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11 Yorkshire Terrier Facts That Will Leave You Amazed

11 Yorkshire Terrier Facts That Will Leave You Amazed

When someone tells me to picture a cute, small dog, my mind immediately goes to the Yorkies. They’re utterly adorable and special in so many ways.

If you have ever had a chance to spend some time with Yorkies, you’d know that’s not a biased opinion. That’s a fact!

Speaking of facts, Yorkies have lots of fun ones people don’t know about. Personally, I didn’t know some of them either! 

But, what I learned so far, and I hope you will, too, is that a Yorkie is a breed with characteristics that are simply out of this world. 

Come to the fun side! We have cookies and 11 pawmazing facts about Yorkies you should store in your brain for good.

1. Yorkies Have Hair, Not Fur

yorkshire terrier with long hair standing outdoors
Source: A-ZAnimals

Yorkies are special in so many ways. They have full rights to act all snobbish around other dogs because they’re not like other dogs.

Start with their coat! 

Yorkies don’t have fur like other puppers. Their coat is silky and soft because they have hair!

Have you ever heard that a Yorkie’s hair is very similar to human hair? That’s why it’s so smooth and can support lots of great hairstyles. 

Thanks to the silky hair, Yorkies are considered ultimate pets for allergic people because they don’t shed nor do they trigger allergies. These low-shedding qualities are a huge bonus for this breed. 

You won’t have to spend countless hours doing your dog’s coat. Yorkies are pretty low-maintenance, and as tiny dogs, they don’t have much of a coat to groom at all.

2. They Weren’t Always Called “Yorkies”

yorkshire terrier in nature
Source: PlayBarkRun

If you think Yorkshire Terrier is a long name, wait until you hear what these pups used to be called.

Sure, Yorkies were named after the place of their origin, the Yorkshire county in England. But, before that name, these pups were known as broken-haired Scotch Terriers. See, that’s too long!  

The breed did have Scottish roots, but it was polished to perfection in Yorkshire. People seemed to be fine with the name change as it was easier and more relatable. Officially, Yorkshire Terriers became Yorkshire Terriers back in 1870. The name hasn’t changed ever since nor will it. 

And, yes… of course, you can call them Yorkies, not because it’s simpler, but because it’s cuter!

3. Yorkies Were One Of The First Registered Dog Breeds

cute yorkshire terrier lying on the floor
Source: AKC

The name change for Yorkies came in 1870, and it didn’t take long for the official Kennel Club to recognize the breed as a specific one. 

Precisely, Yorkies became registered as a breed in 1885. This makes them one of the oldest recognized breeds in the world, with preceders like Pointers and Spaniels (1878). 

Being registered by the official American Kennel Club means Yorkies are purebred dogs. The breed wasn’t mixed throughout centuries with other dogs in order to maintain the purity of it. 

4. They Started As Rat Catchers

yorkshire terrier and rat
Source: PoochAndMutt

What’s the first thing you notice about Yorkies?

Admit it: it’s their tiny body and posh posture.

Yes, Yorkies look like little royal dogs. But, their background isn’t so regal after all. Yorkies were never posh puppies like Pugs. The breed belongs to a terrier dog group, meaning they were working dogs at first. 

Yorkies started as ratters (or rat catchers)! Can you remember any other dog that did that? Rat Terriers, exactly! 

Originally from Scotland, Yorkies had a lot to do in mines back in the days. Miners needed to keep their tunnels rodent free. It was impossible to hire someone to do an extra task like rodent extermination because, let’s face it… hoomans aren’t good at catching rats like cats or dogs are.

Yorkies were always small, and their tiny size helped them to squeeze into the smallest gaps and tunnels. Thanks to their feisty spirit and bravery, Yorkies, sometimes just a bit bigger than rats, managed to chase them out of the mines, leaving them rodent-free.

Just imagine a small Yorkie fighting a big, fat mine rat! What a show it was! 

5. Yorkies Were The First Therapy Dogs

yorkshire terrier as therapy dog
Source: Unsplash

Seems like everyone needs therapy these days. The term became quite popular in the past 20 to 30 years. But, therapy has existed much longer than that. In fact, therapy dogs go way back some 80-ish years ago.

That’s right! We can trace back the first therapy dogs to the period of WWII. 

The world was at war. There was death everywhere, and situations in which a normal human being shouldn’t cope with. What an ideal time to seek help from a gentle soul that seemed to understand it all. 

What a great time to invent a therapy dog! 

