What’s the Average Lifespan of a Yorkshire Terrier?

What’s the Average Lifespan of a Yorkshire Terrier?

Are you worried about your Yorkie’s life expectancy? Whether you are on the verge of adopting a new Yorkshire Terrier or already is having one, it is quite evident for you to bother about its life expectancy.

Pups are no less than kids to its owner, and there is a hell lot of emotions that get attached to it over time. Indeed, it is ruthless even when we imagine of getting away from it, forget about its death for that matter!

It’s hard to digest, but that is something very true.

It pains me to say, though! I know how much it did shatter me when I lost my last pup. There were days when I couldn’t even eat or sleep. Well, but that’s what is inevitable. Pups, too, are mortal, just like humans!

Yorkshire Terriers are basically a kind of breed that was developed back in the 19th century in Yorkie, England.

These Yorkies ideally weigh up to 7 or 8 pounds and are great companions to humans. These dogs are small in stature, and if you have kids at home, they are sure to love seeing this cute pup around!

Besides, your kids will eventually learn to play and count it as their sibling. What could be more adorable than this? In general, the Yorkshire Terriers have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.

Thus, the Average life span of a Yorkie comes to be 13.5 years. It is said that these female Yorkies usually live a little longer than the males. The females live around 1.5 years more than the male Yorkies, provided that the females do not die out of any health complication or injury.

The domesticated canines usually live up to 12 years. Thus, these dogs are said to live a little longer than the other breeds.

Leading causes of death for Yorkshire Terriers

average lifespan of yorkshire terriers

Yorkies usually live up to 12 or 13 years until and unless it is affected by some serious health issues. Recent surveys say that Yorkies die mostly between the age of 1 or 2 years. The mortality rate in Yorkies is the maximum during that age. Here are a few significant reasons:


Yorkies mostly die due to infection, and a young pup with a lower immune system is more likely to be affected due to virus than any other reasons.

  • Parvovirus is a scary disease that infects the immune system of a pup as well as affects it’s the gastrointestinal tract. Just like the dehydration in humans, the Parbo virus causes intense vomiting and diarrhoea in Yorkies.


Yorkies need to be vaccinated appropriately in order to prevent themselves from this contagious disorder. These microbes usually live in infected dogs and are also present in the faecal matter of other dogs.

Hence, puppies need to be vaccinated and cleaned properly to restrict the spread of this disease.


  • Distemper is another highly contagious infection. It affects the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract of the Yorkies. If your dog seems to be affected by this disorder, you would see it coughing around all the time. Never let your dog remain unnoticed. Take it to the vet as early as possible. Also, you will see that your dog isn’t active like before. It’s all because it is weak from inside.


Common symptoms include dehydration and diarrhoea wherein your dog will drain out of electrolytes. It gets severe when the virus spreads to your dog’s brain through the spinal cord.

The best way to prevent your pup from getting affected by this deadly disease is to get it vaccinated at regular intervals. Also, ensure that you do not leave your dog amidst a lot of puppies, you never know if any of them is suffering from such infections.


  • Leptospirosis is a disorder that affects the liver and kidney of your dog. It spreads through the infected urine of a dog to another. It can even spread from other wildlife creatures such as raccoons and skunks.


life expectancy of Yorkshire Terriers

This isn’t specific to any particular age of a Yorkshire Terrier. It may affect both the young pups as well as the adults.

Adult Yorkshire Terriers suffer from trauma, and that contributes to a major population of their death. Around 10.7% of the Yorkies die due to trauma, and if treated correctly and on time, you can restrict your pup to die.

Some of the common reasons for trauma include all sorts of shocks received by your pup after it was stepped on, tripped over, dropped, hit by a car, or knocked down a staircase.

Dogs often tend to fetch a reduced life span if they are traumatized with sudden shocks. Take these situations out of their lives, though it’s not possible to do so to the fullest.

Respiratory disorders: Well, for Yorkies who are above the age of 1 or 2 years are more likely to get affected due to respiratory diseases. There’s no age specification; respiratory complications may affect a Yorkie anytime.

16.1% of the Yorkies that died in recent years were suffering from respiratory problems. Some of the common symptoms include Brachycephalic airway syndrome, collapsed trachea, and pulmonary fibrosis.

It can even lead to chronic bronchitis and other fatal complications.

