How Long Do Yorkshire Terriers Live?


How Long Do Yorkshire Terriers Live? A Comprehensive Guide to Their Lifespan

Last Updated on August 14, 2023 by Denise Leo. Post first published on June 25, 2023.

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, are popular toy breed dogs known for their small size and adorable appearance. These dogs are beloved by many for their affectionate and loyal nature, making them an excellent choice for families and individuals alike. However, one question that many potential Yorkie owners ask is how long these dogs live.

On average, a Yorkshire Terrier can live 11-15 years, with a median age of 14.5. That’s a lot of cuddles and companionship to look forward to! However, it is not uncommon for these dogs to live up to 17 or 18 years if they are well-cared for and live a healthy lifestyle. Genetics, size, and overall health can affect a Yorkie’s lifespan.

The American Kennel Club (AKC), another reputable source of information on all breeds of dogs, provides similar statistics. Their data indicates that the average lifespan of a Yorkshire Terrier is around 11 to 15 years. The AKC emphasizes that good genetics, proper nutrition, and regular veterinary care play a significant role in maximizing a Yorkie’s lifespan.” American Kennel Club

Despite their small size, Yorkies are prone to particular health concerns that can impact their lifespan. These include patellar luxation, dental issues, and tracheal collapse. As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to be vigilant about your furry friend’s health and take proactive measures to help them live a healthy and long life.

The lifespan of our furry friends is one of the most crucial considerations when choosing a pet. For those considering Yorkshire Terriers, or “Yorkies,” as they’re affectionately known, this article provides comprehensive information about their average lifespan. With this knowledge, prospective Yorkie owners can plan and prepare for a fulfilling life with their pets.

How Long Do Yorkshire Terriers Live?
How Long Do Yorkshire Terriers Live?

Yorkie Life Span

Yorkshire Terrier puppies are known for their small size, adorable looks, and longevity. On average, these dogs have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. However, some Yorkies have been known to live up to 17 or 18 years if they are well cared for.

According to a study conducted in the UK and Japan, the specific lifespan range for Yorkies is 12.6 to 14.5 years. It is important to note that various factors, such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health, can influence the lifespan of a Yorkie.

Female Yorkies tend to live longer than males, averaging one-and-a-half years longer. This may be because females are generally smaller and have less stress on their bodies.
Taking proper care of your Yorkie is important to ensure they live long and healthy lives. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and suitable exercise can all contribute to a longer lifespan for your furry friend.

The Yorkie lifespan is generally between 12 and 15 years, with a median expectancy of 13.5 years. However, some Yorkies can live up to 17 or 18 years old with proper care.

Dog Years For Yorkies Puppies

Yorkshire Terriers have a long lifespan compared to other larger dog breeds. A Yorkie’s lifespan is longer than many other dog breeds in dog years.

According to many studies, the average lifespan of a Yorkie is 12.6 to 14.5 years, which is equivalent to 60-80 human years.

It is important to note that the lifespan of a Yorkie can vary depending on several factors, such as genetics, diet, exercise, and overall health.

Proper and correct care and attention can help to extend a Yorkie’s lifespan and keep them healthy.

Yorkie puppies have a relatively long lifespan compared to other small dog breeds.

For example:

The American Kennel Club states the average lifespan of a Chihuahua is 14-16 years.

while the average lifespan, according to the UK Kennel Club:

of a Shih Tzu is 10-16 years.

This means that Yorkies can live longer than some of the other popular small dog breeds.

Yorkies have a longer lifespan than many other dog breeds. It is important to note that every dog is unique, and their lifespan can vary depending on several factors.

Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier

Health Concerns And Lifespan

Yorkshire Terriers are generally healthy dogs and can live long lives with proper care. However, like all dogs, they can suffer from certain health issues and diseases.

One of the most common health concerns for Yorkshire Terriers is dental disease, which can lead to tooth loss and other health problems. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings by a veterinarian can help prevent dental issues and maintain good oral health. Another health concern for Yorkshire Terriers is liver shunt, a congenital disease that affects the liver’s ability to remove toxins from the blood.

Liver shunt issues can lead to various symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Treatment for liver shunt may involve surgery or medication; early diagnosis is crucial for the best outcome.

Yorkshire Terrier puppies are also at risk for low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia, which can be life-threatening if left untreated. This is especially common in most toy-breed puppies and can be caused by stress, poor nutrition, or other factors.

Regular feeding and monitoring of blood sugar levels can help prevent hypoglycemia in Yorkshire Terriers.

Other health concerns for Yorkshire Terriers include respiratory disease, infection, and trauma. Yorkshire Terriers are also prone to certain genetic conditions, such as collapsed trachea and brachycephalic airway syndrome, which can affect breathing and require medical intervention.

