When you want to get a Yorkshire Terrier for the first time, it can be a slightly difficult task to decide whether you want to get a male or a female.
Yorkshire Terriers have their traits, but the males and females have characteristics that are specific to them. Picking a gender is not about deciding which is superior, but which will be better suited for you and yours.
Which should you get, a male or female Yorkshire Terrier? Male and female Yorkshire Terriers are equally amazing, but each gender has a bit more of certain traits than the other. Female Yorkies are easier to train, more independent, and affectionate while a male Yorkshire Terrier is more playful, social, and equally affectionate.
It is essential to know the ways male and female Yorkshire Terriers are similar and different to help you realize which you can comfortably live with.
There are a lot of myths surrounding the comparison of male and female Yorkies. Some are true, some are close to the truth, while others are pretty far off from the truth.
Let’s get into the article proper to find out the key characteristics that male and female Yorkshire Terriers have.
Male Yorkshire Terriers
Height: 8 – 9 inches (20 – 23 cm)
Weight: 5 – 7 lbs (2.3 – 3.2 kg)
Puppy Price: $1,500 – $2,500
Lifespan: 11 – 15 Years
Build: Larger built with more muscle mass.
- Affectionate, sprightly, and tomboyish.
- Easier to socialize with people.
- Loves to please his owner.
- Easily get distracted and harder to train.
- More playful and energetic throughout life.
- Slightly more food motivated.
- More aggressive.
- More attention seeking.
- Likes being babied.
- Reaches physical maturity quicker.
- Reaches mental maturity slower.
- Tends to protect a territory or whole family.
- Clumsy around kids.
- Very clingy.
- More maintenance required.
- More likely to bond with all family members.
- Harder to train him to walk off leash and stay close to you.
- Tends to be a bit messier.
- More stubborn.
- Less suspicious of strangers.
- Less likely to get along with other dogs or animals.
- Gets along well with female dogs.
Female Yorkshire Terriers
Height: 7 – 8 inches (18 – 20 cm)
Weight: 4 – 6 lbs (1.8 – 2.7 kg)
Puppy Price: $1,500 – $2,500
Lifespan: 11 – 15 Years
Build: Smaller built with less muscle mass.
- Affectionate, sprightly, and tomboyish.
- A bit harder to socialize with people.
- Slightly less desire to please her owner.
- More focused and easier to train.
- Tends to be less playful all the time.
- Slightly less food motivated (except when pregnant).
- Less aggressive.
- Less attention seeking.
- More independent.
- Reaches physical maturity slower.
- Reaches mental maturity quicker.
- Tends to protect an individual (her owner).
- More cautious around kids.
- Respects your time alone.
- Less maintenance required.
- Tends to bond with one person in the family.
- Easier to train her to walk off leash and stay close to you.
- Tends to be cleaner.
- Less stubborn.
- More suspicious of strangers.
- More likely to get along with other dogs or animals.
- Gets along well with male dogs.
Male Yorkshire Terriers are quite similar looking to the females at initial glance. However, when you get a bit closer, you’ll find there are small differences, howbeit small.
Males are usually about 1 to 2 inches taller than the females and about 1 to 2 pounds heavier. This physical difference is easy to miss, except you take a very close look.
Female Yorkies are smaller than males. They are about 1 to 2 inches shorter on average and weigh less than the males (usually about 1 to 2 pounds lighter). It has also been said that female Yorkies are less stronger than males.
Male Yorkies have been known to be a little more aggressive than the females. Males are more likely to attack when provoked or when other dogs (especially females) do not wish to be under their influence.
Males also become sexually developed faster than females. Usually, around six months of age, the male starts to produce sperm. They are still very young and socially immature at this age, making it difficult to find a mate. At least not till they are up to 2 years old.
Male Yorkies will opt to roam because they can smell females in heat, even those several miles away. If you give your male Yorkies free reins, he might go chasing females, and you might not see him at home for days in a row.
You’ll find it harder to control and manage your male Yorkshire Terrier when he is confined. They like their freedom and keeping them boxed in will take more training than you’d expect (especially for a breed so small).
They will also seek attention from you even more persistently than females. They are affectionate and love to cuddle as much as the next guy.
Males tend to mark their spot or territory more than females. They do this by peeing on objects in and out of the house, and it can get very annoying. They love to assert their dominance and would like to see themselves as the pack leader.
It might shock you, but he wants to be the leader of “You” as well. Don’t worry too much about it. You can (and should) establish yourself as the leader right from the beginning. Show your dog who’s the boss, and you will minimize the problem.
They will often tend to form a closer bond with one person in the family and become extremely protective. They love to play and goof around a lot, which often leaves them dragging dirt and mud back to the apartment.
Female Yorkshire Terriers are often smaller than the males and tend to be less aggressive. However, a nursing mother who is protecting a litter will prove just as aggressive or even more.
