Beagle vs. Yorkie: A Comprehensive Breed Comparison

By: Beagle Wiki Staff

When considering adding a furry friend to the family, choosing the right dog breed is crucial. Beagles and Yorkshire Terriers, affectionately known as Yorkies, are two popular breeds, each with unique traits and histories. Beagles are known for their friendly disposition, sturdy build, and excellent scent-tracking abilities, making them long-standing favorites for both active outdoor companionship and relaxed family life. Originating from England, they have a rich background in hunting and are often seen in various roles due to their adaptable and social nature.

On the other hand, the diminutive Yorkshire Terrier holds a towering personality in a compact frame, marked by its luxurious coat and tenacious spirit. Hailing from the county of Yorkshire, Yorkies were bred for controlling vermin populations but quickly became beloved pets that thrived in the companionship of their owners. Their small size makes them particularly suited for apartment living and urban environments, where they can be close to their human counterparts.

Key Takeaways

  • Beagles and Yorkies are suitable for different living environments and lifestyles.
  • Each breed requires specific care, training, and socialization to thrive.
  • Selecting between a Beagle and a Yorkshire Terrier involves personal preferences and lifestyle alignment.

Breed Characteristics and History

In comparing the Beagle and the Yorkshire Terrier, it is essential to consider their backgrounds, physical characteristics, standing in breed rankings, personalities, and health profiles. These factors are crucial in understanding the distinct nature of each breed.

Origins and Breed Type

Beagle: Dating back to England in the Roman times, Beagles are scent hounds initially bred for hunting small game due to their keen sense of smell. They are often used for hunting hare, earning them the name “Beagle” which is derived from the French word “be’gueule,” meaning gape throat, referencing their baying.

Yorkshire Terrier: Emerging in the 19th century in Northern England during the Industrial Revolution, Yorkshire Terriers were used as ratters in mills. They hail from a mixture of terrier breeds brought from Scotland to Yorkshire. Yorkies are cherished for their small size and tenacious personality, rising quickly as a favored companion dog.

Physical Description


  • Size: Medium
  • Height: 13-16 inches
  • Weight: 20-30 pounds
  • Coat: Short, dense, and weather-resistant with a variety of colors including tri-color, red and white, and lemon.

Yorkshire Terrier:

  • Size: Toy
  • Height: 7-8 inches
  • Weight: Under 7 pounds
  • Coat: Long, silky, and fine; traditionally blue and tan.

Breed Popularity


  • AKC Popularity Rank: Consistently within the top 10
  • Revered for their friendly disposition and suitability for families

Yorkshire Terrier:

  • AKC Popularity Rank: Often found in the top 10
  • Popular due to their small size, making them ideal for apartment living and companionship.

Personality Traits


  • Known for being friendly, curious, and merry.
  • Their hunting heritage instills a sense of adventure and strong tracking instincts.

Yorkshire Terrier:

  • Recognized for their intelligence, courage, and independence.
  • Despite their small stature, they have a large and vivacious personality, often showing a caring and affectionate nature towards their owners.

Health and Lifespan


  • Lifespan: Typically 10-15 years
  • Common health issues include epilepsy, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and Beagle Dwarfism.

Yorkshire Terrier:

  • Lifespan: Generally 11-15 years
  • Health problems such as hypoglycemia, patellar luxation, and eye conditions like distichiasis and progressive retinal atrophy are more prevalent in this breed.

Care Requirements

Proper care of Beagles and Yorkshire Terriers ensures their health and happiness. The following subsections provide specifics on grooming, exercise, and diet crucial to their well-being.

Grooming and Maintenance

Beagles and Yorkshire Terriers have different grooming needs due to their coat types.


  • Grooming: Requires regular brushing to minimize shedding and maintain coat health.
  • Maintenance: Low maintenance; bathing needed only occasionally, unless they get particularly dirty from outdoor activity.

Yorkshire Terrier:

  • Grooming: High maintenance with daily brushing to prevent tangles in their fine, silky coat.
  • Shedding: Minimal; their hair is more similar to human hair and doesn’t shed as much as other breeds.

Exercise and Energy Levels

Both breeds have an inherent playfulness and energy that necessitate daily exercise to maintain their health and prevent obesity.


  • Energy Level: High, reflective of their hunting dog lineage.
  • Activity Needs: Daily walks, playtime, and scent games to cater to their tracking instincts.

Yorkshire Terrier:

  • Energy Level: Moderate to low, often sufficient with shorter daily walks or play sessions.
  • Playfulness: Highly playful, they enjoy engaging in games and activities that provide mental stimulation.

Diet and Nutrition

A balanced diet tailored to their size, age, and energy level is important for preventing obesity and maintaining overall health.


  • Food Consumption: Prone to obesity, so monitor their food intake and avoid overfeeding.
  • Health Considerations: Be alert to food allergies and adjust their diet accordingly.

Yorkshire Terrier:

  • Diet: Requires a diet that supports coat health and energy needs with high-quality ingredients.
  • Portion Control: Due to their small size, they need smaller, more frequent meals to sustain their energy levels without leading to weight gain.

Training and Socialization

This section explores the distinct aspects of training and socialization for Beagles and Yorkshire Terriers, discussing their intelligence, behavioral traits, and how they fit into various family settings.

