Yorkshire Terrier - Information and NZ Breed Standards

Membership ID

Yorkshire Terrier

General Information - Yorkshire Terrier



14-16 years

Very little



Watchdog Ability:
Very high

Protection Ability:
Very low

Area of Origin:

Date of Origin:
1800s Other

None Original

Small vermin-hunting


The breed is only 100 years old or so, but its origins are not entirely certain - probably because the working men of north England, who developed the Yorkshire Terrier for catching the terrible rats that infested the mine shafts and as a hunting dog that could penetrate into badger and fox burrows, avoided divulging the secret of their success to those who might have cashed in on a lucrative side line. However, it seems likely that Scotsmen seeking work in the woolen mills of Yorkshire brought with them various types of terrier, including the Skye and the now extinct Clydesdale. These were then crossed with local types, such as the long-haired Leeds Terrier. The Maltese, Black and Tan Manchester, and Dandie Dinmont Terriers may also have contributed blood lines. At first, the Yorkie was a much bigger animal than the one we see today, but by selectively breeding the smallest individuals, the dog was gradually miniaturised over the years. They were made into a fashion dog. Women carried these little dogs in their bags and under their arms. The first Yorkshire, with the characteristics demanded by its standard today, appeared in a dog show in 1870. The modern Yorkshire Terrier is one of the smaller and most luxuriously coated dogs in existence. These traits, along with its Terrier heritage, have placed it as a consistent favourite with pet owners and show fanciers alike.


The Yorkshire Terrier is a "big dog in a small dog body," ready for adventure. Affectionate with its owners, the Yorkshire Terrier can be timid around strangers and dislikes roughhousing.


Yorkies tend to exercise themselves within the home, but they also need to have interaction in the form of games. They appreciate a short walk outdoors on leash and enjoy the chance to explore a safe area. This is definitely not a dog that can live outdoors. The long coat needs brushing or combing every day or two.

Yorkshire Terrier Links

View Breed Standard

Print General Info

View list of breeders

View available litters

View list of clubs

Select another breed

Select another litter