“Small but full of spunk”—these are the words often used to sum up the Yorkshire Terrier temperament.
Yorkshire Terrier Temperament and Personality Traits
The personality of Yorkshire Terriers can go to extremes. Their environment and how their owners raise them both greatly influence their personalities.
Bubbly Little Divas
Some Yorkies are high-spirited and bouncing with energy, while others behave like fragile divas who need you to wait on them hand and foot like royalty.
You may see the Yorkie and think she’s the perfect dog for the elderly, but this is a misconception – the last thing she wants to be is a lazy lap dog.
Remember that the Yorkie is a Toy Breed, and some Toy Breeds are very fragile. So, for their sake, avoid rough play, especially with children, to prevent injury.
Yorkies Love Attention
Yorkshire terriers are attention-seekers to the nth degree. They are highly-socialized dogs that can easily become attached to both the human and canine members of their packs – and want to be the center of that pack’s attention.
What’s funny about the Yorkie, though, is that if she will do anything to steal your gaze away from whatever you’re focused on – that is, until she finds something more interesting. Then, you – the person whose attention meant so much a minute ago – become unimportant compared to, say, the bird tweeting outside her window.
The “Velcro” Dog
Yorkies hate being alone, even if for only for a short amount of time. In fact, their need for company may cause them to follow their masters anywhere they go, like a little shadow.
When left alone for most of the day, or when a companion dog or human member of the pack leaves home, these little dogs are prone to suffering from separation anxiety.
This makes the diminutive little Yorkie a handful, especially for owners who don't have enough time to properly train and bond with their pets.
A Yorkshire terrier’s temperament makes her highly possessive of her owner. She can make a scene when she feels she is not the center of attention.
Be warned, though: her need for you to notice her – and especially when you don’t – can cause her to develop a stubborn streak.
Yorkies can be suspicious of new faces and will certainly let strangers know when they are unwanted. Yorkies can even go as far as snapping at a person they have just met.
While snippy, these traits also make the Yorkie a good watchdog. Even if you can’t really install her as a guard dog because of her size, she can still warn you of what’s coming.
Small Dogs with Big Egos – and Even Bigger Personalities!
Yorkshire Terriers, spunky as they are, don’t seem to realize that they are diminutive in size compared to many other breeds. In fact, these little dogs won’t back out of a fight with another dog no matter how big the other dog is!
Their owners have even seen them pick fights with dogs much larger than themselves!
A Yorkie’s Dominance
Dominance and assertiveness are very much a part and parcel of the Yorkshire Terrier temperament.
For this reason, you must teach them social skills or they can become too aggressive towards other animals and strangers. These traits also dictate why you should, more often than not, keep your Yorkie on a leash.
Nipping Aggression in the Bud
Some Yorkie owners let their pets get away with aggressive behavior because they “look so cute” when they behave that way.
This can snowball to become an avalanche of negative behavior and aggressive tendencies. Just wait until your Yorkie takes over your house! Then, you will surely have a big problem on your hands.
The Tiny Dog with the Heart of Gold
Yorkshire Terriers is sweet little dogs who are truly affectionate and extremely loyal. Once a Yorkie knows who her pack leader is, she will realize her place in the household’s hierarchy. Once this happens, you can feel free to allow her around children and to pop up for a cuddle in your lap.
A Brief History of the Yorkshire Terrier Breed
The Yorkshire Terrier originated in – where else? – Yorkshire, England! Scottish workers brought early versions of the Yorkie with them to England in their search for more work.
Interestingly, it took three different breeds to make the Yorkie we know today. Experts debate exactly which breeds they were, but the general consensus is that they included the Paisley Terrier, the Skye Terrier, and the Maltese.
Dealing with the Yorkshire Terrier Temperament: Early Yorkie Training Reaps Better Results
Just like Cairn Terriers, the Yorkshire Terrier temperament is comprised of stubbornness with a dash of independence. Because of these attributes, Yorkies are not as easy to train as are other dogs.
I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t warn you that housetraining a Yorkie is always a challenge. However, when you start training them early, you can achieve positive results, so long as you are willing to dedicate the necessary time and perseverance – and reward her with plenty of treats and belly rubs.
Since Yorkies can easily get bored, you must keep your training sessions short. It is also a good idea to inject variety into your activities to motivate her interest and enthusiasm.
Without adequate socialization, Yorkies can become neurotic. In other words, they can become yappy, not hesitating to bark at everything that catches their attention. It is for this reason that you must train a Yorkie to stop and obey you when you issue the command to stop barking.
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
For help with training your Yorkie dog, you should take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be the Pack Leader!
To keep your Yorkie tightly reined in, she must know that you are the leader of the pack. Without an acknowledged pack leader in place, the highly energetic and clever Yorkie temperament will allow her to relish being on her throne and having the other members of her pack at her beck and call.
When you brush a Yorkie, you may notice that it feels just like you’re brushing your own hair. This is because the Yorkie’s fur is actually very similar to human hair. How cool is that?
