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Yorkshire Terrier

Origin: The original Yorkie was known as the Broken-Haired Scotch Terrier, and was a 12 to 14 pound dog with wire hair that was bred to catch rats and other vermin. In 1870 the breed was renamed as the Yorkshire Terrier, after the English county of the same name. Huddersfield Ben, often considered to be the father of the modern Yorkie, was owned by Mr. W. Eastwood Huddersfield. Although no pedigrees are available for these first Yorkies, it is suggested that many breeds have contributed, such as the Old English Black and Tan, the Waterside Terrier, the Clydesdale Terrier, the Paisley Terrier and possibly the Maltese.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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AKC Group: Toy

Breed Club: Yorkshire Terrier Club of America

Rescue Club: Yorkshire Terrier Club of America Rescue

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Body Type:

  • According to AKC standards, the Yorkie must not exceed 7 pounds
  • They have a compact build, and carries themselves in a sprightly, self-assured manner
  • Their steel blue and tan coats are long, parting down the middle, straight and silky fine
  • They have black noses and black pigmentation around the eyes


  • Spunky and independent, Yorkies are often unaware of and indifferent to their small size in relation to the rest of the world
  • They are known for their disregard for the limitations of their stature, and will sometimes attack much larger dogs
  • They are intelligent, but can be more difficult to train than other breeds because of their independent natures
  • They are usually easygoing, and get along well with other pets; however, they may be intolerant of rough play. For this reason, in addition to their higher risk of injury due to their small size, families with small children may want to consider another breed


  • They must be brushed frequently, or can be trimmed in a "puppy clip," an allover clip of 1 to 2 inches, for less maintenance

Health Concerns:

  • The average life expectancy is 12 to 15 years
  • Overall, the Yorkie is a healthy breed, with relatively few problems. Some of the more common ones are as follows
  • Luxating Patella: the patella (kneecap) moves out of its normal location. Mild cases often require no treatment; severe cases may be able to be corrected surgically
  • Portosystemic Liver Shunt: liver defect which mimics liver failure. It is best treated surgically, but may also be maintained with diet and medication.
  • Cataracts: an opacity in the lens of the eye, is a common development in older Yorkies. Can sometimes be surgically removed
  • Tracheal Collapse: genetic weakening of the trachea which can be aggravated by pulling on a collar. Can be treated medically, or for more severe cases, surgically
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • The Yorkshire Terrier is the most popular Toy breed in the United States
  • Known for their sprightly, self-confident personalities, they are perfect as companion and lap dogs

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