Yorkshire Terriers are a hugely popular breed.
What makes them so popular?
It’s actually not one single thing.
Yorkies have a number of very attractive characteristics that make them one of the most popular dog breeds period.
What are yorkies known for more than anything else?
Honestly, it’s not just one single thing.
Keep reading for a list of the main things yorkies are known for. We’ll also cover some other things you’ll want to know, if you are considering one of these dogs as a pet.
- 1 What Are Yorkies Known For?
- 2 Things Yorkshire Terrier Are Known For
- 3 Other Things To Know About Yorkies As Pets
- 4 What Yorkies Are Known For: Conclusion
What Are Yorkies Known For?
Most Yorkies are known for their long hair, distinct color, and their spunky personality. This is why they have earned the nickname of the “tomboy toy.”
But there is so much more to these dogs than what I can summarize in two sentences. We’ll get into all the things yorkies are known for below.
And what about that nickname? Is it justified? We’ll take a closer look at that, too.
Things Yorkshire Terrier Are Known For
Yorkshire Terriers are known to be quite full of themselves. And why not? They are considered one of the most glamorous dog breeds with their long silky coat and often with a perky topknot.
Because they are small, they can travel in style. You often see them in dog purses toted around by their owner. The long gold and steel-blue Yorkshire terrier coats are one of their most distinguishing traits.
Although Yorkies can make great household pets, they tend to be yappy. Not everyone enjoys this kind of behavior. They also need a lot of maintenance, especially in terms of dental care.
Here are some of the other Yorkshire Terrier characteristics they are known for. You can see for yourself what has made them one of the most popular dog breeds in America.
Yorkies Are Called The Tomboy Toy
Yorkshire Terriers might be tiny compared to most dog breeds out there, but do not be fooled by their small stature. They may only grow up to 5 to 7 pounds, but that is 5 to 7 pounds of pure tomboy. Their spunky personality has earned them the nickname, the “tomboy toy.”
The way they carry their heads high and the confident matter that gives the appearance of vigor and self-importance are the main reasons for this name.
It is also these traits, that result in Yorkshire Terriers being one of the most popular breeds and doing well in sports. They also have the agility to do therapy work, which is just one more factor that makes them the perfect companions, and even good as a family dog (though young kids may be a bit problematic).
Their Coat Resembles Human Hair
Whenever you see a small dog with a long, flowing, silky coat that swishes around the show ring, you know it must be a Yorkshire Terrier. It is one of their most famous physical qualities.
Naturally, this beautiful feature can also be incredibly time-consuming in terms of maintenance. This is because the coat is similar to human hair, and it tangles into knots if kept long and you don’t brush it every day, with the best yorkie dog brush you can find.
Also, it can break easily when brushing against carpets in your home, so you need to be careful with it. Our article on how to make Yorkie hair silky goes into much more detail on coat maintenance.
Many breeders recommend keeping your Yorkie’s hair short, since it makes it much easier to maintain. The bonus is that Yorkies do not have an undercoat. This means less shedding.
How much do Yorkie shed? Their hair is similar to human hair and they lose about as much of it as we do. So far less than other dogs.
Yorkies Have A Blue-Collar Background
Yorkies have a blue-collar background, contrary to the glamorous life they live in now. What were Yorkies bred for? They were originally bred to catch rats and other vermin in mine shafts and other underground tunnels.
Sometimes, this particular instinct still comes out in their play, and many owners put it to work in a non-competitive AKC test. These kinds of tests allow dogs to test their ability to pursue caged rats underground.
Toto Might Be A Yorkie, According To Some Fans
This is a bit of a debate between all the Cairn Terrier and Yorkshire Terrier fans out there. The original first edition of L. Frank Baum’s book The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz depicts Toto as a Yorkie.
The assumption actually makes sense to a lot of people, considering the breed was popular at the time. The illustrator W.W Desnslow owned one, too. But we don’t know for sure. And in the movie, Toto was played by a Cairn Terrier, so you decide. Either way, Toto definitely falls in the terrier category.
One Yorkie Was A War Hero
Believe it or not, back in World War II, a Yorkie named Smoky was credited with saving the lives of many soldiers. She did so by dragging a communications cable through 8-inch-wide, 60-foot-long drainage culvers.
She was also thought to be the world’s first therapy dog. Smoky was found by an American soldier in 1944, in the Papua New Guinean jungle. The soldier brought her back to his barracks, where a United States Army Corporal took her into his care.
These days, Yorkies are still commonly used as emotional support dogs. Yorkshire terriers also make great service dogs, as long as you don’t need your service dog to perform tasks only a large dog could handle.
