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Yorkie Pros and Cons: 13 Things To Consider Before Buying

Last Updated: February 13, 2024

Yorkies are among the most popular dogs in the US. However, does this mean that you should get one as well? Well, if you’re interested in taking in a Yorkie, make sure to consider all Yorkshire Terrier pros and cons first.

Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs known for their spunky personalities. Their biggest pros are that they’re hypoallergenic, don’t require too much space or energy, and make excellent watchdogs despite their adorable size.

Some downsides are that they’re overprotective, capricious, and expensive to maintain.

Deciding whether you’re up to caring for a Yorkie is a process that should take time and careful consideration.

So, read on as we explore the breed’s advantages and potential drawbacks so that you can make the right decision.

Yorkshire Terrier sitting

What Are The Pros and Cons of a Yorkshire Terrier?

Dogs are the most prevalent pets in our homes. For centuries now, they’ve earned their famous title as people’s best friend.

While owning a dog can bring numerous benefits to humans, it’s important to note that dogs can also have certain traits that may test their owner’s patience, increase their financial responsibilities, and require careful time management.

Like all dogs, one should weigh up a Yorkie’s advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a tabled view of the pros and cons of Yorkshire Terriers.

Yorkie ProsYorkie Cons
A Yorkie’s small size makes them great for apartments or small living spacesYorkies are prone to barking and may disturb neighbors
Yorkies have a low-shedding coat meaning less cleaning is requiredYorkies may have difficulty with housebreaking and require additional training
Lively and playful personality makes them great companionsYorkshire Terriers can be stubborn and difficult to train
Yorkshire Terriers are excellent watchdogs May have health issues related to their small size, such as dental problems
Can be trained for various activities, such as agility and obedienceYorkshire Terriers are not the best with small children
Yorkies have a long lifespan, up to 15 years or moreCan be prone to separation anxiety and may not do well when left alone for long periods
Yorkshire Terriers are incredibly sociable

I’ll give you all the facts you need to know about these Yorkie pros and cons in the rest of the article.

Yorkshire Terrier Pros

Yorkshire Terriers (or Yorkies) are among the most popular dog breeds in the US, with the American Kennel Club consistently ranking them in the top 15 every year.

Given that 80.7% of the US population lives in urban areas, it’s no surprise that more and more pet owners favor smaller, less energetic dogs.

After all, these dogs can be happy even in a confined space (like an apartment).

Though Labradors and Golden Retrievers have been leading AKC’s list of the most popular breeds for decades, many apartment breeds, like the Yorkshire Terrier, have made their way closer to the top.

However, what sets Yorkies apart from other breeds of the same size? Let’s find out!

Yorkshire Terriers are Great Companion Pets

Yorkies are known for their delightful temperament, which makes them great family pets. Despite their small size, they have a big personality that is full of energy and playfulness.

Additionally, they are known for their loyalty and affection toward their families, making them devoted companions.

Yorkies are not aggressive and rarely bark unless they feel threatened or are trying to alert their owners of potential danger.

They are also social animals and love to be around people, making them an excellent choice for families who enjoy spending time with their pets.

Watch this cool video to learn more about Yorkie’s pros and cons.

Yorkies are Low Shedding and Close to Hypoallergenic

Though no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, some are far better suited to people with sensitivities than others.

So, if you’ve been struggling with keeping a dog because you’re allergic to their dander, getting a Yorkie might be the solution you’ve been waiting for.

Since Yorkies don’t shed as much as other breeds, there’s not as much dander going around, which can be a lifesaver for people with mild sensitivities.

This quality becomes even more important when you consider that most Yorkies are kept in small, confined spaces where proper ventilation isn’t always possible.

That’s why Yorkies are a common choice, even in large cities like New York, where most people have to settle in studios or one-bedroom apartments.

Not only do they take up very little space, but they also help keep it allergen-free.

However, remember that some people are so allergic to dogs that they’ll react even to Yorkies, so consider that before making a decision.

If you want to test how you’d react to the breed beforehand, I recommend contacting a local shop or center to see if they’ll let you play with one of these dogs for a while.

You can monitor your symptoms afterward to see if their hair, dander, or saliva has flared up your allergies. Better yet, consult your physician and take an allergen test to see just how sensitive your body is to hypoallergenic dogs.