Females usually come into heat about two or three times a year (when they are between 6 to 18 months). During heat, they discharge a kind of fluid that is meant to attract males. This will often lead to strings of mood swings.
Their change in mood is often remarkable as one minute they might be playing and running around the house, and the next they are sulky and calm. Due to the hormonal changes resulting from the heat cycle, she may want to sleep in, become inactive on certain days, or even have a distant look sometimes.
This is why females are usually said to be less playful than males as they can switch easily. You can, however, solve this problem by spaying your dog. Spaying her means you have no intention of breeding so that the heat cycle will seize. But if she is to be utilized for breeding purposes, you can ask your vet for products that can address that problem.
Female Yorkies are also affectionate. But unlike the male dog, they do not prefer to sit in your laps all day. They may run into your lap for some cuddle session, but as soon as they have had enough, they’ll walk away. Some say this shows a bit of her independence.
They can get very shy if she’s scolded or chastised. Females tend to form a bond with many people, often the whole family. They are not as protective as the males, but they do their bit.
Because of their less playful nature, females tend to be cleaner. They would hardly go about decorating the house with mud and trailing water behind them.
Males are harder to train than females for more than one reason. They are generally more playful than females, which makes it a bit harder to keep then focused. So, in the beginning, you will find yourself doing more to keep your dog focused more than actually trying to impact training.
Also, males are keen on trying to assert their dominance in the home. They try to show superiority over both other dogs in the house and even over you. This is the first characteristic you should put under control by consciously doing exercises that will cause you to lead and have him following.
Because they love to cuddle, they will want to do what you ask. You just have to be bossy enough to show them you have what it takes.
Female Yorkshire Terriers are often less troublesome, playful, and goofy as the males. They are a lot less excitable, and this makes them easier to train. However, they can recoil and get very shy if you scold them too harshly or chastise them in an angry or rough tone.
Yorkies are prone to a number of sicknesses and diseases. The health problems can be congenital, acquired, or inherited. Male Yorkies are prone to every health issue that females are prone to and both are equally at risk.
Some of the health issues that afflict Yorkies are Legg-Perthes Disease, skin allergies, retinal dysplasia, liver shunt, pancreatitis, teeth problems, etc. However, there is one health problem that seems to affect males less than females; Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Female Yorkies are more prone to having Hypoglycemia – a condition where there is an unusually low amount of blood sugar in the body. While this problem also affects males, there is a higher chance of females being affected. Especially females that have not spayed.
Most breeders will not sell Yorkshire Terriers to households that have toddlers. Yorkies are very tough but just wrapped in an adorable little body. Their personality and size make it difficult to try and mix these dogs with toddlers. I’m not saying it is impossible, but it can be a difficult feat to achieve.
Yorkshire Terriers are tough and will attack when they feel threatened. Toddlers tend to find it difficult, separating between toys and Yorkies due to their size. When kids become loud, uncontrollable, or attempt to misbehave around these dogs, they might get defensive.
Statistics show that it is safer to introduce Yorkies into homes with older children, preferably five years old and above. Older children will easily understand boundaries and learn faster how to treat these dogs.
Male Yorkies are very playful, but they are also the most aggressive of both genders. If they have not been neutered and trained, they must mark their boundaries and assume dominance. Children do not understand boundaries and will go anywhere and do anything when it’s playtime.
So, while male Yorkshire Terriers will play with little kids and have a good time, they can easily snap at them if the children get out of line.
Also, due to their smallish nature, they can be injured very easily by children. A wounded male won’t bury his tail, but he will retaliate, which won’t be good for a child.
This is probably why it is best to bring a male Yorkie into a home with grown kids or no kids at all.
Female Yorkshire Terriers always have a nesting instinct, especially when they have not been spayed. They guard their own and will fight to keep intruders out.
They are also playful when they want to be and cute when they feel like it. This means they will hardly be found spending too much time around children.
They will play for a while and retreat when they feel threatened. Although retreating might not be all they will do as they too will retaliate when they perceive danger.
With Other Dogs
Males will usually get into fights with other males. They find it hard to socialize with male dogs of the same or even different breed. This is especially true when there is a heating female in the house as well.
Male Yorkies are extremely territorial, and introducing a new male into the same house will cause it to act out in a bid to assert his dominance. If you must introduce another dog to the house, the best way to go is to bring in a female. Male Yorkies will get along very fine with females of any breed.
If you must bring another male into the house, ensure they are neutered as it will eradicate same-sex aggression. If you are not into neutering and you wish to make two males coexist in the same space, you would have to pick up tips on how to make the introduction less hostile.
Males are generally more protective than females, both of their family and their territory. A male, being as playful as he is, will have a good time playing with other males at the park than he would have if they come into his home.
Same-sex aggression is not unheard of with females. Studies have shown that more of the same sex aggression that occurs with dogs at home involve females.
