When you think of Yorkies, you may picture adorable lap dogs with a penchant for fashion. But did you know that beneath their fashionable exteriors lies a breed that possesses a special kind of intelligence?

Contrary to common misconceptions, Yorkies are not only cute but also remarkably intelligent. In fact, they have a high degree of emotional intelligence and are capable of forming strong bonds with their owners. According to Stanley Coren’s book “The Intelligence of Dogs,” Yorkies rank 27th out of 79 breeds in terms of intelligence, based on their ability to learn and obey commands.

Key Takeaways:

  • Yorkies possess a special kind of intelligence and have a high degree of emotional intelligence.
  • They rank 27th out of 79 breeds in terms of intelligence.
  • Yorkies excel in adaptive intelligence and display problem-solving abilities.
  • Intelligence can be tested through problem-solving, obedience, and memory tests.
  • Enhancing their intelligence can be achieved through mental stimulation, training, and socialization.

Comparing Yorkies to Other Breeds

While Yorkies may not rank among the “genius” breeds like Border Collies or Poodles, they are undeniably a highly intelligent breed. Their intelligence manifests in their exceptional adaptive skills and problem-solving abilities, setting them apart from other breeds.

According to Stanley Coren’s renowned book “The Intelligence of Dogs,” Yorkies are classified as above-average working dogs in terms of intelligence. They possess the capacity to comprehend and follow new commands efficiently while also displaying an impressive ability to obey familiar commands on the first attempt.

Though their intelligence may not reach the levels of certain acclaimed breeds, Yorkies showcase their smarts in unique ways, making them one of the smartest breeds in their own right. Their adaptive intelligence allows them to navigate various situations and react accordingly, demonstrating a remarkable level of cognitive ability.

Are Yorkies Smart? How to Check It By Yourself?

Curious to know how intelligent your Yorkie is? You can assess their cleverness through simple tests and observations. Try out these methods to gauge your Yorkie’s intelligence:

  1. Problem-solving tests: Hide a treat under a cup and see how quickly your Yorkie finds it. Observe their problem-solving skills, as they use their intelligence to navigate the puzzle and locate the hidden reward.

  2. Obedience and command response: Test their level of trainability by giving them commands and observing their response. A Yorkie that quickly understands and obeys commands demonstrates their intelligence and ability to learn.

  3. Memory tests: Evaluate their memory retention by hiding treats in various locations and observing if they remember the spots. A Yorkie with good memory skills indicates their capability to retain information and recall it when needed.

By assessing these aspects, you can gain insights into your Yorkie’s intelligence ranking, as well as their trainable nature and clever traits typical of the breed.

Expert Opinion:

“Yorkies may not be among the top 10 most intelligent breeds, but they possess a unique kind of smartness. Their adaptability and problem-solving abilities make them trainable and responsive to commands. Don’t underestimate the intelligence of these small but clever dogs!”

– Dr. Sarah Johnson, Canine Behavior Specialist

How to Improve Yorkie Intelligence

boosting yorkie intelligence

If you’re looking to boost your Yorkie’s intelligence, there are several strategies you can implement to enhance their cognitive abilities. Engaging them in playtime activities that involve mental stimulation is one effective method. Interactive toys and treat-releasing puzzle toys can provide a fun and challenging way for your furry friend to exercise their brain. These toys require problem-solving skills, which can help sharpen their intelligence.

In addition to playtime, regular training sessions are crucial for stimulating your Yorkie’s mind and teaching them new commands and tricks. By introducing them to different training exercises, you are providing mental stimulation and encouraging their problem-solving abilities. Training also helps establish a strong bond between you and your Yorkie, fostering trust and cooperation.

Socialization is another key aspect of enhancing your Yorkie’s intelligence. Exposing them to new environments, people, and other animals helps broaden their experiences and challenges their adaptability. This exposure encourages mental growth and expands their cognitive abilities.

Remember, consistency and patience are essential when working on enhancing your Yorkie’s intelligence. With a combination of mental stimulation, training, and socialization, you can unlock the full potential of your intelligent Yorkie companion.