Despite these health concerns, Yorkshire Terriers can live long lives with the correct care and attention. Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and a balanced diet can help prevent many health issues and ensure a long life for your furry friend.

On average, Yorkshire Terriers have a 12 to 15 years lifespan, with some living up to 20 years or more. However, like all dogs, Yorkshire Terriers can be susceptible to certain diseases and conditions affecting their lifespan. Some of the most common causes of death in Yorkshire Terriers include cancer, liver damage, and heart disease.

Owners can help their Yorkshire Terriers live long and healthy lives by providing proper care and attention.

Caring For Your Yorkie

Yorkshire Terriers are affectionate and playful little dogs with much energy. To keep them healthy and happy, they require proper care and attention. Here are some tips on how to take care of your Yorkie:

Exercise and Physical Activity

Yorkies are small dogs but still need regular exercise to stay healthy. They are active dogs that love to play and go for walks. Taking them for a walk at least once a day is recommended. However, it is important to note that they have small legs and may be unable to walk long distances. Therefore, paying attention to their exercise requirements and not over-exercise them is essential.

Veterinary Checkups

Regular veterinary checkups are important for your Yorkie’s health. They should visit the vet at least once a year for a checkup and vaccinations. Yorkies are prone to certain diseases and congenital conditions, so it is important to keep up with their vaccinations and get them checked regularly.

Mental Stimulation

Yorkies are intelligent dogs that require mental stimulation. They love to play games and learn new tricks. Providing them with toys can help keep them mentally stimulated and prevent boredom.

Nutritious Diet

A nutritious diet is essential for your Yorkie’s health. Overfeeding usually leads to obesity, which is the cause of many health problems. It is recommended to feed Yorkies quality dog food appropriate for their size, age, size, and activity level. Treats should be given in moderation.

Clean Water

Clean water should always be available for your Yorkie. Changing their water frequently and keeping their water bowl clean is important.

Extreme Temperatures

Yorkies are sensitive to extreme temperatures. They should not be left outside in hot or cold weather for extended periods. Monitoring their exposure to extreme temperatures and ensuring they are comfortable is important.

Caring for a Yorkie requires proper exercise, regular veterinary checkups, mental stimulation, a nutritious diet, clean water, and monitoring of extreme temperatures. By following these tips, you can ensure your Yorkie stays healthy and happy for many years.

Genetics And Lifespan

Like all purebred dogs, Yorkshire Terriers are more likely to inherit genetic conditions that can affect their lifespan. However, proper breeding practices can help reduce the risk of these conditions.

One of the most common genetic conditions in Yorkies is hypoglycemia, a sudden drop in blood sugar levels. This condition can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. Yorkies can also develop dental diseases as they age, leading to other health problems.

Other genetic conditions affecting a Yorkie’s lifespan include portosystemic shunts, a liver condition, patella luxation, and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, a degenerative hip condition.

It is important to note that genetics is not the only factor that affects a Yorkie’s lifespan. Other factors, such as exercise habits, dietary needs, and healthcare quality, can also play a role.

Responsible breeding practices and proper veterinary care can help ensure that a Yorkie puppy lives long and healthy.

Life Expectancy Of Female Vs. Male Yorkies

According to several studies, female Yorkies tend to live longer than males. On average, female Yorkies live an extra one-and-a-half years compared to males. This could be due to various factors, including genetics, lifestyle, and overall health.

It’s important to note that while female Yorkies may have a longer life expectancy, both genders can still live a long and healthy life with proper care and attention. Suitable exercise, a healthy diet, and routine vet check-ups can all contribute to a longer lifespan for your furry friend.

In addition to gender, other factors can also impact a Yorkie’s life expectancy. For example, stroke is a common health issue in Yorkies that can lead to a shorter lifespan. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of stroke and seek medical attention immediately if you suspect your Yorkie may be experiencing one.

While female Yorkies tend to live longer than males, both genders can still live long and healthy lives with proper care and attention. Taking good care of your furry friend and being aware of potential health issues can help ensure it lives a happy life.

Yorkshire Terriers
Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkie Lifespan Compared To Other Dog Breeds

Yorkshire Terriers are small dogs with an average lifespan of 12.6 to 14.5 years. This lifespan is relatively long compared to other breeds, especially considering their size. For example, the lifespan of a Maltese is similar to a Yorkshire Terrier, ranging from 12 to 15 years.

On the other hand, larger breeds tend to have shorter lifespans. For instance, Golden Retrievers have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years, while the French Bulldog has a 9 to 11 years lifespan. Great Danes, one of the largest dog breeds, have a 6 to 8 years lifespan.

It’s important to note that lifespan can vary depending on several factors, including genetics, environment, and healthcare. While some breeds may have shorter lifespans on average, individual dogs may live longer or shorter lives based on these factors.

