At first glance, it’s easy to discount the Yorkshire Terrier as a bite-sized bundle of floof. From the flowing coat to the hair-tie-and-top-knot, the breed tends to project the image of a timid lap dog. But under that cuddly exterior, you will find a scrappy spirit, surprising agility, and larger-than-life attitude, all in a tiny Yorkie package.
In this guide:
- Yorkie characteristics chart
- Yorkie history: humble origins for a proud breed
- What is a typical Yorkie personality & temperament?
- Are Yorkies easy to train?
- Caring for a Yorkie: exercise needs, health issues, & more
- Feeding your Yorkie
- Do Yorkies bark a lot?
- Understanding Yorkie barking
- Are Yorkies good with kids?
- Are Yorkies a good breed for the elderly?
- Do Yorkies get along with other dogs?
- How long do Yorkies live?
- Yorkie grooming and coat care
- Yorkie tail docking
- Yorkie dental care
- The truth about “Teacup Yorkies”
- How much do Yorkies cost?
Yorkie history: humble origins for a proud breed
Yorkshire Terriers, commonly referred to as “Yorkies,” have a humble and hardworking origin story. The ancestors of Yorkshire Terriers came with 19th-century Scottish workers as they migrated south to work in the industrial region of Yorkshire County, England. From this mishmash of terriers, the breed we know today slowly began to emerge.
These early Yorkies were mousers, earning their keep alongside the working class by ridding the mines and mills of vermin. In the following years, task-focused breeding produced a spritely terrier that was small and quick enough to pursue its prey in the nooks and crannies of the industrial environment.
The little dogs, ever the in the company of laborers, were bred for companionability, and, eventually, a distinct terrier emerged. By the 1860s, a show dog named Huddersfield Ben gained a degree of fame on the show circuit and became a prototype of the modern Yorkshire Terrier. His fame propelled the breed to a new level of awareness, and soon more genteel classes were clamoring for Yorkies as house pets.
As Yorkies moved from mine to parlor, bloodlines were bent to produce a smaller form more suitable for the laps of high society. By the late 1800s, Yorkshire Terriers had expanded beyond their native England to invade the United States, being officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885.
In 1944, a four pound Yorkie named Smoky gained notoriety after being rescued by an American soldier in New Guinea and subsequently accompanying him through the remainder of World War II. Smoky’s rescuer, Corporal William Wynne, credited the scrappy little dog with saving his life and, on one occasion, helping run a critical communications wire through an inaccessible pipe.
Smoky went on to become a media darling after the war and did much to elevate Yorkshire Terriers to the national spotlight, which is why Smoky is one of our favorite Yorkie names.
Presently, Yorkshire Terriers are one of the most common dog breeds and are currently listed as the 9th most popular breed in the United States.
What is a typical Yorkie personality & temperament?
Yorkies are classified by the AKC as part of the Toy Group; weighing in between three to seven pounds, they are among the smallest of the classification. This tiny little breed tends to be a delightful blend of affection and self-possessed confidence. Unlike many of the so-called ‘lapdog’ breeds, the Yorkshire Terrier temperament isn’t typically submissive. Instead, Yorkie personalities are usually independent, snarky, and fun-loving.
Though small, a Yorkie packs a great deal of quirkiness into a tiny body and their owners frequently report antics and laughter as a daily occurrence.
Are Yorkies easy to train?
Yorkie training can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Despite often being overlooked as a trainable breed, Yorkshire Terriers are very intelligent. They can just be a little stubborn and willful, sometimes. Yorkies tend to bond closely with their owners and are generally eager to please, especially when encouraged with delicious treats and lots of praise.
Due to their intelligence, Yorkies also serve as service or therapy dogs in roles that do not require significant size or strength. This includes working as medical detection dogs, hearing dogs, and emotional or psychiatric support dogs.
Despite their diminutive stature, properly trained Yorkies can also be fierce and nimble participants in agility competitions. Their quick feet and significant intelligence make them well suited to navigate the physical and mental challenges of these competitions.
