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What Should I Know Before Getting a Yorkie?

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Yorkshire Terriers, commonly known as Yorkies, are small and adorable companions that have captured the hearts of dog lovers around the world.

Before bringing home a Yorkie puppy, there are several important factors to consider.

Yorkie puppy tilting their head

This article aims to provide prospective Yorkie owners with valuable insights and knowledge to ensure a successful and fulfilling relationship with their furry friend. From understanding the breed’s characteristics and grooming needs to considering the financial and time commitments, let’s explore what you should know before welcoming a Yorkie into your life and what you can do to ensure they are happy, healthy, and secure enough to allow you to lead your own pack.

Yorkie’s Size, Appearance, and Temperament

Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs with a charming appearance. On average, they weigh between four and seven pounds and stand about seven to eight inches tall at the shoulder.

Yorkies have a luxurious, hypoallergenic coat that requires regular grooming to keep it looking its best.

Their temperament is often described as confident, curious, and affectionate. However, it’s crucial to note that individual personalities can vary, and proper socialization and training are essential for a well-rounded Yorkie.

yorkie with red bow on leash

Exercise and Activity Needs

While Yorkies are small in size, they still require regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Daily walks and playtime are necessary to provide mental stimulation and prevent boredom.

However, their exercise needs can be met within the confines of an apartment or small living space, making them suitable for urban environments. It’s important to strike a balance and not overexert these little dogs, as they can tire easily due to their small size.

Grooming and Coat Maintenance

Yorkies have a stunning, long, and silky coat that requires diligent grooming to keep it in top condition. Regular brushing is essential to prevent matting and tangling, as well as to maintain the coat’s shine and luster.

Many Yorkie owners choose to keep their dogs’ hair trimmed short to reduce the grooming time and make it more manageable. Additionally, regular visits to a professional groomer are recommended to maintain hygiene and to ensure the overall health of your Yorkie.

Veterinarian and yorkshire terrier in clinic

Health Considerations and Potential Issues

Like any other breed, Yorkies are prone to certain health conditions. It’s crucial to be aware of these potential issues before bringing a Yorkie into your home.

Some common health concerns in Yorkies include dental problems, patellar luxation, hypoglycemia, tracheal collapse, and portosystemic shunt. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, proper dental care, and preventive measures such as vaccinations and parasite control are essential for maintaining your Yorkie’s health and well-being.

Training and Socialization

Training and socialization are vital aspects of owning a Yorkie. Despite their small size, Yorkies can be assertive and independent, which may lead to behavioral issues if not properly addressed.

Early socialization with other dogs and exposure to various environments and situations will help your Yorkie become a well-adjusted and confident companion. Consistent positive reinforcement training methods are effective in teaching obedience commands and curbing unwanted behaviors.

Financial Considerations

Owning a Yorkie involves financial responsibilities. In addition to the initial purchase cost, prospective owners should consider expenses such as food, grooming supplies, veterinary care, vaccinations, parasite prevention, training classes, and occasional boarding or pet-sitting services.

Yorkies may also require specialized care, such as dental cleanings or treatment for specific health conditions.

Yorkshire terrier puppy in a bucket

Barking Tendencies

Yorkies are known for their alertness and tendency to bark. As a small breed, they can be more prone to excessive barking compared to larger dogs.

It’s important to understand that barking is a natural behavior for dogs and serves various purposes, including communication and expressing their needs.

However, excessive barking can become a nuisance. Consistent training and socialization from an early age can help curb excessive barking tendencies.

Teaching your Yorkie the “quiet” command and providing mental and physical stimulation can also help redirect their energy and reduce unnecessary barking.

sweet face of Yorkshire terrier puppy

Potty Training Challenges

Potty training can be a bit challenging with Yorkies, as they have small bladders and can be prone to accidents if not properly trained. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key when potty training your Yorkie.

Establish a regular schedule for feeding and bathroom breaks and stick to it. Take your Yorkie to the designated potty area after meals, playtime, and waking up from naps. Reward them with treats and praise when they eliminate in the appropriate spot.

Supervise your Yorkie closely indoors and use crate training to prevent accidents. Avoid punishment-based training methods, as they can lead to fear and anxiety, making potty training more difficult. Looking for a potty-trained Yorkie Puppy?

Separation Anxiety Prevention

Yorkies are known for their strong attachment to their owners and can develop separation anxiety if not properly managed.

Separation anxiety can manifest through destructive behavior, excessive barking, or house soiling when left alone. To prevent separation anxiety, gradually accustom your Yorkie to being alone by leaving them alone for short periods and gradually increasing the duration.

Create a safe and comfortable space for them, provide engaging toys, and use positive reinforcement when they remain calm during your absence.

Additionally, practicing a consistent departure and arrival routine can help reduce anxiety. If your Yorkie shows severe separation anxiety symptoms, consulting with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist can provide additional guidance and support.

Yorkshire terrier laying down


Bringing a Yorkie into your life can be a wonderful and rewarding experience. By understanding their characteristics, needs, and potential challenges, you can provide a loving and nurturing environment for your furry baby. With patience, consistent training, and proper socialization, you can enjoy a well-behaved and happy Yorkie as a beloved member of your family.

blond woman with orange background

Mellissa Spens

Mellissa Spens has a Masters in Social Work and breeds giant and standard 4-7 pound AKC Yorkshire Terriers in Tucson, Arizona. After researching and studying canine anatomy, genetics, reproduction, nutrition, and whelping procedure for three years, she began breeding in 2019.

In between litters, Mellissa provides additional pet services including nationwide flight and ground pet nanny transportation and in-home overnight pet boarding services for small pets.

For a limited time only, she has a promotional discount: First two approved puppy applications with a paid deposit receive a $500 discount.  Check out her at Cutest AZ Yorkies to discover all she offers. The next litter is expected in August 2023.