Yorkies Aren’t Afraid Of The Big City
Even a small dog breed like the Yorkie can succeed in big cities and large urban areas. As a matter of fact, Yorkies routinely come in near the top of New York City’s list of most popular breeds. But they have dropped a bit over the past few years.
Still, there are a lot of yorkies in big cities and they handle it well. But you do need to give them proper socialization from a very young age and teach them how to be a proper canine citizen in a large urban area.
Otherwise, they can go nuts every time a truck backfires or a crowd of people scurries past them on the sidewalk. There are a lot of things that can scare Yorkies in a city.
Yorkies Need Extra Dental Care
Like many breeds of dogs, yorkies are prone to specific health issues. A big one for them are dental problems. Most yorkies will need to visit the doggy dentist many times during their lifetime.
They tend to have problems with tartar, plus other dental issues. In addition to that, there are a few genetic disorders from which they commonly suffer.
You need to check with your breeder or vet for more information on your yorkie’s health problems. The typical life expectancy of a yorkie can reach up to 15 years. If you take good care of them, you can expect them to stay by your side for a good long time.
Yorkshire Terriers are known for their small size. They are one of the most miniature dog breeds out there. They only measure 7 to 10 inches in heights, with adults weighing no more than 7 pounds.
Most Yorkies have high confidence with their high head carriage and compact and even-proportioned shape. They are low-slung with a straight back and a small head with v-shaped ears.
This breed’s signature characteristic is their fine, straight, and sometimes floor-length coat. As mentioned above, it is similar to human hair, which means they are semi-hypoallergenic.
Yorkies have dark grey to black hair on their back, and they have a golden color on their limbs, chest, and face. They are usually groomed so that their coats fall evenly on either side of their body.
They can be trimmed to have shorter hair, which is a choice more and more owners make. That’s because their hair can quickly get messy if left to grow long and not brushed daily. The hair on Yorkies’ heads is often tied up with a ribbon to keep it out of their eyes and add to their cute appearance.
Yorkies are small, but they have big personalities. They are a bit needy and cave attention. This means they might bark a lot, especially if they feel you are not paying them enough attention.
Proper training and enough socialization can help you big time. It can teach your pup to calm down and not always need to be the center of attention. You will teach them to behave and be more affectionate. But it is still important to keep your yorkie entertained.
Most Yorkies are very active and are true to their roots as vermin hunters. Read “Are Yorkies Hunting Dogs?” for more.
They need daily exercise to burn off their high energy. This means ideally two walks per day and two or three more intense exercise sessions per week. This can be playing catch to any activity where your pup has to run a lot, especially if these activities are also fun.
Yorkies are tiny, but they will surprise you with their speed. How fast can a Yorkie run? The average Yorkie can run 10 to 15 miles per hour. A trained Yorkie can reach speeds of 30 mph!
Other Things To Know About Yorkies As Pets
Yorkies are part of the terrier type, which is made up of many different dog breeds of many shapes and sizes. While they can differ quite a bit in appearance, different terriers do seem to have somewhat similar characteristics and personalities.
This includes being energetic when awake and sometimes quite mischievous. Terrier is a term derived from the Latin word terra, which basically means earth. The terrier earned this name, because this type of dog loves to dig.
Terriers were originally bred to hunt vermin. Part of that job entailed digging for ground-burrowing creatures like badgers, foxes, moles, rats, and other rodents. They often patrolled farms, warehouses, mines, stables and other areas frequented by rodents.
These days, Yorkshire terriers are household pets. They are especially good apartment dogs, because they are tiny in physique and their low-allergen coat does not affect allergy sufferers as much as most dogs.
But they can also be quite the little watchdogs. They are quick to react to noises. Too quick, most of the time. As mentioned, they can bark a lot, if not properly trained.
They can also have a tendency to dig in their beds before going to sleep. Why do Yorkies dig in bed? It is a natural instinct and not something to worry about. But you might want to curb the behavior, or get a scratch resistant bed, if you find you have to constantly buy new dog beds.
Ideal Environment For A Yorkshire Terrier
Whether you are in an apartment or a big house, yorkies need environments with plenty of mental stimulation. A good way to add this to a small apartment is by getting your pup some puzzle toys.
Even though many Yorkies might not need much space, they are still terriers and need to get enough exercise. Access to outdoor space where they can run around is great, but if you give your dog two walks a day and a few intense exercise sessions a week, you can get by without a yard.
If you do have a yard, make sure there is no way your dog can escape. These tiny furballs are master escape artists. Alternatively, you could try training your dog to stay in the yard.
