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Yorkshire Terriers: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Petite, playful, and perky, these pups are also hypoallergenic and super cute — it’s no wonder why Yorkies are such a beloved dog breed. Let’s check out everything you need to know if you’re considering bringing a Yorkshire Terrier home.

Young woman holding her Yorkshire Terrier outside


The Yorkshire Terrier is a small breed originating in 19th-century England. Like other terriers, they were initially bred for hunting, helping catch rodents like rats and mice in mills and mines.

Yorkies are known as lapdogs because of their small size, but they’re super smart, love to play, and are known to be therapy dogs, too!

Over the years, famous Yorkies have stolen the hearts and minds of many, particularly celebs like A-Rod, Kelly Clarkson, Mariah Carey, and more! That might be why they’ve become such popular companions for dog lovers everywhere.

Yorkie Breed Guide


Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs with a silky, hypoallergenic coat that inspires all sorts of creative grooming, from different length cuts to bows and other accessories.

Yorkshire Terriers are commonly mixed with other small breeds, such as the Poodle, Chihuahua, and Shih Tzu — called Yorkipoos, Chorkies, and Shorkies, respectively.

Similar breeds

If you like Yorkshire Terriers, you might also be interested in similar breeds like the Maltese, the Shih Tzu, or the Chihuahua.


Once you get to know a Yorkshire Terrier, you might wonder how so much spunky, affectionate attitude can fit in such a little pup. They’re spritely and energetic but equally ready to lounge around or play hide-and-go-seek.

They’re brave, too. Although they’re great socialites, they may need training to hold back their fierce and feisty tendencies. As such, you may find them guarding your home and acting a bit territorial.

Yorkies are smart with a side of stubbornness, so expect to put in some work at the start — but it certainly pays off. Some pet parents find the Yorkie’s independence particularly attractive.

Are Yorkshire Terriers hypoallergenic?

Yes! Yorkshire Terriers have a silky, hypoallergenic coat that sheds very little. They are often considered to be a good breed for people with allergies.

While they generally do not require extensive grooming, Yorkshire Terriers may benefit from regular grooming to maintain their coat's health.

Looking for other allergy-friendly dogs? Take a look at our guide to hypoallergenic breeds.

Health concerns

Yorkshire Terriers may be prone to certain health issues, including dental problems, patellar luxation, and liver shunts. Regular veterinary care and preventative measures can help manage these risks.

How big do Yorkies get?

Yorkies can reach up to 9 inches in height and weigh between 4 and 7 pounds.

Adult dog size can be influenced by age, sex, and activity level, and it can be more challenging to predict for mixed breeds.

Life expectancy

You can expect your Yorkshire Terrier to live about 12 to 15 years, a long time at your side, not unlike many other small dogs.

Expected lifetime cost

The lifetime cost of a Yorkshire Terrier can vary, but you can anticipate spending around $18,000 throughout your dog's life. On average, that's about $1,300 per year — a bit on the high end.

Plan for other expenses like routine vet visits, preventative medications, grooming, and other standard pet care.

Estimated cost to insure

Pet insurance is a great way to manage unexpected medical expenses. The cost of insuring your Yorkshire Terrier can vary based on age, health, and location. You can expect to pay around $25-$50 per month for their coverage.

The good, the bad, the ugly

On the fence about getting a Yorkshire Terrier? These are some traits and health factors to consider when making your decision:

  1. Size: Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs, perfect for those who prefer small dogs or live in an apartment.

  2. Spunky nature: Yorkshire Terriers are known for having a lively and playful personality, making them great family pets. This can come with a determined, feisty side, but who doesn’t love a little spice?

  3. Health concerns: These pups may be prone to certain health issues, especially those common in small dogs as they age. This can include dental problems, patellar luxation, and liver shunts. Regular veterinary care and good dental hygiene can help manage these risks.

  4. Grooming: Yorkshire Terriers have a hypoallergenic coat that requires regular grooming. Weekly brushing and occasional baths can help keep their coat clean and healthy.

  5. Trainability: Yorkshire Terriers are intelligent and trainable, making them great partners to humans willing to challenge them with new tricks to learn.

Keep these characteristics and health concerns in mind when considering whether a Yorkshire Terrier is the perfect breed for you.

So you want a Yorkshire Terrier...

Ready for a lovable lapdog with lots of spunky personality? Yorkshire Terriers will bring many years of joy to your life with their smart, curious, and bright personalities.

If you're ready to bring home a small dog full of vibrant personality, the Yorkshire Terrier might be the perfect candidate to be your new soulful sidekick.

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