>> Read more:
Caring for a Yorkshire Terrier
Keeping your Yorkie fit—and keeping an eye out for common Yorkie health issues—is important to ensuring a long, healthy, happy life for your pet.
How much exercise do Yorkies need?
While they may surprise you with their constant curiosity and endless busyness, a Yorkie’s exercise needs are not that high.
Daily walks are definitely ideal for keeping your pet happy and healthy (and tiring your pup will help them sleep). But one of the wonderful things about a small breed like Yorkies is that when the weather outside is inclement, they can still get in a great round of exercise playing fetch and tug-o-war indoors. After all, when you weigh six pounds and your legs are three inches long, a trot across the living room can feel like a mile.
This intelligent breed will also enjoy treat-dispensing and puzzle toys. Yorkies will find a great deal of physical and mental stimulation interacting with these toys and they are often just the thing to keep a sometimes mischievous puppy occupied.
Keeping your Yorkie warm on walks
When out for walks, it’s important to take precautions with your Yorkie, particularly in extreme weather. Yorkshire Terriers, lacking an undercoat, will lose body heat quickly, so they have a very low tolerance for cold weather.
With a pet that small and cute, we know you want to dress them up anyway, so get your Yorkie a pet sweater for cold weather walks. But even when properly dressed, time outdoors should be limited during the colder months.
Likewise, on long walks in hot weather, a Yorkie can easily tire out. Be sure to bring along a travel dish and some water if you’re going for a longer walk, and pay close attention to your Yorkie’s body language.
If they are panting during the walk and frequently laying down or balking, it may be time for a break and a drink. The good news is that with a breed so small, all you need to do is tuck your tired little terrier under your arm for the rest of the walk.
Common Yorkie health issues
While generally healthy and long-lived, Yorkies are not without their health risks. Several of the most common Yorkie health issues are genetic and can be effectively screened for or spotted early. Others are often the result of poor care and can be avoided with proper diet and supervision.
You can read an overview of the most common problems below, or learn more in our guide to Yorkie health issues.
Hypoglycemia (and Yorkie shaking)
One of the most common questions asked among owners is: why is my Yorkie shaking?
Yorkies, which are prone to the occasional bout of shivering, often do so simply due to temperature or excitement. But sometimes this behavior can be a sign of something more serious.
Due to their small size and sometimes picky eating habits, Yorkies are prone to hypoglycemia. This is especially common among puppies who are slowly adapting to solid foods.
To help combat a trembling Yorkie, veterinarians will often recommend a calorie-rich supplement gel (or even a dab of honey) rubbed on the gums to get the blood sugar back on track and to help spike the appetite. After that, a regular, protein-rich diet provided in small amounts throughout the day keeps blood sugar levels stable and can prevent Yorkie hypoglycemia.
If Yorkie trembling persists after calming her down, providing a snack and ensuring she is warm it may indicate a more serious issue. If your pup refuses to eat, faints or appears weak and overly-drowsy, you should seek professional medical help immediately.
The Yorkie has a love/hate relationship with treats. They love tasty snacks—as all dogs do—but their tiny pancreas does not. Yorkies who overindulge in high-calorie and high-fat diets often develop pancreatitis, which, if left untreated, may escalate into numerous other health issues—some of which can be fatal.
A balanced diet, exercise, and a reasonable number of tasty treats will help prevent this potentially life-threatening condition.
Symptoms of pancreatitis can include poor appetite, a tender belly, vomiting or diarrhea, and persistent labored breathing. If you suspect something is wrong, your vet can perform a blood test or ultrasound to make a diagnosis and help get your little Yorkie back on track.
Proper dental care will go a long way in preventing dental issues common to the breed. While tooth decay and plaque is often a risk for Yorkies, daily brushing and dental treats help ward off these issues and keep your pup’s teeth clean and healthy. There are also a number of teeth-cleaning chew toys available that will both clean your Yorkie’s teeth and keep them entertained. You can learn more about how to brush a Yorkie’s teeth later in this guide.