The first therapy dog was a Yorkie girl named Smoky, rescued by an American soldier. Not only did she help to string communication wires and save hundreds of soldiers from being exposed to airstrikes, but Smoky did something even more unusual.

She actually toured the Pacific, visiting hospitals with wounded U.S. soldiers and providing them comfort and much-needed love. Smoky was pawesome! She even got to live to become famous as a TV star. 

If this doesn’t prove how incredible Yorkies are, nothing will. 

6. They Don’t Sneeze Like The Other Dogs

One of the funniest noises you can hear coming from a Yorkie isn’t their bark or them being yappy. It’s actually their sneezing!

Yorkies have proved so many times that they aren’t like other dogs. Well, even their sneezing is… different.

Yorkshire Terriers tend to suffer from pharyngeal gag reflex

To make things even clearer, here’s a video of a Yorkie doing the reverse sneeze. 

As you can see, Yorkies don’t exhale air through their nose like other dogs do. Instead, they inhale it and gasp for air, sometimes making sounds like geese do.

The reverse sneezing isn’t considered dangerous. I understand it is difficult to watch a dog do it, but trust me… it’s a natural response of this breed to stimuli like pollen, perfumes, cleansers, etc.

7. Their Heart Is Bigger Than Their Body

brave yorkshire terrier dog
Source: FactCity

Well… not literally, of course! That would be considered a medical condition. Yorkies have quite a few of them, but not usually an enlarged heart.

I’m talking about their bravery and their character.

Despite being one of the tiniest dogs ever, Yorkies have quite the temperament. They’re not as cuddly and sweet as it seems. Sure, they’re not as feisty as their buddies, Chihuahuas, but still.

If you ever get a chance to hang out with a Yorkie, you’ll immediately see that their characteristics can’t fit into the room. They’re bold, brave, and fully aware of it. Yorkies have a heart made of gold. 

There’s nothing a Yorkie wouldn’t do for his owner, including defending him. This is where their size becomes irrelevant. When a Yorkie senses a threat, he will go full bark-mode on and try to chase away the intruder. 

8. They Were The First Celebrity Dogs

yorkshire terrier as celebrity with sunglasses
Source: A-Z-Animals

Dogs didn’t become popular with celebrities in the past 20 years or so when showbiz stars like Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian appeared. 

The term ‘celebrity dogs’ dates back to the golden years of Hollywood when famous actors and actresses started appearing everywhere with their dogs.

While dogs were portrayed early in the movies, one particular actress started taking her dog everywhere, even outside the movie set.

A pioneer among celebrity dogs was a Yorkie owned by actress Audrey Hepburn. Her Yorkie, Mr. Famous, was featured in many photos, as well as motion pictures. Mr. Famous opened the golden gate of Hollywood for dogs of all breeds and sizes. 

Later on, other breeds entered the scene, mostly Chihuahuas, but that’s material for a whole other story.

yorkshire terrier dogs
Source: Time

The list of the most popular dog breeds in the States gets published every year. But, Yorkies are holding strong, always somewhere near the top five. This can only mean one thing: people LOVE Yorkies!

On a number of occasions, the breed was declared as the fifth most popular breed in the States. 

I mean, what’s not to like: they’re small, friendly, and simply pawdorable!

10. The Breed Was Created Using Three Different Dogs

yorkshire terrier dog lying down
Source: AnimalHearted

There were three dog breeds used to create our Yorkie buddy. When breeders back in the day mixed up the Paisley Terrier, the Maltese, and the Scotch Terrier, they achieved the ultimate success: a pup later to be known as the Yorkie. 

As you can see, the family tree of this breed is pretty diverse. But, what’s important is that ever since their establishment as a separate breed in 1885, Yorkies were not mixed with other dogs. Sure, you can cross them with other breeds to get hybrids, but the Yorkie breed stayed clean.

11. Yorkies Are Pretty Loud

loud yorkshire terrier
Source: Newsweek

A Golden Retriever is holding the world record as the loudest dog. Naturally, Yorkies are not that loud, but they are yappy. Let’s just say they’re a lot louder for a tiny dog. 

Yorkies are notorious for barking, especially when it’s awkward or 3 AM. 

If you want to get a Yorkie and you live in an apartment with strict no noise rules, you should either consider a different breed or hope for the best. Training a Yorkie not to bark excessively can be a tough task. Some pups learn it, some not so much, so be prepared for that. 

It’s not that Yorkies bark because they’re bored. That’s the way they communicate with their hoomans. Dogs talk to us using their body language and occasional barks. Well, Yorkies throw in a few more of those as well as some sounds that may or may not seem yappish to you.