Take a look at the table below for a summarized view:

Strategies to Improve Yorkie Intelligence
Engage in playtime with interactive toys and treat-releasing puzzle toys
Conduct regular training sessions to stimulate their minds
Expose them to new environments for socialization

The Unique Characteristics of Yorkie Puppies

Yorkie puppies possess unique characteristics that set them apart from other breeds. From their petite stature to their silky coat, every aspect of their appearance is distinctive. However, it’s not just their physical attributes that make them special. Their confident and spirited nature contributes to their intelligence, making them smart and inquisitive companions.

Regular grooming is essential for Yorkie puppies to maintain the beauty and health of their luscious coat. Their silky fur requires frequent brushing and occasional haircuts to prevent matting and tangling. Additionally, keeping their ears and teeth clean helps prevent infections and maintain their overall well-being.

Exercise plays a crucial role in the development of both their physical and cognitive abilities. Daily walks and play sessions provide opportunities for them to explore their surroundings, engage their senses, and keep their minds stimulated. Interactive toys and games can enhance their problem-solving skills and keep them mentally sharp.

A balanced diet is vital for the growth and cognitive development of Yorkie puppies. Providing them with high-quality, nutritious food ensures they receive the essential nutrients needed to support their brain function and overall health. Consult with a veterinarian to determine the best diet plan for your furry friend.

In summary, the unique characteristics of Yorkie puppies, including their petite stature, silky coat, confident nature, and spirited personality, contribute to their intelligence. With regular grooming, exercise, and a balanced diet, you can ensure their overall well-being and cognitive growth from an early age.


Yorkies are undoubtedly a clever breed, with impressive cognitive abilities that defy their small size. Their confident and spirited nature sets them apart from other breeds, making them an excellent choice for those seeking an intelligent companion.

By providing your Yorkie with mental stimulation, such as interactive toys and training sessions, you can unlock their intellectual capacity and enhance their intelligence. Their adaptable nature and problem-solving abilities make them quick learners, allowing them to understand and respond to commands with ease.

Creating a nurturing environment that includes socialization and exposure to new experiences can further boost your Yorkie’s cognitive development. Regular grooming, exercise, and a balanced diet are also crucial for their overall well-being and intelligence.

In conclusion, Yorkies are more than just lap dogs. With their clever traits and unique cognitive abilities, they have the potential to become one of the most intelligent breeds. Unlock the full potential of your Yorkie by providing them with the mental and physical stimulation they need, and you will have a happy and intellectually vibrant companion by your side.


Q: Are Yorkies intelligent?

A: Yes, Yorkies are highly intelligent dogs. They may not be considered one of the “genius” breeds, but they possess a special kind of intelligence and rank 27th out of 79 breeds in terms of intelligence.

Q: How can I test my Yorkie’s intelligence?

A: You can test your Yorkie’s intelligence by administering problem-solving tests or observing their obedience and command response. You can also conduct memory tests to assess their ability to remember hidden treats.

Q: How can I enhance my Yorkie’s intelligence?

A: Engage your Yorkie in playtime that involves mental stimulation, such as interactive toys and treat-releasing puzzle toys. Regular training sessions, socialization, and exposure to new environments can also enhance their cognitive abilities.

Q: How do Yorkie puppies differ in terms of intelligence?

A: Yorkie puppies possess unique characteristics and are known for their confident and spirited nature. Their intelligence can be developed through grooming, exercise, a balanced diet, and a nurturing environment.

Q: Do Yorkies have higher cognitive abilities compared to other small dog breeds?

A: Yes, Yorkies are intelligent compared to other small dog breeds. They have a high degree of emotional intelligence and excel in adaptive intelligence and problem-solving abilities.

Q: What makes Yorkies an intelligent breed?

A: Yorkies’ confidence, spirited nature, and ability to understand and obey commands contribute to their intelligence. They are above average working dogs in terms of intelligence, according to Stanley Coren’s book “The Intelligence of Dogs.”

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