Why You Should Not Get A Yorkshire Terrier? (Solved & Explained!)

There are several reasons why you should not get a Yorkshire Terrier, including the fact that they are high maintenance, can be medically fragile, are difficult to house train, are prone to barking, and can be unsociable if they have not spent enough time out in the world.

This article lists everything you need to know about Yorkshire Terriers and the key reasons why you might want to avoid getting one.

What Do You Need To Know About Yorkshire Terriers?

Yorkshire Terriers, or ‘Yorkies’ as they are affectionately known, might be small but they are full of personality. According to the American Kennel Club, they were originally bred to seek out rats in the dank Yorkshire coal mines.

Yorkshire Terriers are true ‘toy’ dogs, weighing in at around just seven pounds (3.2 kilograms)! Small and fragile, they usually stand at just between 7-8 inches (17-20 centimeters) tall. This is shorter than your average knee! 

They are one of the smallest dog breeds in the world and are easily recognized by their long, smooth and glossy hair. You’re most likely to see a black or blue and tan Yorkie, but they can also have silver, grey or, blonde colored coats.

What Makes A Yorkshire Terrier High Maintenance?

Your Yorkie’s status as a high-maintenance dog comes from aspects of its physical traits like long hair that needs regular brushing and a unique set of behaviors including separation anxiety.

Your Yorkie’s high maintenance physical traits

The Yorkshire Terrier’s long, fine hair needs regular brushing to keep it from getting tangled. You can opt to take your Yorkie to a dog groomer to keep their hair trimmed and their nails short, but this will get expensive over time.

Yorkies also look their best with a bath every 3-4 weeks, which is enough time for their natural-produced body oils to develop. On top of that, you will need to clean their eyes and ears regularly.

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And just like us, their teeth need a good daily brush to keep their breath smelling fresh and the plaque at bay.

Your Yorkie’s high maintenance behaviors

Although they’re small, Yorkshire Terriers love their exercise and they need to visit the dog park at least once a day for a fun-filled play session with their pets and favorite humans. This helps keep them happy, healthy, and stimulated.

And as the breed is prone to weight gain, it’s also a great way to make sure the pounds stay off! Yorkies have a reputation for being barkers but regular exercise helps them stay content and calm.

The Yorkie Information Centre admits that Yorkies are also known to suffer from separation anxiety, which means that they don’t like being left alone all day.

How Are Yorkshire Terriers Medically Fragile?

Yorkshire Terriers are prone to a number of medical issues including:

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Peridontal disease
  • Legg-Perthes disease
  • Retinal displasia
  • Luxating patella
  • Collapsed trachea
  • Liver shunt
  • Pancreatitis


Hypoglycemia happens when a young Yorkie, usually under five months of age, experiences a sudden drop in their blood sugar levels. The symptoms include a racing heart rate, fast breathing, and shivers or tremors.

The condition is life-threatening so a trip to the vet is a must.

Periodontal disease

With small jaws and an overcrowded mouth with too many teeth, Yorkies often suffer from plaque build-up and dental disease.

The symptoms include bad breath (also known as halitosis), having a hard time eating, difficulty playing with toys, swollen and red gums, and tooth loss.

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Legg-Perthes disease

This disease is common in toy dogs and involves the death of the top of the femur bone at the hip joint. It is probably genetic and the symptoms include the inability to walk, pain, poor joint function, and loss of muscle mass.

Retinal dysplasia

This too is a genetic disease but of the eyeball. It affects the development of the retina and if it is an aggressive form of the disease, it can lead to complete retinal detachment and even blindness.

The symptoms include poor vision. However, for most Yorkies affected, their symptoms are mild and they can lead relatively normal lives.

Luxating patella

In simple terms, a luxating patella is when the kneecap is dislocated. It is caused by weak muscles and tendons that fail to hold the kneecap in place.

As the kneecap slips out of place, it causes a lot of pain. Treatment includes massage, anti-inflammatory treatments, and even surgery for the most serious cases.

Collapsed trachea

A common affliction for middle-aged Yorkies, and many other breeds of toy dogs, a collapsed trachea can be caused by tissue weakness, genetics, or when the dog pulls hard against their collar.

The symptoms include a honk-like cough, panting, and difficulty breathing or eating.

The best way to treat the problem includes steroidal medication, cough suppressants, and supplements to help reduce anxiety.

Liver shunt

This disease starts while the Yorkie is still in the womb and is a deformity of the liver. As a vital organ, when the liver does not work properly, a puppy is considered to have ‘Failed to Thrive’.

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For the most serious cases, surgery is the best option to fix the deformity.


Pancreatitis is one of the most common diseases that Yorkies are prone to get. It is usually caused by a high-fat diet and results in an inflamed pancreas.

A healthier diet will help prevent the symptoms of pancreatitis including diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and lethargy.

Why are Yorkshire Terriers difficult to house train?

Yorkshire Terriers have a well-founded reputation for being difficult to house train! Thanks to their intelligence, curiosity, and stubbornness, they can resist the firm hand needed for successful house training.

While it’s not impossible to teach a Yorkie to go to the toilet outside, it is much more difficult and will take longer than most breeds.

Why are Yorkshire Terriers prone to barking?

As small dogs with big attitudes, Yorkies love to bark. They are territorial which means that they have an in-built instinct to protect both their owner and their homes.

They are also excitable and they show their excitement through barking.

Why are Yorkshire Terriers unsociable?

According to the American Kennel Club, Yorkshire Terriers are extremely vigilant dogs which means that they can be stand-offish with other dogs. Being small, some Yorkies are also timid and shy around other dogs that are bigger than them. For Yorkies, this is most dogs!