Yorkshire Terriers have small and fragile necks. The trachea, particularly, is susceptible to collapse if any undue pressure is put on this area of the body. Because of this risk, we strongly recommend against walking your Yorkie on a leash and collar. Instead, always use a leash with a well-designed body harness instead.
>> Read more: 6 Best Yorkie Harnesses
Yorkie puppies, like most young canines, love to chew on just about any stick, rock, or pine cone they come across on your daily walks. But due to their tiny gastrointestinal tract, Yorkshire Terriers are particularly vulnerable to blockage by foreign objects, so it is a good idea to discourage chewing on risky objects and to provide safe chew toys instead.
Brave little Yorkies are notorious for hopping from heights that may be detrimental to their health. One of the main risks of such leaps is kneecap dislocation. As a general rule, a Yorkie pup should not jump from heights much taller than itself, though you will have to keep a very watchful eye on your little daredevil to prevent such behavior.
Yorkies are sometimes prone to allergic sensitivity in both their respiratory tracts and skin.
Respiratory allergens tend to be caused by the usual suspects: mold, pollen, and other seasonal irritants that affect humans as well. You can learn more about these common Yorkie allergies here.
Skin irritants are often of the chemical nature, and using high-quality, natural, and predominantly chemical-free products on and around your dog will help prevent Yorkie skin issues.
>> Read more: Best Yorkie Collars: Not All Collars Are Safe!
Feeding your Yorkie
As members of the Toy group, a Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs with small appetites. As such, each bite your pup eats is important to their health.
A healthy diet for smaller breeds is critical due to their propensity toward hypoglycemia, low weight, and overall pickiness. Choices and patterns put in place as a puppy will greatly impact your little friend’s overall health, mobility, and lifespan.
With this in mind, striking a balance in your canine’s diet is incredibly important. The following guidelines will help you do just that.
How much should I feed my Yorkie?
How much is too much? It’s a difficult question to answer at times, particularly with smaller breeds. However, determining how much to feed a Yorkie puppy is a critical aspect of raising a healthy dog.
This was highlighted in research featured in The Journal of Nutritional Science, which found that the standards used to calculate puppy energy requirements are not always properly calibrated for Yorkshire Terriers as they move through the puppy stage and into adulthood. Additional research published in The Journal of Nutrition found that dogs, like their human counterparts, are experiencing greater trends toward obesity and reduced overall activity, causing numerous health risks that can be traced to over-indulgent feeding habits.
Dr. Cheryl Yuill recommends a simple formula for a spayed or neutered adult dog that takes daily walks and engages in average play:
30 x (lbs of weight/2.2) + 70 = target daily calories
For example, with a 6-pound Yorkie, the formula would yield:
30 x (6/2.2) + 70 = 151 calories
Keep in mind that this formula is designed with averages in mind. As a smaller breed, Yorkies’ nutritional needs will often plateau faster in adulthood and can vary from the averages. Rely on weight measurements at regular vet checkups to determine if your Yorkie is hitting the ideal weight goals and adjust accordingly.
What should I feed my Yorkie?
As Doctor Cailin R. Heinze of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine explains, recent research has called into question the popular trend of ‘grain-free’ diets for your pooch. And while this research is new and somewhat inconclusive, it does reinforce how important a balanced and non-fad-driven diet is.
The best rule of thumb is to purchase the highest quality food for your pup that your budget allows, focusing on brands that have real, transparently sourced ingredients and little filler. High-quality foods will provide a broad range of nutrients and lean protein while keeping the calorie count down. Check out our guide to the best dog food for Yorkies to compare your options.
>> Read more: Yorkie Foods: What They Can Eat & What to Avoid
Be careful with treats
With a pup as small and cute as a Yorkie, the temptation to over-spoil with treats is hard to resist. While some spoiling is inevitable, you need to exercise self-discipline when it comes to treats or your little friend’s diet can quickly stray into unhealthy territory.
Choose healthy, low-calorie treats with clean, sourced, natural ingredients. Our guide to the best Yorkie treats is a great place to start. These treats often range from 2–4 calories per piece, which means just five treats per day can easily constitute approximately 10% of your pup’s recommended daily caloric intake. If you’ve already exceeded your Yorkie’s quota for treats for the day, reward with lots of praise, affection, and a quick game of tug-of-war instead.
