Male vs. Female Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie): Which Is Better?

Male and female Yorkie sitting side by side in white background

The Yorkie is truly the show-stopper of the dog world, but have you ever dabbled with the topic of the male and the female Yorkshire Terrier? What makes male and female Yorkies different from each other? 

In general, male Yorkies are more affectionate and sociable than females. Meanwhile, female Yorkies are more reserved and aloof. Additionally, females enjoy their private time, while males love playtime more than anything. 

As we move on in this guide, we will further discuss the main traits and differences between a male and a female Yorkie. Hopefully, this guide helps you decide which one suits you better. Let’s start!

Physical Differences

Male and female Yorkie front profile outdoors

Male Yorkshire Terriers

Male Yorkshire Terriers do not differ much from females in terms of physical attributes. In fact, to the untrained eye, it might be hard to catch any difference between the two genders at all.

For starters, Yorkshire Terriers, whether male or female, are categorized as toy dogs. Hence, you can expect your Yorkie to be a small dog, regardless of gender.

However, as with any dog breed, male Yorkies tend to be slightly taller and bigger than females. They are about 9 inches tall and weigh between 5 and 7 pounds. 

The size difference, albeit small, can help you in telling them apart. But if you want to see a more obvious physical difference between a male and a female Yorkie, you can always check their reproductive organs.

Female Yorkshire Terriers

Female Yorkshire Terriers are smaller than males, but only by an inch or two. Their height is about 6 to 8 inches at the shoulder, while their weight is the same as male Yorkies, ranging from 5 to 7 pounds.

For reference, the female Yorkshire is around the same height as the Maltese, Toy Poodle, Shih Tzu, and Pomeranian.

Female Yorkies have well-proportioned bodies that are covered with a long, straight coat. They also have a small head and a pair of v-shaped ears sitting proudly on top. 

In terms of coat length, females have long coats despite their small size, so they require a grooming routine and a good haircut to keep their appearance neat. However, they don’t shed a lot, so you don’t have to brush them very often.

Having owned two adult female Yorkies myself, I love feeling the long, silky coats of Yvonne and Xandria, which flow beautifully near the ground. You can run your hand across their hair, and they will glide without any resistance. I also love watching them walk or run with their small and quick strides.

In terms of coat colors, both male and female Yorkie can exhibit the same coloration. Some of the most common colors include black & tan, blue & tan, blue & gold, and more. They can also be parti-color!

Temperamental Differences

Male Yorkshire Terriers

Male Yorkshire Terriers are confident, outgoing, and playful. These pooches have a lot of energy and would love to be the center of attention. It’s easy for them to get attached to humans and other pets.

Another thing they like is being petted. Expect male Yorkshire Terriers to sit on your lap and ask to be cuddled for hours. They are highly affectionate and want your attention all the time.

Because of this, they can develop separation anxiety when left alone for long hours. 

Moreover, male Yorkies get jealous very easily, especially if you are showering another dog with more attention. It takes a while for them to get along with most dogs, especially of the same gender. 

Unlike female Yorkies, males can be aggressive due to their protective nature towards their owners. When they feel threatened, they are most likely to bark a lot, snap, or worse, bite.

Most of the time, male Yorkshire Terriers would establish themselves as the pack leader. It is important to curb this trait early on to let them know that you are in charge.

Male and female Yorkshire Terriers are protective of their family. The difference between the two is that male Yorkshire Terriers tend to protect all the family members, whereas females typically only protect one person.

Female Yorkshire Terriers

Female Yorkshire Terriers are the opposite of their male counterparts in terms of temperament. They are reserved, introverted, and less affectionate.

They would still love some cuddles, but not as much. Female Yorkshire Terriers would sit on your lap and ask to be petted but only for a short amount of time. They will leave once they get enough.

Moreover, they tend to be independent and will set boundaries. Unlike male Yorkshire Terriers, they won’t always need your attention. They would also give you your own time and personal space.

An unspayed female Yorkie will experience hormonal changes during its heat cycle, making it potentially moody. During times like this, its emotions may change a lot, and it will get distant from its family members. 

Also, because they are less sociable, expect female Yorkies to be reserved around people, especially strangers. But unlike their male counterparts, female Yorkies get along better with other dogs.

Behavior and Training

Female Yorkie during training outdoors

Male Yorkshire Terriers

In general, male Yorkshire Terriers are people-pleasers with bright personalities. 

With that, they are generally responsive to training. However, there are times when you will find that a male Yorkie is impossible to train, especially during its puppy years. This is caused by their overly playful nature.

Male Yorkies are outgoing and love to goof around a lot. Males carry so much energy in their bodies that they have to be constantly moving.

Additionally, they are keen on asserting dominance and don’t like being told what to do. Do not be disheartened, though, as this can be fixed with the right training approach. 

With stubborn dogs like male Yorkies, consistent and assertive training works best. While your pet is still young, it is important to establish who the true pack leader is. 

