What is the average lifespan of a Yorkie dog?

In this blog post, we talk about the average lifespan of a Yorkie dog; common diseases in Yorkshire Terriers that can affect the quality of their life and also how to increase the life expectancy of your dog. 

What is the average lifespan of a Yorkie dog?

Undoubtedly, the size of these pets is related to their life expectancy, the lighter Yorkshire (1.5 to 2.0 kg) usually have an approximate life of 8 to 12 years. And the average lifespan of a 2 to 3 kg Yorkshire terrier is 15 to 20 years.

The larger the dog of this breed, the more it can live and like any animal that is adopted as a pet, the life expectancy varies in terms of food and quality of life that is provided.

The Yorkshire Terrier breed stands out for being territorial and with character, which does not mean that they are aggressive. Both females and males like to mark their territory, in front of other pets and even in front of visitors to the house or family, they are very protective of their owners, and can interpret the arrival of new animals or people as an attack on his dominance over the “pack.”

The most striking feature of the Yorkshire Terrier is by far its small size: 3 kilograms on average with a height that does not exceed 30 centimetres. There are even specimens that can weigh 1.5 kilograms measuring 15 centimetres. A size that can even become problematic when we interact with it at the risk of hurting it.

His head is small and flat without being prominent in any of its areas, bulging more from the hair than from the muscle mass itself. With a short muzzle, big eyes. It has small ears full of hair. The Yorkie has one of the most expressive faces within the species, conveying all kinds of emotions through the gaze without. It is a charming dog that attracts children a lot.

Common diseases in Yorkshire terrier dogs

The most common diseases, among all those that usually affect Yorkshire terrier dogs, are the following:

  • Canine entropion. It is an eye condition that causes the eyelids to turn inward, causing injuries and vision problems. In most cases, surgery is used to solve this problem and thus prevent this condition from worsening: Detailed information on Entropion.
  • Retinal dysplasia. It is another condition that affects the dog’s eyes, caused by abnormal development of the retina. It can cause visual impairment or blindness.
  • Tracheal collapse. It occurs when there is a narrowing of the trachea. One of the most obvious symptoms is a dry cough in the dog after eating, drinking or exercising. It can be controlled with medication.
  • Portosystemic shunt. It usually appears when the Yorkie is still a puppy and is a circulatory defect that causes the blood not to filter properly, which causes intoxication. The way to correct this defect is through a surgical operation.
  • Patellar luxation. It is a displacement of the patella, often due to a malformation. Sometimes it needs to be repositioned by the vet and, in the long run, it can lead to osteoarthritis. If it is a serious case, it may be necessary to resort to surgery.

In addition to these, there are other diseases that Yorkshire terriers also tend to present, although less frequently. Let’s see what they are in the next section.

Other diseases of the Yorkshire terrier

The pathologies that affect Yorkshire terrier dogs, but with a lower incidence than those described above, are:

  • Hydrocephalus. This condition causes cerebrospinal fluid to accumulate in the brain, causing the dog to show abnormal behaviour, seizures, vision problems and pain. It can usually be treated with medication, and a drain may need to be done to remove excess fluid.
  • Alopecia. Yorkshire terriers can be affected by a specific type of alopecia, which causes uneven hair growth and loss of hair. It can be controlled with drugs.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy. It is a deterioration of the retina, which usually affects especially elderly dogs.
  • Waterfalls. It is a fairly common disease, causing visual impairment and in some cases blindness. It can be corrected with surgery. It usually appears in older dogs: Cataract symptoms in dogs.
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca. It occurs when the eye is dry due to low production of tears. This can cause irritation, ulcers, scarring, and other vision problems or blindness. To control this condition, you have to keep your eye moist.
  • Congenital hypotrichosis. This skin condition causes hair loss due to a lack of hair follicles. It can also affect teething or sweat glands, which are responsible for controlling sweat production.
  • Urolithiasis. They are “stones” or “calculi” that form when urine crystallizes and cause infection. They can be treated with medication, and surgery may sometimes be necessary.

As you can see, there is an extensive list, although some conditions have a lower incidence than others. In addition to these diseases, which can affect both sexes, others are more related to a specific gender.

The longest living  dog breeds

Can you guess which is the breed with the longest life expectancy? A track, it is also that of the smallest dogs in the world. Think of small dogs with a small body but great courage and large, erect ears. We are talking about the chihuahuas, most of the dogs of this breed can live for more than 20 years.

