Are Yorkies Smart? What Makes a Yorkie Smart?

The Yorkshire Terrier is an incredibly popular dog breed. One of the main reasons this dog is purchased is for its great ability to be an amazing family companion. Did you know the Yorkie is also a very intelligent dog breed? Do you ever wonder, are Yorkies smart? Here in this article, we will go into detail on what makes the Yorkie one of the smartest small dog breeds around.

Are Yorkies Smart

Are Yorkies Smart?

Yes, the Yorkie is a very smart and intelligent dog breed. They can adapt and learn new things quickly, are easy to train, and are quite instinctive. Of course, the Yorkie is not the smartest breed in the world, but they are smarter than a lot of other dogs out there.

According to a famous dog psychologist named Stanley Coren, The Yorkshire Terrier falls into the Third Tier. This above-average working dog can learn new tricks in 15 to 25 repetitions about 70 percent of the time. Therefore, if the dog has fewer repetitions, it will mean it is more intelligent than the one that took longer.

The Yorkie falls on the list between the 25th and 39th most intelligent dog breeds. As you can see, compared to a big list of dog breeds, the Yorkie did not do bad at all. If you have ever been around a Yorkie, you will instantly see just how intelligent this tiny dog truly is.

Remember that this is just how the results were found. Your Yorkshire Terrier may perform better when learning new words or commands.

What Makes a Yorkie Smart?

If you already own a Yorkie, then you know firsthand just how smart this little dog breed can be. However, if you are looking for an intelligent small dog breed, then the Yorkie is for you. Here is what makes the Yorkshire Terrier smart:

  • Natural prey or hunting instincts.
  • Emotionally connect with you by comforting you when you are sad or feeling happy when you are.
  • Easily trainable.
  • They are very adaptive.
Yorkie Training

Hunting Intelligence of the Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire originated in an area called Yorkshire, England. This is how this adorable dog breed got its name. The Yorkshire Terrier has an incredible history that plays into the dog’s intelligence. This dog was first used to hunt small vermin and rodents inside of factories. The Yorkie did this job with ease, and not only that, but they were even taken out hunting because they could fit inside fox or bagger holes.

Hunting requires an instinct that not all dog breeds have. The Yorkie has this skill, and this breed is very good at catching small vermin, which takes intelligence to tract and catch prey. The Yorkie ranks very high in the instinctive intelligence category.

Emotional Intelligence of the Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkie is also very intelligent in knowing what their owners need. If you are a Yorkie owner, you already know how sweet, nurturing, and caring your Yorkie can be. Yorkies switched roles from being a ratter to a family companion. The bred learned how to adapt and is also very attuned to its owner’s emotions.

If your Yorkie can comfort you when you are sad or be happy when you are happy, then it means that your Yorkie can feel and or read your emotions. This is very important because, again, your dog has a different level of intelligence.

Adaptive Intelligence of the Yorkshire Terrier

Adaptive intelligence is another aspect to consider. The Yorkie is very adaptable, which means that your Yorkie will either learn from past experiences or cues. This measures how well your dog adapts to situations or environments.

If your Yorkshire Terrier gets its dinner at the same time every night and you forget, then your Yorkie might bark and let you know it’s time for dinner. This type of intelligence is what your dog learns through experiences or through observation.

Are Yorkies Smarter Than a Maltese?

Every dog is different in intelligence, but the Yorkshire Terrier is generally smarter than the Maltese dog breed. The Yorkie has a wide range of intelligence from its natural hunting, adaptability, and emotional intelligence.

Smart Yorkie

How Many Words Can a Yorkie Learn?

Every dog is different on how many words they can actually understand. Unfortunately, we cannot communicate with dogs, so it is difficult to know exactly how many words your dog actually knows. Consistent training and teaching your dog commands is a great way to teach your dog more words. Generally, the Yorkie can learn and understand 150 words. Again, some dogs know less, and some can know more.

Ways to Make Your Yorkie Smart

If you are worried about your Yorkies intelligence, below are some ways you can help improve it. If you feel your dog lacks in any of these categories, you can begin working on some of these skills with your Yorkie.


Socialization is very important for all dog breeds. Dogs should be socialized from a young age, preferably in puppyhood. When your Yorkie is a puppy, it should be socialized with its litter mates, and as they grow, they learn normal puppy sounds and language.

As your dog gets older, it should be socialized with a lot of different people. This can be people in your home, children, and even strangers. This socialization process teaches your Yorkie a lot. Dogs who get a lot of socialization with other dogs, kids, and people become very well-rounded and more intelligent dogs.

Early Training

Early training is also another important aspect that should be done when your child is young. One of the first things you will want to accomplish is potty training. Just like with children, your dog is a sponge absorbing a lot of information when it is young. If you want to train, teach your dog commands, and how to behave, then do this when your Yorkie is a puppy. Training not only helps your Yorkie but also teaches it something.

Interactive Toys

Now there are interactive toys on the market for dogs that can help boost your dog’s intelligence. If your dog has a lot of energy or gets bored easily, these interactive toys can mentally stimulate your dog. Sometimes these puzzle toys have a way to reward our dog when the puzzle is complete. These mind-boosting toys can definitely be a fun thing for your dog to have around.

Yorkie With Toy


Are Yorkies smart? Yes, they are, but above all, they are a very loving and caring dog breed. There are so many perks to owning a Yorkie, and their intelligence is just one benefit out of many. So if you want to brag about your smart Yorkie in the comments, please do so.

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