Lifespan of the Yorkie (Yorkshire Terrier)

Pet Care


May 22, 2020

Small, energetic, and often feisty, Yorkies demand a lot but also offer a lot in return. They’re very affectionate and need plenty of attention, make fantastic little watchdogs, and get along well with children as long as they’re treated gently and respectfully.

Yorkies can live, on average, for between 12 to 15 years. This is a longer lifespan than most dog breeds, so if you’re looking for a lifelong friend, these little guys are a perfect choice. Similarly, if you don’t think you can commit for 15 years, this dog may not be the right pet for you.

What Is the Lifespan of a Yorkie?

How long a Yorkshire terrier lives often depends on the individual dog itself. You should make sure to do the following to ensure you’ve got the healthiest pet you can possibly have:   You’ll probably already know that the best thing you can do when picking out a puppy is to contact a reputable and experienced breeder. Not only is funding bad breeding such as puppy farms a bad idea, but the puppy is more likely to have health issues associated with a lack of proper care and experience in this field, and it can be awful to see a pet in pain.  Ensuring that your pet’s nutritional requirements are met will help them to stay healthy.    

  • Choose a good breeder.
  • Feed your pet high-quality dog food.
  • Look for signs of illness. If you think your pet may be unwell, contact your veterinarian for advice.
  • Exercise a lot and often. Yorkies may be sweet little lapdogs who prefer cuddles over chasing sticks, but they still need some exercise to keep them healthy and stimulated.

Yorkshire Terrier Growth Chart

Many pet owners find growth charts useful to ensure that their pet is the correct weight for their age as they grow. This helps owners to see if they might be feeding their furry friend too much or too little. It also helps owners to determine how big their dog will be when he’s fully grown based on their dog’s size throughout different stages of their life. 

What to Expect From Your Yorkshire Terrier During Their Lifetime

Yorkies are compact, toy-sized terriers who usually get no bigger than 7 pounds. They can have long, silky coats or shorter fluffy ones, and they can be bred selectively to have either coat. If you have a preference for one or the other, it may be best to choose a breeder who specifically breeds the coat type you want.

Yorkshire terriers are tenacious, sometimes bossy and feisty and are considered the most popular breed in some American cities. These dogs pack heaps of attitude into one tiny body, and will provide you with lots of laughs and love for many years. Additionally, if you are somebody who suffers from a dog hair allergy, or if somebody in your family does, then this breed is a good choice as their fur is low-allergen.

As they are very vocal, you’ll find this breed enjoys being your own little watchdog in disguise. If they feel threatened or are face-to-face with a stranger, Yorkies are very likely to bark and therefore are often described as quite a ‘yappy’ breed. While this can be annoying for some people, they are likely to react to any unfamiliar noise or person vocally, and this could potentially save you from robberies.

Most of the time, however, Yorkies react this way because they want to greet the new person, not scare them away. These dogs show great compassion towards their owners and are very loyal. While they are incredibly loveable, their high energy levels may not be suitable for very young children. It’s perfect for slightly older kids that understand how to play games with Yorkies or can take them out for walks. 

Yorkies as Puppies

Yorkie puppies, like all puppies, are born helpless and only open their eyes around eight days after being born. During this period, baby Yorkshire terriers spend most of their lives asleep while their body mass, including the brain, increases hugely, and they start to develop sensory organs, such as taste and temperature detection.

Up until they are eight weeks old, their body weight increase continues, and puppies develop continued reflexes to food stimulants and defensive abilities. Around the period between 5-6 weeks and 8-12 weeks, the intensive body weight gain slows down. After these eight weeks, puppies can live without their mother and can feed on alternative foods to her milk. An important feature of this time period is the ability to produce conditioned reflexes to stimuli that they encounter – they show intense activity and want to become familiar with their surrounding environment.

Their exploring reflex becomes fully expressed between 1.5 and 3-4 months. They become so curious and want to touch, sniff, see and taste everything around them. Daily walks outside are good for their proper physical development, but also for them to gain life experience.

Before 3-4 to 6-7 months, all Yorkie puppies will have similar temperaments and behavior. This includes actively communicating with everyone they encounter and playing with them/getting excited. However, as they get to this age, they tend to become more cautious with strangers and much more reserved in unknown/unfamiliar situations. 

By this age, Yorkies are already different from each other and have their own individual traits and quirks that reflect their personalities. These traits must be taken into account when training your Yorkshire terrier. Each dog needs a different approach to training depending on their mood, learning ability, and behavior. You can find plenty of advice online from various sources if you’re unsure of the best method to train your pooch. 

Training Yorkies

Training your Yorkshire terrier in the earlier stages of their life will make it much easier for you when your dog is an adult, as you will have already taught your dog how you would like them to behave. By expressing delight and displeasure at appropriate moments, your dog will learn from you pretty quickly and will soon understand right from wrong.

Young dogs need to urinate quite regularly, so after they have drunk quite a lot or appear excited, it might be worth taking them outside to see if they will urinate. Using words like ‘go wee-wee’ or ‘go potty’ and repeating them under these circumstances will help your dog to associate them with the act itself.

Of course, you will need lots of patience and understanding through this process, and it’s often useful to find your puppy’s favorite treat to reward them when they do what you want them to do, as this will reinforce these ‘good’ behaviors.

Final Thoughts

Once you’ve done all the hard work, and by that I mean you will feel like you have raised a child, you can finally relax and enjoy watching the TV with your new loving companion for life! Small in size but big in personality – you’ll never fall short of laughs nor cuddles with these sweet, intelligent dogs.

If you have any health concerns for your pet as they age, especially into their senior years, you should contact your veterinarian to explain these concerns and get the advice that you may need.