Trainability and Intelligence

Beagles are known for their intelligence and can be trained effectively with patience and positive reinforcement. They typically have a moderate energy level, but they can be distracted by their high prey drive and impulse to wander, which can make training a bit challenging. Yorkshire Terriers, on the other hand, also demonstrate high intelligence levels, making them quite trainable. Their size and energy level make them good candidates for apartment living, although they can be a bit stubborn.

Behavioral Traits

Yorkshire Terriers exhibit strong watchdog abilities due to their loyal and alert nature, often barking at unfamiliar sounds. Beagles, conversely, are friendly and social dogs with a propensity for vocalization, but less inclined toward guarding behavior. Both breeds have a need for social interaction and demonstrate playful and affectionate behavior.

Suitability for Families

When it comes to being family dogs, Beagles are highly sociable and generally kid-friendly, thriving best when they’re part of household activities. Yorkshire Terriers can be affectionate with family members, but their small size sometimes requires supervision around very young children. Both breeds have considerable social needs and relish attention from their human counterparts.


Beagles are generally adaptable and can live happily in both houses with yards and larger apartments, although they need ample exercise. Yorkshire Terriers, with their small stature, adapt well to apartment living and have less of a need for cold weather considerations due to their indoor preferences. Both dogs require mental stimulation to prevent boredom-related behaviors.

Interaction with Other Pets

Beagles, originally bred for pack hunting, usually exhibit pet-friendly behavior and often do well with other dogs if properly socialized in youth. In contrast, Yorkshire Terriers might require careful introduction when it comes to other pets due to their prey drive and small-dog syndrome. The social needs of both breeds make them well-suited companions for other animals with the right training and introductions.

Choosing Between Beagle and Yorkshire Terrier

When selecting a pet, it’s crucial to consider how a Beagle’s or Yorkshire Terrier’s characteristics align with your lifestyle. Each breed offers distinct temperaments, care requirements, and suitability to various living environments.

Deciding on the Right Breed for You

Deciding between a Beagle and a Yorkshire Terrier requires an understanding of each breed’s distinct personality. Beagles are known for their friendly and curious nature, often proving to be excellent companions for children. They are medium-sized, with an energy level that demands regular exercise. In contrast, Yorkshire Terriers are small, confident, and suited for smaller living spaces. They are less tolerant of rough play, making them a better match for households without very young children.

Considerations for Potential Owners

Prospective owners should consider maintenance and adaptability. Yorkshire Terriers, with their long, silky coats, necessitate regular grooming to prevent tangles and are considered hypoallergenic, making them a preferable choice for those with allergies. Beagles, with a short coat, require less grooming, but shed more. Both breeds have specific health problems to watch for, so vet checkups are important. Regarding adaptability, Yorkshire Terriers can be content in apartments, whereas Beagles may thrive best in homes where they have more space to roam.

Price and Availability

Both breeds are popular, but Yorkshire Terriers can often be more expensive due to grooming costs and potentially higher demand for small, hypoallergenic dogs. The price for Beagles may vary but is generally lower. However, prices fluctuate based on factors like location, breeder reputation, and bloodlines. Availability is also subject to change, and it’s advised to check with local shelters and reputable breeders.

Factors Beagle Yorkshire Terrier
Price Generally lower Higher
Availability Common Common
Grooming Costs Lower Higher

Final Thoughts

Whether a Beagle or Yorkshire Terrier is the right companion for you involves reflection on lifestyle, financial preparedness, and environment. They each make wonderful pets with their affectionate natures but require owners who understand and cater to their distinct needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQs are designed to address common inquiries regarding the differences between Beagle and Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) breeds, ranging from temperament to intelligence.

What are the key differences in temperament between Beagle and Yorkie breeds?

The Beagle is known for its friendly and sociable nature, making it particularly suitable for families with children. In contrast, Yorkies, while also friendly, tend to be less tolerant and more suited to a single-person household.

How do Beagle and Yorkie sizes compare?

Beagles are generally larger than Yorkies, with a more robust build. A Yorkie may grow up to 18 cm shorter and weigh approximately 17 pounds less than a Beagle.

Which breed tends to have better overall health, Beagles or Yorkies?

Both breeds have their own health challenges, but Beagles are commonly considered to have fewer genetic health problems than Yorkies, who are prone to certain breed-specific issues.

Is the Beagle breed known for being exceptionally friendly?

Beagles are known for their exceptional friendliness, possessing a jovial and affectionate demeanor that is well-suited to families and children.

Are Yorkies well-suited to apartment living and being house dogs?

Yorkies are well-suited to apartment living due to their small size, and they make good house dogs, though they do require high maintenance and have high-energy needs.

How do Yorkies rank in intelligence compared to other dog breeds?

Yorkies are considered to be intelligent and quick learners, making them highly trainable, albeit they may sometimes display an independent nature.

About the author

Beagle Wiki Staff

Beagle Wiki staff members bring a wealth of experience in dog training, editing, and research, ensuring the delivery of accurate, comprehensive content. Dedication to meticulous editorial scrutiny upholds Beagle Wiki's reputation as a trusted, authoritative source for all things related to Beagle care and knowledge.