorkshire, England and, as you will learn through the Yorkshire Terrier facts in this guide, took a bit of time to move throughout the world.

Even so, there are many different types of Yorkies out there. The Black and Tan Yorkie is perhaps the most common type, but the Blonde Yorkie, Silver Yorkie, Particolor Yorkie, and Miniature Yorkie are all extremely popular as well.

Though the dogs can be overly energetic at times, that it is simply a reflection of their excited and lovable nature. They enjoy being outside, and enjoy a good run or walk whenever they can get it.

Teacup Yorkies dogs are cute, and they do well with both adults and kids. Is it those traits, along with the Yorkie’s characteristics, such as its playful demeanor, small frame, and intense loyalty, that make the dog a great addition to any home.

Breed Overview

Other Names: Yorkie

Origin: England

Height: 8 to 9 inches

Weight: 4 to 6 pounds

Life Span: 13 to 16 years

Colors: Blue & Tan, Black & Tan, Black & Gold, Blue & Gold

1. Personality & Temperament

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Yorkies are loving dogs that tend to come with strong attitudes. Not only can they be overly protective of their owners, but they also are quite headstrong. Often called a large dog trapped in a small dog’s body, the breed sees themselves as guard dogs.

They tend to bark at those they do not trust, and can be quite loud. In fact, if you’re expecting a small lap dog the Yorkie is not for you. The cute canines are full of energy, and they look to exhibit that in any way they can.

That being said, they are extremely affectionate animals. The breed loves attention from their owners, and will seek it out quite often.

They do not do well with separation, to the point where you want to keep them close on long trips. If you do need to take such measures, it is best to invest in items like the best airline approved pet carriers to make it easier on them.

While they are not the pet that will lie on the couch all day, they greatly enjoy being with those they trust. They also enjoy being pampered, and largely benefit from cushy beds like the ones in this article.

2. How to Care for a Yorkshire Terrier


A full grown Yorkie needs a balanced diet to keep healthy. You should feed yours food that tends to be rich in proteins, vegetables, and other carbohydrates. The best dog food for Yorkies tends to have a little bit of everything in it.

Also, make sure your Terrier’s diet mainly consists of dry food. Yorkies, like most toy breeds, are prone to dental diseases. Giving them something hard to chew, or feeding them the best dog food for small dogs, will scrape away plaque and keep their teeth in good shape.

In terms of feeding, Yorkshire puppies require three meals a day until they reach six months of age. At that point, you can switch them to two small servings.


Grooming the breed is quite an involved task. Though the Yorkie short-haired coat is not quite as long as other small breeds, they still need a full body cleaning to stay healthy. That includes brushing, clipping, and washing.

Your Yorkshire Terriers hypoallergenic coat needs to be fully groomed about once a month, and it needs a bath roughly every 1 to 2 weeks. Always brush your Yorkie before bathing.

Then, use your hands to clean around their eyes and ears. Once that’s done, you can give them a bath in warm, soapy water and pat them down with a dry towel.

It is also important to trim the hair around your Yorkie’s hair and eyes. Not only does that allow you to explore fun Yorkie hairstyles, but it keeps them in good health. Nail clipping should be done once a month as well.


Yorkshire Terriers love to run and play. However, unlike larger breeds, you don’t need to work them too hard. Rather, they like moderate exercise that gets their blood flowing.

One or two 20 minute walks each day is perfect for your Yorkie. It is also best to give them heavier cardio, such as running them around a dog park or playing fetch in a field, at least twice a week. That mix will help your dog stay lean and enjoy the outside world.


Despite their loving demeanor, Yorkies can be difficult to train. The small dogs are full of energy, but they can also be slow to learn. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t learn new tricks.

Yorkies respond well to crate training, traditional obedience training, and clicker training. Though you can put them through classes, you should have no problem getting your dog to do what you want at home.

The breed is all about positive reinforcement. The dogs love to get rewards for learning tricks, which you should use to your advantage. Small treats and excited energy go a long way toward getting them to do what you want.

Just be sure not to use negative training methods like scolding or yelling. That will likely scare your terrier and make them resentful or reserved.

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3. Common Health Issues of the Yorkshire Terrier

The lifespan of Yorkie dogs drifts between 13 and 16 years. Even so, the Yorkies life expectancy does not mean they are above general health problems that affect similar breeds.

Dental Diseases

Most toy breeds have dental issues, and Yorkies are no exception. The small dogs can develop problems all throughout their life, but it becomes especially problematic when their adult teeth grow in.

The dogs are also are prone to gum disease. Regular brushing with dog-approved toothpaste should limit such issues. Hard food helps fight that problem as well.


Hypoglycemia refers to a sudden and drastic drop in blood sugar. Yorkies can experience the condition at all parts of their life, but it is particularly problematic during their first five months of life.

Always watch your dog for weakness, depression, shaking, drowsiness, and seizures. If they exhibit such symptoms, take them to the vet as soon as you can. Rubbing a bit of honey on their gums can also temporarily bring their sugar back to normal levels.

Luxating Patella

Yorkies also tend to suffer from a dislocated kneecap, also known as a luxating patella. The issue is largely genetic, due to weak tendons in the leg, and it can cause immense pain when it occurs.

Always watch how your dog walks or gets around. If they tend to move in pain or favor certain legs, it is best to take them in for a checkup.

Liver Shunt

Also known as Portosystemic shunts, liver shunts are a big issue in the Yorkie breed. They occur due to a vein abnormality that causes unfiltered blood to spread throughout the body.

Yorkies with this condition often drool, vomit, become confused or weak, contract diarrhea, or lose their appetite. Antibiotics, or sometimes surgery, is the best way to combat the issue.

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4. Children & Other Pets

Despite their combative nature, Yorkies make great house pets. They love all family members and are great with children of all ages. However, that does not mean children are great for them.

Yorkie puppies are extremely fragile. So much so, that it is never recommended to bring them into a home with toddlers or small kids. Your kids are only ready for a Yorkie once they are old enough to understand how to treat dogs.

The breed doesn’t get along with other animals if introduced to them later in life. However, they quickly bond with any pet they’re raised with. However, due to their skittish nature, they may bark or attack small rodents.

5. The History of the Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies, as their name suggests, were first bred in the town of Yorkshire, England during the Victorian era.

Though no one is sure how they started, many speculate they came from a range of other terriers, including the Dandie Dinmont, Clydesdale, and Maltese.

From there, the breed became popular for both their hunting capabilities and companionship. Some wanted them as loyal pets, while others bred them to hunt rats and other vermin.

They then quickly spread from Northern England to other parts of the world, such as South America and Spain (where they are called Perro Yorkies).

Yorkies arrived in America during the late 1800’s. At that time, selective breeding developed the canines into the standard Yorkie, Blonde Yorkie, Yorkie with Tail, Black and Tan Yorkie, and Silver Yorkie. Such traits are still available to this day.

6. The Regular Expenses of Owning a Yorkshire Terrier

Pure breed Yorkies, due to their popularity, are one of the most expensive dogs around. They typically go for between $1200 and $1500, but that can drop to the mid-hundreds for adoption.

7. Yorkshire Terrier Rescue Groups

Yorkshire terriers are adorable, but some still need homes. Luckily, there are a few great organizations dedicated to bridging that gap.

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