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What Does a Yorkie Look Like?


Most would consider this breed to be quite adorable... The Yorkie will look different as the dog grows from a tiny round long and lean adult. In addition, your choice of grooming will greatly change the look of this small breed dog...from the shaved "Puppy cut" to the long and sleek "Show dog look".
owner holding up Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkie is classified in the AKC toy group. This means that he or she, when meeting the standard guidelines, will be an adult size of 4 to 7 pounds (1.81 to 3.17 kg). This dog is also short, with a height (measured from floor to shoulder) of 6 to 9 inches (15.24 to 22.86 cm). Therefore, the Yorkshire Terrier is a rather tiny dog. 

He is small but rather sturdy. Some toy breeds can be fragile and while the owner of this dog must take care in regard to possible injury to the kneecaps, hips and trachea (neck)...They can run, jump, play and do other normal activities that one expects with a pet.

Being a terrier, he is quick and energetic. Due to his size, he is an indoor dog...But loves to be outside (with supervision) to run through the grass, dig (which can be fixed with training) and explore the world around him with his excellent scene of smell and alert hearing.

They have a particular gait when they walk, one that shows confidence and curiosity. They often "trot" along, enthusiastic to find out what they can see and hear. They love to curl up into tiny balls when resting or napping. As you will see ahead, they can look quite different depending on how an owner chooses to have them groomed. 

Changes to Expect

The newborn Yorkie is approximately 2.5 ounces (.07 kg). The appearance of a puppy differs quite a bit from an older, mature dog. He has short, soft hair and will be a mix of black and tan color. The dog's eyes will remain closed until week 2 or 3. 

The dog quickly matures into their adult appearance, usually be the age of 1 year.

A Yorkie can have a range of looks. Most owners of pet Yorkies will opt for the shaved look. This can be a close shave, or a longer shave that allows for a short "fluffy look". This is sometimes referred to as Teddy Bear Yorkies, which is just a certain appearance of the coat.

Yorkshire Terriers that are show dogs will have the classic long coat of hair that flows very gracefully to the floor. Some pet owners also prefer this will need to devote more time to grooming.

While ethical, reputable breeders will strive to produce "show quality" Yorkies, is is Mother Nature who has the final say. Even if a breeder aims for show quality at all times, there will always be "pet quality" Yorkies. 
Yorkie with puppy cut
A Yorkshire Terrier with a "Puppy Cut", the coat is clipped short. This is usually done for easy care.
The coat stays cleaners and the dog can run around without the owner worrying about tangles
developing in an otherwise longer coat.  

Pet Vs Show

What is the difference between pet and show quality? When purchased from an ethical, trusted breeder, there can be very little difference between the two.

In the United States, a breeder will be looking for puppies who have potential to very closely match the detailed AKC standards in regard to conformance (appearance) for the Yorkshire Terrier in order to categorize that puppy as show quality. This will means that the dog looks promising to compete in very large AKC conformance events as being near perfect to the guidelines. Litters cannot always contain near-"perfect" dogs, whether males or females.
show quality Yorkie
A Yorkshire Terrier with the classic "Show Dog" look. The coat is long and gracefully falls to the floor (it is allowed to just touch the floor). Long hairs on the forehead are held back with a bow (known as having a topknot).
Therefore, from an ethical breeder, a dog that does not match the AKC show quality guidelines will be sold as a pet quality. This may be because of a very small element, such as a coloring mark or the shape of the ears. A pet quality dog is of just as much value as a show quality dog, in the eyes of who matters the most: the puppy's new family.

If someone is looking for a pet and have no plans to enter the complicated and political "show dog world", a person should understand that a pet quality Yorkie is just that, a pet! There is no reason to spend extra money for a show quality dog is you are not planning on showing your dog.

The Standard

The AKC is the most respected and important dog club in the United States. In order to function, this organization had to implement a breed standard for each official dog breed. The breed standard is a description of what a certain breed will look like. 
While it is extremely rare for a dog to match the breed standard exactly, this description of the appearance of the Yorkshire Terrier will be used by judges to determine the winner of conformation (appearance) dog shows.

This is the appearance of the Yorkshire Terrier, in regard to conformance guidelines: (If you are planning on showing your Yorkie, you will want to obtain the official appearance guidelines of the club you will be associating with since it can vary slightly from one to the other)
A long-haired toy terrier whose blue and tan coat is parted on the face and from the foundation of the skull to the end of the tail and hangs equally and quite straight down each side of body. The body is compact and well proportioned. The dog's high head carriage and self-assured manner should give the look of energy and pride.

The head is petite and rather flat on top, the skull not too prominent or round, the muzzle not too extended, with the bite neither undershot nor overshot and teeth sound. Either scissors bite or level bite is acceptable. 

The nose is black. Eyes are medium in size and not too prominent; dark in color and sparkling with a sharp, intelligent expression. Eye rims are dark. Ears are small, V-shaped, carried erect and set not too far apart.

The body is well proportioned and very compact. The back is rather short, the back line level, with height at shoulder equal to the rump.

Forelegs should be straight, elbows neither in nor out. Hind legs straight when seen from behind, but stifles are somewhat bent when seen from the sides. 

Feet are round with black toenails. Dewclaws are normally removed from the hind legs. Dewclaws on the forelegs may be removed, if the owner wishes.

The tail is docked to a medium length and carried slightly higher than the level of the back.

Quality, texture and quantity of coat are of extreme importance. Hair is silky, fine and silky in texture. Coat on the body is moderately long and perfectly straight. It may be trimmed to floor length to allow easy movement and a tidy appearance. 

The fall on the head is long, tied with 1 bow in center of head or parted in the middle and tied with 2 bows. Hair on the dog's muzzle is extremely long. Hair should be trimmed short on tips of ears and may be trimmed on feet to give them a tidy look.
Puppies are born black and tan and are generally darker in body color, showing an combination of black hair in the tan until they grow to adulthood. 

Color of hair on body and richness of tan on head and legs are of primary importance in adult dogs, to which the following color requirements apply: 

Blue: Is a dark steel-blue, not a silver-blue and not mingled with fawn or black hairs. 

Tan: All tan hair is darker at the roots than in the middle, shading to still lighter tan at the tips. There should be no black hair blended together with any of the tan.
Areas of Yorkshire Terrier body
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