Yorkies 101: Your Ultimate Guide to the Yorkshire Terrier Breed

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Thinking out a Yorkie? Yorkshire Terriers are one small dog with a mighty big personality in their teeny body!  If you’re looking for a small breed of housedog full of spunk, a Yorkie could be the one for you.

They’re Popular, Playful and Proud: They’re Yorkies!

Regularly in the Top 10 of popular breeds in the United States, Yorkshire Terriers are an extremely playful and proud dog. Yorkies have a brain and they like to use it – so be prepared to play or they may make their own mischief!

Despite the Yorkshire name, they have a genetic pedigree that also includes various Scotch terriers.

These include the Clydesdale terrier, the Golddust Yorkshire terrier, the Waterside Terrier, and the Skye terrier. Yorkies are also known to stand proud – and so they may – they have Scots ancestry in their blood after all!

They can be proud of that, and the fact that Yorkies had humble beginnings as rat catchers in English factories, but soon became close companions to the British aristocracy and the well-heeled!

Biewer / Yorkie? Know the Difference!

Biewer Terriers (pronounced Beaver) are often confused with Yorkshire Terriers but there is a difference. Introduced to the US from Germany in 2003 – the Biewer name is after their breeders.

Although initially called Biewer Yorkshire Terriers, genetic testing has now identified Biewer Terriers as purebreds in their own right. The difference between the two dogs is just in the coat.

Biewer dogs carry a recessive piebald gene, which gives them a distinct piebald or tri-color coat which differs from the Yorkies.

The Appearance of Yorkshire Terriers

These petite little powerhouses are classed as toy dogs. Yorkies are a silky terrier, and classy to boot. These toy terriers have a naturally long blue, tan and gold coats, and inquisitive brown eyes.

Beware! A Yorkie Puppy will Melt Even the Coldest Heart of Stone!

Even those who may scoff at the very thought of a pint-size so-called “lap” dog usually find it hard to resist the engaging presence of a Yorkie puppy!

It is common to hear that most Yorkies are completely unaware and oblivious to the fact that they are not physically a big dog. Everything else about them and their manner are just like a doggy of full-scale!

teacup yorkie

Mini, Teacup, and Toy: A Size Guide

As a purebred, the Yorkie Terrier is within the Toy Group of the American Kennel Club and other organizations.  You may, however, see Yorkie dogs referred to as Minis or Teacups.

This indicates they are even smaller than the small sizes of the Yorkshire Terrier toy breed standard. So many teacup dogs out there, but beware if buying to make sure these pups do not come from puppy mills or bad breeders!!

Teacup Yorkies, Toy Yorkies, Mini Yorkies: What’s the Difference?

Yorkies as toy breeds within the official Toy standard, or as Mini’s or Teacups are different in their size. They also differ in their expected lifespan, and often their health.

  • Toy Yorkies: Toy Yorkies weigh 4-7 pounds (1.8-3.2 kilograms) and measure 8-9 inches (22-22 centimeters) to their shoulder. More information on their lifespan and health is below.
  • Teacup and Mini Yorkies: Mini and Teacup Yorkies weigh under 4 pounds as adults. The practice is controversial. A newborn puppy and dogs of this very small size can have many health issues and a shorter lifespan.

No Short Supply When it Comes to Personality of These Pups!!

You may well end up giving your Yorkshire Terrier puppy the nickname of “Yorkie talkie”! They do like to verbalize how they are feeling to the people around them!

These little bark busters are also known to stand up to bigger dogs, despite their own diminutive size. They can also be perfectly effective as watchdogs! They’ll play with toys and chase balls, and give you a lot of laughs and loving attention.

The Many Colors!

As a young puppy, Yorkshire terriers are all born the same – black and tan. Their colors lighten develop as they mature.

The recognized colors in a purebred Yorkshire Terrier are black and gold, black and tan, blue and gold and blue and tan. For showing they can only have a minimal amount of white hair and markings.

  • Parti Yorkie: Partie Yorkies mature into three colors, usually a blend of brown, black and white.
  • White Yorkie: Technically you will not find a white Yorkie unless it is born albino. Their Biewer cousins may have a predominance of white on their coat though. Or, a Yorkie bred with another dog such as a Maltese (called a Morkie) may result in a white coat.