Cancer: It is the second more significant cause of death among Yorkies. 11.2% of the Yorkies die due to cancer. Some of the common varieties of cancer in Yorkies are

  1. Lymphoma (a tumour of the lymph nodes)
  2. The occurrence of mast cell tumours (a form of skin cancer)
  3. Mammary gland tumours
  4. Soft tissue sarcomas (occur on the surface of the body and within different body organs. It even grows and metastasizes in the lungs and liver)
  5. Bone cancer

Just like humans, Yorkies are also prone to cancer. However, it is vital to identify the complication at an early stage. Vets say that 50% of all kinds of cancers are curable, provided that they are recognized and treated early.

Congenital disease

For Yorkies elder than one year old, the congenital disease is one of the most common issues of their death. Around 10.5% of the Yorkies are affected with liver shunts, often known as portosystemic shunt (PPS).

Such a condition occurs due to the lack of adequate blood flow to the dog’s liver. Symptoms include low growth rate, diarrhoea, vomiting, constipation, weakness, excessive drooling, frequent urination, and increased thirst.

Keep Reading: Best Toys for Yorkshire Terriers in 2021


Abnormal fall in blood sugar level can be a severe issue in the Yorkies and similar kinds of the breed. Yorkies usually remain susceptive of hypoglycemia for the first 5 months right after their birth.

That doesn’t mean that this disease is restricted only to the suckings. It can occur to the senior Yorkies too! Yorkies suffering from hypoglycemia are susceptible to health complications like vomiting, weakness, drowsiness, frequent drop in the energy level, and nausea.

Liver shunt

The other name of this disease is the Portodystemic shunt. It occurs mostly due to an abnormality in the portal vein. This is an inherited genetic disorder in the Yorkies. Liver shunt restricts the blood flow to the liver in the Yorkie.

It happens mostly when the liver fails to supply clean and filtered blood to the rest of the body.

Common symptoms include jaundice, muscular weakness, vision loss, seizures, behavioural changes, and abnormal weight loss. This issue could be treated well only when if it is treated early.

Treating this disorder is a hassle, yet there are options like offering antibiotics, medications, following a regular diet, and surgery.

Retinal Dysplasia

Retinal Dysplasia is another genetic disorder in Yorkies. It leads to vision problems, wherein the dog suffers from an irregularity in the eyeball functionality.

Since this is an inherited problem in Yorkies, most breeders prefer to avoid having offsprings from them. Partial defect in the retina can be treated to a certain extent but there is no such guarantee about the cure though!

Dogs with such complications can even go blind. It has no treatment and the best way to deal with them is to train them to manage things despite their vision problem.

Kneecap dislocation

Knee cap popping out of the knee joint can be a serious issue in Yorkies. Pups born with defects in tendons and tissues can be a cause for this!

If you find your dog facing trouble while walking, it could be due to a kneecap dislocation. Two ways you can settle this issue is by conducting physical therapy and let your dog take enough rest.

Other ways to treat this issue is by opting for surgery to obtain permanent results.

Keep Reading: 10 Best Indoor Dog Potties in 2020 

Legg-Perthes disease

This is one of the serious genetic issues seen in Yorkshire Terriers. Dogs suffering from this disease tend to have hip joint problems.

The femur turns weak due to lack of sufficient blood supply, and the bone regeneration gives acute pain to the pups. The most effective treatment in this context is none other than surgery.

Skin allergy

Dogs exposed to fleas, pollens, moulds, chemicals, and other triggers tend to suffer from skin allergy. Some of the common symptoms to detect that your dog is suffering from any of them include severe scratching, irritation, and hair loss.

Vets usually diagnose the disorders via dye studies, x-rays, ultrasound, and checking the blood ammonia concentration through blood testing. Around 95% of the dogs survive the surgery while the rest 33 % of the Yorkies will survive the blood flow issues.

What other different health issues a Yorkie could face?

Health complications are numerous. There’s no end to it anyway! Some of the other problems include stomach ailments, arthritis, ulcers, allergies, skin issues, thyroid conditions, nail issues, kidney disease, teeth removal, lung infections, diabetes, abrasions, and more.

Keep Reading: How to Potty Train a Yorkshire Terrier?

How to extend the life expectancy of Yorkshire terrier?

causes of death in yorkies

If you really want your pup to live longer, you should care for it as much as a parent does for his or her baby. Right from the day you have brought your puppy into the home, treat it with utmost love and concern.

