What you need to know

Is My Yorkshire Terrier Purebred?

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: February 28, 2024
Is My Yorkshire Terrier Purebred?
Yorkshire terrier

Animal file: Yorkshire terrier

It is normal to want to know what type of breed is your dog. While a dog's character and behavior is influenced by many factors, their breed can give us some idea of what to expect in terms of their behavior. By knowing the phenotype of certain breeds, it is easier to diagnose any problems that may impact the health of the animal. However, it is worth remembering that physical appearance is a low priority when adopting a loyal and lifelong companion.

In this AnimalWised article on is my Yorkshire Terrier purebred?, we will provide some tips to help recognize an authentic or full blooded Yorkshire terrier, although, it is important to remember that the overall health of the dog is what is important when adopting a companion dog rather than their appearance or breed.


  1. The origin of the Yorkshire Terrier breed
  2. Is my Yorkshire Terrier purebred? - Characteristics of a Yorkie
  3. Is my dog a Yorkshire Terrier mix?

The origin of the Yorkshire Terrier breed

Although the true origins are unclear, the first mention of the Yorkshire Terrier breed appears in the mid-nineteenth century. This appearance was by chance, not as the result of selective breeding by canine specialists. Breeds such as the Paisley Terrier, the Waterside Terrier and the Clydesdale Terrier were crossed, with some historians arguing that the Maltese was also involved. As these crosses occurred in the county of Yorkshire, England, the name for the breed was born.

The first individual to participate in a dog show was a male named Huddersfield Ben. He first defined the standards of the breed, to such an extent that some breeders in competition today claim his bloodline in the pedigree of their dogs.

The Yorkie is not a breed with many variations and it has a very characteristic phenotype. This makes identification and evaluation of their standard easier than some other breeds. The limited variations within the breed arise from commercialization of specimens, meaning they do not fall within the characteristics accepted by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), the largest canine federation in the world. Breeders and protectionists worldwide condemn the manipulation of any animal for profit. We urge anyone to avoid collaborating or being mistakenly involved in such practices.

To know more general information, take a look at our article on how to care for a Yorkshire Terrier.

Is my Yorkshire Terrier purebred? - Characteristics of a Yorkie

As previously mentioned, this breed is quite easy to identify. Indeed, it is useful to be familiar with the inherent physical characteristics of the breed since a change in any of them could lead to a health problem in the animal. These can be seen when the Yorkie shakes and shivers more than usual.

According to the FCI, a Yorkshire Terrier is recognizable in the following ways:

  • Size: classified as a toy or miniature dog, the accepted weight is between a minimum of 1.5 kg. and up to 3.2 kg. Nowadays this is the accepted weight in competitions, however, it is believed that Yorkshires can sometimes weigh as much as 6 kg, although there are few examples of this.
  • Coat: the coat should be soft and fine (never hard and woolly), of moderate length, with an overhang but that does not affect mobility. In terms of color, the accepted characteristics are a dark steel blue which turns to a tan color at chest level. The hair in the tan colored coat should be darker at the roots and much lighter at the tips. Many different types of Yorkshire Terrier hairstyles are possible.
  • Head: small and flat, as the skull of this breed is rarely prominent or round.
  • Muzzle: moderate in length with a black nose.
  • Eyes: usually bright, round and very expressive.
  • Ears: small, upright, and covered with short hair.
  • Tail: covered with a lot of hair, and always darker at the tip.

These are the physical characteristics that should be used when identifying and classifying a puppy. It should be noted that much smaller types of Yorkshire, weighing up to 2 kg, are common nowadays. Toy or teacup sized specimens are not accepted by the FCI. They are a result of people irresponsibly trying to popularize a non-existent breed and increase their sales. Such practices only serve to harm the animal. Sellers offering this type of dog are common and you should not collaborate with these businesses. Remember that we are talking about living animals, not objects.

Learn more in our article about teacup sized dogs.

Character of the Yorkshire Terrier

While not as obvious as the physical traits, these can be useful in determining whether a Yorkshire is pure breed or not. To that end, Yorkies are usually very alert, confident, intelligent and lively. Similarly, they usually bark a lot and are an overprotective and defiant dog. It is, therefore, not surprising that they will defend food and other resources from human owners. They are, however, a friendly dog which form attachments easily.

Of course, we should emphasize that the character of the dog is also greatly influenced by the education that they receive. For example, if your Yorkie barks a lot, it may have to do more with your care than their breed. In this way, it could be a full blooded Yorkshire and yet, not possess the personality traits described here.

Is My Yorkshire Terrier Purebred? - Is my Yorkshire Terrier purebred? - Characteristics of a Yorkie

Is my dog a Yorkshire Terrier mix?

A Yorkshire cross may have different characteristics to those accepted by the FCI, such as a coat of a different color or texture, weight above 4 kg, ears that droop, etc. The characteristics listed above are good indicators of a purebred Yorkie, but it should be said that there is nothing wrong with owning a Yorkshire cross.

When adopting a dog, the most important thing is that we give them a home and that we adapt our lifestyle to meet their needs. We should never adopt a dog simply because they comply with some particular physical traits. Offer the necessary care and you will earn yourself a faithful and eager companion, regardless of whether it is a pure breed or not.

We encourage you to adopt where possible and not to contribute to businesses that may not comply with basic standards for animal welfare. Even if you find out that your Yorkie is not purebred, remember that their heart is pure, and should be loved just the same.

Crossing a Yorkshire Terrier with other breeds can produce mongrel puppies mixes such as:

  • Chorkie (Chihuahua)
  • Morkie (Maltese)
  • Shorkie (Shih Tzu)

All of these mixed breed dogs are just as beautiful as a purebred. In fact, in general, mixed breed dogs live longer lives. Learn more about these advantages in our video below:

If you want to read similar articles to Is My Yorkshire Terrier Purebred?, we recommend you visit our What you need to know category.

  • International Cynological Federation. Yorkshire terrier . Available at: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/086g03-es.pdf
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Is My Yorkshire Terrier Purebred?