It is tough to resist those cute puppy eyes but a little discipline is key and will go a long way to keeping your puppy healthy and happy.
Should I feed my Yorkie puppy the same food as an adult dog?
While breed-specific food is a good indicator of the type of diet your dog needs, it is even more critical to pay attention to your dog’s size and age. Most major, high-quality canine food producers have lines of products for small, medium and large breeds, as well as lines for puppies, adults, and senior dogs.
Pay close attention to your pup’s stage of development and the food you are feeding them as their caloric needs change as they grow. A typical line of products from high-quality dog food producers will include separate puppy and adult formulas for extra-small, small, medium, large, and giant/extra-large breeds and should list clear, easy to identify ingredients.
Do Yorkies bark a lot?
Yorkshire Terriers, like many of the Toy group, have a reputation for being barkers. However, the behavior is not overstated in Yorkies and proper training, especially starting during the puppy phase, will go a long way in quelling the habit. A useful tool will be a no-shock training collar; you can check out some reviews in our guide to the best bark collars for Yorkies.
Where Yorkshire Terriers are concerned, it’s important to understand that not all barking is bad. Barking is a primary means of communication for your four-legged friend, and if barking excessively, they may be trying to tell you something important.
Understanding Yorkie barking
A low, well-projected bark often indicates a perceived danger. This could simply be a passing neighbor outside or a cat in the backyard, but an attentive Yorkie will make sure you’re aware. Growling often accompanies the low-toned bark, further adding to the sense of defensiveness.
On the other hand, a short high-pitched yip often indicates your Yorkie is trying to get your attention because they want something. You’ll hear this higher toned bark when your Yorkie is ready to go outside, engaged in play, or begging for a treat they’ve spotted on the counter.
At the other end of the spectrum, a rapid yelping, which can almost imitate an alarm, indicates your pup has been injured or needs immediate help. This is the vocalization that you’ll hear when a paw has been stepped on or some other injury has occurred, and it typically indicates pain or fear.
Learning the difference between these distinct barks is key to understanding which ones to address with training and which are important messages for you. You can learn more in our guide to how to stop a Yorkie from barking.
Are Yorkies good with kids?
Although Yorkies are an affectionate breed known for their companionability and energy, specific care must be taken when placing them in homes with children, particularly young kids. While many Yorkies will appreciate the energy of children, this breed’s small size often puts them in danger of being injured or stepped on during play.
Generally, a Yorkie will acclimate best in a home with children no younger than eight years old. Like many smaller breeds, too much noise and commotion can create a lot of stress for Yorkies, putting them into an agitated state.
If there are children in the home, it is important to provide a space that the dog can withdraw to anytime it’s feeling stressed. Whether this is a kennel or dog bed, it is critical that you teach your children this hideaway is strictly off limits to them and that the dog should be left alone when in their safe space.
Though small, Yorkies are tenacious and will stand their ground when threatened. Children must be taught to watch for signs the dog is stressed or afraid. Behaviors like a suddenly rigid body and wide eyes (with much of the whites of the eyes showing), repeatedly licking their lips, lips pulled back to show teeth, snapping, or avoiding eye contact and cowering are all signals that your pup needs a kid-free break.
If children can be taught to spot these signs, it will help them protect their puppy and themselves from defensive behaviors. Whatever the age of your children, the key to a safe and happy Yorkie is lots of supervision and clear boundaries for both human and furry family members.
Are Yorkies a good breed for the elderly?
Yorkshire Terriers are well suited to life with elderly companions, but there are a number of Yorkie characteristics that must be taken into consideration.
While a Yorkie does not need a great deal of exercise, a daily walk is ideal for their mental and physical health. Even a game of fetch or hide-and-seek in the living room can do wonders, which enables owners with limited mobility to provide stimulating exercise for this little breed.
Yorkie grooming can be a bit more demanding than some other small breeds, though not prohibitively so.
