How Old Do Yorkies Live?

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Did you know that smaller breeds like the Yorkie generally live longer lives than larger dog breeds? Yorkshire Terriers are generally healthy, and the most common health problems they may face are not fatal. It’s no wonder you’d want to know, how old do Yorkies live?

How Old Do Yorkies Live?

Yorkies can live for about 13 to 16 years when properly cared for. On average, the lifespan of a Yorkie is estimated to be between 11 to 15 years by research conductors. In some cases, some Yorkies have been reported to have lived for more than 20 years.

A brown and black Yorkshire terrier with a collar standing on a grass field

Currently, the oldest known Yorkshire Terrier lived to the age of 28. You’re sure to enjoy the friendship and charisma of this companion breed in your life for quite a while. However, it’s not always possible, and so much responsibility, care, and self-discipline are needed to attain old-aged Yorkies.

Yorkie Age and Its Human Age Equivalent

Yorkie Age in YearsHuman Age in Years

How to Extend the Life of Your Yorkie Pet

The activity of your dog, its diet plan, and veterinary visits are some of the normalities you’ll have to accept if you wish to extend your dog’s life. The more rigorous you are with these routines, the more your chances are of having a long living healthy Yorkie.

Stay On Top of Vaccinations

Some of the core vaccinations that your veterinarian is bound to recommend for your Yorkie Puppy include:

  • Canine Hepatitis vaccine
  • Distemper vaccine
  • Parvovirus vaccine
  • Rabies vaccine

These are among some of the common vaccines that most puppies should get. Depending on the risk of exposure to some uncommon diseases, you may find your veterinarian recommending the following vaccinations:

  • Leptospira
  • Bordetella
  • Bronchiseptica
  • Borrelia Burgdorferi

It may be wise to hold back from taking your Yorkshire Terrier to the park or other areas where unvaccinated dogs may gather until you’ve completed your vaccination chart.

Spay or Neuter Your Yorkshire Terrier

Surveys show that spayed or neutered dogs experience a 14% longer lifespan in males and a 25% longer lifespan in females. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian about when to sterilize your dog. Sterilizing your Yorkie before six months can pose a high risk for the contraction of Parvoviral Enteritis.

For female Yorkshire Terriers, it is essential to wait until its first heat cycle before Spaying. Unless you plan on breeding your dogs, sterilizing them reduces the risk of some cancers associated with their reproductive organs.

Diet Plan and Exercise

The quality of food you give your Yorkie will impact its lifespan. Additives in processed food like sugars, salts, and by-products aren’t any good for your pet. Instead, a natural Raw Diet might be the best meal plan for a longer-living dog.

Having time to take your dog on walks or slow runs can help maintain its health. Just like me, human, dogs need regular exercise for a healthy life. 20 to 30 minutes of daily exercise should be the minimum amount of time you provide your Yorkie.

Factors That Affect the Lifespan of Yorkshire Terriers

Normally across dog breeds, smaller dogs tend to outlive larger-sized dogs. However, when it comes to the Yorkie, its smaller variation contradicts this notion. Although the AKC recognizes only the Standard Sized Yorkshire, the size variations of Yorkshire Terriers have a noticeable influence on how long they will live.

Teacup Yorkshire Lifespan

Teacup Yorkshires live from about 7 to 9 years old. They have a higher mortality rate than both the standard and giant variations. The Teacup Yorkie’s small size puts them at a high risk of dying from irresponsible injuries.

Giant Yorkie’s Lifespans

Contrary to what you may imagine, Giant Yorkies aren’t massive dogs. They are just a bit bigger than the normal Yorkshire Terrier. The Giant variation can grow to over 9 inches and weigh over the standard 7 pounds.

More Giant Yorkies generally live 13 to 16 years than standard-sized Yorkshire Terriers. This low mortality makes them almost appear to have a better life expectancy than the standard Yorkie.


Genetics is the most crucial factor when it comes to life expectancy. Ensuring that your pet comes from a healthy lineage free from genetic defects is essential for all dog owners. Wise pet owners buy their pups from reputable breeders who avail the health history of the parent dogs.

Health Complications

Puppies are prone to infections during their first year of life, which puts their longevity at risk. Some of the infections and conditions that may attack your Yorkie Puppy include:

  • Distemper
  • Leptospirosis
  • Parvovirus

Puppy trauma, too, is a leading cause of mortality in Yorkshire Terrier puppies. Sometimes owners don’t see their pups under their feet and accidentally crush or injure them.

Close-up of a black and brown Yorkshire terrier showing her tongue while on the street

Adult Yorkies are prone to diseases and congenital diseases such as:

  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Brachycephalic airway syndrome
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Collapsed Trachea

Adult Yorkshire Terriers are prone to fatal trauma injury. It would be wise to put a bell on your dog’s collar to notify you when he’s around your feet so you don’t accidentally drop something or step on them.

Related Questions

In case you have some lingering questions about the lifespan and life of Yorkshire Terrier, I’ve answered some related questions for you below:

How Old Is a Yorkie in Human Years?

Yorkies live an equivalent of 15 human years in the first year of their dog life. They then age approximately nine human years in the second year of their dog life. Your Yorkie will age approximately five human years per dog year in the third year and the years after.

What’s the Oldest Yorkshire Terrier Ever?

The oldest Yorkshire Terrier is recorded as a female Yorkie, Bonny, who lived for 28 years. Although this is generally known right now, The Guinness Book of Records hasn’t yet made a record of the oldest Yorkie. Some under-the-radar pet owners may own older Yorkshire terriers too.

What Is the Lifespan of a Yorkie Terrier?

The lifespan of a Yorkie Terrier is between 13-16 years. They are generally a healthy breed so they are more likely to live longer.


The title of the world’s oldest dog is held by an Australian Cattle Dog that lived for 29.5 years. Some rare Yorkies that can live up to 28 years old might start to pose a challenge to this Australian Cattle Dog. Remember that it is not as much about the length of the life of your Yorkie: rather, it is the quality of life you offer that matters.