One thing to be mindful of is that these small dogs can suffer in cold weather. Make sure you get your yorkie some nice clothes to keep it warm during the winter months, depending on the climate where you live.
Ideal Human For A Yorkshire Terrier
If you live in a city and are looking for a fun-loving, small dog to share your home with, the Yorkshire Terrier might be the dog for you.
They are naturally curious, which makes them great playmates and tons of fun. And they don’t take up a lot of space. But you will need to give it lots of attention and plenty of chances to exercise.
And you’re going to have to train your pup not to bark. Living in an apartment building, it will drive your neighbors crazy. Luckily, yorkies are easy to train, if you know how to do it right.
Yorkshire Terriers are intelligent and entertaining little dogs. They will always be a fun playmate, but it can also be fun to learn new tricks together.
When it comes to obedience training, you need to show confident leadership. If you do it right, you will be surprised that yorkies are not too hard to train.
Their short attention spans can be a problem, but if you keep training sessions short and remove all other distractions, they focus all their attention on learning, then they learn very well. Try teaching yours some of the more popular tricks for Yorkies.
The signature yorkie coat is the most famous physical attribute of a Yorkshire Terrier. As you might imagine, the yorkie coat needs grooming.
Most importantly, keep the hair around the eyes and ears short, to avoid irritation. The rest of the coat can be short or long. Short is obviously easier to care for.
The longer the coat gets, the more work it will be. You need to keep it clean, healthy, and tangle-free, just like human hair.
This means brushing your Yorkie daily. Brushing a short-haired dog is a quick task. With longer hair, the brushing also takes longer. You should also give your dog a bath every week or two, using a quality dog conditioner.
Many owners have professional groomers handle much of this. The only thing I’d say you should have a professional handle is nail trimming, since there is potential to hurt your dog. But you can learn to do it yourself too.
You should also brush your yorkie’s teeth regularly to ensure good dental health. Yorkies have 42 teeth as adults, but those teeth can suffer from a number of issues if not cared for properly.
Yorkies are known to have some issues with their health. Due to their short and fragile little limbs, they are prone to knee issues. This kind of condition is known as luxating patella.
Try not to let your Yorkie jump down from high places. Even jumping up from the ground can be dangerous, because Yorkies can jump quite high? How high can Yorkies jump? Up to 24 inches!
Another thing they are known for is that their eyes are prone to deteriorate fast. They can also suffer from a few different genetic diseases. The link in the last paragraph has all the info on common yorkie health problems.
Any responsible breeder will tell you all about the medical history of your puppy. They have sometimes even screened precisely for some common issues this breed can face. If the place where you are planning on getting your pup does not have any info for you, you should reconsider buying from them.
Yorkies are a healthy breed overall, but due to the possibility of congenital issues, many pet parents choose to get pet health insurance, just in case.
Getting A Yorkshire Terrier
Finding a yorkie puppy, or even an adult dog, is not usually difficult. In fact, it ca be right at your fingertips. Literally. All you need to do is search online. But be careful with puppy mills and internet scams.
There are many ways to find a reputable breeder. There are also many yorkies available from many rescue organizations. The best is usually word of mouth. Just ask around. There are usually FB groups or forums where plenty of yorkie owners will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
Once you have found a place that has yorkies available, it is important to visit before committing to payment. Take a look at the facilities and trust your gut.
As mentioned above, Yorkies are probably the most popular dog breed out there, and you can find them anywhere. One place to look is the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America. They keep an updated list of Yorkies rescue.
According to the AKC, most breed rescues report that most rescue dogs come from individual owners who surrender their dogs bcause they no longer want to, or have the ability to, care for them.
Owner-surrendered dogs frequently already have some basic obedience training and proper socialization skills. Besides, as mentioned above, yorkies are fast learners, so you can continue to train your rescue pup, no matter how much experience it has.
If you are looking for yorkie breeders, the AKC has a search tool that can help you find reputable breeders near you. It is still important to do your own research and check for any references, in order to avoid puppy mills and online scams.
When you find a trustworthy breeder, visit them and ask questions. You should also make arrangements to meet the parent dogs, or at least the mother, in person.
What Yorkies Are Known For: Conclusion
Yorkshire Terriers are known for many things. To of the list is their appearance. They have a distinct look. You always know when you see one in the street. The most distinguishing physical feature is the human-hair-like coat. You could also add the adorable topknot, since so many of them have one these days.
Physical characteristics are the obvious at first glance, but yorkies also have distinct personalities. Their are friendly, social, energetic, and highly intelligent. But they also tend to be needy. They always want to be the center of attention and when they are not, they can act out. Proper training is important.