Yorkshire Terrier Standards

Don’t let the small size of a Yorkshire Terrier mislead you; they are a terrific watchdog and have the attitude of a full sized dog when it comes to protecting their territory.

The breed standards for The Yorkshire Terrier have changed little over the years.

The breed standards are similar in all countries and are discussed below.


· The Yorkie should have a flat skull on the top, with no dome, and the muzzle should be short rather than long.

· The bite can be either scissor or level, but there should be no overbite or underbite.

· The nose and lips should be black and the eyes should be medium in size and dark in color.

· They should have an intelligent and alert look to them.

· The ears are V-shaped and carried erect. They should not be too far apart on the skull, and should accentuate the Yorkies face.

· Headfall refers to the long hair on the head of the Yorkie. It should be a rich golden tan and be darker at the sides of the head, ears, and muzzle.

· The tan color should not extend down the back of the neck; rather this should be the darker body color.

Chest and legs

· The chest and legs should be the golden tan color, and should be rich looking and not faded or washed out.

· It is possible that the chest color may be more silver than golden, but should be bright and shiny.

· On the legs the tan color should not extend above the elbows on the front legs, or the stifle on the rear legs.


· The body is rather short and very flat.

· The backline should be level with the height at the front shoulders being the same as the height at the hips.

· The dog should seem compact and muscular.

Legs and feet

· Both the front and rear legs should be straight with no turning in or out when viewed from the front or back.

· The back legs can have a moderate bend at the stifle when viewed from the side.

· The feet should be round and the toenails will be black.

· For show dogs it is acceptable to remove the dewclaws on the forelegs.


· The tail of a Yorkie is docked to a medium length and is carried just a bit higher than the level of the back.


· One of the most important features of the Yorkshire terrier is its distinctive long coat.

· The coat should be very shiny and glossy and very fine textured.

· The coat should extend to the ground and should be absolutely straight and not curly or wavy.

· The coat may be trimmed to make movement easier, and the hair on the feet may also be trimmed for appearance.

· The hair on the head can be parted to the side and tied back with two bows, or can be tied with one bow in the center of the head.

· The hair on the muzzle is very long and should blend with the hair on the chest for a nice presentation.

· The hair on the ears can be trimmed to give a neat appearance.


· Puppies are born with black and tan coloration and possible mixing of the dark hairs in the tan.

· As they mature the dark hairs will be shed, and they should not have any mixing of colors between the body and head colors at maturity.

· The body will be a blue color, that is to be steel blue, not silver-blue and can have no mixing of the tan colors in it.

· The tan color can be darker at the roots and lighter at the tips and towards the center of the dog.

· Again, there should be no dark hairs in the tan colored areas.


· The Yorkie should not exceed seven pounds when fully mature.

Other factors

· Yorkshire Terriers should also exhibit a bright and intelligent expression while they are being shown.

· They should be energetic and lively during presentation, and should be alert to what is happening around them.

· The breed standards of the AKC in 1966 stated “the dog’s high head carriage and confident manner should give the appearance of vigor and self-importance”. This certainly does sum up the positive attitude of the Yorkshire Terrier.

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