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A Guide to Yorkshire Terriers


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Are you considering adopting a Yorkshire Terrier? Do you already have one in the family? We have all the information you need to make decisions about their care, including details about this breed’s physical characteristics, playtime needs, grooming tips, nutrition, and more.

Your Guide to Yorkshire Terriers
embark yorkie puppy

With a stellar combination of traits, Yorkshire Terriers are quite a popular breed! Perhaps this is due to their endearing combination of characteristics. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), these little doggos are both affectionate, tenacious, and spritely. Suffice it to say, bringing one of these adorable pups into your family will surely lead to years of amusement, joy, and true companionship.

Fun facts

Here are some interesting facts about Yorkshire Terriers from the AKC:

• Yorkies became a fashionable dog in the late Victorian era
• The Yorkshire Terrier has been in the Top 10 most popular dog breeds since (at least) 2013
• Yorkies made their debut at a bench show in England in 1861 as the “broken-haired Scotch Terrier”
• Yorkshire Terriers were recognized by the AKC over 130 years ago, in 1885!

Physical characteristics

embark yorkie puppy pink bow

Yorkshire Terriers are most recognizable by their size and their wonderfully silky coats. According to The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America, the standard Yorkie coat is a clear shade of tan with a dark, steel-blue hue and is usually glossy and straight. These pups are small in stature with a compact body and an alert expression.

Bringing your new Yorkshire Terrier home

Your Yorkie’s first few weeks at home will probably be a little disorienting. It will be easier for your new pup if you maintain a consistent routine beginning with their very first hours in the new space. Try keeping your Yorkshire Terrier’s feeding schedule and walks as invariable as possible. This will be reassuring to your doggo as they will feel more at ease knowing what to expect every day.

If you are looking to adopt a Yorkshire Terrier from an animal shelter or find a breeder, it’s important to look for breeders that can provide detailed health records for their puppies (and parents!) as well as genetic testing for health conditions. The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) maintains a voluntary database of Yorkie and their health screening results.


Your pup’s diet should be appropriate for their age. The AKC advises keeping treats to a minimum so your Yorkie is able to maintain a healthy weight as they age. Check with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.


embark yorkshire terrier grey

Yorkshire Terriers can be a very spirited breed and will likely begin playing with very little encouragement from anyone. While some breeds are happy to spend long afternoons in a fenced-in yard, Yorkies are mainly an indoor breed, according to PetMD. However, these pups should be taken for regular, leash-led walks outdoors so they can enjoy consistent exercise and a change of environment.


As you can probably guess, it’s very important to take care of your Yorkshire Terrier’s silky coat! This includes regular trips to the groomer. As their coat grows between grooming appointments, be sure to keep any strands out of their eyes. The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America has several other grooming recommendations for your information!

Health & aging
embark yorkie smiling

Yorkies are generally a very healthy breed, and the average lifespan of a Yorkshire Terrier is 11-15 years, according to the AKC. Some Yorkies are prone to luxating patellas (slipping kneecaps), dental disease and certain eye diseases. Normal aging may also bring changes to sleep, exercise needs, and weight. Regular appointments with your Yorkie’s veterinarian can help you create a plan for healthy aging.

Getting your pup tested with Embark will arm you with as much information as possible to ensure your dog is healthy while potentially avoiding preventable diseases.

An Embark Dog DNA Test looks at the following health conditions in Yorkshire Terriers:

Want to know even more about your Yorkshire Terrier? Get your Embark Dog DNA Test today!

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