Cute Yorkie Wearing Bow In Hair

Yorkies are Good Watchdogs

Don’t let their small size and bubbly personality fool you; Yorkies make excellent watchdogs and won’t fail to announce strangers.

As you’ll also see in the cons list in a minute, these are some of the most loyal and territorial dogs you’ll ever encounter. As a result, they’ll react immediately if they sense a threat approaching you.

Moreover, they’re far more courageous than most people give them credit for, and they’re not above attacking an intruder if given a chance.

Not to mention that they’re extremely loud despite their size, so they’ll immediately alert their owners, neighbors, or anyone else of approaching danger.

Yorkshire Terriers are Affectionate

There’s a reason why Yorkies can get so protective — they’re loyal and loving, and the people they choose are the whole world to them.

They really enjoy spending time with their families, so you’ll often find them in the living room or kitchen with the rest of the family rather than at the front door looking to go for a walk.

As long as you show Yorkies love and respect, they’ll return that affection right back, which is why they make for excellent family dogs as long as all the children are grown up. More on that in a minute.

Yorkies are Great Apartment Dogs

Contrary to popular belief, living in a small apartment doesn’t necessarily prohibit you from getting a furry companion, and Yorkies are the best proof of that.

They don’t need big lawns or fun backyards to thrive; they’ll be just fine lounging around on your sofa.

They’re also pretty small, so you won’t need to make too much room for them to feel comfortable.

Since Yorkies don’t have excessive exercise requirements either, they’ll be more than happy to watch TV with you all day without ever getting aggressive or destructive.

That said, some moderate daily exercise is still needed; think around 30 minutes daily.

The good news is that even playing games in your living room counts as exercise for Yorkies, so you don’t necessarily have to go out for walks every day, though that would be ideal.

Yorkies are Extremely Sociable

Though they can sometimes be overprotective of their favorite human, Yorkies are still extremely sociable, both with people and other pets. As long as this breed is treated with care and affection, they won’t get aggressive or overly territorial.

They thrive in social situations and actively seek them out. Remember that this also means they shouldn’t be left alone for extended periods; otherwise, they may become anxious and restless.

Yorkie Running

Yorkshire Terriers Have a Long Lifespan

Yorkshire Terriers are among the longest-living dog breeds in the world, with an average lifespan of up to 15 years. This means you’ll be able to enjoy their company for years to come and make the most of your time with them.

While this is excellent news for aspiring Yorkie owners everywhere, it also means you’ll have to take the decision-making process much more seriously. 

After all, you’re making a very long-term commitment. To make a well-informed choice, you’ll also have to consider the cons of getting a Yorkshire Terrier.

Yorkshire Terrier Cons

Here are some of the potential drawbacks of getting a Yorkshire Terrier:

Yorkies are Not the Best With Children

If you’ve read through all the sections above, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve specified Yorkies’ suitability with adult households only because they’re not the best with children.

These small, dainty dogs must be handled with care; otherwise, they’ll either become aggressive and cause damage or hurt themselves. 

Most professionals advise against getting a Yorkie if you have small children who have yet to learn how to treat dogs.

Older children might be able to get along well with a Yorkie, but both the dog and the child should be taught how to behave around one another. Even then, you should always supervise all interactions between your kid and your dog.

Better yet, refrain from getting a Yorkshire Terrier until your children are grown enough — that’ll save you from stress and headaches.

Yorkies Are Not The Easiest To Train

Yorkies can be a bit challenging to train. This is not because they lack intelligence; in fact, Yorkies are quite smart. However, their confidence, curiosity, and stubbornness can make training a bit more difficult.

They are also known for being independent thinkers, and their surroundings can easily distract them. This can make it challenging to hold their attention during training sessions.

Yorkshire Terriers can also be difficult to potty train for the following reasons:

  • They are a small breed with a small bladder, meaning they must go potty more frequently than larger dogs.
  • Yorkies can be stubborn and independent, making it challenging to train them to do anything they don’t want to do.
  • Yorkies can also be sensitive to changes in their environment or routine, which can cause them to have accidents if they become stressed or anxious.

Despite these challenges, it is possible to train a Yorkie with the right approach. By being consistent, patient, and knowledgeable about which steps to follow, you can teach your Yorkie to be a well-behaved and obedient companion.

Yorkshire Terrier Pup Sitting

Yorkshire Terriers are Territorial

As I’ve already mentioned, these dogs’ affectionate nature and spunky personalities can quickly turn them territorial, jealous, and overprotective, especially regarding their favorite human.

