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How Big Do Yorkies Get? Facts on Yorkshire Terrier Size and Growth (2024)

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how big do yorkies getYou’ve likely seen these spunky pups featured in movies or cradled in celebrities’ arms.

But how big do Yorkies truly get?

As one of the tiniest terriers around, Yorkies pack huge personalities into their petite frames.

Tracing their roots back to 19th-century Yorkshire mills, they’ve charmed their way into the hearts and homes of millions.

Yet questions linger about their stature.

Within this diminutive breed lies notable variety in size and growth patterns.

Key Takeaways

  • The standard Yorkie size set by the American Kennel Club is a maximum of 7 pounds; most adults fall in the 4-7 pound range.
  • Yorkies bred from undersized parents, known as teacup Yorkies, are more likely to have health problems due to fragile bones and weakened immune systems.
  • Yorkies reach their full adult size between 9-12 months old; puppy growth should be monitored to ensure they are not overfed or underfed.
  • Though touted as hypoallergenic, Yorkies do shed; regular brushing and coat care keeps shedding minimal.

The Terrier Breed

The Terrier Breed
You’re often curious about the backgrounds of petite pup breeds like Yorkies.

As terriers, Yorkshires share some key traits with their feisty farming forbearers, even if they now prefer laps to barns.

Yorkies exhibit classic terrier traits like energy, curiosity, spunk, and watchdog abilities despite their tiny size.

Most terriers, including Yorkies, trace their origins to working roles rooting out vermin on farms, guarding homes, or hunting quarry.

Generations of breeding honed terrier intelligence, independence, tenacity, and athleticism.

Though now primarily companions, terriers and Yorkies retain their working roots through energetic play and protective barking.

Proper terrier care respects innate behaviors by providing adequate exercise, training, socialization, and supervision.

Popular terrier breeds range from the large Airedale to the tiny Yorkie.

So while your Yorkie would fit nicely in a purse these days, generations ago his ancestors worked for their keep on farms.

This heritage shines through in your spirited, pint-sized pup.

Yorkie History

Yorkie History
Yorkshire Terriers originated from Yorkshire, England, where they were bred as working terriers to control vermin populations.

Their cross-breed roots gave them a feisty spirit, while their petite size let them chase rodents down tunnels.

As the story goes, these working-class pups charmed their way into the hearts of the British elite as lap dogs in the mid-1800s.

Fanciers admired their silky steel-blue and tan coats.

By 1872, Americans welcomed Yorkies to their shores after falling for images of the breed shown in England’s show rings.

You can still see hints of their ratting past in modern Yorkies – their curiosity, energy, and take-no-prisoners attitude toward small critters.

But that scrappy background got finessed into an elegant toy dog over the centuries.

Tracking the history brings Yorkshire Terrier devotees closer to understanding the origins of their complex canine companions.

Yorkie Attributes

Yorkie Attributes
When it comes to Yorkie attributes, two key points are longevity and temperament.

Yorkies generally live 14-16 years with proper care and maintenance throughout their life.

Additionally, Yorkies have feisty yet affectionate personalities, being very energetic and playful while demanding lots of attention.


With an average lifespan of 14-16 years, you’re looking at over a decade with your Yorkshire by your side.

To help your Yorkie age gracefully, establish healthy habits early on:

  • Regular exercise
  • Balanced diet
  • Annual vet checkups to catch any issues

As your senior Yorkie starts to slow down, adjust their care:

  • Frequent potty breaks
  • Ramps
  • Softer food

Though small, Yorkies have big personalities packed into their long-haired steel blue and tan coats. Their affectionate and playful temperament shines through their 6-9 inch height range.

However, health issues like liver shunts can impact longevity if not monitored. Support healthy aging by learning the right way to feed and care for your Yorkie.


As for their temperament, Yorkies are known to be bold, curious, and playful dogs that make excellent companions.

They have playful personalities characterized by:

  • Boundless energy
  • Curiosity and excitability
  • Affectionate and attention-seeking behaviors
  • Territorial guarding tendencies

However, Yorkies may exhibit temperament challenges like excessive barking, aggression toward other pets, difficulty potty training, and separation anxiety.

Providing proper behavioral training, early socialization experiences, setting boundaries, and meeting their high activity needs can help manage unwanted behaviors.

With time and effort, Yorkies make wonderfully devoted, lively little pups.

Are Yorkies Hypoallergenic?

Are Yorkies Hypoallergenic
You won’t find a truly hypoallergenic Yorkie, though their coat type limits shedding.

Yorkies have hair that’s similar in texture to human hair rather than fur that sheds seasonally.

That doesn’t make the breed hypoallergenic, but it does reduce allergens in homes with Yorkies. Proper coat care keeps shedding minimal.

Grooming Needs

  • Brushing Frequency: Daily
  • Bathing Frequency: Monthly
  • Trimming Length: 1-2 inches

Without brushing and trimming, Yorkie hair can become matted and trap everything from dirt and oil to dander and dead hair.

Regular grooming removes allergens trapped close to the skin that people react to. Stick to a schedule for brushing and bathing. Trim hair 1-2 inches long to minimize tangling. Show Yorkies have floor-length coats requiring much more maintenance.

Manage allergies further by:

  • Bathing your Yorkie monthly
  • Washing bedding weekly
  • Vacuuming floors and upholstery often
  • Using an air purifier

While no breed is truly hypoallergenic, Yorkies shed less than average when properly cared for.