In general, smaller dogs tend to have a longer life expectancy, although curiously the longest dog in the world so far is Maggie, an Australian Kelpie who died when she was 30 years old. In the Guinness Book of Records, we have Bluey, an Australian Shepherd who lived to 29 years. 

Most of our four-legged friends usually live between ten and thirteen years on average, these are some of the breeds that tend to exceed that average by far:

Yorkshire Terrier: This breed is one of the longest-lived behind the Chihuahua and they have a life expectancy that ranges from 17 to 20 years.

Pomeranian: It is the sign that longevity and energy go hand in hand, this breed can reach 15 years without problems with the vitality of a puppy.

Dachshund: These high-energy, extraordinarily brave dogs are one of the longest-lived breeds, having an average life expectancy of 17 years.

Lhasa Apso: This breed comes from Tibet and they are natural guardians that can reach 19 years of age.

Chihuahua: As we told you before, these dogs have the reputation of being the longest-lived with a life expectancy of 20 years.

How to increase the life expectancy of your dog

It is true that genetics play a significant role in the longevity of our pets. But we have already seen that, for example, the dogs with the record for having lived more years curiously were not the breeds with the longest life expectancy.

Therefore, the most important thing is that we take care of the health and well-being of our pet so that it can not only live for many years but also make it as healthy and happy as possible.

A balanced diet is a fundamental factor to ensure that our furry is receiving all the nutrients it needs, improving its physical and mental health and preventing the appearance of diseases. Pre-made foods, although a little cheaper, generally will not provide everything they need. Keep in mind that they have mostly been created with animal by-products and do not have all the vitamins, minerals and proteins that our four-legged companions need in their day today.

Our recommendation is that you bet on a diet that is as healthy and natural as possible. Like, for example, the dehydrated food menus. These have been created with ingredients suitable for human consumption and with the best quality standards to guarantee that you are providing the best possible diet.

In addition to a good diet, something essential if you want to take care of your pet’s health is to have a trusted veterinarian. Always keep your vaccination record up to date, also consulting with the professional which optional vaccines are recommended for your pet. 

It is customary to have regular check-ups, especially if your pet has any kind of chronic ailment or allergy and go to the vet whenever you observe any strange behaviour or ailment.

Of course, the best ally for a healthy and strong dog with long and regular walks. Our four-legged friend needs to stay healthy and fit and the best shape is by going for a walk. In the case of small breeds, going out twice a day is sufficient, but larger breeds will need more activity. 

In the same way, take long walks and get used to alternating routes and letting him socialize and play with other dogs. Not only will they be much happier but you will be taking care of their health, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the main enemies of the well-being of our pets.


In this blog post, we talked about the average lifespan of a Yorkie dog; common diseases in Yorkshire Terriers that can affect the quality of their life and also how to increase the life expectancy of your dog. 

To resume, with a proper diet, ling and regular walk and the support of a good veterinarian, your Yorkie could live up to 20 years old! Remember to always keep your dog’s vaccination record up to date, also consulting with the professional which optional vaccines, vitamins or food supplements are recommended for your pet. 

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on What is the average lifespan of a Yorkie dog?

What do Yorkies usually die from?

Yorkies usually die from respiratory disease. The hold of death amongst adult Yorkies, accounting for 16% of all deaths. Yorkshire Terriers hold the third-highest rate of deaths by respiratory disease in dogs, behind the Bulldog at 18.2% and the Borzoi at 16.3%.

What age is considered old for a Yorkie?

The age of 10 years is already considered old for a Yorkie. However, some Yorkies can live up to 20 years, all depending of course on their nutrition, exercise and general well-being. 

How do I know if my Yorkie is dying?

You know if a Yorkie is dying when he presents the following signs: loss of interest in his favourite activities, extreme fatigue, loss of bladder and bowel control and appetite change. It is better to consult the veterinarians as soon as you notice something different in your dog’s wellbeing. 

Are Yorkies good pets to have?

Yorkies are considered good pets to have and they are very popular dogs. They are great family pets, are hypoallergenic and believed to be very sociable and affectionate.

Why are Yorkies so bad?

Some consider Yorkies bad as pets because, being a small breed, it is prone to develop small size dogs behaviour issues. Owners need to be aware of this and train their dog. They can still bite and do a lot of damage. 





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