VCA Palmer Animal Hospital

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

Basic Yorkshire Terrier Information

  • Lifespan: 14 - 16 years
  • Height: 8 - 9 inches
  • Weight: 7 - 7 pounds

Medical Conditions Seen in Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terrier Traits

  • Joggin Partner
  • Lap Dog
  • Good with Children
  • Warm Weather
  • Cold Weather
  • Grooming Requirements
  • Shedding
  • Barking
  • Ease of Training

Yorkshire Terrier History

  • In the late 1800s, England's Industrial Revolution attracted many workers from Scotland, who brought with them a variety of terriers. These terriers included the blue and silver Paisley and the blue and tan Clydesdale, both dogs with long silky coats and prick ears.
  • These dogs interbred with the native English terriers, which included the 10 pound Waterside terrier, a breed that excelled at ratting. In addition, crosses were made to a cross-bred Scotch terrier, an old style Skye terrier, and an Old English terrier. These dogs became the foundation of the Yorkshire terrier, a breed originally used to rid the mills of rats.
  • With the emergence of dog shows in the 1860s, many high society women turned their attention to pedigreed dogs that could look stylish on their mistress's lap, and the Yorkshire terrier fit the bill.
  • Huddersfield Ben (1865-1871) became the first influential show dog and sire.
  • The breed was exhibited as Broken Haired Scotch terriers until 1870, when the name was changed to Yorkshire terrier at the suggestion of a reporter.
  • Yorkshire terriers were in America by the 1870s
  • AKC recognized the breed in 1885.
  • Yorkies remained fairly unknown until the 1970s, when their popularity began a slow, steady rise. In 1995 they entered the top ten list of AKC's most popular breeds, and have only continued to rise.

Yorkshire Terrier Behavior Concerns

  • Makes a delightful and entertaining companion.
  • Playful and good with children, but children must be supervised because they could easily hurt such a small dog.
  • True to its terrier heritage, it is spunky, busy, and often mischievous.
  • Tends to pick fights with larger dogs, and may chase small pets, especially rodents.
  • A one family dog, tending to be aloof toward strangers. Early socialization so that it willingly accepts new people is important.
  • Does best with reward-based training involving food or games.
  • Learns quickly, but also bores quickly, and may come up with its own ideas.
  • Some tend to bark a lot, which should be discouraged from an early age.
  • Housetraining can be more challenging than with many other breeds.

Yorkshire Terrier Suggested Exercises

  • Makes a lively and alert housedog.
  • Although many of its physical exercise needs can be met with indoor games, it still needs the mental stimulation of walking and sniffing outdoors.
  • A walk around the block once or twice daily will meet its outdoor needs, not counting bathroom breaks.
  • Many Yorkies have been trained to use indoor potty systems.
  • Dog parks are not generally a good idea unless only small dogs are allowed together.
  • Swimming is not recommended unless constantly supervised. Swimming with a full coat could be dangerous.
  • Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.
  • Excursions in doggy purses can also provide entertainment.

Yorkshire Terrier Grooming

  • Coat is long, fine and perfectly straight.
  • Adult color is dark steel blue with tan points. Young puppies are black and tan, with the black gradually turning gray and then blue as adults.
  • Brushing and combing every day or two is necessary to prevent matts.
  • Many pet owners elect to have their dogs professionally groomed, or clipped into a trim that is more easily cared for.
  • Hair must be kept out of eyes to avoid irritation.
  • The hair around the anus must be checked daily for hygiene issues.
  • Shedding is below average.
  • Regular tooth brushing may prevent periodontal disease, which is common in Yorkies.

Suggested Yorkshire Terrier Nutritional Needs

  • Yorkshire terriers tend to stay in good weight.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
  • Yorkie puppies should be fed often to prevent hypoglycemia, a serious condition to which very small puppies are prone. Meals of high protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates may also help guard against this condition.

Did you know?

  • Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs.
  • Some dog parasites are transferable to humans.
  • Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your dog.

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Have unanswered pet health questions? Dr.Donna Spector, with 10+ years of hands-on Internal Medicine experience, is here with your answers every Friday.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, please call

                        VCA Boston Road Animal Hospital 413-783-1203

                            24 hour Emergency and Specialty Hospital

                                 1235 Boston Road Springfield, Ma.