Consult an allergist to develop an allergy action plan that works for you and your Yorkie.

Yorkie Health Facts

Yorkie Health Facts
Although you’re dealing with a small dog, be aware that Yorkies are prone to several health issues, including upset stomachs, allergies, skin irritation, ear infections, and diarrhea.

To keep your Yorkie healthy, focus on nutrition tips like providing high-quality dog food, an exercise routine with daily walks and playtime, and regular preventive care such as dental hygiene, coat care, and veterinarian visits.

Yorkies are susceptible to common ailments like hypoglycemia, progressive retinal atrophy, patellar luxation, and portosystemic shunt.

With diligent care and affection, your diminutive Yorkie can live a long, fulfilling 14 to 16-year life. Despite their petite size, Yorkies are generally robust when cared for properly. Their long lifespan is a testament to their vigor when owners prioritize health.

Expected Size

Expected Size
You’ve noted the various health concerns, but most Yorkshire Terriers will fit into the normal range of 4 to 7 pounds when fully grown.

The standard for Yorkshire Terriers set by the AKC is a maximum weight of 7 pounds.

Most Yorkies will fall within the typical range of 4 to 7 pounds as adults.

Some may be slightly larger, up to about 8 or 9 pounds, due to their bone structure.

Much smaller or larger than this range is uncommon for a purebred Yorkie.

Yorkshire Terriers are a small breed, so their expected adult size is quite petite compared to other dogs.

However, within the breed there’s some natural variety in size due to differences in bone structure, muscle mass, and other factors.

As long as your Yorkie is proportional and healthy, a weight up to about 9 pounds is considered within the acceptable size range for the breed according to the American Kennel Club.

Just watch for any signs of abnormal growth patterns or related health issues.

With regular veterinary care, your Yorkie should stay happily in that ideal tiny terrier size range.


Having Teacup Yorkies comes with risks of health issues like fragile bones and weakened immune systems.

The AKC and reputable kennels don’t recognize the Teacup term as it describes Yorkies bred from undersized parents, making tiny puppies more likely.

While cute, Teacup Yorkies may have health issues to monitor like:

Issue Cause Impact
Fragile Bones Inbreeding Increased fractures
Weak Immune System Small size More illnesses
Short Lifespan Breeding practices Less than 10 years
Dental Problems Jaw size Tooth loss
Hypoglycemia Inability to store glucose Lethargy, weakness

It’s crucial that Teacup Yorkie owners schedule regular veterinarian checkups to stay ahead of any potential health problems stemming from their size variations.

Thoughtful breeding practices and owner diligence can help mitigate growth challenges for Teacup Yorkies.


As your adorable Yorkie puppy grows, there are important things to remember:

  • Focus on positive reinforcement training early on to encourage good habits.
  • Set up puppy play dates and introduce them to new sights and sounds to ensure proper socialization during this critical window.
  • Weigh puppies regularly to ensure they stay on track growth-wise. Most Yorkies reach adult size between 9 to 12 months old.
  • Monitor food portions to avoid over or underfeeding.
  • Get on a schedule with potty training, and stick to it.
  • Interactive games and moderate exercise are great for entertaining puppies and tiring them out.
  • Cuddle and play with pups daily to strengthen your bond.
  • Brush pups frequently to get them used to grooming.
  • Capture lots of pictures because they grow up so fast!

With patience and care, your tiny Yorkie pup will blossom into a happy, healthy dog.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the ideal weight range for a healthy adult Yorkie?

The ideal weight range for a healthy adult Yorkie is 4 to 7 pounds.

However, some Yorkies may weigh slightly more, up to about 9 pounds, if they have a larger bone structure.

Anything below 4 pounds is too small, while over 9 pounds may indicate excess weight.

Regular vet checkups help monitor your Yorkie’s growth and body condition.

What health problems are associated with under or oversized Yorkies?

Like a frail bird, undersized Yorkies may suffer fragile bones and weakened immune systems.

Overweight Yorkies risk joint problems and diabetes.

Regular vet checkups monitor size-related health issues for your best friend.

How much exercise does a Yorkie need each day?

  • Aim to walk your Yorkie for at least 20-30 minutes daily.
  • Incorporate playtime and training for mental stimulation.
  • Avoid overexercising young Yorkies.
  • Monitor your dog for signs of fatigue.
  • Adjust the exercise routine based on your Yorkie’s age, health, and energy level.

What is the best way to train a Yorkie?

You must start training your Yorkie the moment you bring them home.

Use positive reinforcement like treats and praise to reward good behavior.

Be patient and consistent with training every day.

Make it fun for you both!

Socialization is also key for a well-adjusted Yorkie.

What type of food should Yorkies eat?

  • Feed your Yorkie a high-quality dry dog food formulated for small breed dogs.
  • Look for a food with animal-based proteins as the first ingredient.
  • Avoid foods with fillers.
  • Feed appropriate portion sizes, as Yorkies are prone to obesity.
  • Provide fresh water at all times.


You’ve made a new friend for life when you welcome a Yorkie into your home.

Though petite, these spirited companions overflow with personality.

By providing proper care and nutrition, you’ll maximize your Yorkie’s health and longevity.

Treasure the little moments, like their puppyhood, which pass all too swiftly.

Like a precious jewel, a Yorkie will sparkle in your heart forever.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.