Male Yorkshire Terriers are also into the habit of territory marking. Both genders have the tendency to do this, but males tend to do it more. This, along with their stubborn streak, can be addressed with consistent training.

Female Yorkshire Terriers

Female Yorkshire Terriers are believed to be more submissive than males. However, that’s not entirely true. In fact, these canines also exhibit dominance and independence due to their nesting instinct.

Despite this, female Yorkies are still relatively easier to train compared to males. Their reserved personality allows them to concentrate better during training.

The catch in training female Yorkies is that they are overly sensitive. Thus, it’s important to use a gentle tone when talking to them. If they feel that they are being treated harshly, they might temporarily shut down.

According to the American Kennel Club, you can prevent this from happening by implementing positive reinforcement when training your female Yorkie. 

This won’t only keep them interested in training but will also motivate these females to learn tricks faster. 

If you’re interested in watching a female Yorkie in training, check this video out:


Health Differences

Male Yorkshire Terriers

In general, the male or female Yorkie is a healthy breed that is easy to take care of. In fact, Yorkies are among the breeds with the longest lifespans. When raised in a sound environment, they can live up to 12 to 15 years.

However, Yorkshire Terriers are predisposed to a number of health problems, and both genders have their fair share. 

For starters, both male and female Yorkies are at risk of Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, a hereditary condition common among small dogs. Both are also prone to Cushing’s disease, dental issues, and bacterial infections.

Meanwhile, some problems that are often developed by male Yorkies are prostate cancer and bowel movement issues, among others. Don’t worry, though, as such diseases can be minimized through neutering.

Female Yorkshire Terriers

Female Yorkshire Terriers are healthy dogs like their male counterparts. However, as mentioned already, female Yorkies are prone to the same set of diseases as males are.

Thus, we recommend that you provide a female Yorkie with the same amount of care for its health. One way to do that is by giving her the counterpart of neutering for female dogs — spaying. 

This is especially applicable to female Yorkies with diabetes. If you have a diabetic female pup, you may want to get her spayed as part of the treatment. 

Spaying will help get rid of female hormones that prevent the effects of insulin. Basically, this means more effective treatment for your pup!

Also, since female Yorkies have small body frames, conceiving can be dangerous. This is especially true for female teacup Yorkies. 

Because of this, you should also watch out for birth difficulties should you decide to pursue breeding.

With Other Dogs and Pets

Male Yorkie sitting beside an Australian Shepherd outdoors

Male Yorkshire Terriers

Although Yorkshire Terriers are known to be friendly to people, they are not very sociable towards other animals.

Generally, male Yorkies tend to be more aggressive towards other dogs and pets than their female counterparts. Needless to say, if you have other pets at home, adding a male Yorkie might give you a rough time.

Male Yorkshire Terriers are most likely to pick fights with other dogs, particularly those of the same sex. If you are planning to introduce another male dog to your male Yorkie, make sure to train them to get along well.

Interestingly, male Yorkies get along better with female canines. Hence, a male Yorkie is a better choice if you already have a female pet at home. That said, you should be on the lookout for unwanted mating!

Female Yorkshire Terriers

Unlike males, female Yorkies are more friendly. However, keep in mind that they are not the most playful type, so you’ll barely see them playing around with other dogs.

Furthermore, same-sex aggression also occurs in female dogs. In other words, female Yorkshire Terriers get along well with dogs of the opposite gender and will clash with female ones.

Both the male and female Yorkie can get along well with cats, but it would be best to bring a cat first before having a female Yorkie. 

A proper introduction is one of the most important steps when making Yorkshire Terriers get along with other dog breeds, cats, and other pets. 

It is recommended to test them first for a few days before bringing in a new dog or animal, so they won’t get surprised.

With Children

Male Yorkshire Terriers

Male Yorkshire Terriers are friendlier to children than females. They like kids and are playful around them. However, keep in mind that male Yorkies can get aggressive when mishandled. 

Male Yorkshire Terriers that have not been neutered and socialized well will behave poorly around children. They may growl or snap, especially when met with chaotic kids, as they can get overstimulated.

Due to their small size, kids may accidentally hurt them while playing, and male Yorkshire Terriers may see it as a threat and get aggressive. As a Yorkie breeder as well, this was an issue that one of my friends faced when she got a male Yorkie from me as a pet for her three kids, two of which are still toddlers.

My friend always had to monitor the playtime of Pepper, their Yorkie, closely with her kids. This was to prevent Pepper from being injured instead of the other way around.

This is why it is necessary to teach kids how to interact with dogs properly. Boundaries must be established and respected. This will help both the dog and the kid build sound companionship.

Female Yorkshire Terriers

Female Yorkshire Terriers are less playful than their male counterparts. They can be quite moody and only play if they feel like doing so. This is why you will barely see female Yorkies playing with children.

Also, females might take a while to get comfortable playing with kids as they are more alert during playtime. Female Yorkshire Terriers will immediately stop playing when they sense threats.

Typically the female Yorkie exhibits nesting instincts, especially when it is not spayed. 

