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Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

Don’t be fooled by their tiny size and dazzling good looks, the Yorkie is a real pocket rocket with sass aplenty!

The Yorkshire Terrier, or “Yorkie” was named after the county in England from where they originated in the 1800’s. They were bred largely for companions as well as hunting rats. They are a toy sized dog growing up to 23 cm and weighing around 3.5 kgs. They are grey, black, and tan in colour.


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Dog Breed Facts & Characteristics

Also known as



Yorkshire, England  

Bred for

Companionship, hunting rats


Toy size, up to 23 cm high and up to 3.5kgs  

Weight Range

Up to 3.5kgs


Grey, black and tan  

Life expectancy

12 to 15 years 


Long, fine, and flat with high grooming requirements


Intelligent, spirited, loyal 

Exercise requirements


Best suited for 

Households without small children and with time to devote to their Yorkie 

Apartment Friendly

Yes, provided they are given plenty of exercise and activities to prevent them from becoming bored


Yorkies are famously loyal and spirited. This can make them aloof with strangers and vocal alert dogs. Their characteristic “yap” should be taken into consideration if you live in an apartment or close quarters with neighbours who may not appreciate it. That said they can make great apartment dogs, provided they get plenty of exercise and company. They can make great apartment dogs, but are better suited to a household with older, or no children. Even though they are small, Yorkies are active and intelligent so play and exercise is just as important as with a larger dog.

Early training and socialisation with other dogs, people and animals is important to ensure good manners later in life. Always be cautious when introducing a Yorkie to small pets as rat hunting instincts may be strong in some individuals. 


Yorkies have a long, straight, silky hair, that will grow to the ground if left unchecked. Frequent brushing up to daily may be required to help keep the coat tangle free as well as to remove items like grass seeds that can cause injuries to the skin. Regular trips to the groomers to keep the hair around the face trimmed is important to keep the hair away from the eyes and from getting tangled in the teeth. Flea control all year around is recommend as is tick control if in a tick area.


When choosing a food for your Yorkshire Terrier, select a premium food appropriate to your dog’s age. Help your fur baby avoid becoming overweight by ensuring that you follow the recommended feeding guides on the food appropriate to your pet's size. Make sure your dog always has a supply of fresh, clean water available.

Common health concerns 

Yorkies are known for having sensitive stomachs and this is reflected in the top five reasons why they visited the Vet in 2020 according to PetSure claims data. Accidental trauma, including nail injuries are also common. It may be possible to help prevent claw injuries by regularly trimming your Yorkies nails

The five most common reasons for a Yorkshire Terrier to visit the vet (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure data in the 2020 calendar year were:



Average cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)

Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)


Gastrointestinal problems, including canine haemorrhagic gastroenteritis and diarrhoea




Accidental trauma, including broken bones and claw injuries




Skin conditions, including allergies and infections




Patella luxation




Kidney disease



Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider

Most popular Yorkshire Terrier names

According to PetSure data from 2020 the most popular names for Yorkshire Terriers were

Most popular names

  1. Alfie
  2. Buddy
  3. Teddy
  4. Archie
  5. Bambi
  6. Benji
  7. Billie
  8. Charlie
  9. Chico
  10. Delilah

Most popular female names  

  1. Bambi
  2. Delilah
  3. Gracie
  4. Kira
  5. Lolly
  6. Luna
  7. Maggie
  8. Mini
  9. Minnie
  10. Ruby

Most popular male names 

  1. Alfie
  2. Buddy
  3. Teddy
  4. Archie
  5. Benji
  6. Billie
  7. Charlie
  8. Chico
  9. Louie
  10. Milo

Did you know?

After the breed fell in popularity in the 1940’s, a Yorkshire Terrier called Smoky who was found by an American Soldier in the jungle in New Guinea during World War II sparked a new interest in the breed. Smoky flew with an air force squadron and was awarded eight battle stars. She even helped to build an airbase in the Philippines before becoming the first ever therapy dog and a television star after the war ended. There are several monuments to Smoky in the USA, but there is also one at the Royal Brisbane Women`s Hospital in Queensland. 

Where can I get a Yorkshire Terrier?

Check out your local breed specific rescue organisation. Also be sure to visit your local pet rescue shelters where you might just find your new best friend! 


  1. American Kennel Club, Yorkshire Terrier, Accessed on 22/02/2021
  2. Australian National Kennel Council, Yorkshire Terrier, Accessed on 22/02/2021
  3. Monument Australia, "Smoky" The War Dog, Accessed on 22/02/2021
  4. Wikipedia, Yorkshire Terrier, Accessed on 22/02/2021
  5. Wikipedia, Smoky (dog) Accessed on 22/02/2021

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Kylie Mitchell is a veterinarian with over 17 years experience in animal health and welfare, including in the veterinary and pet insurance industries

She has three rescue cats (Noah, Bei Bei and Meeka), four very old cockatiels and a pond-full of fish.

Kylie's pets

Bei Bei
Bei Bei