Certain health issues may also be more prevalent in specific breeds, impacting their lifespan. For example, Yorkshire Terriers may be prone to dental problems, collapsing trachea, and liver shunt, affecting their overall health and lifespan.

Overall, while Yorkshire Terriers may not have the longest lifespan compared to all dog breeds, their lifespan is impressive, considering their small size. Proper care, including regular veterinary checkups and a nutritious diet, can help ensure a Yorkie lives long and healthy.

Causes Of Death In Yorkies

Yorkshire Terriers have a longer lifespan than most dog breeds but are still susceptible to certain diseases and health conditions. Here are some of the most common natural causes of death in Yorkies:

  1. Old Age

The most common natural cause of death in Yorkies is simply old age. As they age, their bodies become more susceptible to various health problems, and their organs may begin to fail. The lifespan of a Yorkshire Terrier is between 12 and 15 years, but some may live longer with correct care.

  1. Heart Disease

Heart disease is a common cause of death in Yorkies. This can include congestive heart failure, heart murmurs, and arrhythmias. Symptoms of heart disease in Yorkies may include coughing, difficulty breathing, and lethargy.

  1. Liver Disease

Liver disease is another common cause of death in Yorkies. Liver disease can include liver failure, hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Symptoms of liver disease in Yorkies may include vomiting, diarrhea, and jaundice.

  1. Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is a common cause of death in Yorkies. Kidney disease can include conditions such as kidney failure and glomerulonephritis. Symptoms of kidney disease in Yorkies may include increased thirst and urination, loss of appetite, and weight loss.

  1. Cancer

Cancer is a common cause of death in Yorkies, as in many other dog breeds. This can include various types of cancer, such as lymphoma, mammary gland tumors, and bone cancer. Cancer symptoms in Yorkies may include lumps or bumps, weight loss, and lethargy.

It is important to note that not all Yorkies will experience these health problems, and many can live long lives with proper care. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most common cause of death in Yorkies?

The most common causes of death in Yorkies are old age and disease. Yorkies are prone to certain health conditions, such as dental disease, hypoglycemia, liver shunts, and collapsed trachea. 

Can a Yorkie live 20 years?

While a Yorkie can live 20 years, it is not common. While the average lifespan is 12-15, some lucky dogs have reached their early 20s with the right care and attention.

What age is considered old for a Yorkie?

Yorkies are considered seniors at around 8-10 years old. However, the age at which a Yorkie is considered old may vary depending on their overall health and any health conditions. 

How long do Yorkie Poos live?

Yorkie Poos, a crossbreed between a Yorkshire Terrier and a Poodle, has a lifespan similar to their parent breeds. Yorkie Poos typically live for an impressive 12-15 years. However, with proper care and attention to their health, some Yorkie Poos have been known to live into their late teens.

What is the longest lifespan of a Yorkshire Terrier?

The longest lifespan of a Yorkshire Terrier on record is 20 years. However, this is an exception rather than the norm. 


Yorkie Lifespan Conclusion

As we have seen, overall, the Yorkshire Terrier breed can live between 12 and 15 years. However, while this is the average life expectancy of a Yorkie as a breed, many factors could affect their life span, both positively and negatively.

Thus, it is important to be informed of your pet’s health and provide optimal healthcare to ensure a longer and healthier life. In terms of diet, Yorkies are known to be picky eaters despite their small size; however, if a healthy diet plan based on their individual needs is established that includes fresh food and properly portioned meals, you can help to prolong your beloved dog’s life.

Additionally, regular vet visits and daily walks or playtime will improve muscle tone, promoting a longer lifespan for any Yorkie.

Lastly, remember that due to their smaller size, the early detection of illness is paramount in caring for your Yorkshire Terrier. So if you make sure to give your pup everything they need in terms of nutrition and physical activity, plus regular checkups at the vet– your four-legged friend will stay happy and healthy for years to come!

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References and Further Reading:

[1] American Kennel Club, Yorkshire Terrier Information.


  • Denise Leo

    My name is Denise Leo, and I hail from Australia. My journey with dogs, especially with the delightful Pomeranian breed, has been a lifelong passion extending over 50 years. I have had the honor of breeding and exhibiting close to 100 Pomeranian Champions, dedicating many years to the intricate art of dog training across various disciplines. Beyond the show ring, my experience stretches to the pastoral fields as both a Dairy Farmer and Beef Cattle Breeder, where working with dogs of all breeds has been an integral part of my daily life. This diverse exposure has deepened my understanding and appreciation for these incredible animals. I firmly believe that dogs are the most extraordinary beings in our universe, capable of offering us unconditional love that surpasses even their own self-interest. The countless wonderful dogs that have shared my life over the years have not only brought immense joy and companionship but have also profoundly enriched my existence in ways I could never have imagined. About us page

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