Female Yorkies will get along very well with males but will repeatedly clash with other females. They are not the most playful type, so you will not always find your female Yorkshire Terrier running off to play with other dogs. And even when she does, she will do so with males.
Females will deal with this better when there is some form of superiority. One has to be much older than the other for some peace to reign between them. A hierarchy has to be established between the females, so there are clear cut boundaries.
Yorkies are usually a lot to handle before undergoing training, and they can as well give your cat hell if proper steps are not taken to ensure peaceful coexistence.
The fact is, both male and female Yorkshire Terriers can get along well with cats so much that it becomes adorable. But friendship will not happen overnight.
It is always better to have a cat first before bringing in a Yorkie. This process better helps the socialization of both pets. But if you already have your Yorkie and wish to bring in a cat, you will have to be ready for anything.
Introducing both pets and getting them to be friends will surely not happen in one day. But with time, consistency, and the correct steps, you can get both male and female Yorkies to become friends with your cat.
Which Is Better for a Family?
One of the greatest decisions you will have to make when getting a Yorkshire Terrier is deciding which gender to go for. You’re making this choice, not because one is better than the other, but because one might just be better for “you.”
To effectively answer the question of which gender is better for a family setting will be near impossible. This is because the answer to that question is extremely subjective to each family. Both male and female Yorkies have their strengths, weaknesses, and similarities.
Another point to consider is that every dog is different. Out of ten, one might just break the status quo. This is why many dog owners sometimes have different testimonies about their dogs because personalities and temperaments differ.
Advantages of Male Yorkshire Terriers in a Family Environment:
- Very playful and goofy.
- Usually form a strong bond with one specific member of the family.
- Will get along and coexist perfectly with female dogs in the house.
- Very affectionate, love to cuddle and stick close to owners.
- Will fit just right with active families as they love to stay active all the time.
Advantages of Female Yorkshire Terriers in a Family Environment:
- Easier to train and housebreak.
- Will form an equal bond with every member of the family.
- Will coexist with male dogs of any breed in the house.
- Less hyper and are cleaner.
- Less problematic to manage in a kind of environment.
Having multiple dogs at home is not a problem at all, but it should be done right. If you must have two dogs at home, it is best to mix them up. If you already have a male at home, you should consider getting a female next. However, if you want dogs of the same sex, ensure one is older than the other with at least two years.
If you have children in the house, the best thing to do is wait until they are over five years old before bringing a Yorkshire Terrier home. Yorkies are not known for their patience with toddlers, so some people just avoid keeping one in the house with their kids.
However, there are tips and methods you can adopt to pull this off. There are lots of materials available on the internet that can teach you how to keep Yorkies in the house with your toddlers.
Dogs get along best with other dogs when they socialize earlier in life. If you can properly socialize your dog when they are very young, any gender will be great. Getting them out more often and having them mix with not just other dogs but other pets will make them better suited for any kind of family.
Which Is a Better Guard Dog?
Yorkshire Terriers are little dogs, but they come packed with huge personalities. Some people like to refer to them as very big dogs in a very little body.
People usually mistake watchdogs for guard dogs. Guard dogs usually have bigger stature, such as Dobermans and Pit bulls, and have the size to fend off attackers. Watchdogs, on the other hand, usually alert their owners of potential threats or danger by barking.
Yorkies make excellent watchdogs as they have very good hearing and a very powerful bark. However, it should not put far away from the Yorkshire Terrier to physically protect their owners.
They are a pretty aggressive dog breed and will not hesitate to defend their owners and attack (even in their small way) anyone or anything they perceive to be a threat.
Advantages of Male Yorkshire Terriers as Guard/Watchdogs:
- More aggressive.
- Great at protecting just one specific person.
- More agile.
- Very good hearing and loud bark.
Advantages of Female Yorkshire Terriers as Guard/Watch Dog:
- More observant and suspicious of strangers.
- Better at protecting the whole family and not just one person.
- Very good hearing and loud bark.
Yorkies are not usually bought or adopted for their protective abilities because there are larger dogs for that. And that makes their feistiness and protectiveness a bonus.
Male Yorkies are simply more aggressive. While they will lie on your lap all day and call it home, they can easily switch when they think you are being threatened.
With their nesting instinct, females tend to care equally for every member of the family and will not hesitate to alert their owners when she feels they are in danger of being attacked.
My Final Thoughts
Male or female Yorkshire Terrier, which is better? It will be easy to come up with a decisive point proving why one is better than the other. But that is not to be, and anyone that tries to prove otherwise is steering in the wrong path.
Deciding which gender is best between the two is solely dependent on YOU. Gender is only better when it is better for you. Male and female Yorkies can work for you when you socialize them properly and early enough.
Training is essential for this breed, as they are stubborn and independent. A lot has to be put into teaching them obedience for this dog to see you as the alpha.
My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially cats and dogs. I’ve got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.