Luckily, this issue can be avoided altogether if you socialize your Yorkie from a young age. That’s the only way to keep them from getting aggressive whenever someone approaches you later in life.

Yorkies Are Capricious

Let’s say Yorkies know what they want and aren’t ready to settle for anything less. They must be kept warm and dry, as they don’t respond well to bad weather conditions. Some even wear doggie sweaters during daily walks.

Moreover, they can be pretty picky about their food, only consuming certain ingredients, which can get tiring and expensive. This brings me to my next point.

Yorkshire Terriers Are Expensive

The overpriced special Yorkie food isn’t the only expense driving your pet supply budget over the edge.

Yorkies also require frequent trimming due to their long furs and regular vet screenings because of the potential health issues I’ll discuss below.

These expenses can quickly add up, so getting a Yorkie might not be the best move if you want to stay within a certain budget. They’re also crazy expensive to buy.

Prone to Certain Health Issues

Though all dog breeds are prone to certain health issues, Yorkshire Terriers are especially tricky to deal with regarding their health, as they’re pretty small, delicate dogs.

Here are some of the most common health problems to look out for:


Hereditary conditions aren’t the only threat to a Yorkie’s health. Though these dogs aren’t necessarily clumsy, they’re pretty fragile compared to most other breeds.

That’s why they should always be handled carefully if you want to keep them safe and healthy. 

Dental Problems 

Yorkshire Terriers have tiny jaws, and, as a result, they often get overcrowded teeth. While this issue might seem minor at first, it can lead to plaque buildup that results in decay that can quickly affect your pup’s whole mouth.

Some symptoms of dental problems include halitosis, swollen gums, and difficulty eating. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these.


Hypoglycemia refers to a sudden drop in blood sugar levels. It’s prevalent in smaller dogs like the Yorkie. Puppies under 5 months old are the most susceptible demographic.

This condition can be life-threatening, as your dog needs a balanced amount of sugar in its blood to function properly. If you notice any symptoms of this condition (tremors, fast breathing), contact your vet.

Patellar Luxation 

This issue occurs when the kneecap slips from its standard position and into the thigh bone. It can be inherited or caused by injury. Either way, it requires immediate medical attention.

Unfortunately, it is especially common in smaller breeds, including Yorkies, so it’s important to always keep an eye on how your pup moves and feels if you get one of these breeds. 

Signs of patellar luxation in dogs include:

  • Abnormal movements
  • Weaker movements
  • Lameness
  • Loss of enthusiasm

Bladder Stones

You’re probably already familiar with this condition, as it’s relatively common in humans too. A mineral buildup in the bladder creates bladder stones.

Depending on how soon you catch the issue, the solution can range from a simple dietary change to surgery. Some of the first signs of bladder stones in dogs include:

  • Pungent urine
  • Bloody urine or discolored urine
  • Vomiting
  • Needing to urinate more often than usual
  • Reduced appetite
  • Excessive licking of the genital area
  • Decreased energy
  • Inability to control bathroom habits (even if previously trained)

Legg-Perthes Disease

This is another widespread condition in smaller breeds like the Yorkshire Terrier. It refers to the phenomenon where the top of the femur begins to die, which usually occurs in puppies under a year old.

Though the cause of this disease is still unknown, it’s probably hereditary. If you notice lameness, pain, or loss of muscle mass in your pup, this disease is likely to blame.

Remember that these are just a few of the health issues Yorkies commonly deal with.

However, if you catch any of them in time, the chances of your pup fully recovering are much greater. That’s why regular screenings are necessary, even when everything seems to be going well.

Final Thoughts

Yorkshire Terriers can make excellent companions for the right owner. They’re fun, affectionate, hypoallergenic, fiercely loyal, and don’t require much effort to be physically and mentally stimulated.

With that said, these adorable creatures have their not-so-angelic side too.

They’re often jealous and overprotective, don’t do well around young children, and can be pretty expensive to care for.

That’s why they’re best suited to seniors or households with no young children looking for a lower-energy dog that can still bring some life and personality into their homes.

If you’re considering owning a Yorkie, I hope learning about Yorkshire Terrier’s pros and cons has helped you make an informed decision.

Sharon Waddington
Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Recently, Sharon has become deeply passionate about the plight of rescue dogs and is an active advocate for dog rescue, striving to make a difference in the lives of dogs in need.

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