The Yorkshire terrier is considered a toy breed. They average 7-8 inches tall and around 7 pounds. Their average life expectancy is 11 to 15 years.
A nickname for them is Yorkie.
The breed was developed in the mid-1800s in Yorkshire, England. Scottish workers migrated to England and brought several types of terriers with them. The terriers they came from were originally larger, and the Yorkshire terrier was bred to be smaller to fit in small places and catch rats. They worked as ratters in mines and mills. Later, they became popular lap dogs for English ladies.
They are a small dog, but have a big personality! They are active and can be feisty, also curious and love attention.
The Yorkie can make a good watchdog as they will bark at intruders. Unfortunately, they sometimes bark at every little thing and can be considered “yappy.” Proper training can help prevent some of the excessive barking.
Due to their small size, they are suitable for apartment living. They don’t need a ton of exercise, but should be taken out for a walk and play time daily.
They are intelligent dogs. According to the book The Intelligence of Dogs: Canine Consciousness and Capabilities, they are ranked 34th.
You may have heard of teacup dogs, which are a dog that is less than 4 pounds when fully grown. Unfortunately, these dogs can have many health issues and do not live as long on average. I would avoid getting the teacup variety of Yorkshire terrier due to all the issues they can have.
Yorkies are listed as being hypoallergenic as they do not shed as much as some other dogs. It is possible they could be a good dog for someone with allergies. It is the dog’s dander and saliva that trigger most allergic reactions, so it really depends on the individual person and how they react.
Yorkshire terriers have fine, straight, and silky hair. For show dogs, they let the hair grow long down to floor length. As pets, it is easier to care for and more comfortable for the dog to regularly trim it short. If the hair is left long, they require frequent brushing or their hair can tend to become a matted up mess.
Here is a great website with more info and tips on training: Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies): What’s Good About ‘Em, What’s Bad About ‘Em