Yorkshire Terrier Temperament: What to Expect from Your Lively Companion

7 minute read
Post Thumbnail
Yorkshire Terrier Temperament_ What to Expect from Your Lively Companion
By LITTLE PUPPY PAWS | November 2, 2023
Share on

The Yorkshire Terrier, often lovingly referred to as “Yorkies,” are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States and around the world. Their charming appearance, combined with their unique personality, makes them highly sought after as companion animals.

These small but confident dogs are intelligent, alert, and affectionate, forming strong bonds with their owners. While they can be a bit stubborn at times, their energetic nature, courage, and love for playtime make them delightful companions for those willing to provide the attention and care they crave.


Learning More About the Yorkshire Terrier Breed

Yorkshire Terriers are a small breed, typically weighing between 4 to 7 pounds and standing about 7 to 8 inches tall at the shoulder. Despite their tiny size, they pack a lot of personality into their small frames. Originating in England’s Yorkshire region during the 19th century, Yorkies were initially bred for hunting rats in mines and textile mills. Today, they are primarily cherished as beloved pets and show dogs.


The Key Traits of Yorkshire Terrier Temperament

Understanding a Yorkshire Terrier’s temperament is crucial for prospective owners. These dogs are known for their distinctive character, which combines several key traits:

The Lively and Spirited Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are incredibly lively and spirited dogs. They exude energy and enthusiasm, making them a delight to have around. They often possess an infectious zest for life that can uplift the mood of their owners.

Alert and Intelligent Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers are highly intelligent dogs. They quickly pick up on commands and can be easily trained. Their sharp minds mean they are often aware of their surroundings and can alert you to any potential threats or visitors.

Courageous and Confident Yorkshire Terrier

Despite their small stature, Yorkies are remarkably courageous and confident. They won’t hesitate to stand their ground, and they make excellent watchdogs. This trait can sometimes lead to them displaying a feisty attitude towards larger dogs.

Affectionate and Loving Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are known for their affectionate nature. They form strong bonds with their owners and thrive on human companionship. They often seek attention and love to cuddle, making them excellent lap dogs.

Independent yet Social Yorkshire Terrier

While Yorkies love to be with their human family members, they also have a streak of independence. They are comfortable being alone for moderate periods as long as they receive plenty of attention when their family is around.

Energetic and Playful 

These little dogs have a lot of energy, and they enjoy playtime. Regular exercise and interactive play sessions are essential to keep them happy and prevent boredom.

Territorial and Protective 

Yorkshire Terriers tend to be territorial and can be protective of their family. They may bark to alert you to any perceived threats, which can make them effective watchdogs.

Stubborn at Times

Yorkies, like many terriers, can be stubborn. They have strong personalities and may try to assert themselves if they feel they can get away with it. Consistent training is crucial to ensure they understand their place in the household.

The Yorkshire Terrier  is Prone to Separation Anxiety

Their strong attachment to their owners means that Yorkshire Terriers are susceptible to separation anxiety. They may become distressed when left alone for extended periods, which can lead to undesirable behaviors if not addressed.


Socialization and Training Your Yorkshire Terrier

Proper socialization and training are vital for Yorkshire Terriers to ensure they grow up to be well-behaved and balanced dogs. Early socialization with other dogs and people helps them develop good manners and prevents them from becoming overly aggressive or fearful. Positive reinforcement training methods work best with Yorkies, as they respond well to praise and treats.

Are Yorkshire Terriers Good with Other Pets?

Yorkshire Terriers can generally get along with other pets, but their compatibility often depends on factors such as their socialization, individual temperament, and the personalities of the other animals in the household. Yorkies have a reputation for being confident and sometimes even feisty, which means they may not back down from interactions with larger dogs or more dominant pets.

Proper socialization from a young age can help Yorkies learn how to interact positively with other dogs and animals. Early exposure to different animals and environments can foster good behavior and prevent fear or aggression.


Importance of Exercise and Mental Stimulation for Your Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies may be small, but they have plenty of energy to burn. Regular exercise is essential to keep them healthy and happy. Daily walks and play sessions are necessary to prevent boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior.

In addition to physical exercise, mental stimulation is crucial for Yorkshire Terriers. Puzzle toys, interactive games, and obedience training can help keep their sharp minds engaged.


Grooming Needs for Your Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers have a beautiful, long, silky coat that requires regular grooming. Their fur can become tangled and matted if not cared for properly. Daily brushing and occasional baths are necessary to keep their coat in top condition. Many owners opt for professional grooming every few weeks to maintain their Yorkie’s appearance.


Tips for Owning a Yorkshire Terrier

If you’re considering bringing a Yorkshire Terrier into your life, here are some essential tips to ensure a happy and harmonious relationship:

  • Invest Time in Training: Consistent and positive training from a young age will help mold your Yorkie into a well-behaved companion.
  • Socialize Early: Expose your puppy to various people, animals, and environments to help them become confident and well-adjusted adults.
  • Exercise Regularly: Ensure your Yorkie gets daily exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and behavioral issues.
  • Groom with Care: Commit to regular grooming to maintain their beautiful coat and overall hygiene.
  • Provide a Balanced Diet: Feed your Yorkie a high-quality diet appropriate for their age and size.
  • Attend Regular Vet Check-Ups: Stay on top of their health by scheduling regular veterinary visits and vaccinations.
  • Be Patient and Loving: Understand that Yorkies thrive on love and attention. Be patient with them, and they will reward you with loyalty and affection.
  • Address Separation Anxiety: If your Yorkie exhibits signs of separation anxiety, seek professional advice and consider strategies to help them cope with being alone.


Yorkshire Terriers are lively, loving, and intelligent companions with a big personality in a small package. Their unique temperament makes them an excellent choice for those looking for a loyal and affectionate pet. However, they do require commitment in terms of training, grooming, and health care. With proper care and attention, your Yorkshire Terrier will be a cherished member of your family, providing years of joy and companionship.