  • Vaccinations:

Yorkshire Terriers are prone to infections, and thus, giving them vaccinations on time is deliberately important. If it’s still a suckling, you should avoid bringing it among the bunch of puppies strolling roadside.

Make sure that your pup is not sniffing at the urine or faeces of other animals. It is always recommended to talk to the vet if you suspect your pup to be affected by any health risk.

  • Preventing your Yorkie from shocks and trauma:

Trauma is undoubtedly one of the significant reasons for dogs to be affected by health complications. Focus on creating a safe environment for your pup as well as ensure that all the other household members keep their eyes on your pup. Never let your dog outside alone. It may either get lost across the streets or hit by a car.

  • Offer dental care:

Infection can get through an animal from anywhere, and just like humans, one of the most prominent entrants of virus and microbes into a pup’s body is through teeth. An infected tooth or a decay in the mouth can be severe at times and even reach the brain of the dog. It is indeed very painful for both the youngsters and the senior ones as well.

Adult Yorkies may suffer from a bad tooth and thus, encounter trouble on eating food. Senior Yorkies may even miss their teeth for that matter.

Proper cleaning of the teeth is a mandate in this context. A good 4 to 5 minutes of brushing on a regular basis along with a professional check-up at a regular interval, will keep your dog healthy and strong with respect to its oral hygiene.

  • Spaying/neutering:

According to a lot of vets, spaying and neutering the pups is an effective method to increase its life span. It is said that the males and females spayed before the age of 6 months old will live around 20% and 25% longer, respectively, than their un-spayed counterparts.

Also, neutering the female Yorkies prevents them from being prone to ovarian cancer and also decreases their chances of developing prostate cancer. It also saves the male Yorkies from getting testicular cancer.

  • A healthy diet is a must:

When you have an unbalanced diet, you lie deficit of different nutrients and minerals. The same goes for your pups as well. Food consumption is an essential factor to note!

It is important to have a proper diet as what you eat every day will ultimately determine your health and, thus, frame your lifespan.

Home-cooked food and high-quality commercial brands are certainly the best in this regard. Make sure that you aren’t serving foods rich in colour and preservatives to your pup. Also, ensure that you are meeting its water requirements.

  • Let it do some exercise:

A healthy diet isn’t just enough. You ought to ensure that your dog is performing regular exercises too, at the same time. Take your dog out every day for a walk and let it play as per its wish. Regular exercise will keep your dog’s heart healthy and tone its muscles as well.

  • Age is a major concern:

With age comes new problems. You should learn to accept the fact that your dog is ageing with time. Therefore, it will have health concerns too! Dedicate a sum of money to spend on your Yorkie’s last stage of life. Add necessary supplements to your dog’s diet as well as to conduct regular grooming sessions.

  • Go for regular check-ups:

You can avoid several severe threats if you treat your pup early. When you are keeping a dog, make sure that you set aside a budget for meeting its medical emergencies.

Do not be the kind of the owner who hesitates to bring his pet to the vet just because it will cost him a lot. Just like you plan your finances to meet in times of emergency situations, count your dog’s critical conditions too!

Keep Reading: Best Tactical Dog Harnesses/Vests 

What are the steps to help your Yorkie bring back from its death bed?

how to save a yorkie from dieing early

Although only 25% of the Yorkshire Terriers die a natural death, a few still tend to suffer from infections and injuries.

For an owner, it is indeed very painful to see your Yorkie suffering the pain. Managing it is, however, crucial. You would certainly not want your dog to die in the death bed.

Care and giving it a healthy lifestyle are two basic things that you need to assure from your part!

  • When your Yorkie grows old, take it to the vet at a regular interval. A little complication can become severe. Ensure the fact that such doesn’t happen!
  • At times, the improvement will be slow. Hold your patience. You never know how long it would take for your pup to recover.
  • Early treatment will always be helpful. Have an eye on your dog, and watch out the symptoms. If you can detect your dog’s issue early, chances are that you will start treating it, and thus, your pup will recover soon.
  • Training your dog’s brain cells is also a great idea as it enhances your dog’s thinking power and intelligence. It also helps you to solve any of your dog’s behavioural problems as well. Brain Training for dogs is an out of the box training ebook which will turn your dog into a super Intelligent beast. Here’s how it changed this dog owner’s life.
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