Yorkshire Terrier running through forest

All about your Yorkshire Terrier

Smart and self-assured, with a cheeky sense of humour.

    Yorkshire Terriers are small, feisty dogs with an endless sense of adventure hidden beneath that long flowing coat. From grooming advice to common health conditions, our guide covers the key things you should know about this endearing little dog with a big personality.

      Breed information & advice

      The Yorkshire Terrier belongs to the toy dog group, and is bright, fearless, loyal and energetic. He can adapt to living in any size of home, but this dog will still need plenty of exercise and an owner who can keep him in line.

      • A Yorkshire Terrier needs discipline and training to stop him trying to take charge
      • His long, fine coat will shed very little, which means that he might be a good choice for allergy sufferers
      • Typically he will weigh between 1.5kg and 3kg, when fully grown
      • A healthy Yorkshire Terrier will usually live from 12 to 15 years

      Typical size of a Yorkshire Terrier: Small: 20cm-23cm

          Yorkshire Terrier

          Recommended exercise & nutrition

          Yorkshire Terriers have a hunting instinct and love looking for toys and chasing balls. Your dog is likely to enjoy all kinds of games and exercise, enjoying the attention that comes from learning tricks and taking part in agility trials. He might square up to dogs three times his size if he hasn’t been socialised from an early age, as he is more courageous than his lapdog reputation might suggest.

          Feeding your dog two high-quality meals each day, should give him all the nutrients he needs and avoid upsetting his delicate digestive system. Always read the portion guidance, and allow for your dog’s age, size and exercise regime.

            Up to half an hour of exercise per day

            Yorkshire Terriers are naturally energetic and inquisitive, so will benefit from a daily walk.

                Yorkshire Terrier Sprints On The Beach

                Common health problems & illnesses

                There’s no reason why your Yorkshire Terrier shouldn’t live a long and happy life. However, being aware of the ailments your dog will be more prone to, along with the associated symptoms, can help you to deal with any health issues that crop up.

                  1. Lameness

                  This breed can suffer from lameness and could develop a stiff gait, bow-legged appearance or a limp. There are many causes, but a dislocated knee is the most common and usually develops in the hind legs of small dogs. Lameness or limping can settle down, but if your dog continues to have trouble walking, the best thing you can do is take him to your vet for a full examination.

                    2. Diabetes

                    Yorkshire Terriers can get low blood sugar as a result of stress, causing weakness, confusion and unsteadiness. If your dog starts shivering and shaking, shows a lack of energy or his tongue and gums take on a blueish colour, you should take him to your vet for a check-up. Other symptoms to watch out for include increased thirst and having to urinate more often, an increased appetite and weight loss. Treatment such as a controlled diet or insulin jabs can help to manage the condition over the long term.

                      3. Cushing’s Disease

                      Also known as hyperadrenocorticism, Cushing’s disease occurs when dogs produce too much cortisol, the hormone that regulates their metabolism. You’ll notice this in your dog if he’s not his usual happy, healthy self – look out for increased appetite and thirst, excessive panting and hair loss. Your vet can do tests, following a course of oral treatment, to see how your dog is progressing.

                        4. Stomach conditions

                        Yorkshire Terriers are prone to sickness and diarrhoea. If it persists for more than a day, this could be a sign of gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach. This can be caused by sharing rich ‘human’ food with your pet, so resist the temptation to indulge him, no matter how much he begs. Treatments include administering balanced salts and fluids, or withholding food for a short period – until the illness passes.

                          5. Pancreatitis

                          This breed can be also be affected by pancreatitis, which brings on severe stomach upset and disrupts the flow of enzymes in the gut. If the condition is detected in your dog early enough, it can usually be treated without any permanent damage to the pancreas. Look out for vomiting, diarrhoea and signs of dehydration, and treatment may include pain relief, a strict diet or, in more severe cases, intensive care or an operation.

                              Black And Gold Yorkshire Terrier Looking Straight On

                              Dog name popularity

                              If you’re struggling to think of a name for your Yorkshire Terrier, take a look at the most popular ones at Tesco Bank Pet Insurance for inspiration.

                                1 Teddy
                                2 Alfie
                                3 Tilly
                                4 Poppy
                                5 Bella

                                Average treatment costs

                                Wondering whether pet insurance for your Yorkshire Terrier is worth it? We’ve put together the top five conditions claimed for by Tesco Bank Pet Insurance customers in 2019, and the average cost of treatment.

                                  Top five conditions and average costs

                                  Top five conditions and average costs





                                          Cushing's disease




                                                  Cruciate rupture


                                                      Tesco Bank Pet Insurance claims data from paid treatments including excesses from 01/09/19 to 31/08/20.

                                                      Considering Yorkshire Terrier insurance?

                                                      We know your dog is an important member of the family, so give them the protection they deserve with Tesco Bank Pet Insurance.

                                                      Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc.

                                                      Grooming advice

                                                      A Yorkshire Terrier’s long, fine coat needs plenty of attention, and he will need a weekly bath. You’ll need to trim or tie his long facial hair out of the way, or take him for regular visits to a professional groomer.

                                                      If your terrier has a ‘silky’ coat you may not have too many problems with knots and tangles. If he has a ‘soft’ coat, you may want to keep his coat shorter. You should brush your dog’s coat every day to prevent matting and keep his skin healthy. It’s important to establish a grooming routine early on to get your puppy used to the attention – it will make him a lot more cooperative in the future.

                                                      After his bath, always check his ears for debris, discharges or bad smells. Daily brushing will help to protect his teeth and gums, as Yorkshire Terriers can be prone to tartar and early tooth loss. His nails can grow long quickly, so check these regularly in case they need clipping.

                                                        Fun & interesting facts

                                                        • Yorkshire Terriers can experience episodes of reverse sneezing, and often make loud honking sounds. It might seem alarming, but it’s usually harmless.
                                                        • Audrey Hepburn was a big fan of the breed, and her dog Mr Famous appeared with her in the film Funny Face.
                                                        • The smallest dog ever recorded was a Yorkshire Terrier called Sylvia. She was just 6.5cm tall, 9cm long and weighed 113g.
                                                        • Yorkshire Terriers were once larger, and employed in mills to catch rats hiding under looms.
                                                        • Smoky was a Yorkshire Terrier that became a WW2 hero, for helping to string communication lines between squadron offices in the Philippines.

                                                        Important information

                                                        Key information

                                                        The content on this page aims to offer an informative introduction to pet breeds, but does not constitute expert veterinary advice. If your dog or cat falls ill or has an injury, contact your vet immediately. Tesco Bank Pet Insurance has a partnership with vetfone™ which means that as a customer, you can benefit from their advice as part of your policy.

                                                        Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by VetsDirect Ltd.

                                                        All facts and figures were correct at date of publication and were compiled using a range of sources.

                                                          What is vetfone?

                                                          Vetfone™ is a 24/7 unlimited, free telephone or video call service that provides expert advice from nurses qualified with the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). If your pet has a medical emergency, or you need reassurance on grooming, feeding or general advice, vetfone™ is there to help.

                                                          As a Tesco Pet Insurance customer, you can access expert veterinary advice provided by RCVS registered vet nurses as a standard benefit with your policy, and the service is provided at no additional cost. A quick telephone call or video call could answer any questions you have about your pet, give you peace of mind and could even save you a trip to the vet.

                                                          Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by VetsDirect Ltd.

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