Yorkshire Terriers as Support Dogs: Yorkie Support Dog Guide

Yorkie Support Dog

For those seeking a devoted furry companion to help navigate the intricacies of mental health and daily challenges, the Yorkie – or Yorkshire Terrier – emerges as a surprisingly strong contender. With their distinct personalities and physical features, Yorkies have increasingly become renowned for their roles in emotional and service support. Let’s delve deep into understanding the Yorkie as a support dog.

Distinguishing Support Animals from Service Animals

Before we jump into the world of Yorkies, it’s pivotal to differentiate between emotional support animals (ESAs) and service animals. Service animals are trained rigorously to execute specific tasks for individuals with disabilities, ensuring they can access and navigate public areas. Contrarily, emotional support animals primarily offer emotional solace, without being necessarily task-specific. It’s crucial to remember that the legal rights surrounding these two classifications can differ.

The Rising Star: Yorkie Support Dog

Historically, Yorkshire Terriers were not viewed through the lens of support or service. Originating in 19th century England, they were bred to chase and capture rats in clothing mills. But as society evolved, so did our understanding of this breed. With their small frame, often weighing just 4-7 pounds, and standing roughly 7 to 8 inches tall, Yorkies possess an intrinsic alertness, intelligence, and unwavering loyalty.

Yorkie Service Dog Potential

While their size may cause skepticism, Yorkies can indeed be trained as service dogs. Their sharp intelligence allows them to be trained for a myriad of tasks. This includes alerting individuals with anxiety or PTSD before an episode, detecting low blood sugar levels for diabetics, and even assisting those with mild physical disabilities, like retrieving small items. Training, of course, plays a monumental role. It’s imperative that a Yorkie intended for service undergoes comprehensive training and temperament evaluations.

Yorkie as Emotional Support Animals

Owing to their affectionate nature and compact size, Yorkies shine as emotional support animals. They possess a unique ability to sense their owner’s emotional shifts, providing comfort during distressing times. However, as with service roles, not every Yorkie might be apt as an ESA. It’s essential to evaluate their individual temperament and suitability.

Attributes Making Yorkies Excellent Support Dogs

  1. Sensitivity: Yorkies are keenly in tune with their owner’s emotions, allowing them to respond appropriately in times of distress.
  2. Intelligence: They’re quick learners, enabling them to pick up on cues and be trained for various tasks, despite not being traditional service dogs.
  3. Loyalty: Yorkies form deep bonds with their owners, providing consistent companionship and unwavering support.

Specialized Roles of a Yorkie Support Dog

  • Mental Health Support: Their presence can alleviate symptoms of anxiety, depression, and PTSD, offering emotional anchoring in times of turmoil.
  • Alert Dogs: Some Yorkies are trained to sense physiological changes, such as dropping blood sugar levels, and alert their owners to these shifts.

Do You Qualify for a Yorkie Support Dog?

Before diving into the commitment, ascertain your requirements and compatibility with a Yorkie support dog. Take our Support Dog Qualification Quiz to clarify the type of assistance you seek and understand the potential advantages of having either a service or emotional support registration.

Do I qualify for a support dog?

Take the support dog certification quiz now and you'll gain a better understanding of the type of assistance you require and the potential benefits of having a service dog registration or an emotional support animal registration.

Factors to Consider with a Yorkie Support Dog

  • Size & Physical Capabilities: Yorkies, due to their small size, offer the convenience of portability but might not be apt for tasks requiring physical strength.
  • Temperament & Training: While Yorkies are naturally alert and loyal, it’s vital to ensure they undergo proper training to optimize their support capabilities.
  • Social Adaptability: Yorkies can sometimes be wary of strangers. Hence, rigorous socialization is essential to guarantee they’re comfortable in diverse settings.
  • Health & Lifespan: Regular vet checks, understanding potential breed-specific ailments, and realizing that Yorkies can live up to 15 years are all pivotal considerations.
  • Legal Aspects: Stay informed about your rights and responsibilities when having a Yorkie as a support dog. This includes understanding documentation necessities and access privileges.

Practicalities to Ponder Over

  • Diet and Nutrition: A Yorkie support dog needs a balanced diet, rich in nutrients. As they are small, they require less food, but it should be nutrient-dense to support their active lifestyle.
  • Grooming: Yorkies have a fine coat that requires regular grooming. This can be a therapeutic activity for the owner, fostering deeper bonding between the pair.
  • Exercise: A daily walk and playtime are essential for keeping a Yorkie physically and mentally stimulated.
  • Training: Beyond basic obedience, Yorkies poised to be support dogs may need specialized training tailored to the individual’s needs.

In Essence

The Yorkshire Terrier, with its rich history and evolving roles, has proven to be an exceptional support companion for many. By understanding their capabilities, training needs, and individual nuances, one can forge a bond that stands the test of time.

The Importance of Certification

In many regions, having a certified Yorkie support dog can assist in bypassing certain regulations, especially regarding housing and transportation. Always check local regulations and consider obtaining the appropriate documentation.

Register your support dog online now to receive your instant Service Dog Registration, Service Dog certificate and Service Dog Certification Documents or Register your Emotional Support Animal for ESA Registration, ESA Certification and ESA Certificate Documents


  1. Distinguishing Support Animals from Service Animals:
  2. Yorkie (Yorkshire Terrier) General Information:
  3. Yorkie Service Dog Potential:
  4. Health & Lifespan:
  5. Legal Aspects: