About Yorkie Dogs

The most popular of the toy breeds in the United States, the Yorkshire terrier hails from England. Going back further, the breed's roots are Scottish. Workers from north of the border brought larger terriers with them when they came to Yorkshire during the Industrial Revolution. The terriers belonging to the Scots were bred with smaller terriers from Yorkshire, and the Yorkie was created and used to catch rats. In 1885, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed.

Portrait of Yorkshire terrier
A Yorkshire terrier walking on grass.
credit: br3kkancs/iStock/Getty Images

Physical Appearance

Here are the physical traits of Yorkies:

Height: Yorkies are between 8 and 9 inches tall, measured from the shoulder. Weight: They weigh between 4 and 7 pounds. Coat: The most distinguishing feature of a Yorkie is its long, silky straight coat, which is blue and tan. Yorkies shed little because of their single coat. The coat of show dogs reaches the floor. Ears: Puppies are born with floppy ears, but the ears stand up on their own between three and six months after birth. Tail: The tail is held slightly higher than the body and is docked to a medium length. Carriage: The dogs are spunky and confident, which shows in their carriage as they move with their heads held high.


Yorkies are "big" little dogs, meaning they don't realize they're small dogs. They have a bossy and feisty temperament, and will boss you if you don't take control. They are also curious and highly alert. They're famous for yapping and pulling on the leash if you don't correct them. Still, they make excellent companions who travel well and adapt easily to their surroundings.

Health Problems

Yorkies are generally healthy dogs, but they can be prone to certain health problems, such as eye disease and patellar luxation, the American Kennel Club notes. The eye disorder is called progressive retinal atrophy, and Yorkies who have this could go blind. Patellar luxation causes lameness and an uneven gait, and can lead to arthritis. It occurs when the kneecap, thighbone and calf do not line up. Yorkies typically live between 12 and 16 years.

About Teacups and Baby Dolls

Teacup Yorkies weigh between 1 and 3 pounds. The AKC doesn't recognize teacup Yorkies. A baby doll is a descriptive term that some breeders use to describe a puppy that might have a flatter face with a shorter nose, larger eyes and a rounder head than typical Yorkies have.