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Personality Traits of Yorkshire Terriers

Some personality traits are very common among Yorkshire Terriers, but every dog is unique. Knowing your Yorkie's personality traits and understanding how to use them to your advantage will help you train your dog more efficiently.

Generally, Yorkshire Terriers are energetic and love to keep busy. Your Yorkshire Terrier might be a couch potato or scared of his own shadow. For such little dogs, Yorkies have a lot of personality, possessing many, if not all, of the traits described in the following sections.

  • Intelligent. Yorkshire Terriers are smart in the things that matter to dogs. They're alert, curious, and quick to figure out how to get what they want. Their natural smarts and their devotion to their owners makes Yorkies easy to train (provided they want to learn what you want to teach).

  • Independent. Like most terriers, Yorkies have an independent streak. If you aren't consistent when you train your dog, your Yorkie's going to make up his own rules.

  • Spunky. Yorkies are spirited little dogs who'll want to run after any little critter that crosses their path (a natural reaction from an animal originally bred to chase and kill vermin), and they don't shrink from a challenge.

    The single-minded little Yorkies can be oblivious to dangers around them while they're happily chasing whatever critter caught their eye. You need to teach your dog to obey some fundamental commands and to come when she's called in order to keep her safe.

  • Courageous (in a cautious sort of way). Because of Yorkies' territorial instincts, they don't hesitate to challenge dogs and other animals that invade their space, and they don't shrink from a fight. Yet, for all their bravery, Yorkies are naturally cautious around strange people and unusual sights and sounds.

    Thanks to his feisty nature, be especially vigilant when you introduce new pets to your household or when your Yorkie is around strange animals (at the park, for example).

    If you don't socialize your Yorkie or if you reinforce her fears (for example, by trying to soothe her when she's upset), you may end up with a dog who snaps and bites.

  • Affectionate. The Yorkshire Terrier is one of the most loving breeds and thrives on interaction with and affection from their humans.

  • Determined (some would say stubborn). Remember, Yorkies are terriers and terriers are vermin-dispensing dynamos — a trait that requires determination (to stick with the task until it's done, even when the prey fights back). This determination means that what you want him to do must be more compelling than what he wants to do if he's going to obey.

  • Full of common sense. They may look like high-society dogs, but Yorkies come from a working-class background, and they like their lives to be simple and straightforward. Too much pampering and you spoil the independent, vibrant nature that makes them so appealing. And don't we have enough neurotic beauty queens in this world already?

  • Full of joie de vivre. Although they may snap when they're surprised, mistreated, or scared, Yorkies are, on the whole, good-natured, happy dogs.

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