Small Yorkshire Terrier puppy on white background

Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)

Breed Characteristics

Yorkshire Terriers make good watchdogs. Some are inappropriately aggressive. Some are barky. They enjoy being pampered but also like a chance to act like other dogs and run and play.

Is the Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) approved as a pet in a Singapore HDB flat?



Yorkshire, England, 1800s. The Yorkie was developed to hunt the rodents that infested mine shafts and clothing mills. These hunting dogs could also infiltrate into badger and fox burrows. The Yorkshire Terrier's origins are not entirely traced. It is thought that Scotsmen whom worked in the Yorkshire woollen mills brought with them different types of terrier (Manchester Terrier, Maltese, Skye Terrier, Dandie Dinmont, and the now-extinct Paisley Terrier), and crossed them with Yorkshire's local dogs, such as the longhaired Leeds Terrier. Earlier Yorkies were much bigger, but selectively breeding of the smallest individuals through the years resulted in the miniaturised version we see today.

Original Purpose

Vermin hunting.

Behaviour and Temperament

Oblivious of their small size, Yorkshire Terriers are domineering, fiery, stubborn, alert, adventuresome, and lively.

What are some Physical Features of the Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)?

18 to 22 cm; under 3 kg. Pet dogs are usually larger than show dogs. Colours are dark steel blue on body; golden tan on face, chest, ears, and legs. Pet types have black markings that just don’t turn blue. Yorkshire Terriers are born black.

Coat Type and Recommended Grooming

Long, silky, straight hair. High maintenance; Show coats need hours of grooming, which is why most pet owners chose to clip them. Clipped coat requires frequent combing and brushing. Professional grooming is recommended. Teeth should be checked and cleaned regularly. Minimal shedding.

Life Expectancy of the Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)

The life expectancy of the Yorkshire Terrier is between 12 and 16 years.

Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) Puppies in the Community

Have a Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie)?

Health Concerns

Heart problems (mitral valve insufficiency), rheumy eyes, liver disease (portacaval shunt, hepatitis), dermatitis (skin inflammation), ear infections, enteritis (intestine inflammation), cancer, nephritis (kidney inflammation). Some Yorkies prone to early tooth decay and have poor tolerance to anaesthetics.

Exercise Needs

Play will satisfy most of their exercise needs, however a daily walk is necessary to fulfil their primal instinct to walk.


Small enough for apartment life, but some can become too vocal. Yorkies can get excessively active indoors especially when they do not get the required walk.


Good with well-behaved older children but not necessarily with toddlers. Most are friendly, some are shy. Usually shy with other pets.


Average; Yorkies can be stubborn if over pampered. Early training will help the 'yappy' individuals that bark at almost any sound. Some can be hard to housebreak.

Recommended Activities

Companion, agility.