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Yorkshire Terrier

Other names: Yorkie, York


Wamiz's Top Breed

Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier is an animated, lively, very intelligent dog, who should never be treated like a toy but like the true Terrier that he is. He is only suitable for those children who are able to respect him. Even if he is principally used as a companion and show dog, he remains an avid rat hunter, the latter being the role for which he was bred. He can be a good watchdog by virtue of barking, an ‘alarm dog’ so to speak. This miniature dog is the smallest of the terriers, and currently the most popular dog in the world, from the States through to Europe.

Key facts about the Yorkshire Terrier

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Affectionate Playful

Size :

Origins and history

The breed is quite recent since it has first emerged in the beginning of the 19th century, around the time of the industrial revolution. In fact, wool workers migrated from Scotland to Yorkshire, taking their dogs with them. There are, however, no surviving documents that fully explain their origins. It is nevertheless more or less certain that various Terriers like the Skye, Cairn, Clydesdale (extinct today) and the “Melita Terrier” (today’s Maltese Dog) have contributed to his formation. Initially bred to hunt for rats in the mines and for rabbits in the burrows, he is nowadays regarded exclusively as a toy terrier. Initially dubbed “Miniature Terriers”, it is in 1886 that the Kennel Club officially recognised the breed in its own right as the “Yorkshire Terrier”. The first official breed standards had been established towards the end of the 19th century, in 1898.

Physical characteristics of the Yorkshire Terrier

    Adult size

    Female : Between 6 and 10 in

    Male : Between 6 and 10 in


    Female : Between 4 and 7 lb

    Male : Between 4 and 7 lb

    Coat colour

    Type of coat

    Eye colour



    The Yorkshire Terrier is a dog of compact and balanced constitution, carrying himself upright and exuding an air of importance. His build is generally robust and proportional. The head is rather small and flat, with a skull not too round and a rather short muzzle. The eyes are of medium size, shiny, cast in a straight direction. The ears are small and v-shaped, erect and covered in shorter and duller red-brown hair. The limbs are perfectly straight. The tail is densely covered by hair and carried above the level of the back.

    Good to know

    This breed is extremely popular, which has led to an increased production of low-quality dogs. It is vital to seek out the best breeders in order to adopt an authentic Yorkie rather than a dog that simply resembles him.


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      A clingy little thing with the people he trusts, the Yorkshire Terrier is very demonstrative of his affection with members of his social group, and very much enjoys spending time on their knees in particular.

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      This toy terrier is very dynamic and active, which makes him a little jester eager to entertain an audience. He is very playful and enjoys nothing more than to have fun with his owners- he often seeks their attention out to get them to play with him.

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      This dog knows how to be calm if he’s been sufficiently expended during the day. He does often seek out something to do at home, and solicits many interactions from his owners, but can also adapt to their moods and, when needed, settle down on the couch and remain still for several hours.

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      Quite clever, this little toy dog has many impressive skills that he sometimes keeps to himself, tricking his master into spending more time with him under the pretext of repeated training, for instance.

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      The York is a terrier, and so he is equipped with a certain predisposition to hunting. He was, in fact, originally bred to hunt rats and rabbits. 

      Nowadays, he is first and foremost a toy terrier, who can still nevertheless hunt- be it for a toy in the house, or for rodents in the garden.

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      Fearful / wary of strangers

      According to official standards, this miniature terrier should neither scare easy, nor be aggressive. Very close to his social group, he does sometimes have trouble trusting someone whom he doesn’t know, he may therefore seem distant at first.

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      His terrier side makes him slightly more independent than his fellow toy dogs, but he still remains particularly attached to members of his social group, and to his owners in particular.

      Behaviour of the Yorkshire Terrier

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        Tolerates solitude

        Although he definitely prefers to accompany his owners on all of their journeys, if he is accustomed to staying alone in a positive and gradual manner, and from his youngest age, the York can absolutely tolerate loneliness. 

        Do note: the absences should not be prolonged- just because he’s a toy terrier, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t need to be stimulated physically, mentally, socially, and that his sense of smell does not need to be stimulated as regularly as possible.

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        Easy to train / obedience

        Despite his small size, the Yorkie is a dog with a strong personality who necessitates a firm and consistent training. 

        It is therefore necessary to implement some rules of life and clear boundaries to be respected as soon as the Yorkshire Terrier pup first integrates the home, in order to stop bad habits from developing. 

        You also shouldn’t think that a dog of this size does not need to be trained- small or big, all dogs need to learn some basic discipline not only to integrate the household as seamlessly as possible, but also to adapt well to society in general.

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        A very good alarm dog, the Yorkshire Terrier doesn’t need many reasons to start barking,  and can sometimes prove to be very insistent and noisy, especially when guests pass the threshold of his house- regardless of whether he knows them or not.

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