Yorkshire Terrier temperament and personality traits
Standing at around 20cm tall, the Yorkshire Terrier (or Yorkie) is one of the world’s smallest dog breeds. Yet these companion dogs aren’t what they first seem. For beyond the diminutive size and delicate appearance, lies an energetic, feisty, and intelligent character with a sharp instinct for hunting.
A great family pet, the Yorkie is known for its unique if contradictory traits. They’re small but loud. Intelligent yet stubborn. Dignified but industrious. They’re also highly active yet are perfectly suited to life in an apartment.
To understand these traits, you first need to look at where this gutsy toy breed came from, and surprisingly it wasn’t Yorkshire.
A brief history of Yorkshire TerriersIt is thought Scottish miners would use Yorkshire Terriers to hunt for mice and rats, and when the miners migrated south during the industrial revolution, many of them brought their dogs with them; promptly putting them to work in the cotton mills and mines of Northern England.
Over time, they became popular with Victorian ladies and became beloved house pets. But their origins as a hunter of rats and mice continues to influence their personality and traits to this day.
What’s the Yorkshire Terrier temperament?
A Yorkshire Terrier’s petite size makes them well-suited to almost any home. They are equally comfortable in the city as they are in the country and make excellent watchdogs, thanks to their highly alert nature and fondness for barking.
How much space does a Yorkshire Terrier need?
How far can a Yorkshire Terrier walk?Although they are playful and highly active, they only require moderate exercise. A short walk once in the morning and again in the evening is usually sufficient. This makes them a particularly good choice for elderly owners.
How easy are they to train?As a working breed, Yorkies have a great deal of mental energy, so games and training are an essential part of their daily routine. Without training, they’re prone to problem behaviours, such as excessive barking.
Training should begin at the puppy stage when they’re receptive and have a strong capacity for learning. Praise, affection, and positive reinforcement of good behaviour are vital.
Whilst they are bright and keen to please, training does take dedication.
Are Yorkshire Terriers good family pets?As loyal and affectionate companions, they can be an excellent choice for families. However, like all terrier breeds, they don’t always mix well with young children – especially active and noisy ones.
Their strong-willed and dominant personality can also offer a challenge in homes with other pets and dogs. But if they’re introduced from a young age, and given the proper training and upbringing, they can integrate with pets larger than themselves.
What should I feed my Yorkshire Terrier?Like every dog, they need a nutritionally balanced diet containing the right amount of protein, fatty acids, fibre, starch, vitamins and minerals. However, Yorkshire Terriers are notoriously demanding when it comes to their food.
The Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Breed Health range comprises of wet and dry food for adults and tailored diets for all ages.