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How Long Do Yorkies usually Live?

how long yorkies live

There is a question in the mind of Yorkshire terrier dog lovers,  That’s how long do Yorkies live?. The Yorkshire Terrier is a small dog breed of terrier type, developed during the 19th century in Yorkshire, England also known as the Broken-Haired Scotch Terrier. This breed is friendly toward strangers and it is a good breed for families with older children.

Content overview of How Long Yorkies live

Leading Causes of Death for Yorkshire Terrier

  • Infection
  • Shock
  • Respiratory disease, cancer, congenital disease

Extending Life Expectancy
Following the steps you should follow to have a healthy Yorkie Terrier


Yorkshire Terrier generally lives an average of 12 to 15 years. So this breed has a longer life expectancy than other breeds. In the United States, domesticated canines generally for about 12.67 years, while they live a year lesser in the UK with 11.08 years. Female Yorkies live – on average – 1.5 years longer than males. While this is not considered an exceptionally long life expectancy

  • Hypoallergenic: Yes
  • Life span: 12 to 15 years
  • Height: Male: 17 cm (Adult)
  • Origin: England
  • Temperament: Bold

There are 2 main reasons why this breed does have a life span that is longer than the national average:

1) The Yorkshire Terrier is a rather healthy breed. The majority of health issues that Yorkies contend with are not fatal.

2) Toy breeds live longer than medium and large breed dogs

What is the life expectancy of a teacup Yorkie?

Teacup” dogs generally have more health problems because of their small size. They are often runts of the litter or the result of taking two poorly bred dogs and breeding them to get smaller dogs. The age range is only 3-7 years, which is much shorter than a healthy, properly bred dog. Instead of getting a teacup Yorkie, just get a normal, well bred Yorkie. Normal Yorkies stay very small anyway, 3-7 lbs, and live 12-17 years. By getting a teacup dog, you are supporting backyard breeders and people who only breed for money. A good breeder should have show quality dogs, a pedigree, and vet certificates.

Leading Causes of Death for Yorkies

Trying to answer the question how long do Yorkies usually live, we are going to talk about the health problems which can affect the quality and length of the Yorkies live: the leading causes of death and the steps you should follow to have a healthy dog with a lifelong expectancy.

Yorkshire Terrier

Photo By: Sandra B

Health issues often seen in the Yorkshire Terrier include bronchitis, lymphangiectasia, portosystemic shunt, cataracts, and keratitis sicca. Additionally, Yorkies often have a delicate digestive system, with vomiting or diarrhea resulting from consumption of foods outside of a regular diet.

Yorkshire puppies under the age of 1 to 2 usually die either due to infection or trauma. Adult Yorkies, on the other hand, are vulnerable to respiratory disease, cancer, trauma, and congenital disease.

Here are some of the leading causes of death for Yorkshire.


Sadly, the top cause of death seen in Yorkshire Terrier puppies is infection. This includes a variety of diseases including:

Parvovirus: Parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that can produce a life-threatening illness. The virus attacks rapidly dividing cells in a dog’s body, most severely affecting the intestinal tract. Young dogs between six weeks and six months old, unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated dogs are most at risk for contracting parvo.

The general symptoms of parvovirus are lethargy, severe vomiting, loss of appetite and bloody, foul-smelling diarrhea that can lead to life-threatening dehydration.

How Is Parvovirus Diagnosed?

Veterinarians diagnose parvovirus on the basis of clinical signs and laboratory testing.

Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis is a disease caused by infection with Leptospira bacteria. These bacteria can be found worldwide in soil and water. In the United States, the disease is always present in the environment for your dog to pick up. This is because it is perpetuated in rats, and wildlife, as well as domestic livestock.

Leptospirosis is generally treated with antibiotics and supportive care. When treated early and aggressively, the chances for recovery are good, but there is still a risk of permanent residual kidney or liver damage

Distemper: distemper is a contagious and serious viral illness with no known cure. The disease affects dogs, and certain species of wildlife, such as raccoons, wolves, foxes, and skunks. Distemper is a risk to all dogs, but unvaccinated dogs and puppies under four months old are particularly susceptible to canine distemper.


The most common cause of shock in dogs is body trauma. This is a top cause of death for adult Yorkies as well. For Yorkies who are 1 year or older, the health issues which can be fatal are: Respiratory disease, cancer, congenital disease etc.

