What is a Yorkshire Terrier?

A Yorkshire Terrier may be bred with a poodle to create a Yorkie-Poo.
Yorkshire Terriers typically weigh less than 7 pounds.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 April 2014
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The Yorkshire Terrier, or Yorkie for short, is a small, long-coated breed of dog. Its name comes from the breed's beginnings in the Yorkshire area of Northern England in 1861. Yorkshire Terriers were developed from breeds such as the Skye Terrier and the Maltese to kill rats and mice. The Yorkshire Terrier was first registered by the British Kennel Club in 1874 and then by the American Kennel Club in 1878.

Most Yorkshire Terriers today weigh less than 7 pounds (3.175 kg), but the earliest Yorkies were larger and weighed up to 30 pounds (13.618 kg). The Yorkshire Terrier's coat is long and parted down the middle of the spine. The mid section is a steel blue-gray color that is often quite dark, while the face, ears and throat areas are tan in color.

Since the Yorkshire Terrier has no undercoat and sheds very little, it may be a good choice for those with milder allergies. Yorkies do need daily brushing and combing to keep their long coats tangle-free and looking good. For easier care, the coat can be cut to a shorter length.

The Yorkshire Terrier is prone to health conditions such as bronchitis, cataracts and hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver. Yorkies are said to sometimes be picky eaters and may have a sensitive digestive system. Yorkshire Terriers are also susceptible to distichiasis, which is a growth on the eyelid that irritates the eye and creates tearing and redness.


Yorkies are thought to be intelligent and curious dogs that are quick and active. The poorly socialized Yorkshire Terriers may be timid towards strangers. Well-socialized Yorkies, however, are often quite outgoing and assertive. The Yorkshire Terrier is not usually considered a good choice for families with young children since this breed is a bit delicate due to its small size. Yorkies can make good apartment dogs as their exercise needs are quite low.


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