How smart are Yorkies? (A complete guide)

In this article, we will answer the following question: How smart are Yorkies? We will discuss the training of a Yorkshire terrier, but also the care and education that they need. If you are thinking of adopting a Yorkie, this article is for you.

How smart are Yorkies?

Yorkies are smart dogs, at least they are above average. Yorkshire terriers may not be the Einsteins of the canine world but they are highly intelligent. While they are not up there with smarter dogs like Border Collies and Poodles, Yorkies’ intelligence is above average.

Your Yorkie has its roots in the working class. The American Kennel Club reports that Yorkshire terriers were bred to be rat catchers and were used to keep 19th-century garment factories free of vermin. Being bred for a job plays an important role in how well your little terrier is and how he is a working dog is highly trainable. 

Good trainers can accomplish great things with dogs of any intelligence level, but they know that working-minded dogs are easier to teach.

Your Yorkie’s training should begin as soon as you bring him home. It is best to start with the basics: the first lesson should be to introduce him to his new home, let him familiarize himself with the place where he will eat and drink, where he will sleep, and the right place to relieve himself. Training him to relieve himself may take a few weeks, but with patience and consistency, he will succeed. 

Use a simple command word with your Yorkshire terrier puppy during training from the start. He will be ready to go to the puppy nursery by the time he is 3 months old. You may be able to train your Yorkie on your own, but the classes will help socialize him and introduce him to a host of new sights and sounds. 

Exposing your Yorkie to new stimuli in a non-threatening environment will help him adapt better to new situations.

Once your intelligent Yorkshire terrier has completed his basic education, there is no reason to think that his education cannot continue. Continue your pet’s education with good dog classes and sports training. 

Even though Yorkies are included in the AKC’s Toy group, they enjoy speed, action, and clapping, making them perfect for agility and racing sports. If being an athlete isn’t what your little terrier likes, you can teach him a few tricks to stimulate his brain as part of his education. Start with easy commands like sit and spin.

Once you have mastered the simple things you can move on to the more complex tricks like saying hello, or giving a high five. 

Yorkshire Terrier characteristics

The Yorkshire Terrier is a small breed dog that is classified according to the International Cynological Federation (FCI) within group 3, section 4 Companion Terriers.

The breed is characterized by having long hair; in fact, one of the main care your pet requires is precisely its hair. You should use a conditioner when you bathe it and before drying it to avoid knots; In addition, we recommend that you dry it with a hairdryer while you brush it. As for the color, you can find it in practically all possible colors, from black to dark steel blue through browns. 

In this breed, there is no standard measure for the height of the dog because there are specimens with different sizes, from one kilo in weight (although it is not usual) to 3,200 kilos more or less. Although, like there are small ones, Yorkshire Terriers weighing 7 kilos have also been found. 

This difference in size is mainly due to the size of the puppy’s parents. Like all small breeds, when we have a Yorkshire we are lucky to enjoy it for a long time because its life expectancy is between 15 and 18 years.

As for his character, he can fit into any family that wants to adopt a puppy like him. He is very lively and has an intelligence that attracts attention. He is a very easy-going dog and is also extremely affectionate, as well as very protective of his family.

Care and attention for a Yorkshire Terrier

When you have in mind to adopt a dog, whatever it is, it is good that you analyze and compare all the characteristics to highlight each breed in order to choose the one that best suits your character and your Way of life. In the case of the Yorkshire Terrier we highlight:

It is very important that you take good care of your little Yorkshire Terrier when it is raining or cold. They are little dogs that can’t stand the cold at all and immediately start to shiver, although this can also be due to stress issues. In any case, dress your little one in special clothes for small dogs, both for cold and rain.

Another aspect that you should take into account with this canine breed is how often you should bathe your Yorkshire Terrier. The usual thing is to bathe him approximately every two weeks. And you have to pay special attention to his hair.

As I told you above, they are dogs that can suffer from the formation of knots in their hair and, therefore, it is highly recommended that you apply a special conditioner for them and then dry them with your hairdryer while you brush them. 

Also, to avoid subsequent tangles, don’t forget to brush it well practically every day. 

Another option that people choose is to cut their hair. As it is a dog that has a lot of hair, one of the not good consequences of this characteristic is that it also grows a lot of it inside their ears. As a curiosity, and before advising you how to do the hair of the ears, I tell you that these dogs almost never lift them.

In fact, you will only see them upright when you cut their hair. It is a curious fact for you to take into account if you decide on this little one at home. As for the hair that grows on the inside of his ears, you cannot cut it. 

Nor should you forget about caring for your little Yorkshire Terrier’s teeth. This breed, unlike many others, tends to generate a lot of tartar. And that can only be prevented and removed with perfect oral hygiene. So another of the tasks that you should write down on your agenda every day with your little friend is to clean his teeth.

Food and education of a Yorkshire Terrier

Something very important in the care of your Yorkshire Terrier is its diet. It is such a small dog that you must be very careful when feeding it because of the little amount it needs for its food. As always, asking your vet or even your pet store can also help you with these questions. 

Something that you should also keep in mind is that the puppies of this breed tend to suffer from hypoglycemia, although it only happens when they are young, it is good that you know this.

One of the main traits of this small canine breed is its vitality. They are dogs that, despite their small size, need to do a lot of exercises to stay in perfect physical and mental condition.

And you might also be thinking that maybe I forgot to comment on something not so nice about these little ones; and they really like to bark. They are so extremely possessive and protective little dogs with their family that they immediately bring out their grumpiest side to defend them. But be careful, and excessive barking of your Yorkshire Terrier can be due to an improper education. 

Often, owners of small dogs do not pay attention to their socialization or education because as they are easily controllable dogs it seems they do not need to be educated. Don’t make that mistake, please. Socialize your little one since he is a puppy.

 That way you will prevent them from being afraid of a bicycle or a car passing by. And you will save him many anxiety pictures and, consequently, he will bark less.

A few last tips

To finish, our usual advice, think about your decision a lot when adopting a dog. Think that, like people, each race has its peculiarities. Study how they are, analyze your life, and find enough matches to bring it home.

If you have more questions about Yorkies ask us what you want, we will gladly help and advise you.

FAQ on How smart are Yorkies?

How big do male Yorkies get?

On average, male Yorkies are  8 to 9 inches and do not weigh more than 7 pounds. They are small dogs and their size may vary between these measures.

Are female dogs bigger than males?

There is no rule that female dogs are bigger than males, nor vice versa is true. A dog can add more weight if he is overfed or he doesn’t exercise as much as other dogs – thus, in this case, we can notice an in-breed difference. Otherwise, this is not true. 

Are Yorkies low maintenance?

Yorkies are not low maintenance, on the contrary. This breed is a barker, it can be difficult to train and needs regular exercise. Besides, a Yorkie’s hair needs to be groomed very often, combed every day. 

Are Yorkies expensive to take care of?

Yorkies are not more expensive to take care of than most dogs. Food for a Yorkie may cost you around $300/year. But you should add to the bill veterinarian care, toys, tickets (if you want to travel with your dog).

Are Yorkies good pets to have?

Yorkies are considered good pets to have and they are very popular dogs. They are great family pets, are hypoallergenic, and believed to be very sociable and affectionate.


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