Respiratory disease: Collapsed trachea, Brachycephalic airway syndrome, Pulmonary fibrosis. Collapsed trachea is very common with toy breed dogs and it can be fatal. The most common causes of canine upper respiratory tract infections are bacteria and viruses. These pathogens are highly contagious, especially when dogs get together in high-density situations such as pet stores and animal shelters, and even more so when those areas are not kept clean.

Cancer: There are many symptoms that point to the possibility of dog cancer. Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 10. But half of all cancers are curable if caught early, experts say.

According to the American Kennel Club’s Canine Health Foundation, the most common types of canine cancer include Malignant Histiocytosis, Hemangiosarcoma, Mast Cell Tumors, Lymphoma, Melanoma, Mammary Cancer etc.

A Yorkie’s life can be cut short by a variety of cancers, including ymphoma, mast cell tumors, mammary gland tumors, soft tissue sarcomas and bone cancer.

Congenital disease: With 10.5% of Yorkies dying due to congenital disease, this is the 4th leading cause of death for Yorkies 1 year old and older. In this category are included all diseases and conditions that are present at birth. One of them is liver shunts.

Symptoms include: Poor growth rates, Weakness, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Constipation, Excessive drooling, Increased thirst, Increased urination. Finding a reputable Yorkie breeder is essential to avoid as much as you can congenital diseases.

Extending Yorkies Life Expectancy

There are many things that you can do to help your Yorkie live as long as possible like providing proper dental care, spaying or neutering, preventing trauma, giving your Yorkie nutritious foods, making sure he or she gets enough exercise, and keeping up with Veterinary appointments are the best things you can do to keep your Yorkie around for as long as possible.

The steps you should follow to have a healthy Yorkie

Here are a some steps you should follow and stay healthy your Yorkies:

  • Feed your Yorkie with a healthy food.
  • Provide him proper dental care.
  • Make regular vet visits.
  • Be diligent about exercise
  • Accept the age of your dog.
  • Prevent trauma
  • Encourage a healthy diet
  • Remember to enjoy every moment

What to do when Your Yorkie is sick and death seems near?

This is serious situation but we have to take some steps to lower the pain of our loved Yorki. These steps in the sake of the dog could be quite hard – especially if you take care of the puppy from its very first days.

Unfortunately the 25% of the Yorkies die naturally. In most cases, a previous disease predisposes the fatal end.

  1. Many Yorkie Terrier owners prefer the euthanasia as the suffering can be quite hard to see.
  2. When a Yorkie gets to approximately a decade old he’s a grownup and it usually means that all of the modifications happen are with slow and can be easily overlooked while we go about our busy lives.
  3. Keep a look out for these hints. Early treatment will probably be simpler and less costly and may save the life span of your small friend.
  4. In case a Yorkie is unable to breath is at near constant pain along with all of the steps of therapy have been exhausted, it’s ordinarily in the best interest of the puppy to permit her or him to escape into a better location. In several cases, owners should take about the pain of loss so as to provide the gift of pain relief.

People’s Question about Yorkshire Terrier

What kind of health problems do Yorkies have?

Yorkshire Terrier has many health problems like other breads that include lymphangiectasia, portosystemic shunt, bronchitis, cataracts and keratitis sicca. They often have a delicate digestive system, with vomiting or diarrhoea resulting from consumption of foods outside of a regular diet.

Do Yorkie dogs bark a lot?

Yes, Yorki is a natural barking dog. Whenever your phone rings, someone speaks or knocks on your door, or your doorbell chimes, your Yorkshire Terrier will probably bark. External sounds are not even necessary for snore for a few Yorkies. When your Yorkie barks at you he is trying to communicate something.

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Also read: Top 10 benefits of having a Beagle

2 thoughts on “How Long Do Yorkies usually Live?”

  1. I agree with the written information above.
    For the new Yorkie parents I would suggest to select carefully the breeder and check all the documents of the small puppy.
    Unfortunately there is no guarantee that the Yorkie even bought from the most reputable breeder will be healthy and strong.
    But as written in the article we must take the proper cares in order to minimize the chance of any disease.
    As a Yorkie owner I would point the most important factors for well being to be:
    Feeding with the most quality food
    Enough walks outside
    Regular checks with the vet

  2. My Yorkie just past. She was just about 12. She had a few bouts of pancreatitis and allergies. Made it through that.
    48 hours before I had to put her down, was having difficult breathing like collapse trachea. Did labs and X-rays. Large abdominal mass in tummy. She never complained. Would go on short walks. Eat, drink and pooped and pea. Cancer can be a silent killer.
    I would suggest if any sign of vomiting get an X-ray. Never know. I never new how sick she was. Silent killer.

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