Tiny yet feisty, the Yorkshire Terrier is a popular dog breed for people looking for a devoted companion. If you have an apartment in the city and lack of space is the only thing keeping you from becoming a dog parent, a Yorkie is perfect for you. Adorable and energetic, they liven up your home.
What Does A Yorkie Look Like?
Once you decide to purchase a Yorkie, you’ll have a lot of options to choose from. It all depends on the size, breed, and color you want. So what does a Yorkie dog look like, and how can you pick one?
Yorkshire Terrier Appearance
A Yorkie’s thick and fluffy coat is a huge part of what makes it so attractive and doll-like. They come in a range of colors, with the most common being a black and tan or black and gold mix. You can also find them in blue and tan, or blue and gold options. The color shift between their head, chest, and legs results in a striking effect. If you get a puppy, you’ll find out that the color changes as they grow older, becoming lighter as the dog matures.
Size and weight
A Yorkie’s compact build classifies it as a toy breed under the American Kennel Club standards. Adult dogs in this breed may weigh a lowest of four and a highest of seven pounds, with the maximum height reaching 8 to 9 inches. But what sets them apart from other toy breeds in the same size range is how well-proportioned they are.
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People often ask, “What does a Yorkie dog look like?” Some identifiable features that make a pureblood Yorkie attractive are their large, dark eyes and protruding, pointy ears. A Yorkshire Terrier’s tail will perk up when it feels exciting. Typically, the length of a Yorkie’s tail reaches five inches straightened, and while many pet owners find this an adorable feature, others prefer to shorten it to meet the 2 to 4-inch show dog standard. Additional distinct features include a small, button nose, straight legs, black toenails, and a flat head top.
A Yorkie reaches its adult appearance when it is around one year old. Until this point, the dog is still in its childhood years with features like a darker coat. A young dog will only open its eyes around the two or three-week mark.
Pet vs. show variety
When it comes to appearance, it is important to understand the difference between a pet and show Yorkie puppies. To enter your dog into a show, you need to meet the high AKC requirements. Pet quality dogs are not Yorkie look-alike breeds but simply dogs that missed the mark due to tiny blemishes in coat color or features. The difference in appearance is minimal and impossible to pick out by a layperson, so don’t let this label worry you.
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Are There Different Types Of Yorkies?
There are many different kinds of Yorkies because the Yorkshire Terrier isn’t the name of a single dog but a family of terriers. And you can tell them apart on the basis of their breed, color, size, and special features.
1. Traditional Yorkshire Terrier
When it comes to Yorkies, the traditional terrier is the most well-known. From coloring to size, they reach around eight inches, seven pounds with a smooth, thick, and long coat.
2. Biewers Terriers
While traditional terriers come in three-toned fur of black, gold, tan and blue, Biewers terriers have special white streaks that set them apart. This unique color pattern increases their popularity.
3. Teacup (Miniature) Yorkies
Teacup Yorkies are tiny, even in the world of small dogs. Where regular Yorkies weigh around seven pounds, Miniature Yorkies never cross the three-pound mark. This makes them adorable, yet delicate, perfect for carrying but unsuitable for keeping around children.
Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: Taking Care of Newborn Yorkie and Teacup Yorkie Puppies
4. Mismarked Yorkies
Like with Brewers, this type is also known for its unique color markers. All Yorkies that do not conform to the typical color range established by the American Kennel Club come under the Mismarked tab.
5. Parti Yorkies
Parti Yorkies have patches of white in their coat, along with the usual color variations. These include black and tan, black and gold, blue and tan, or blue and gold.
6. Golden Yorkie
Typically a Yorkie will have some patches of darker toned fur, either black or blue. However, the rare Golden Yorkie is completely light-toned, with only golden and tan in its coat, which sets it apart.
7. Black Yorkies
Even rarer are Black Yorkies whose lush coats start out as uniform black in infancy and fade to a blue and tan mix as they age. Difficult to find, except at specialty breeders, these Yorkies are obtained through interbreed mixing.
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8. Yorkie Mixes
Mixes often referred to as mutts are born when there is interbreeding. The specific factors of size and color depend on the ancestry of the dogs, so there is no way to predict their appearance.
Purebreds And Mutts: How Do I Know If My Yorkie Is Full Blooded?
If you choose to rescue a dog from a shelter, then it is unlikely the specifics of breed matter to you. However, if you are spending significant funds purchasing a dog from a breeder, then you’re likely looking for a purebred dog.
Here there is a risk the breeder will try to unethically profit by misrepresenting the background of the dog.
And while verifying their credentials is a start, you should also learn how to identify features in a full-blooded Yorkie body shape.
It may seem like a complicated task, especially if you’re inexperienced, but with a few tips, you can easily verify your dog’s parentage just by looking at it.
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● The Color Is Always A Giveaway
When it comes to Yorkshire terrier appearance traditional color combinations include a darker and a lighter tone, so black and tan, black and gold, blue and tan, or blue and gold. It’s easy to spot peculiarities. The main distinctions are the darker-toned Black Yorkies, Goldies that are a golden and tan combination, and Partis with their white patches.
● Size Matters
What does a full-grown Yorkie look like? When it comes to pure-bred Yorkies, they follow the specific size and weight guidelines, typically falling within either four to seven-pounds or eight to nine-pounds. If your Yorkie exceeds these limits, chances are it is the result of a larger dog breeding with a Yorkie. Alternatively, especially breeding the runts of litters leads to Yorkies that weigh less than seven pounds.