They’re Hypoallergenic! But Their Mermaid Hair Needs Grooming!

A Yorkie’s hair is more similar to a human’s hair than any other canine cousins, and they are relatively low shedders. But … because of their hair type and the natural length of their hair they do need high maintenance grooming to keep it soft, silky and untangled.

Do Yorkies Shed? What You Need to Know About Grooming Yorkie Dogs!

It is good news for allergy suffers, Yorkshire Terriers hair is one of the breeds considered pretty much hypoallergenic. Depending on the individual dog they do shed a little, but not too much.

You will need to brush your Yorkie puppy at least once, if not twice, a day. They need baths weekly.

Yorkies also usually need regular haircuts with a professional groomer. This keeps their long locks tidy or clipped and short into cuts that are a little easier to maintain.

Dynamic Duos: Popular Yorkie Mixes!

The mix of Yorkies with other small dog breeds has created some very adorable little dogs. And there is a mishmash of new puppy names to boot!

Note that with any crossbreeds, the individual pups can take on any characteristics of their ancestors in their family tree. Here are mixes of dogs with Yorkie genes you may find.

Yorkie Chihuahua Mix!

With a Yorkie and Chihuahua mix, aka Chorkie, you are likely to get a slightly larger and scruffier looking pooch. They are likely to have big round eyes and a fun and feisty nature.

Shih Tzu Yorkie Mix! Hello Shorkie Puppies!

Shorkies often take on the hair texture of their Yorkie parent but it only grows to a medium length. They are often multicolored and are great companion dogs.

Yorkie Pomeranian Mix

These hybrid dogs are lucky enough to have few names – Yoranian, Yorki-Pom, and Porki! They are likely to have fluffy/feathery coats and be boisterous balls of fur and fun.

Yorkie Poodle Mix: The Yorkie Poo!

Yorkie mixed with a Poodle comes as adorable as can be, but be cautious when looking for a Yorkie Poo!

How Long do These Pooches Live?

Yorkshire Terriers have a life expectancy of between 10-15 years.

Yorkies are generally pretty healthy. However, they are susceptible to a few health problems associated with their breed and size.

These may include issues with tracheal collapse, teeth, luxating patellas, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, a liver condition involving a portosystemic shunt, and Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease.

This all sounds scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Make sure your dog has regular exercise, a good diet and gets to the vet for regular checks. Things regular flea and heartworm treatments for any pups are a must.

5 Facts You Didn’t Know About This Breed

  1. Yorkies are great with people, but they’re not good for families with young children. Because of their small size, they can be hurt easily by unintentional rough handling. They can also get vocal and snappy if overexcited.
  2. They need consistent and regular housetraining from when they are young to get them into a good regular habit.
  3. Their little puppy legs can go a long way! They love going for walks and getting out and about as well as kicking around the home with you.
  4. They are fearless and brave, very brave! Yorkies have pulled wire through tunnels during war conditions, and fended off attackers!
  5. They love attention! They respond well to positively reinforced training. Learning new tricks to add to their repertoire of amusing pastimes keeps them happy.

Yorkshire Terrier for Sale!

If you’re wanting to buy Yorkshire Terrier puppies don’t be shy about asking any breeder questions. Find out about their breeding program and the way they care for their litters.

Good breeders are also likely to ask you questions as well. They will want to make sure the pups they have brought into the world go to good homes.

Yorkshire Terrier Puppies for Sale Near Me!

It’s easy to check out reputable breeders in your area for Yorkie puppies. The American Kennel Club (AKC) website has listings of breeders. As does The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America.

Teacup Yorkies for Sale!

If you decide a Teacup Yorkshire Terrier dog is your cup of tea (pardon the pun!) because they are not recognized as a purebred as such, their price is likely to be a little cheaper.

Remember to ask and find out as much health information for your future dog that you can from the breeder.


Yorkie pedigree puppies with their papers are often sold in the range of $1,200-$2,000 USD and above.

Adopt, Don’t Shop! Ask an Animal Shelter About Yorkie Rescues!

You got it! Every living being on this planet deserves a good life. Many pets can always be found at animal and rescue shelters that are needing new homes.

Sometimes you can act as a foster mom or foster dad too, which can be great for getting to know different breeds. There are also rescue groups and networks across the US dedicated to Yorkie dog rescues.