Pros and Cons of Male and Female Yorkshire Terriers

Male and female Yorkie sitting on a tree stump

Male Yorkshire Terriers

Raising an energetic male Yorkie comes with a lot of advantages.

Male Yorkshire Terriers are very affectionate and enjoy cuddling with their family. They love getting attention from people. This is why they are more outgoing than their female counterparts.

Male Yorkie puppies are also loyal and protective of their family, making them great guard dogs. Yes, despite their small size, these males can protect their owners and other family members from harm.

It is also common for male Yorkshire Terrier puppies to get along with bigger kids. Remember that they love playing around, which makes them great playmates for your kids. 

On the other hand, male Yorkies also have their fair share of disadvantages.

When provoked, these dogs will not hesitate to get aggressive, leading to snapping, barking, or biting. They would even go for larger dogs at times. But you can work on this through early socialization and training.

They will also assert dominance in the house. They want to be the pack leader. That’s why you should let these male dogs know that you are the boss from the beginning.

Training can be a handful because these pooches get easily distracted. When teaching them commands and tricks, they might lack concentration. 

Below is a summary of the pros and cons of owning a male Yorkshire Terrier:

AffectionateCan be aggressive
More friendlyCan be stubborn
Has guard dog instinctsHarder to train
Great around kidsOverly playful at times

Female Yorkshire Terriers

Just like the males, female Yorkies also have their advantages. To start, they are more reserved and calmer than their male counterparts. 

These pooches would rather observe than play around, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fun. It just takes a while for them to get comfortable.

Because of that, they are less aggressive and don’t bark as often as males, but this isn’t the case when they are protecting their litter. 

Female Yorkie puppies are independent and give their owners space. They may appear distant, but they are affectionate dogs, too.

Moreover, females are easy to train and can concentrate well during training as they are less playful. When there’s danger, female Yorkies are also reliable because of their protective nature. 

On the flip side, owning a female Yorkie has some disadvantages, too.

Firstly, they are not as sociable as the male Yorkie, so it’s harder for them to make friends with people. It might take a while for a female Yorkshire Terrier to get comfortable with people other than their family.

Moreover, a female Yorkie might not be the best option if you want an active and playful dog. Females often enjoy lounging around rather than playing. 

Due to hormonal changes, females tend to have mood swings, especially when in heat. 

Below is a list of the pros and cons of owning a female Yorkshire Terrier:

Less aggressiveMore aloof
Can be protectiveLess playful
Easier to trainLess friendly
More independentMoody, when in heat

Should You Get a Male or Female Yorkshire Terrier?

Yorkshire Terriers are indeed amazing dogs. It is understandable if one may find it hard to decide, as both male and female Yorkies are great companions.

If you are energetic and love playing around with your pets, get a male Yorkie. Males are more energetic than the female dog and can spend hours playing with you.

Is personal time and space important to you? If yes, then it would be better to get a female Yorkshire Terrier. Due to their independence, they don’t require much attention from owners and would give you more time for yourself.

Personality-wise, the female Yorkie requires less maintenance. This dog makes a wonderful pet for all families.

Get a male Yorkshire Terrier pet if you have big kids at home. It is extremely playful and can make playtime a lot more fun for children and even adults.

If you want a less aggressive dog, pick a female Yorkie as a pet. It doesn’t bark as often and wouldn’t easily bite others when provoked.

Furthermore, also consider checking what pet you already have in your home when deciding between male and female Yorkies. 

It is advisable to get a Yorkie that is the opposite gender to the dog you currently have. This is to avoid jealousy and same-sex aggression in the house. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Male and female Yorkie walking on the sidewalk

Are Male or Female Yorkshire Terriers Calmer?

Generally, female Yorkies are calmer compared to males. Their less playful and outgoing nature makes them the ideal choice for families looking for gentle companions at home.

Are Male or Female Yorkshire Terriers More Affectionate?

There is a common notion about female dogs are more affectionate than their male counterparts. This isn’t true at all with Yorkshire Terriers, as male and female Yorkies are equally clingy and attention-seeking.

However, female Yorkshire Terriers experience hormonal imbalance, particularly during their heat cycle. In such instances, they would be a bit distant and prefer to be alone rather than spend time with you.

Are Male or Female Yorkshire Terriers Easier to Train?

Between male and female Yorkshire Terriers, females are a lot easier to train. They are less playful and don’t get distracted easily. In addition, female Yorkies mature earlier than males. Thus, training them is easier.

One thing to note about training female Yorkshire Terriers is that they can sometimes be oversensitive. Thus, it’s crucial to be gentle toward them. 

Final Thoughts

Regardless of which you choose between a male and a female Yorkshire Terrier, you’ll surely get an elegant-looking, loving, and protective pet. In the end, it’s all just about which gender suits your lifestyle and preferences best.

However, keep in mind that you should know the true cost of owning a Yorkie before getting one. Aside from its emotional and social needs, there are also practical considerations at play.

We hope that this article helps you decide which one to get. Let us know what you think about male and female Yorkshire Terriers in the comments below!

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