● Temperament Variations
A dog’s temperament is also a good indicator of whether it is purebred. The small bodies of full-blooded Yorkies are misleading. Far from being delicate, they are noisy and filled with an excess of energy, eager to go out and socialize. Mutts, on the other hand, are less energetic and prefer to laze around the house. So, if a Yorkie seems exceptionally mellow and has discrepancies in size or color, it’s likely a mixed-breed.
Here’s another Yorkie article you’ll enjoy: What is a Teacup Yorkie? Should You Get a Teacup Yorkie? Everything You Need to Know
● Health Problems
Pure Yorkies are specially interbred dogs, and because of their smaller sizes, they tend to face a lot of health problems. Taking care of a Yorkie takes energy and money, along with regular vet visits. If your Yorkie is healthier than others of its breed, it’s probably a mixed breed.
How Big Do Yorkies Get?
According to the standard set by the American Kennel Club, Yorkies are considered a part of the toy breed category. That means the largest among them reaches a height of nine inches and has a maximum weight of six pounds.
How big your Yorkie grows depends mostly on what you feed it. It is a smaller breed with a large appetite and low self-control. So, it’s easy to overfeed it, which will inevitably lead to concerns like obesity. Consult your vet on the amount and type of feed for your Yorkie.
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● Fitness Level
A common misconception is that small dogs are delicate and don’t require the same amount of energy as bigger dogs. This is simply not true. If you want to keep your Yorkie healthy, you need to take it to the park and play with it.
● Purity Of The Breed
The size standards earlier stated are for pureblood Yorkies only and don’t apply to mixed breeds. So, if your Yorkie isn’t purebred it will likely cross the nine-pound mark. Some mixed dogs that take after their larger parent can go as high as 25 pounds.
You also have to be careful you know what the ideal size and weight for your breed are. Teacup Yorkies have very different standards than Traditional Yorkshire Terriers. Even though they are both purebred Yorkies with the same genetics measuring them according to the same metric is unhealthy. You have to consider factors like congenital reasons.
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● Health Status
If your Yorkie is not healthy it may be smaller and weaker than others of its breed. This is especially true for Yorkie puppies that fall ill during the early months of their life. The long-term impacts of sickness can stunt a Yorkie’s growth. Alternatively, malnutrition can also upset your dog’s health.
From Feeding To Grooming: Are Yorkies High Maintenance?
If you’ve heard anything about Yorkies, you’ll know that they are incredibly high maintenance.
From the environment they need, and the food they eat to their grooming and temperament, only an extremely patient dog lover can care for a Yorkie.
So, let’s see if you have what it takes to take care of these divas.
● They Need High-Quality Diets
Yorkies are fussy eaters. Their digestive systems are sensitive, so you can’t just feed them run of the mill, off-the-shelf no-name dog food. You’ll need to invest in a healthy brand of low-carb, high-protein dog food to avoid problems like obesity. You also need to monitor portion sizes.
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● Regular Grooming Is Unavoidable
If you want your Yorkie to maintain their shiny coat, you need to groom them regularly. While their multi-toned hair in its thick coat looks exquisite, it also grows fast, and if you don’t establish regular grooming habits will lead to excessive shedding and a tangled mane. Not to mention, poor grooming will give your Yorkie a terrible stench. To say an ungroomed Yorkie will go through agony during the summer months if you live in a hot climate.
You have two options when it comes to grooming your Yorkie. Either hire a professional to give it a stunning trim every few months, or purchase a specifically designed dog grooming shear set and learn how to do it yourself.
● They Have Several Health Needs
When you get a pet, you assume the responsibility of providing for all of their needs, including regular visits to the vet. In the case of a purebred Yorkie, you go in knowing that this adorable dog will need constant medical care. These include the regular dog care expenses of regular checkups and shots, but also Yorkie-specific expenses.
The breed has certain genetic weaknesses, which make concerns like infections and dental issues a pressing concern. And if you’re not planning on neutering your dog, you also have to make room for the possibility of pregnancy. Yorkie births are notoriously tricky, and your pup will need extensive care both during and after.
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● You Can Put A Price On Fun
Yorkies are bundles of energy and if you don’t want your dog to destroy your furniture and anything else they can get their paws on you’ll need to keep them well entertained.
That means buying copious amounts of toys for them to play with.
The higher quality ones last longer and you’ll save money long-term.
● Training Requirement
This breed of dogs is among the smartest ranking 34th on Stanley Coren’s dog intelligence scale. But they’re also overly energetic, which means you need to train them properly when they’re young or they’ll never listen to you. That can mean hiring a qualified professional.
Related Questions on What Does a Yorkie Dog Look Like
Why Do Yorkies Turn Grey?
A Yorkie’s coat is constantly changing. When they are younger, their coats are darker. As they mature, their coats turn lighter. A Yorkie puppy may appear completely black, but its coat will turn lighter when it enters adulthood, eventually turning grey once it becomes elderly. At this stage, both its eyes and fur will turn grey.
At What Age Do Yorkies Change Color?
The first color change begins around the six-month mark as the Yorkie transitions into adulthood. This change is gradual, and the complete adult coat will not set in till the dog crosses the one-year mark. Some dogs take up to 18 months to get their adult coat.
How Can You Tell How Old A Yorkie Is?
It’s hard to tell a Yorkie’s age simply by looking at it. However, while the specifics are difficult to judge, you can estimate and guess what part of its life the dog is in. A Yorkie will reach its optimum adult weight and height of six pounds and nine inches at 18 months old. Additionally, the tone of the coat can also tell you how older a Yorkie is—the lighter the hair, the older the dog. Dental concerns and cataracts also indicate old age.
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