Are Yorkies Very Smart Dogs?

Are Yorkies very smart dogs?

When it comes to intelligence, many dog owners wonder if their furry companions are as smart as they seem. If you own a Yorkshire Terrier, commonly known as Yorkies, you may have noticed their remarkable cognitive abilities. So, are Yorkies very smart dogs?

According to canine psychologist Stanley Coren, Yorkshire Terriers are considered above-average intelligent and rank as the 34th smartest dog breed for obedience and working intelligence. They excel in all three components of dog intelligence – instinctive, adaptive, and obedience.

The smartest dog breeds list is based on criteria developed by Stanley Coren, which measures the number of repetitions needed for a dog breed to learn a new command and the success rate of a dog obeying a known command on the first attempt. Yorkshire Terriers performed well in these measures, learning new commands with just 15 to 25 repetitions and obeying commands with a 70% or better success rate.

In addition to their obedience and working intelligence, Yorkies also possess instinctive intelligence in hunting and demonstrate high adaptive intelligence, making them intelligent and trainable dogs overall.

Key Takeaways:

  • Yorkshire Terriers are ranked as the 34th smartest dog breed for obedience and working intelligence.
  • They excel in instinctive, adaptive, and obedience intelligence.
  • According to Stanley Coren’s criteria, Yorkies learn new commands with 15 to 25 repetitions and have a high success rate of obeying commands.
  • Yorkies also possess instinctive intelligence in hunting and demonstrate high adaptive intelligence.
  • Overall, Yorkies are intelligent and trainable dogs.

The Intelligence of Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terriers are known for their intelligence and trainability. They possess instinctive intelligence in hunting, as they were originally bred as ratters in mines and participated in hunts by burrowing underground. Their adaptive intelligence allows them to learn from previous experiences and problem-solve. According to Stanley Coren’s dog intelligence criteria, Yorkies perform well in obedience and working intelligence, learning new commands with a small number of repetitions and obeying commands with a high success rate. They are quick learners and excel in activities such as rally, obedience, and agility competitions.

The Benefits of Owning a Yorkie

There are several benefits to owning a Yorkshire Terrier. These adorable little dogs make wonderful pets and have qualities that make them a popular choice for many dog lovers.

Strong Bonds and Affectionate Companionship

Yorkies are known for their ability to form strong bonds with their owners. They are loyal, loving, and enjoy being the center of attention. When you welcome a Yorkie into your life, you can expect a furry friend who will readily reciprocate your affection and shower you with love.

Adaptability to Various Living Situations

One of the advantages of owning a Yorkie is their adaptability. Their small size makes them easily manageable, whether you live in a spacious house or a cozy apartment. They are perfectly content as long as they have their owner’s love and attention.

Intelligence and Trainability

Yorkies are intelligent and responsive dogs. They quickly learn new commands and are eager to please their owners. With their intelligence and trainability, they make excellent candidates for obedience training and participating in various dog-related activities.

Exercise Needs

Compared to larger dog breeds, Yorkies have lower exercise requirements. They enjoy a daily walk and some playtime, but they don’t need extensive physical activity. This makes them a suitable choice for individuals or families with a more relaxed lifestyle or limited outdoor space.

Minimal Grooming Requirements

Yorkies have a beautiful and silky coat that requires regular grooming. However, their grooming needs are manageable. They don’t shed much, which is ideal for allergy sufferers, and they don’t drool excessively.

Watchdog Capabilities

Despite their small size, Yorkies have a big personality and make effective watchdogs. They are naturally attentive and alert, always keeping an eye out for anything unusual. Their keen senses and vocal nature make them excellent at alerting their owners to potential threats or intruders.

In summary, owning a Yorkie comes with many benefits. Their ability to form strong bonds, adaptability to different living situations, intelligence and trainability, lower exercise needs, minimal grooming requirements, and watchdog capabilities make them a delightful addition to any home. With their long lifespan of approximately 12 to 15 years, they provide years of companionship, love, and entertainment.


Owning a Yorkie can be a rewarding experience for dog lovers. The intelligence and trainability of these small dogs make them excellent pets, capable of forming strong bonds with their owners. Their adaptability allows them to thrive in various living situations, making them suitable for apartments or houses.

One of the advantages of Yorkie ownership is their minimal exercise requirements. Unlike larger breeds, Yorkies do not need extensive physical activity, making them ideal for individuals with a busy lifestyle or limited mobility. Additionally, their small size and hypoallergenic coat make them a great choice for those with allergies.

While Yorkies may have some quirks, such as barking and grooming needs, the benefits they bring as loving companions outweigh any challenges. Their intelligence and responsiveness make them easy to train and participate in various activities. With a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, they provide years of joy, loyalty, and companionship to their owners.

In conclusion, owning a Yorkie can be a wonderful experience. Their intelligence, adaptability, and loyalty make them a loving companion for those seeking a smart and devoted pet. Consider the pros and cons of owning a Yorkie, and if their traits align with your lifestyle and preferences, you may find yourself with a lifelong friend in this delightful breed.

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