The Yorkie has a beautiful and distinct coat that differs sharply from most breeds. The coat very closely resembles human hair and requires similar care—daily brushing and regular bathing and conditioning will be necessary, but this shouldn’t be a problem for most seniors.
The Yorkie is also a single-coat breed, meaning they do not have a seasonal undercoat, and they will shed very little—especially when brushed daily.
Keeping their regular grooming needs in mind, the happy, companionable and upbeat nature of Yorkshire Terriers make them one of the best breeds for seniors.
Do Yorkies get along with other dogs?
Although they can often be a bit feisty toward canines they don’t know, Yorkshire Terriers typically do well with other dogs (and cats) in the home. In fact, a companion pet can help combat Yorkie separation anxiety. Properly socializing your Yorkie to your other pets is one of the key factors to a successful pet-to-pet relationship.
If the Yorkie is your first pet, try to regularly socialize them with other dogs around the neighborhood or at the park at a relatively young age— within six months to a year after they have come to your home.
If your Yorkie is the newbie and is a still puppy, just keep in mind puppies can be a bit overwhelming to older dogs and other pets, and lots of close supervision is required in the beginning.
Ensure all pets have their own space to retreat to and do your best to keep the older pet’s routines in place. This keeps things normal for them and helps establish some new routines for your younger pup. Of course, it is also important to spend quality time with both pets—separately in the beginning—to ensure they know their place in the pack is healthy and secure.
How long do Yorkies live?
Like many small breeds, Yorkshire Terriers tend to have long life spans, typically ranging from about 12 to 15 years. However, your Yorkie’s lifespan will be greatly impacted by many factors, such as diet, exercise, and the quality of their breeding lineage. Taking steps to help your pup lead a healthy lifestyle can greatly influence their life span and quality of life. You can learn more in our guide, How Long Do Yorkies Live?
Yorkie grooming and coat care
If you’re wondering how to groom a Yorkie, you’re not alone. Yorkshire Terriers are about the size of a football, so they won’t require hours of deshedding or detangling. But that doesn’t mean their grooming needs are simple. Here’s what you need to know to keep your Yorkie’s coat looking sleek.
>> Read more: Best Dog Clippers for Yorkies
Not your average coat!
The Yorkie coat is a bit of an anomaly in the canine world, consisting of hair rather than the typical fur found on most breeds. This difference means that Yorkie hair is much smoother, similar to human hair, and it tends to grow straighter and longer than typical dog coats.
Yorkies also have fewer hair follicles per square inch, and they don’t have an undercoat, making for a less bushy coat that lies flatter.
Yorkshire Terrier coloring
There are four officially recognized Yorkie colors:
- Black and Gold
- Black and Tan
- Blue and Tan
- Blue and Gold
Other color variations do exist, such as the Chocolate Yorkie, but they are not considered up to breed standard by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and will be a disqualification from the show ring. If that means nothing to you, that’s okay. The important thing is that you keep your Yorkie looking healthy and cute.
As your pup ages, the black hairs in a Yorkie puppy coat transforms into a shade of blue (think steely grey ranging from quite light to almost black). The tan hairs the puppy carries will also gradually transform into a more golden hue.
>> Read more: White Yorkie Terrier: Is a Purebred Albino Pup Possible?
When properly cared for, the coat will give off a glossy, smooth appearance, adding to the regal appearance of this already beautiful breed.
While the unique Yorkshire Terrier coat is notorious for requiring a bit more effort when it comes to grooming, DIY Yorkie coat care does not have to be a headache. Regular grooming will make this a painless part of your little friend’s life and help save you time (and expense) in the long run. And if you really want to minimize grooming efforts, keeping your Yorkie in a short haircut can help, too.
>> Read More: How to Bathe a Yorkie (And How Often)
Daily brushing, please!
Daily brushing will go a long way in minimizing grooming issues for your Yorkie. Brushing keeps the coat free from tangles and mats and will keep the hair looking healthy and straight.