So, just like human hair, the level of grooming you need to do for a Yorkie is the same as you need to do for yourself. If you have long hair, you take more time brushing and styling it. You also probably (hopefully!) brush it every day to keep it looking neat. The same goes for a Yorkie.
You may have seen Yorkies with their fur pulled into a topknot. This is actually a recommendation since long hair in the eyes can irritate them. If it’s too much to keep up with, you can simply trim it shorter.
Give your Yorkie a bath about once a week and check her ears weekly too for debris or signs of infection.
You should note that while no breed is truly hypoallergenic, the Yorkie is one of those dogs that even someone with allergies can enjoy.
Yorkie Physical Characteristics
A Yorkie should weigh between 12 to 15 lbs. as an adult. And they only grow to between 6 and 9 inches in height at most – so yeah, she’s a tiny little thing.
And as far as Yorkie colors there is a combination of them. Color combos for the Yorkie include tan with blue or black, or gold with black or blue.
Your Yorkie will be perfectly satisfied with moderate exercise, like short, twice-daily walks or play sessions.
Throwing a ball around for her in the backyard and letting her fetch it is one of her favorite things to do.
Yorkshire Terrier: Staying Healthy
Most Yorkshire Terrier are healthy, but they can fall victim to certain health issues. Conditions you need to be aware of include:
- Legg-Perthes Disease
- Skin allergies
- Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
- Collapsed trachea
- Portosystemic shunt
- Teeth problems
- Kneecap dislocation
- Retinal dysplasia
A healthy Yorkshire Terrier's life expectancy is between 13 and 16 years, so you should be able to enjoy her for quite a long time.
Note: Our Health is #1 Priority. It should be no different or your Affenpinscher. But you need to help him. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is the answer. This handy guide will help you recognize the symptoms of the health problems above. Get the knowledge to stay ahead of these terrible issues that can rob your lovely dog from vigor and life. Help your friend make it to 16 yrs+ without pain and suffering.
Top Yorkshire Terrier Mixes
There are a number of adorable Yorkie mixes out there. Here are just a few of them:
- The Dorkie (Dachshund mix)
- The Corkie (Corgi mix)
- The Chorkie (Chihuahua mix)
- The Snorkie (Miniature Schnauzer mix)
- The Carkie (Cairn Terrier mix)
Finding the Perfect Yorkshire Terrier
Interested in bringing a Yorkshire Terrier puppy into your life? There are a few ways in which you can do this.
You can find a Yorkshire Terrier for sale either from a Yorkshire Terrier breeder or adopt one from your local rescue or adoption organizations.
Yorkshire Terrier Puppies for Sale
The average Yorkshire Terrier price is between $1,200 and $1,500.
It’s good to know the average because then you can tell when you’re either getting ripped off or when the breeder is trying to sell you a puppy who is sick or has other problems.
Yorkshire Terrier Adoption and Rescue
Once you are ready to bring a Yorkshire Terrier home, you may want to consider adoption. The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America is a great place to start since they can find you a great match. (They can also provide you with some helpful grooming tips!)
If you don’t see a Yorkie on your first go-round to the shelter, let the staff know that you are interested in one. If you’re open to a Yorkie mix, make sure to mention that, too!
You may have more luck finding Yorkshire Terrier rescue dogs through a rescue group that specializes in saving that particular breed. And don’t forget to check adoption websites like Petfinder.com and Adoptapet.com.
Adoption prices vary widely, depending on whether you adopt through a public shelter or a private rescue group. Private rescue groups always charge more because of the work they put into each of their individual dogs to get them ready for proper home life.
Yorkshire Terrier Breeders
When it comes to buying a Yorkshire Terrier puppy from a breeder, you must be patient and ensure that you have covered all your bases. You want to make sure you’re not funding a puppy mill with your money.
One sure way to do this is to never purchase Yorkshire Terrier puppies over the internet or at a pet store. What you do want to do is get a referral for an ethical breeder from a dog show or sporting event. Then, make an appointment to meet with the breeder.
Always meet the breeder in person, not over Skype or some other video messaging service. When you go to the breeder’s house, this gives you the opportunity to see the kind of conditions the breeder is raising the puppies in.
You can also observe how the dogs interact with their parents, and how their parents behave in general. Typically, if a pup has aggressive parents, he is likely to have aggressive tendencies himself.
A good breeder also cares about what happens to her pups once they leave the nest. She may ask you to sign contracts saying you won’t euthanize the dog for anything other than a health condition, or that you’ll neuter the dog within a certain amount of days after bringing her home. They do this to ensure you aren’t going to buy a dog and then not give it a loving home.
Conclusion: Why the Yorkshire Terrier?
The Yorkshire Terrier temperament is an easy one that does not demand much of its owner. With nutritious food, fresh water, a little exercise and all the attention in the world, you can give her, you will make your Yorkie the happiest dog on the planet.
When intimidated by larger dogs, she can become a ferocious little thing who doesn’t understand just how small she is. While it’s adorable to watch, you should also make sure she doesn’t end up hurting herself by getting herself involved in situations she can’t handle.
Understanding the Yorkshire Terrier temperament will certainly go a long way in cementing the bond between you and your pet.