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Dog Breeds: Yorkshire Terrier—The Cuddler

Is it any wonder Yorkshire Terriers, or "Yorkies," are the most popular toy breed in the U.S.? For starters, they're small and delicate—weighing 4 to 6 pounds and rising 8 to 9 inches at the shoulder—have a pleasingly silky gray-and-tan coat and sport an adorable topknot. They're also loaded with personality. Smart, spunky and curious, this breed loves to dash about on their short legs just as much as they love cuddling. Fairly trainable, they make wonderful companion dogs for apartment dwellers and are suitable for families with older children, who know to be careful when pint-sized pooches are underfoot.

Big personality in a small package

Yorkies may be tiny but they have big personalities just like their Terrier ancestors. In 17th-century England Terriers were kept on farms, factories and mills to root out rats. This inquisitive and outgoing nature is abundantly present in the Yorkies of today. They sniff about and gleefully stick their noses into places they probably shouldn't. Easily excited, they love to chase balls, birds and bugs and don't need much exercise as they're getting a lot on their own!

Who's the boss?

Along with the animated Terrier personality comes a bit of snippy attitude. They can be bossy, high-strung, possessive and bark aggressively at other dogs and strangers. This may result from too much pampering, so be aware of overdoing lap time. Early socialization with other pets and people is recommended to help them become friendly, well-balanced companions.

Coat care

Long and luxurious best describe Yorkies' straight coat. While some dog parents let their Yorkies' locks flow to the floor, most pet parents keep coats trimmed as they tangle easily. For a breed with a lot of hair, they don't shed much, a plus for allergy sufferers.