To help with your brushing, you’ll want to have a good stainless-steel comb (for the first pass, to remove any mats that are starting), a stiff-but-gentle bristle brush or rubber-tipped pin brush (boar brushes work great!), and a leave-in coat conditioner.
>> Read more: Best Brush for Yorkies (& Other Top Detangling Tools)
Before brushing, always spritz your Yorkie’s coat with a high-quality leave-in conditioner. This will prevent the finer hair from breaking as you comb and will also aid in detangling any mats that are forming.
Do a quick pass over the entire coat with the comb to remove any mats, tangles or burs your pup’s coat has picked up since the last grooming. Don’t forget to very carefully comb the hair around the elbows, ears, snout and eyes to prevent mats from forming in these often neglected areas.
Next, carefully brush the coat with your bristle brush, starting at the top of the head, down the back and sides and then finishing with the legs and chest/underside. Move carefully and gently to ensure the brushing is a relaxing and positive experience for your Yorkie.
Many dogs are nervous about grooming at first, but with gentle care and time they may learn to look forward to the bonding time.
To help combat anxiety, especially when grooming Yorkie puppies, be sure to supply a treat at the beginning and end of each grooming to associate good things with brushing sessions. It also helps to speak to your pup in a calm, soothing voice throughout the grooming.
And don’t forget to allow a little sniff time with the brush and comb to allow your pup to become familiar and comfortable with the tools.
>> Read more: Best Yorkie Shampoo and Conditioner
Yorkie tail docking
Although still practiced to a degree in the United States, tail docking is a highly controversial practice that has been outlawed in much of the world.
What is tail docking?
The practice of tail docking involves the amputation of a portion of a dog’s tail, resulting in a bobbed or significantly shortened tail for the remainder of the dog’s lifetime. The amputation is achieved through one of two methods.
The first is via surgical removal of the tail—simply severing all but the base portion of the tail. The second method involves applying a band to the tail, restricting blood flow and causing a portion of the tail to die before being removed.
Why do some breeders practice tail docking?
Although the practice of docking dates back to the ancient Romans, the modern practice of tail docking stems from the working breeds.
It was performed to prevent injury while herding breeds were running among a herd of livestock, or hunting dogs were aggressively pursuing prey in confined quarters. The bobbed tails were also thought to be useful in pulling out a dog (especially Terriers) who had become stuck underground while ratting or pursuing burrow-dwelling prey.
Today, these reasons are rarely a factor for the average family pet, especially among Yorkshire Terriers, and the practice of docking has been perpetuated for predominantly aesthetic reasons.
Modern criticism of docking
The practice of docking, though still common in some parts of the world, has begun to fall out of favor and has even been made illegal in portions of Europe, South America, and Australia. Most critics point out that the practice is not needed in the vast majority of cases and, even among working dogs, the benefits are controversial. Some contemporary research has questioned if docking interferes with a dog’s natural ability to communicate with other dogs via body language and many consider it to be cruel and unethical.
Should I dock my Yorkshire Terrier’s tail?
Many breeders, even reputable ones, still practice tail docking, and you will need to ask about their tail docking policy when adopting a new Yorkshire puppy. Unless you plan on showing your Yorkshire Terrier, there is arguably no practical reason to dock your puppy’s tail and many excellent arguments against doing so. Unless guided to do so by a veterinarian for health reasons, docking a Yorkshire Terrier’s tail is not necessary or advisable.
Besides, who wouldn’t want to see their puppy’s tail wag when they come home from work?
Yorkie dental care
Dental care is a critical aspect of any dog’s health, and this is especially true of Yorkshire Terriers. Neglecting good dental hygiene for your pup can lead to tooth decay, serious bacterial infections, and difficulty eating that may induce poor nutrition.
Prone to dental issues, extra special attention should be paid to a Yorkie’s teeth, but it doesn’t have to be an ordeal. Several strategies and just a few minutes of your time each day can greatly reduce the risk of dental issues later in a Yorkie’s life.
How often should I brush my Yorkie’s teeth?
