Dog Breeds: Yorkshire Terrier

A darling member of the toy dog group, the Yorkshire Terrier is a mixture of England’s finest terriers, made up of the Clydesdale terrier, English black and tan terrier, waterside terrier, and the Paisley terrier.

By the late 1800s, Yorkies had made their way to America but because there were so many variety of sizes, the Yorkshire Terrier did not make its exclusive name until the early 1900s. It was at this point that the majority of dog enthusiasts deemed the smaller sized Yorkshire Terrier was preferable.

Distinctive characteristics

Looking at a shelter dog that might be part Yorkshire Terrier? Look for these characteristics:

  • a tan and blue coat that goes to a darker blue as it approaches the tail (although puppies are born with a black and tan coat and some will remain that color)
  • a small, black nose
  • a bright personality

Where to Get a Yorkshire Terrier

The YTCA Rescue is the official rescue affiliated with the American Kennel Club. You’ll also find many Yorkshire Terriers available through Petfinder.

Yorkshire Terrier Tips

  • The Yorkshire Terrier needs plenty of exercise but he can get that exercise just running around indoors.
  • Yorkies love to get outdoors and like a brisk walk.
  • Keep your Yorkshire Terrier on a leash to avoid possible problems with other small animals, from other dogs to squirrels.
  • The Yorkie is meant to live indoors.
  • The Yorkshire Terriers tend to grow very long hair; most owners keep that hair trimmed so that it only needs a thorough brushing three to four times per week. Long hair will need to be looked after a little bit more often so that it does not tangle and mat.


The Yorkshire Terrier is a bold, confident, and courageous dog, one who seems downright oblivious to its small stature. Always eager for fun and adventure, this dog can be a bit aggressive towards other small animals and canines he doesn’t know.

Yorkshire Terrier Video

This YouTube from Eukanuba takes a look at this energetic and dynamic breed.

Other Names

  • Yorkie

Did You Know?

  • Yorkies have less dander than many other breeds, making them a good choice for dog owners with allergies.
  • The Yorkie was originally bred to kill rats.
  • As its name suggests, the Yorkshire Terrier originated in Yorkshire, England.
  • Audrey Hepburn’s Yorkie, Mr. Famous, appeared with the actress in Funny Face.

Photo courtesy © AKC/Mary Bloom