Yorkie Habits: Temperament and Personality

Yorkie on the grass

If you own a Yorkshire Terrier, you are aware of the Yorkie habits and personality. This type of dog has a courageous temperament and is both lively and confident. You may be interested in learning more about the habits of your little dog, who can be charming and intelligent as well as affectionate.

The breed was first developed in the mid-1800s in northern England. Thought to be brought to the Yorkshire area of England by Scotland’s weavers, you can read more about the history of the Yorkshire Terrier breed here.

Yorkshire Terrier Temperament

Some people might ask, “Why is my Yorkie so nervous?” Keeping in mind that early training has a strong influence, the answer is that the Yorkshire Terrier is known to be inquisitive and bold and likes to keep checking things out.

Yorkies are good as watchdogs and do well in apartments.

They like to be treated gently and respectfully or can get snappy towards children who don’t treat them that way.

He is lively as well as quick and tenacious and may enjoy chasing such creatures as butterflies or birds.

He gets along well with other pets. If you have allergy problems, rejoice, as your Yorkie is known for little shedding.

Those are some pros for the Yorkie. Some cons of this wonderful little dog include:

  • Housebreaking issues
  • Barking
  • May not like the leash

Yorkie walking

Your Yorkshire Terrier can be trained not to bark, with kind words and gentle training. Consider using a litter box indoors while training him to go outside, especially if the weather is nasty or cold. Find out more tips here. If he does not like walking with a leash, you can get some answers.

Temperament – Male vs. Female

Some people believe that the female has a sweeter temperament. This is not true, as the male Yorkie can also be attentive, lively, and offer affection. The female may react to her heat cycle, if not spayed, and may want to rest a bit more.

Both males and females can show such emotions as displeasure, happiness, excitement, and boredom.

Although a male might try to establish his role as leader-of-the-pack, it is up to you to point out the true leader (with training), which is you!

Yorkie Sleeping Habits

Yorkshire sleeping

The male sleeps very deeply once his activity time is over. The Yorkshire Terrier sleeps between 13 and 18 hours a day, which can include napping. He or she might curl up around your neck or doze off on your knees.

Puppies will sleep the most; owners should be aware that if the little dog wakes up, they should take him to a litter box or area where the puppy can go to the bathroom.

It is believed that some exercise, about two hours before bedtime, helps them go to sleep. Walking or playing for about 20 minutes helps, as long as it is not too close to bedtime, as it could make them more energetic.

It is a good fact to know that after a while many Yorkies sleep at the same time as their owners. They’ll adjust to your schedule. You may find your Yorkie sleeping on or in your bed; you can train your furry friend to sleep in his own area.

It might be a good quality pet bed. Put a favorite toy in it to encourage him to enjoy his own space. You can read the experience of some Yorkie owners on letting their little doggie sleep on the bed.

Things Yorkies Love

Yorkshire with flower on the head

Your Yorkie loves snuggling and affection; you probably knew that. They love to play and runoff. Squeaky toys are the best since the breed was usually used to hunt mice in coal mines and textile mills and are part hunters. You may want to be sure your Yorkie doesn’t tear the toy apart and eat the squeaker, however.

Yorkies love to socialize as well as be pampered, once they are trained. They tend to thrive on companionship. To read more about things your Yorkie puppy loves, go to the Nest.

The Teacup Yorkie

According to the American Kennel Club, there is no such thing as a “teacup Yorkie”. It is a term used by breeders. The Yorkshire Terrier should be between 4 to 7 lbs. If the dog is less, they may have a medical condition.

Yorkie Care

The fur of the Yorkie is closer in composition to hair. That is one reason that this breed does not shed as much. Once the lapdogs of Victorian ladies, the appeal of the Yorkie caught the eye of those who cherished the orderliness of Victorian homes.

Brushing your Yorkie daily is imperative if they have long hair. Details for grooming your dog can be found on the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America website.


Yorkie with a doberman

Since many problems begin when the Yorkie is a puppy, it is important that the owner follows the training set by the breeder before the age of 3 months.

It is also important that the puppy is encouraged in skills of socialization.

The Yorkie puppy should get used to the sound of human voices as well as regular family noises, such as the TV, doorbell or phone ringing.

Becoming used to the touch of humans is also important.

A dog that is raised with human kisses and cuddles is much more socialized than one raised in a cage.

During the first three months, the puppy that has been held, groomed, bathed, cuddled, and played with will be much more comfortable around people.

A schedule encourages your Yorkie to be happier and more well behaved. Consistency is the key here.

Some of the times to schedule include:

  • Wakeup time – the dog wakes when you do.
  • Feeding – scheduling the feeding makes you the leader.
  • Grooming times
  • Exercise times – those long walks are important for exploration.
  • Playtimes – both independently and with family members
  • Quiet times – for naps and relaxation
  • Bedtime – knowing when they are expected to go to sleep and relax

Although the Yorkie can be stubborn, they are eager to please their beloved owners. Treats and praise, rather than harshness, go far in earning the respect of your dog. He can be socialized early, by taking him to experience happy surroundings as well as new dogs and people. According to the AKC,

…Despite their small size, Yorkies can participate in and excel at canine activities such as rally, agility, and obedience, and many Yorkies serve with their human partners in roles such as therapy work.

So, do not rule out your Yorkie’s possible future role as a therapy dog. His outgoing personality and temperament, if trained, can be put to use and enjoyed by others. Meanwhile, he is your cute and affectionate bundle of fun.

Who’s the Leader?

The Yorkie owner must establish themselves as the leader in order to have a dog that is well behaved.

Because dogs are pack animals by nature, they are used to having a leader.

By taking them for walks, feeding them, and playing with them, you establish yourself as the human in charge and that a family member loves and cherishes him.

You might be tempted to let him become the leader by:

  • Giving in to his begging
  • Not teaching commands
  • Not being firm when the dog must listen
  • Behavioral issues arise when the Yorkie takes advantage of this.

You are the boss and leader of the pack, from the first day your Yorkie comes home.

These are a few of the traits and habits of the Yorkshire Terrier.

Although you may not think your furry friend has odd quirks, you can also learn about some of the funny things your Yorkie does.

Marcelle Landestoy
Latest posts by Marcelle Landestoy (see all)