Daily brushings are recommended for Yorkshire Terriers, and the earlier you start, the better. You will want to spend a couple of minutes each day doing a quick brushing of your dog’s teeth, using a finger brush or soft-bristled toothbrush along with toothpaste that is formulated for your pup (and tastes great too!).
Regardless of age, start slowly with a new dog, putting a dab of the toothpaste on your finger and letting them lick it off. Next, repeat the same practice with a toothbrush. Let them get used to having a finger and then later the brush touching their teeth and in their mouth, and be sure to reward the entire process with treats each time.
Never use human toothpaste, as overexposure to fluoride is toxic to dogs and this is especially true for smaller breeds. Quality canine toothpastes are specially formulated for the pH of a dog’s mouth and contain specific enzymes that help prevent plaque build-up and promote dental health. These toothpastes are also typically formulated with a pup-friendly flavor that keeps them interested while you scrub their pearly whites.
You can learn more about how to clean your dog’s teeth and why they may be falling out in our guide to Yorkie teeth.
Are dental treats good for my Yorkie’s teeth?
Dental treats like Whimzees or Greenies are good additions to your dog’s diet, and they will help fight Yorkie bad breath and plaque build-up on your canine’s teeth. However, they are no substitutes for regular brushing. Additionally, whole food treats like carrots, celery, apples, and even frozen berries can also help keep your Yorkie’s teeth clean while supplying clean, low-calorie nutrition.
The truth about “Teacup Yorkies”
Unfortunately, when looking for a new Yorkie puppy, the first thing many people do is hop online and search for “cheap Yorkies” or “how much does a Yorkie puppy cost,” and they are immediately met with ads from disreputable and unethical puppy mills. The simple fact of the matter is, there is no such thing as a cheap Yorkie from a reputable breeder.
Beware of size-focused breeders
While it may be tempting to purchase cheap puppies from the classified ads claiming to have “Tiny Toy Yorkies” or “Teacup Yorkies for Sale,” the result is so frequently disastrous. These breeders often over-breed their dogs, endangering the lives of the mother and puppies alike.
Breeders who specifically claim to have exceptionally small Yorkies are likely breeding for small size only, to the detriment of their puppies. Teacup Yorkies tend to be fragile, prone to health issues and injury, and often have a shorter life expectancy than the full-sized variety.
While the American Kennel Club recognizes variations in Yorkshire Terrier color—such as Parti coloring (a recessive trait resulting in a tri-color black, tan and white coat)—it is important to remember that there are no officially recognized variants of the Yorkshire Terrier breed in terms of size. Any breeder marketing teacup-sized Yorkies should be very carefully vetted if not avoided entirely.
>> Read More: Yorkie Growth Chart: How Big Will My Yorkie Get?
Look for quality and ask lots of questions
A good breeder will also welcome lots of questions and will be happy to help you learn more about the Yorkshire Terrier breed. They will likely ask questions of their own and will be very careful regarding the homes into which their puppies are adopted.
How much do Yorkies cost?
The average cost for a purebred Yorkshire Terrier puppy from an ethical breeder ranges from $1,200 to $6,000 or more, depending on the lineage and show-worthiness of the puppy. You can learn more in our guide to Yorkshire Terrier prices.
Though this may incite sticker shock for many, you must consider what you are paying for. Reputable breeders are committed to giving their pups the best possible upbringing and living conditions while also carefully breeding for the very best qualities and traits, so you’re really paying for a healthy immune system, strong joints, and a stable temperament.
Good breeders also pay close attention to the AKC breed standards in terms of size, coloring, and other physical qualities, always attempting to keep their litters as close to those standards as possible.
Is a Yorkie right for you?
If you are looking for a lovable, spirited companion in a tiny package, the Yorkshire Terrier may be the perfect addition to your family. Their loyalty, sense of humor, and inquisitive personalities make them one of the most sought after breeds.
A calm home with family members who will pay lots of attention to this little dog, take care to not step on them, and who can match their love of life is the ideal environment. If you want lots of companionship, kisses, and affection from a pup equally ready for a cuddle or a walk, then look no further than the Yorkshire Terrier!